Here’s what’s been happening in the crypto world over the past 7 days.

Cryptocurrency Community and Adoption News

Italians Warming Up to Crypto, Bitcoin Booming in Nigeria

Italy, especially its northern part, is becoming more and more a crypto-friendly country. As recent Statista figures show, the number of businesses that accept cryptocurrency is growing. According to Bitcoin News, there are currently 270 retailers and 214 service providers that welcome crypto payments.

The Central Bank of Nigeria declared earlier that Bitcoin, and other digital currencies, are not legal tender in the country. Neverthless, Bitcoin adoption is still rising. As Bitcoinist reports, Nigeria and South Africa are actually one of the top Bitcoin hotspots. Majority of the population in both countries is aware of crypto.

Crypto Startup Gets Thumbs Up from Ashton Kutcher

There’s definitely no shortage of celebrities who are fans of Bitcoin and other crypto. So it comes as no surprise that Hollywood actor, Ashton Kutcher, recently praised the crypto startup Lolli. Kutcher is actually already known as a crypto and blockchain advocate. “The notion that we could civically monitor each other in an anonymous way actually keeps the anonymity of the Internet,” he said a few years ago, speaking about the technology behind Bitcoin.

There Are 28.39m Bitcoin Addresses with Any Balance

Bitcoin and blockchain investor Alex Thorn compiled CoinMetrix’s data, and shared with Crypto Twitter that the total number of Bitcoin addresses holding any amount of BTC has hit an all-time high.

There are currently 28.39 million addresses, and he actually believes that that number could even be higher since there are many people who hold their cryptocurrency on exchanges. He does emphasize that the metric “addresses with any balance” is not perfect. However, it is one of the best for figuring out the approximate number of Bitcoin users. He also adds that “its increase over time can be be viewed as an indicator of growing bitcoin adoption.”

“The End of Fiat Money?” Asks Deutsche Bank

In a recent report titled Imagine 2030: The decade ahead, Deutsche Bank research strategists are wondering if the next decade brings the end of fiat money. They also suggest that crypto could go mainstream in the next 10 or so years.

“The forces that hold the fiat money system together look fragile, particularly decades of low labour costs. Over the next decade, some of these forces could begin to unravel and demand for alternative currencies, from gold to crypto, could take off,” reads the report.

In addition to that, Marion Laboure writes:

“Assuming governments back cryptocurrencies, and consumers want them, adoption rates will drive the timeline for mainstream use. […] If current trends continue, there could be 200m blockchain wallet users in 2030.”

Blockchain News

SpaceChain Sends Blockchain Technology into Space

Last Thursday, SpaceChain’s blockchain hardware wallet technology was launched into space. SpaceChain is a community-based space platform that aims to bring blockchain and space together. Combining these two technologies, they focus on building “the world’s first open-source blockchain-based satellite network, allowing users to develop and run decentralized applications in space.”

According to the platform, which received funding from the European Space Agency, this is the third blockchain payload launched into space. Once installed on the International Space Station and activated, “the payload will demonstrate the receipt, authorization, and retransmission of blockchain transactions, creating ‘multisig’ transactions which require multiple signatures (approvals) to complete, increasing the security of the operation,” states SpaceChain’s press release.

“Blockchain is the next major disruptor in space. SpaceChain addresses security vulnerabilities for financial systems and digital assets in the growing digital economy,” said SpaceChain co-founder and CTO, Jeff Garzik.

Nike’s Blockchain-Based “CryptoKicks”

This week, Nike was granted patent for its blockchain-based sneakers dubbed “CrpytoKicks”, reports TNW. According to the screenshot in TNW’s article, Nike patented “system and method for providing cryptographically secured digital assets”. Reportedly, Nike’s solution will also “track the ownership and verify the authenticity of sneakers using the blockchain-based system.”

Japan Using Power Ledger’s Platform for Renewable Energy Credits

Australia’s Power Ledger, a company focusing on blockchain-based energy trading, has extended its trial with the second-largest Japanese electricity company. Kansai Electric Power Co Inc will be using Power Ledger’s platform to “create and track Renewable Energy Certificates as well as solar energy trading”.

Regulation

SEC Approves Bitcoin Futures Fund

Even though it is still not keen on approving Bitcoin ETFs, US SEC has given green light to Bitcoin futures fund by Stone Ridge Funds. As Coin Rivet reports, the fund is reportedly the first of its kind that SEC approved.

Crypto: A Legal Means of Payment and Investment in Ukraine

The Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada, has recently passed an anti-money laundering law for the cryptocurrency space. According to the new bill, crypto is also now classified as property, and people can legally use it for trading, payments, investments and transfers, reports Bitcoinist.

Danish and Brazilian Tax Authorities Remind Investors About Crypto Tax Obligations

Denmark’s tax authority, Danish Skattestyrelsen, has sent out 20,000 warning letters urging investors to pay their crypto taxes, writes Bitcoin News. Earlier this year, the tax authority got the approval from the tax council, Skatterådet, to collect information on crypto investors from local exchanges.

A similar situation is also happening in Brazil. Country’s Department of Federal Revenue published a new code which specifies financial penalties for those who do not declare their crypto transactions.

Bad Guys

Argentina Attacked by Blackhat Hacker Demanding Bitcoin

The Argentinian government has recently been targeted with ransomware by a hacker who seized 10 years’ worth of government files. In order to give access to the data back, he requested around 50 BTC, according to Bitcoinist. The incident occurred on November 25, and reportedly, the government has already managed to recover around 90% of encrypted data.

Even though blackhat hackers more often go after institutions and companies, it is of great importance to be careful. There’s also that ransomware’s dilemma – to pay or not to pay. Here’s why you should not.

Alleged Crypto Mining Schemers Arrested

US authorities arrested four men on charges of running a cryptocurrency mining scheme and defrauding the investors of US$722 million.

“Those arrested today are accused of deploying elaborate tactics to lure thousands of victims with promises of large returns on their investments in a bitcoin mining pool,” said Paul Delacourt, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

Bitcoin Market

For the past seven days, the price of Bitcoin ranged between around US$7,167 and US$7,580.

bitcoin price dec 5 - dec 12
Bitcoin price December 5 – December 12: Source: Cryptowat.ch

According to some, the price has started to stabilise. It even may have already hit the bottom, with its $6,500 plunge back in May, according to Bloomberg, as Ethereum World News writes. Bloomberg Intelligence also believes that Bitcoin will become less volatile and that the 2020 range set will be between $6,000 and $12,000.

On the other hand, others have higher hopes for Bitcoin price. According to Ross Ulbricht’s analysis, based on the Elliott Wave principle, Bitcoin could skyrocket to $100k next year.

In one of his Medium posts, he writes “Thus, we have a price and target for the end of wave I of ~$100,000 some time in or near 2020.” He did, though, emphasise that “there is no rule that market moves have to be proportional. This is just a pattern we see unfolding that may or may not continue.”

Popular Bitcoin bull Anthony ‘Pomp’ Pompliano agrees with Ross regarding the price, but he doesn’t think it will happen before the end of 2021. This prediction is in accordance with his earlier claims that Bitcoin will reach $100k, within the next two years, as safe haven against fiat.

We closed the day, December 11 AEST time, at a price of around US$7,251 (~ AU$10,597 / £5,518).