Crypto continued its tour de force run of adoption last week, as countries and institutions alike revealed their plans to integrate cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, Epic Games took a big bite out of Apple, El Salvador provided an update on life with Bitcoin, and there’s a little bit of us all in Satoshi Nakamoto.
It all happened in crypto last week. Here are our top picks that come from it.
Epic Games 1 — 0 Apple
- Tech giant Apple has taken a major hit in its ongoing trial against Epic Games, the company behind the hugely popular multiplayer game, Fortnite.
- Epic Games has been at loggerheads with Apple for several months, fighting for an option to accept payment in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through the App Store.
- Apple has long kept strict control over its payments methods, especially in its App Store where vendors must use Apple’s own in-app payment options. Epic Games has also challenged the up-to-30% cut Apple takes from purchases, and has argued that Apple is monopolistic in its App Store.
- Although Judge Yvonne Gonzales-Rogers last week ruled that “the court cannot ultimately conclude that Apple is a monopolist,” she did issue a permanent injunction which states Apple cannot prohibit developers linking their own purchasing mechanisms.
El Salvador’s BTC wallet now used by more than half a million people
- According to El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele, more than half a million people are using the country’s bitcoin wallet following adoption.
- The Chivo wallet enables Salvadorans to spend, hold, and receive crypto.
- President Bukele has also addressed Chivo’s technical mishaps that hampered BTC integration. He tweeted that software glitches are “95% corrected” and that he expects the wallet to be fully operational in the coming days.
Shark or whale, Kevin O’Leary is both
- Celebrity investor Kevin O'Leary said he wants to more than double his cryptocurrency holdings by year end.
- Speaking with CNBC, the popular Shark Tank investor said he previously thought bitcoin was “garbage” but has since changed his mind and aims to take his cryptocurrency holdings from 3% of his portfolio to 7%.
- O’Leary forecasts a prosperous future for cryptocurrency, and said “trillions of dollars of interest [is] waiting to come on board” when more regulators approve cryptocurrencies as an asset class, which he says is inevitable.
- “This is not going away, this is the new asset class,” O’Leary said.
Laos trials Bitcoin
- The Southeast Asian country of Laos has changed its official policy on bitcoin and authorised six companies to trade and mine Bitcoin. This will be used as a trial while the Laos government spends more time formalising regulations about its use.
- Government agencies including the Ministry of Technology and Communications, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Energy and Mines, are required to research and determine the rules and regulations pertaining to the use of cryptocurrencies.
- When it comes to hydropower resources, Laos is one of the richest countries in Southeast Asia, with hydropower potential of 26.5 Gigawatts — a mighty number that positions the country well for profitable and sustainable Bitcoin mining.
It’s about Time for Vitalik Buterin
- Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin has been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most Influential People of 2021.
- Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian wrote Buterin’s profile for the magazine, noting: “What makes Vitalik so special is that he is a builder's builder. No one person could've possibly come up with all of the uses for ethereum, but it did take one person's idea to get it started.”
- Russian-Canadian Buterin launched the Ethereum network two years after his father introduced him to Bitcoin in 2013.
- Ethereum’s native currency, Ether, has soared in value over the past year, having grown over 800% from one year ago. Ethereum is also the second largest cryptocurrency in the world by market cap.
We are all Satoshi Nakamoto
- A bronze statue of Satoshi Nakamoto has been unveiled in Budapest, Hungary. The face of Satoshi is a specially reflective bronze-aluminium composite, meaning visitors can see themselves in the Bitcoin Creator's face.
- According to the initiative’s website behind the installation, “The goal of the statue is to honour Satoshi Nakamoto … his work is truly something to be remembered. Not just because of its significance in the world of IT, but because of its value for humanity in general.”
- As Nakamoto’s identity remains unknown, the statue represents a general human figure, not centric around the gender, race, age, or even height of the mysterious developer.
- Tamás Gilly, a co-creator of the statue said: “It was a big challenge. It is very difficult to make a portrait sculpture of a person that we don’t know exactly what they look like. I hope that through the language of sculpture I have managed to convey the basic idea of Bitcoin, that it belongs to everyone and no one at the same time.”