#Web3 Weekly: April 18–24, 2021

Even in a “bad” week for crypto markets, bitcoin adoption marches ahead

Photo by Ivan Radic via Flickr under Creative Commons 2.0 license

Re-sharing below the latest edition of #Web3 Weekly, my regular newsletter about decentralization. If you’d like to get it in your inbox every Sunday, subscribe here.

Bitcoin had a (mostly) dismal week.

To start with the obvious, prices slid more than 17%, leaving the token at its lowest point since early March and struggling to stay above $50,000 as of late Saturday. The bitcoin chain’s hash rate is way down, which means miners aren’t making new coins as readily as usual. Transaction fees have leapt. And market “whales” appear to be getting antsy as well.

And yet…

Even amid that barrage of bad news, the long-term trend of increased adoption of bitcoin by individuals and institutions alike has continued.

Venmo added trading of four cryptocurrencies to its app, including two different flavors of bitcoin, following the lead of parent company PayPal. WeWork said it will accept bitcoin for payments, as did the venerable Time magazine. And the New York Stock Exchange filed with regulators to list an exchange-traded fund on bitcoin, pushing a longtime pipe dream for U.S. traders closer to reality.

Just in time for Earth Day, Square even published a whitepaper about bitcoin’s potential as a boon to the environment. That runs diametrically opposite the usual narrative of BTC as a wasteful electricity hog.

So who knows? Maybe this thing isn’t quite dead after all.

Other recent headlines regarding decentralization:

  • An Istanbul-based crypto exchange, Thodex, suddenly shut down under sketchy circumstances. The market’s chief executive has disappeared, taking up to $2 billion in users’ funds with him. Ouch.

That’s it for now. Thanks for spending some time with the newsletter today! A full revision history of it, including earlier drafts, is available here if you’re interested. If you’d like to get updates like this in your inbox every Sunday, please join our email list here.

Consultant and writer focused on Web 3.0. Former award-winning reporter for WSJ, Washington Post, and Vice. Sometime founder and product manager as well.