For the first time in forever – okay, a month – bitcoin is looking bullish again. Not wreck-a-china-shop bullish, but enough for us to focus on things other than price action. Things like hip-hoppers whose love affair with bitcoin is blossoming. And cult-like altcoin fanatics whose taste for the Kool-Aid is strengthening. Like a glutinous Chinese soup, we’ve got a little bit of everything stirred into This Week in Bitcoin.
If there’s one thing the 65% market dip has been good for, it’s helping bitcoin whales get richer still. You speculate, they accumulate, and the gap between the rich and the poor widens. Ridiculous wealth has its downsides though, like fending off increased scrutiny from the taxman. If U.S investors thought they had things bad with the IRS sniffing around on the blockchain, they should spare a thought for their Japanese counterparts, who are stung by capital gains tax on crypto trading profits of as much as 55%.
Hip-hop Heavyweights Re Up On Crypto
Nas, Snoop Dogg, and Jay-Z are all indirectly invested in crypto thanks to their backing of Robinhood, the trading app which is about to add the option to purchase cryptocurrency. Rappers have the hots for crypto, despite it being the sort of wealth you can’t wear around your neck – not until someone creates a diamond encrusted Ledger at least. Not to forget 50 Cent with his reported bitcoin millions, and Wu Tang Clan, who’ve been repping bitcoin since before crypto was cool, and were sighted at Anarchapulco this week.
Someone else taking a keen interest in bitcoin this week was Ellen Degeneres. Regardless of whether her crypto skit on The Ellen Degeneres Show contributed to bitcoin’s rise is debatable, but it can’t have done any harm. Not everyone has been as kind to bitcoin lately though; Berkshire Hathaway’s vice chairman, Charlie Munger, described it as “Disgusting, detestable, noxious poison” which sounds like the bitcoin slogan we’ve all been waiting for. Can we make this a meme?
Fork On or Fork Off?
More forks are on their way to an increasingly ambivalent community. Litecoin Cash has arrived, and been disowned by Charlie Lee, but is trading on Yobit, where it will likely live out its days. United Bitcoin is definitely happening, and it may be the most controversial fork yet. In comparison, Bitcoin Private – while not without its controversies – looks almost sensible in comparison.
Speaking of forks, the pitchforks were out this week for Andreas Brekken, who had the temerity to write a scathing piece on IOTA. IOTA baiting is all the rage right now, and regardless of whether it’s justified, it’s a sport that Twitter has taken to with aplomb. For so long as the IOTA community remains touchy, haters will prod and poke at them. IOTA is a loose tooth that mischievous bitcoiners can’t resist wobbling.
10 Ways to Lose Your Crypto
As the saying goes “A fool and his money are easily parted”. While investing in Ponzi schemes falls firmly into the foolish category, it’s also possible to lose your crypto without doing a thing wrong. Sergey Medvedev probably did do a few things wrong to amass his $800 million bitcoin fortune, and duly parted with it once U.S. agents orchestrated his Thai arrest on carding charges. If you lost your crypto due to bad code, on the other hand, that’s not your fault, even if that’s of little consolation.
On the topic of code, despite bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies being open source, some developers are reluctant to share their blockchain innovations with the masses, preferring to protect them under patent law. Turns out there’s been a whole lotta cryptocurrency patents filed in the last 18 months, most of which seem to have come courtesy of Craig Wright – according to Craig Wright.
These might look like identical patents filed by Wright’s company on the same date under the same name, but each one is totally unique.
This is the part where we acknowledge that we’ve ran out of space and time to cover the rest of this week’s top stories, so here goes: we’ve ran out of space and time to cover the rest of this week’s top stories. Which is a shame cos it would have been nice to talk about the Russian engineers arrested for mining crypto on a government supercomputer, blockchain trading game Etherlambos, and why you can’t judge a coin by its market cap. Catch more insights and entertainment in the This Week in Bitcoin podcast with Matt Aaron. See you next week for more sensible chuckles from the disgusting, detestable, noxious, poisonous world of bitcoin.