It’s been another interesting few weeks for Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. Let’s take a look at what’s been going on.
Countdown to halving is on!
The Bitcoin halving is getting ever closer, with the event expected to occur on 13th May (as of 11th April), and anticipation is continuing to build ahead of the big day.
Data from Google Trends shows that worldwide searches for ‘Bitcoin halving’ have shot up over four-fold in the last 12 months, and is projected to hit 100 value in the next few weeks, meaning it would be peak popularity. This would surpass the popularity of the term on Google when the last Bitcoin halving happened in 2016, and hit new heights.
In addition, The Coin Telegraph has reported that Bitcoin whales have hit a 2 year-high, which mimics the trend seen before the 2016 halving. Around 1,850 entities now hold 1,000 BTC or more, almost exactly the same figure as the start of the Q2 in 2016, prior to the halving of that year. Monitoring resource Glassnode had said this to say about the situation on April 9:
“This trend implies that despite an uncertain market environment, whales remain confident that now is a good time to be accumulating BTC, suggesting that they believe there is further room for growth.”
Glassnode also revealed on April 10 in a tweet that the number of crypto wallets holding at least 1 BTC has reached an all-time high:
Lastly on the issue of the halving, CoinDesk revealed on April 3 that the upcoming halving has further complicated the situation for Bitcoin miners, many of whom where hit hard by last month’s price slump. According to the report, some manufacturers have been selling equipment at a markdown of up to 20 percent, and there is now added pressure on many miners for the price to increase soon.
Visa teams up with Fold to launch new Bitcoin rewards card
Visa have joined up with Bitcoin payments app Fold to launch a new Bitcoin rewards card. The new debit card is expected to be released soon, and will allow customers to spend U.S dollars and receive cashback in Bitcoin. Several cards have been previously launched that allow customers to spend Bitcoin, but none have allowed customers to receive cashback in the currency.
The launch of the card has come about after Fold joined Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program. Under the program, Fintech startups are encouraged to scale up their business and to accelerate the development of digital payments through integration with Visa.
First Bitcoin fund launched on major stock exchange
Canadian-based investment fund company 3iQ Corp has launched a Bitcoin fund on the Toronto stock exchange, becoming the first public cryptocurrency fund to be listed on any major stock exchange.
According to the press release, the Class A units were listed on April 9 and came about as a result of 3iQ Corp’s “initial public offering of units and its merger with 3iQ Bitcoin Trust, as a result of which the Fund now has 1,491,800 Class A Units outstanding representing at closing total assets of approximately US$14 million.”
The press release goes on to state that the listing will give holders of the fund “exposure to the digital currency bitcoin and the daily price movements of the U.S. dollar price of bitcoin, and the opportunity for long-term capital appreciation.”
Supposed Bitcoin creator Craig Wright accused of plagiarising law degree
Self-proclaimed Bitcoin creator Craig Wright, who says he is the pseudonym behind the cryptocurrency, Satoshi Nakamoto, has been mired in more controversy this week, being accused of having plagiarized his law degree.
Wright is currently involved in a legal battle with his former business partner over claims he manipulated BTC assets and intellectual property, and was ordered to pay legal costs totalling $165,000 last month by a U.S judge. An April 9 Medium post has added to his woes, laying out claims that Wright’s dissertation has suspicious similarities to other online sources.
The post claims that in particular Wright’s dissertation, written in 2008 at Northumbria University for a LLM in International Commercial Law, plagiarizes from The Liability of Internet Service Providers, a 1996 paper written by Hillary E. Pearson. However, claims are made about several other online sources too.