The biggest developments in the cryptocurrency and blockchain world we saw last month (August, 2019)
It’s been an interesting month for cryptocurrency.
We saw the end of the Craig Wright case (more on that later), the Portuguese government declared they won’t tax crypto, and John McAfee is still at risk of having to honor the gruesome bet he made.
Let’s take a look at what’s been going on, and what it means for the future.
Apple is “watching” cryptocurrency
The list of companies considering blockchain implementation is growing every day. Facebook, NASDAQ, Nordstrom, and Starbucks have already begun working with blockchain. The social stigma around crypto is fading. It seems like cryptocurrency is becoming one of those polarizing topics that corporations like to take a stand on to build brand loyalty.
Apple is the latest company expressing openness to blockchain technology, during an interview about Apple Pay.
Apple has taken a stand before in protecting its users’ privacy. Its CEO, Tim Cook, has even stated that he sees privacy as a fundamental human right. The Vice President of Apple Pay, Jennifer Bailey, expressed that one of their hurdles is the misconception that mobile payments are less secure than credit or debit cards.
She didn’t outright state that Apple Pay is considering implementing blockchain or a cryptocurrency. But when asked about it in the same interview she mysteriously told the interviewer,
“We’re watching cryptocurrency…We think it’s interesting. We think it has long-term potential”.
Cryptocurrency might be the solution to Apple’s privacy concerns. But, all we can do for now is speculate.
Craig Wright loses court-battle to the tune of 550,000 BTC ($5 Billion)
One of the biggest dramas in crypto history has to have been the Craig Wright debacle. If you’re unfamiliar, Craig Wright is one of the creators of Bitcoin Satoshis Vision (BSV). He’s been trying to prove that he invented Bitcoin.
The main problem with his argument is that there is only one undeniable way to prove that he is Satoshi. To prove it, he would only need to access and move the pre-mined Bitcoin that Satoshi owned.
Craig decided to take his battle to court. He believed he had enough evidence to prove that he is Satoshi. Unfortunately for him, a Florida judge did not agree.
“Counsel has zealously and ethically advocated for their client. Counsel has unfailingly been candid with this Court, even when Dr. Wright’s conduct and conflicting statements have created awkward situations for counsel.” — Judge Beth Bloom, Court Records
The judge didn’t find much evidence to prove that Craig is or isn’t Satoshi. One thing made clear in the transcript however, is that the judge was very frustrated with Mr. Wright. Craig was accused of not being forthcoming or completely truthful during the hearing. When Craig failed to provide the private keys to Satoshis pre-mined Bitcoin, the federal court sued him. Citing that the BSV founder “willingly failed to comply with court orders”.
The court asked him to hand over 50% of the Bitcoin that he would have owned if he was Satoshi. I can’t help but find this a fitting end to a ridiculous campaign by Bitcoin SV founders to sway public opinion.
Coinbase custody reached $200–$400 million in institutional crypto deposits per week
Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, took to Twitter to announce that Coinbase is now the largest crypto custodian in the market. The news was followed by Armstrong stating that he believes large financial companies will continue to bring capital into the market.
Barring a global Electromagnetic Pulse or our orange creamsicle of a president pressing that shiny red button we gave him, I tend to agree with Mr. Armstrong.
Petition to free the founder of the Silk Road passes 200,000 signees
The Silk Road was an online marketplace where its users could buy and sell goods without oversight into what they were selling. Users could find anything from condensed milk to narcotics available on the website.
The founder of the Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, has been in jail for the past six years, serving a double life sentence without parole. The sentence is historically severe for a non-violent crime.
This case is especially interesting with the recent court hearings around Facebook. If Ross’s case is the only basis in judging a founder for the crimes committed by its users, then the future doesn’t look too bright for Zuckerburg. Conversely, if the court decides in favor of Zuckerburg, what does that say about how “justly” Ross was convicted.
New Zealand makes it legal to pay your employees in cryptocurrency
As of August 12, 2019, an employment contract denoting payment in cryptocurrencies is now a legally binding contract.
What’s exciting about this is that it’s a step towards creating a process for taxing cryptocurrency in New Zealand. It being a legal form of payment identifies ways that cryptocurrency can be taxed in the region. The country has a 0% capital gains tax, which makes this one of the only local frameworks to regulate cryptocurrency. While showing that the New Zealand government acknowledges the inherent value in something that Jaimie Dimon (ugh) once called a complete scam.
Andrew Yang wants to improve the process of voting with blockchain
Democratic candidate Andrew Yang wants to simplify the process of voting. In the past, there have been concerns over allowing U.S. citizens to vote online due to the possibility of hacks or other fraudulent activity. Andrew Yang suggests using blockchain technology to verify the validity of votes so that citizens can vote online, and even from their mobile devices.
His official website states, “Considering the advances in technology, there’s no reason why we should still be waiting in line at polling stations to cast votes. The machines being used in most locales are also as vulnerable to tampering and hacking as modern technologies.”