Bitcoin is still floating comfortably around $7,000 after a week in which it’s risen more than ten percent. Over at Bitcoin.com, the news is not so good. Candor, a site that lists jobs lost to the coronavirus, has reported that Roger Ver is planning to lay off half his company’s workforce. Ver has dismissed the claim as “more Bcash FUD.”
JP Morgan chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon, who’s usually more dismissive than most, has praised the federal government’s $2 trillion stimulus package. But he’s dismissed its planning for the pandemic and warned that we could be heading into a new recession.
A number of leading cryptocurrency firms, including Binance, Tron, and BitMEX operator HDR Global Trading, will be hoping that a judge in New York will be in a dismissive mood. The companies are facing a lawsuit alleging that the tokens they sold were unregistered securities. Fintech attorney, Richard B. Levin, believes the suit will go ahead. The same district court has postponed the sentencing of Konstantin Ignatov. Ignatov is the brother of fugitive “Cryptoqueen”, Ruja Ignatova, and co-founder of crypto scam OneCoin. OneCoin is alleged to have raised about $4.4 billion in a Ponzi scheme. Ignatov has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the government.
Meanwhile, the government itself might be looking more kindly on blockchain technology. The Government Accountability Office, America’s top audit institution, has advertised two jobs developing prototype blockchain applications to help build a digital financial ledger. And digital bank, Chime, is looking to help the federal government get its stimulus checks to people sooner. The bank is advancing the $1,200 payments to a thousand randomly selected customers and hopes to do the same for more of its 8 million customers.
Vitalik Buterin, co-creator of Ethereum, has picked his worst bull and bear BTC predictions. Topping the list of bad bull predictions is John McAfee’s million-dollar valuation by the end of 2020. Economist Nourel Roubini has been equally off by predicting that Bitcoin was heading for zero.
Predictions about the role of blockchain technology might have been smarter. As video conferencing takes off, companies like Zoom have raised a host of security issues. Jeff Pulver, a pioneer of Voice Over Internet Protocols, believes that the blockchain may have the solution.
That would be bad news for criminals, but they’re in trouble already. The Russian police have just arrested an online gang that sold counterfeit rubles for cryptocurrencies. And in China, market research firm, EqualOcean, counted 70 digital ledger technology firms that closed in the country last year. Most of them, said EqualOcean, were either scams or had poor business models. The ecosystem is stronger without them.
That strength from adversity may also be true of the Maker community. Rune Christensen, one of the founders of the Maker protocol, has been talking about MakerDAO’s recent crisis. His bottom line: the Maker Foundation’s job isn’t to lay down rules; it’s to do what the community decides. Something to bear in mind if there’s another Black Thursday.
Finally, we end with some good news. Crypto.com is waiving the 3.5 percent credit card fee on crypto purchases for three months.
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