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
This week was relatively calm. We briefly saw bitcoin surpass $50,000 a few times, however it has struggled to remain above this important threshold over the last few days. This could very well be the calm before the storm, as next week El Salvador will officially adopt bitcoin as legal tender. Not to mention that we’re just two months away from the Taproot soft fork activating. Bitcoin may very well be preparing for a decent run.
There were some intriguing bits of news that hit the stands — Twitter is working on integrating bitcoin payments, El Salvador is finalizing its bitcoin plans, mining takes the spotlight and the SEC’s chairman continues to sing bitcoin’s praises. Here’s this week in bitcoin:
On Monday, the bitcoin network set a new record with over $8 billion in weekly transaction volume recorded, a remarkable milestone as bitcoin approaches the $1 trillion market cap marker again.
On Tuesday, El Salvador’s democratic assembly approved the country’s $150 million bitcoin trust ahead of the nation officially implementing bitcoin as legal tender early next week. The launch will see each citizen receive $30 in bitcoin through the country’s dedicated Chivo wallet with 200 ATMs to be installed across the country.
Also on Tuesday, Genesis Digital Assets was offered an option from Canaan to purchase 200,000 bitcoin mining rigs. The firm acquired 20,000 rigs from Canaan, with the option to purchase an additional 180,000. Genesis currently accounts for 2.4% of the global bitcoin hashrate, and that portion could increase nearly tenfold by 2023.
On Wednesday, Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, urged citizens to mine bitcoin with the country’s excess electricity instead of seeking low-earning jobs abroad. As more counties and countries push forward incentives to welcome miners to their shores, Belarus may end up doing the same, to the benefit of the Eastern European nation’s economy.
Also on Wednesday, leading bitcoin rewards app, Fold, announced that it has partnered with OpenNode to operate fully on the Lightning Network by 2022, paving the way for fast and affordable payments in bitcoin.
Wednesday also saw bitcoin superfan and U.S. SEC Chairman, Gary Gensler, speak to the European Parliament about bitcoin, noting how the network operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and across borders. He said that “this innovation has been and could continue to be a catalyst for change in the fields of finance and money,” and "I think the transformation we're living through right now could be every bit as big as the internet in the 1990s."
Rounding off Wednesday’s busy day in bitcoin, some leaks were shared of Twitter beta testing a bitcoin tipping service in partnership with lightning payment app, Strike, which would later be confirmed by the company’s product lead. This follows on remarks from CEO, Jack Dorsey, in July that bitcoin would be implemented for tipping, Super Follows, commerce and subscriptions.
On Thursday, Vast Bank became the first chartered bank in the U.S. to offer bitcoin services. Customers will be able to buy and sell bitcoin directly from an FDIC-insured checking account, while its bitcoin custody solutions include a mobile trading platform with instant settlement to its accounts.
Also on Thursday, Franklin Templeton, an investment manager with over $1.5 trillion in assets under management and operating in 34 countries across the globe, published a job listing on LinkedIn looking for a ‘Research Analyst - Crypto Currency.’ Bullish much?
Late on Thursday, U.S.-based ecommerce platform Shop.com became the latest retailer to accept bitcoin payments courtesy of a partnership with crypto payments platform, BitPay.
This week saw several small protests across El Salvador against next week’s official rollout of bitcoin as legal tender across the country. Although the $30 each citizen will receive in bitcoin is a drop in the bucket compared to the global market’s daily volume, if the majority decide to sell their new holdings, it may end up dissuading other countries from pursuing plans to adopt bitcoin as legal tender.
Twitter and bitcoin? Yes please! This week has been relatively quiet news-wise, but it could be said that no news is good news. Bitcoin has managed to hover between $47,000 and $50,000 for most of the week, but has struggled to breach $51,000 and head on a runner.
Next week will be a crucial week for bitcoin, historic maybe. El Salvador will officially embrace bitcoin as legal tender as they roll out 200 bitcoin ATMs and 20 bitcoin kiosks across the country. Each citizen will receive $30 worth of bitcoin through the country’s dedicated Chivo bitcoin wallet. A country is adopting bitcoin as legal tender and giving every citizen bitcoin.
What happens in El Salvador next week will either be hyperbullish or somewhat bearish. A smooth rollout isn’t necessarily a must, but ensuring citizens don’t just dump their new holdings and continue to use filthy fiat will be key. If their adoption of bitcoin proves successful over the next few weeks, or even months, then we could very well see more countries push through plans to do the same.
I believe we find ourselves inside the calm before the storm. Bitcoin is bracing for a breakout. El Salvador could be a catalyst, or the market could just turn out to be ready to rumble. Whatever happens, I’m stacking some sats and grabbing the popcorn.
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.