Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.
Top Stories This Week
It’s been a week to forget in the crypto world. Bitcoin (BTC) prices crashed hard on Tuesday — rapidly dropping from $9,800 to $8,150 over the course of the day. The double-digit percentage losses saw the overall crypto market cap lose a whopping $20 billion in less than an hour. While some analysts blamed Bakkt’s sluggish launch for the downturn, others said BTC’s weak market moves may be linked to the political turmoil in the United States, where news of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump spooked markets. Altcoins were not immune from Tuesday’s pain — Bitcoin SV (BSV) took a massive hit of more than 34% on the day, while Ether (ETH) sustained heavy losses of 24%. Later in the week, BTC/USD dipped to $7,736 — the lowest price since May 2019. Although some ground was recovered, Bitcoin entered the weekend trading sideways in the low $8,000s.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared to show a rare display of fear as regulatory scrutiny surrounding the Libra stablecoin intensifies. He admitted the project was “very sensitive for society” and said his company was determined to work through issues before launching. The billionaire also acknowledged this is a very different approach to what Facebook might have done five years ago. In other Libra news this week, reports emerged that the social network’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, is in talks to testify in front of the House Financial Services Committee. Meanwhile, Calibra wallet head David Marcus — who has already faced a grilling in front of Congress — asserted in a blog post that blockchain-based payment networks can address inefficiencies in existing payment systems.
The CEO and founder of Kik, the Canadian social media and messaging app, had a defiant message for U.S. regulators this week: We’re not going down without a fight. The company has been mired in a costly legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the initial coin offering for its Kin cryptocurrency — with the SEC claiming the $100 million sale was unregistered. Kik’s CEO, Ted Livingston, told a conference in Toronto on Wednesday: “We have to keep going. Until that’s it, we don’t have a dollar left, a person left. We will keep going no matter how hard it is.” Also this week, Livingston confirmed that the company will shut down the Kik app and reduce its headcount from 151 to 19 as it fights for Kin’s survival. The embattled company is hoping to go to trial in May 2020 and is raising $5 million to fund its lawsuit against the SEC.
Paris Retail Week brought the news that support for BTC payments is going to be launched at more than 25,000 sales points for 30 French retailers next year. Big brands such as the sportswear giant Decathlon and cosmetics chain Sephora are among those involved in the project. Global POS, the company providing the technology, described it as an “important symbolic step in the evolution of payment methods in France” that will allow businesses to “safely enter the world of Economy 3.0.” Even as thousands of stores embrace crypto, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi continued to be pessimistic about the future of crypto assets — insisting they “are not designed in ways that make them suitable substitutes for money.” On Wednesday, a new survey by Big Four auditor KPMG suggested that 63% of U.S. customers perceive blockchain tokens to be an easy form of payment.
Justin Sun’s buffet with Buffett has been delayed for some time now. The Tron founder had paid $4.56 million for the privilege during a charity auction in June, but postponed due to medical reasons. Now, Sun is saying he plans to schedule his brunch with the billionaire “very soon” — and he even wants to add other esteemed individuals to the guest list. In a tweet to President Trump, a crypto skeptic, Sun wrote: “Mr. President, you are misled by fake news. #Bitcoin & #Blockchain happens to be the best chance for US! I’d love to invite you to have lunch with crypto leaders along with @WarrenBuffett on July 25. I guarantee you after this lunch, nobody will know crypto more than you!” He hasn’t had a reply yet.
Winners and Losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $8,058.19, Ether at $167.93 and XRP at $0.24. The total market cap is at $213,108,859,392.
The top three altcoin gainers of the week are Custody Token, XTRD and Tellurion. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Pandacoin, Bitcoin God and Oxycoin.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
Most Memorable Quotations
“We have to keep going. Until that’s it, we don’t have a dollar left, a person left. We will keep going no matter how hard it is.”
Ted Livingston, Kik CEO
Justin Sun, Tron founder
“The risk is high for a rapid descent down to $4,000 or lower!”
Peter Schiff, gold bug
“Combining the internet with Bitcoin gives us a real chance of achieving the original promise of the internet; freedom of speech, commerce and finance.”
Kim Dotcom, entrepreneur
“If Libra is introduced, it could have a huge impact on society.”
Haruhiko Kuroda, Bank of Japan governor
“When we do things that are going to be very sensitive for society, we want to have a period where we can go out and talk about them and consult with people and get feedback and work through the issues before rolling them out.”
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO
“Bakkt, first day volumes: 71 bitcoin. CME, first day volumes: 5298 bitcoin. That’s a 75x difference.”
Alex Kruger, trader
Prediction of the Week
A cheery prediction of six-figure BTC prices somehow doesn’t seem appropriate this week. Gold bug Peter Schiff, who has never knowingly passed up an opportunity to bash Bitcoin, has a rather gloomy forecast for the world’s dominant cryptocurrency. After BTC shed $1,800 in a matter of hours, he warned: “The risk is high for a rapid descent to $4,000 or lower!”
FUD of the Week
Contradicting previous statements, the People’s Bank of China has now denied that Beijing is ready to launch its digital currency. The state-run Global Times said the delay is because the bank “needs to research, test, evaluate and prevent risks.” Back in August, Deputy Director Mu Changchun had suggested that the project was complete and awaiting launch — perhaps even before the end of 2020. Those comments had sparked suggestions that Beijing was in a race to beat Libra to the punch. With Facebook’s stablecoin bogged down in regulatory red tape, these latest remarks indicate the social network may have a little bit of breathing space.
We’ve seen some audacious scams in our times at CT Towers, but this one takes the cake. Fraudsters have sent out letters in the post to British consumers, posing as senior servants to the Queen, to ask for $2.5 million in BTC to help the United Kingdom maintain the local economy after Brexit. The letter says those who send cryptocurrency will be rewarded with a 30% interest rate for three months — as well as, get this, the honor of becoming a Member of the Royal Warrant Holders Association. Naturally, the letter includes a plea to keep this exclusive offer secret.
And here’s one more scam that’s worthy of a FUD mention this week. Scammers are using fake mainstream news articles to advertise a nonexistent and potentially dangerous Bitcoin investment platform. The ruse uses celebrity endorsements from the likes of actress Kate Winslet — and even boasts that it has backing from Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Bill Gates. The fraudsters claim that each star bought $10,394 worth of BTC and netted a return of $421,226 — a growth of 4,110% — in the space of a week. Winslet responded angrily to news that her image was used in this way, describing the promotion as “completely disingenuous and categorically false.”
Best Cointelegraph Features
The Chicago Board Options Exchange’s BZX Equity Exchange has withdrawn its proposal for a VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin exchange-traded fund. The Securities and Exchange Commission still had another month to greenlight or reject the financial product. Stephen O’Neal follows up on the story.
According to some, there’s a connection between Bitcoin and the government’s use of quantitative easing — with crypto prices rising whenever this monetary policy is enforced. Will Heasman explores whether this idea is entirely out of the realm of possibility.
Kirill Bryanov examines how Bakkt, the first federally regulated platform for Bitcoin futures trading, has performed in its first week.