Last Week In Bitcoin is a series discussing the events of the previous week that occurred in the Bitcoin industry, covering all the important news and analysis.
Summary of the Week
Last week El Salvador’s official bitcoin rollout began, then Ukraine decided to jump on the bitcoin bandwagon. This week, Laos joined the fray with plans to allow bitcoin mining and trading in the Asian nation, just months after China’s crackdown on crypto.
It would appear as if every week a new country is jumping on the bitcoin bandwagon, billionaires continue to blow the bitcoin bullhorn and the plebs like you and me keep stacking sats. Here’s this week in bitcoin:
The week started off on a good note as Nayib Bukele, El Salvador’s president, announced their bitcoin-friendly drive continues as the country would exempt foreign investors from paying taxes on their bitcoin gains.
Not to let El Salvador take all the glory, MicroStrategy CEO and bitcoin messiah, Michael Saylor, announced on Monday that the firm had acquired an additional 5,050 BTC, bringing the company’s total holdings to 114,042 BTC bought at an average price of $27,713 per bitcoin.
Also on Monday, Professor Mthuli Ncube, the minister of finance in Zimbabwe, said that the country would explore bitcoin adoption in order to cut back on remittance costs and stabilize the country’s economy which has been gutted over the last two decades. Brevan Howard, a $11.4 billion hedge fund, became the latest financial institution to start a bitcoin division, signalling more bullishness from traditional finance.
On Tuesday, Nayib Bukele revealed that El Salvador’s Chivo bitcoin wallet saw 500,000 registrations in its first week, adding hundreds of thousands of new bitcoin users to the ecosystem. Besides the infrastructure installed across the country, El Salvador also installed 50 bitcoin ATMs in cities across the U.S. to make it easier for citizens to send money back to the country.
Oaktree Capital’s chairman and billionaire investor, Howard Marks, said that bitcoin has its advantages over gold, in stark contrast to his opinion on bitcoin in 2017. Marks appeared on the “We Study Billionaires” podcast, having a lot of good to say about bitcoin.
On Wednesday, news came to light that the $4.2 trillion investment firm, Fidelity, had a private meeting with the SEC in which it urged them to approve their planned bitcoin ETF. The company gave a presentation that demonstrated “increased investor appetite” for bitcoin, the existence of similar funds in other countries and the growth in bitcoin holders.
On Thursday, news broke that Laos would legalise bitcoin mining and trading. That’s right, another week, another country. Laos, which has a huge surplus of hydroelectricity, is the latest country to welcome bitcoin and legislators are currently working on regulations to allow bitcoin trading. A total of six companies have been authorized to mine and trade bitcoin in the country.
Also on Thursday, Revolut, the $33 billion UK-based financial services firm, announced that they would pay for office space for 300 staff members in Dallas, Texas using bitcoin. The office space is managed by WeWork and Revolut cited saving on international remittance costs as one of the reasons for the move.
Last one for Thursday, and not really market-related, but Hungary introduced the world’s first statue celebrating Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Yes, Satoshi will become a tourist attraction for maxis from across the world.
Finally, on Friday, PayPal’s bitcoin buying service went live in the UK, allowing users to purchase bitcoin right on the platform. Just hours later, domain registrar Namecheap announced that they would accept bitcoin payments.
Despite the week being relatively bear-free, billionaire Ray Dalio decided he needed to stay relevant by throwing some FUD into the market. Despite some bullish remarks recently — even investing in bitcoin himself — Dalio said he doesn’t agree with Cathie Wood’s prediction that bitcoin would increase 10-fold, he went on to say that governments wouldn’t let bitcoin succeed and would be able to “kill it.”
Dalio’s sentiments scream “I need bitcoin to dip, so I can buy some more” and clearly shows his misunderstanding of how Bitcoin works, how decentralized finance and blockchain technology work. No government can just “kill it” if it’s in the hands of the masses, controlled by the community.
Besides Dalio, El Salvador’s bitcoin rollout hasn’t been all moonshine and roses. Ignoring the fact that bitcoin has yet to recover from its dip last week when the country’s rollout first began, the anti-bitcoin brigade in the Central American nation has grown.
During the week, protesters set one of the 200 bitcoin ATMs in the country alight in opposition to the regime’s bitcoin adoption and glitchy rollout. The protestors seem to have several concerns, some of which may be valid: bitcoin’s volatility, the lack of proper education on bitcoin in the country and, of course, then there’s the west’s FUD campaign, including from the likes of the IMF and World Bank, who would undoubtedly be threatened if bitcoin adoption worldwide picks up pace.
Bitcoin is slowly approaching its 12th birthday. Over the years, bitcoin has gone from a niche internet currency that was nearly worthless to a five-figure (and counting) digital currency that has been adopted by a country, aging financial institutions and billionaires alike. It’s poised to become the global reserve currency, kick the financial tyrants to the curb and make near-instant, affordable payments across the globe the norm.
As more and more countries explore adopting bitcoin in one way or another, it’s become apparent that El Salvador has put the world on notice. Whether these nations just legalize and regulate bitcoin, adopt it as legal tender or use it as an investment vehicle, their interest is undeniable and growing by the day.
Bitcoin is slowly starting to become a (if not the) global currency. Every week another billionaire or trillion-dollar investment fund welcomes bitcoin with open arms. Every week a politician somewhere signals interest in exploring bitcoin in their country. Bitcoin is starting to take over.
We’ve seen El Salvador adopt bitcoin. We’ve seen Ukraine and Laos start pushing a bitcoin-friendly agenda and we’ve seen politicians from countries like Paraguay, Honduras, Ghana and Zimbabwe signal their interest in bitcoin.
It’s no longer a matter of “if” another country will adopt bitcoin in full form, but rather “when” another country will adopt bitcoin in full form. Bitcoin is starting to unite the world, albeit slowly, of course. The future looks bright for bitcoin to become the global currency...
This is a guest post by Dion Guillaume. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.