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.
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.
- Grayscale investments acquired $1 billion in crypto in a 24-hour period early last week. Yowza.
- South Korea launched a crackdown on illicit activity involving cryptocurrencies. The effort will span several of the country’s regulatory agencies.
- Discord will pursue an initial public offering rather than be acquired. The Wall Street Journal reported that the messaging startup has called off talks with Microsoft and other potential buyers.
- Edward Snowden sold a non-fungible token for a cool $5.5 million to benefit the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
- An anonymous donor paid for adoption fees at a Florida dog shelter using Dogecoin. The gift covers all dogs that are currently ready to be adopted. Awwww...
- So much for strongarm tactics. Ahead of the Falcon And The Winter Soldier finale on Friday, IGN checked in with folks who build and use real bionic arms to see what they think of the show. One telling anecdote: The engineer IGN spoke to says she frequently gets feature requests for an arm that can punch through walls or do other “destructive” stuff along the lines of Marvel’s Bucky Barnes. But the suggestion always comes from people with two arms. People who are actually missing limbs worry about more mundane stuff.
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.