Bitcoin Roundup: May
Bitcoin shoots for moon, Congress is afraid, Facebook announces GlobalCoin
A strong month for Bitcoin financially as it moved from $5k to $8k. That’s a 60% monthly move, with Bitcoin up about 200% from the start of the year. Not bad for something that was totally, definitely, for sure this time dead according to most media coverage.
I don’t usually post zerohedge links, but when I do it’s those that are aggregating information from other sources. This one says the recession is starting:
Upstream Data, a provider of mining rigs for stranded gas operations, continues to impress me.
Jill Carlson dropped some awesome education on the history of money in the U.S. The whole thread is worth reading.
People are continuing to call for “shutdown” of cryptocurrencies. Not sure how they’re going to achieve that. Good luck, folks.
Fidelity is just about to launch bitcoin trading. Real Soon Now (tm).
A major new upgrade proposal for Bitcoin has been released, packaging together two major features called Schnorr Signatures and Taproot. Basically, they allow for more efficient use of the chain (read: more transactions squeezed into a block) as well as a lot better privacy, enabling complex smart contracts to be rolled into transactions that look the same as a regular transaction. This upgrade is a soft-fork (backward compatible upgrade) similar to the Segwit upgrade last year.
I shared my slides for a Bitcoin presentation I’ve been doing at a few local high schools that ranges from the foundations of money to the intricacies of Bitcoin in 30m.
Jimmy Song delivered a very fiery but educational article on why the “Blockchain, Not Bitcoin” narrative is failing.
Why Blockchain is Not the Answer
There’s a persistent myth that blockchain tech is brand new and that if only given enough time, somebody will make…
Binance, a leading crypto exchange, was hacked for $42m. The Bitcoin price didn’t seem to care. Good reminder that you should never store coins on exchanges.
This hack spawned conversations about whether Binance could collude with major miners to force a “reorg,” which is the Bitcoin term for changing history to erase the hack. Conversations were heated, but in the end completely without effect.
Jameson Lopp put together a dossier on Craig Wright, the founder of Bitcoin SV and claimer-to-be-satoshi. TLDR: he’s not satoshi.
Good monetary philosophy article explaining why Bitcoin’s lack of industrial value is good (they actually call it “intrinsic value” but that’s slightly misleading).
Bitcoin Has No Intrinsic Value — and That’s Great.
Skeptics are right when they say Bitcoin has no intrinsic value. Here’s why that is good for Bitcoin and the rest of…
My earlier take on the same subject:
Does Bitcoin Have Intrinsic Value?
There are lots of people who think that for something to become a money, it must have some “intrinsic” value.
Congressman Brad Sherman spoke in favor of banning cryptocurrency “owner....uh,uh, purchases,” for the first time admitting in front of Congress that he’s afraid that they will challenge the U.S.’s hegemony at home and abroad. He says he wants to ban it “in part because a lot of our international power comes from the fact that the dollar is the standard unit for international financials […] critical for major oil and other transactions. […] the sanctions on Iran, for example, would become irrelevant.”
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. I’m pretty sure we’re in transition from laughter to fight at this moment.
I don‘t usually write about shitcoins, but this one is egregiously the worst out there. Still valued at $1.6B in tokens, with the CTO departing, citing that there’s nothing decentralized about the project. Exit all the TRON markets.
A critical talk by Alex Gladstein of the Human Rights Foundation on where we are headed with digital surveillance and why bitcoin is anti-authoritarian technology.
The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, one of the only ways that institutions can access Bitcoin in a regulated way today, is seeing record inflows.
I did my first video interview with Kestutis, discussing my new book, how Bitcoin works, and the former Soviet Union. Check it out:
Venezuela continues its descent into complete chaos. Let’s remind ourselves that this was an incredibly rich country ten years ago. This disaster caused completely by government control of the economy was entirely preventable, and had Bitcoin existed 25 years prior, may perhaps have been avoided.
Bitcoin is widely misunderstood. Here’s why:
A nicely written explanation of the invention of Bitcoin
More and more articles are coming out on negative interest rates.
We celebrated Bitcoin Pizza Day.
Bitcoin Cash hard-forked, again, for an upgrade. As a reminder, a hard-fork is where incompatible software is released and a new coin is created unless everyone upgrades. During the hard fork, apparently a 51% attack occurred.
Facebook announced their (horribly branded) cryptocurrency called GlobalCoin. They’re working with major banks and governments to issue some type of dollar-backed crypto coin. Why this is necessary when PayPal and WeChat work without cryptocurrency is questionable, but part of the answer is they get to charge people $10 million for running a node.
JP Morgan put out a downright embarrassing report where they came up with the brilliant conclusion that hashrate can predict price. Anyone who understands how bitcoin works will understand that the price of bitcoin along with the difficulty adjustment dictates the profitability of miners. Thus, generally (outside of speculation), hashrate follows price, not the other way around. JP Morgan analysts completely missed the boat on this one and issued a model that said hashrate was a good predictor of price and made the call for bitcoin at $5000, when in fact it’s just a following indicator, by design. If you don’t understand this, please buy my book at inventingbitcoin.com :)
A new Bitcoin improvement was proposed to dramatically reduce the bandwidth required to sync transactions between nodes.
That was May! The current block number is 579431 and Bitcoin has been producing a block every ten minutes on average for the last ten years. This month was no different. See you next month.