Ethereum leapfrogs America’s biggest bank, a Bitcoin upgrade could signal wider adoption, and indecisive Musk faces wrath of the crypto community... it was a busy week in crypto, get your fill of ruffled feathers, broken records, and more right here.
Ethereum’s mega market cap a sign of the times
Ethereum has long lived in Bitcoin’s shadow, but is it finally stepping into the light?
The smart contract giant last week soared past the $4,000 mark, pushing its market capitalisation above global financial giants including payment giant VISA and the largest bank in the US, JP Morgan. Its total market cap climbed as high as $505 billion, with Greg Magadini, CEO of crypto analytics firm Genesis Volatility, commenting that a future $1 trillion ETH market cap is a "no brainer."
The change in price and market cap comes off the back of growing interest in Ethereum, driven by increased attention surrounding applications such as Decentralised Finance and non-fungible tokens that rely heavily on the cryptocurrency.
Ethereum’s Fun and Games
One of Ethereum’s many use cases is dApps – decentralised applications including games built on the network. Ubisoft, the video game publishing powerhouse behind Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, this week added five new crypto startups to its Entrepreneurs Lab accelerator program. Currently, Ubisoft is the only traditional video game company to get involved in the crypto scene. Will more join them?
Ubisoft’s main initiative is an exclusive gateway to their variety of networks, offering crypto game developers mentorship, brand partnerships, and venture capital. Ubisoft’s Chief Studios Operating Office, Virginie Haas, says it’s an opportunity not to be missed by startups:
“The Entrepreneurs Lab is a great program for innovative startups to collaborate closely with Ubisoft and for us to mutually benefit from each other’s expertise and ideas.”
This week, Ubisoft Entrepreneurs announced their so-called ‘season six’ startups, welcoming aleph.im, Crucible, Guild of Guardians, Horizon Blockchain Games, and NonFungible. Guild of Guardians is a mobile role-playing game developed by Stepico Games while Horizon Blockchain Games is set to release Skyweaver, a card-battler game.
Bitcoin becomes accessible in brick-and-mortar
The partnership aims to introduce bitcoin purchases in 20,000 stores across 32 states by Q3 this year.
This expands consumer access to brick-and-mortar crypto touchpoints across the US According to Coin ATM Radar, there are currently fewer than 3,000 kiosks and tellers that allow users to sell bitcoin in person.
Musk: To Bitcoin or not to Bitcoin
Elon Musk caused a stir this week with the announcement that his electric vehicle company, Tesla, will no longer accept payments made with bitcoin, citing concerns about Bitcoin’s energy consumption. He did note that they will continue to hold $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency on their books, leading some to suspect his motives. Naturally, the crypto community had their say.
Elon ... you realize that 75% of miners use renewable energy, right?
This energy story has been debunked over and over again.
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) May 12, 2021
Ironic because no incremental energy is used in a #bitcoin transaction. The energy is used to secure the crypto-asset network, and the net impact on fossil fuel consumption over time will be negative, all things considered.
— Michael Saylor (@michael_saylor) May 12, 2021
I wouldn’t buy a Tesla with Bitcoin anyway.
— Okung 💯 (@RussellOkung) May 12, 2021
Anyone who knows a little about electricity networks knows that the amount of energy used by #Bitcoin mining is miniscule vs the amount of energy wasted due to inefficiency and over production. #Bitcoin helps with the latter
— Alistair Milne (@alistairmilne) May 14, 2021
— Vanessa (@vanessaindovino) May 14, 2021
So what do you think? Is Musk a villain or a hero? Let us know on Twitter.