Hundreds of US banks could be set to embrace Bitcoin, payment giants’ revenue is soaring thanks to new crypto offerings, and the Bitcoin community remembered one of its founding fathers last week, Hal Finney.
All that and more in today’s Last Week in Review.
Fidelity partners with NYDIG as Bitcoin takes another step into the mainstream
US payment services provider Fidelity National Information Services has partnered with crypto custody giant New York Digital Investment Group LLC (NYDIG) to enable banks to buy, hold, and sell bitcoin through their existing accounts.
Fidelity is a vendor to banks with nearly 300 million checking accounts, potentially providing easier access to crypto to the majority of the country. They’ll be handling the link to lenders, while NYDIG will take care of bitcoin custody and trade execution.
According to Patrick Sells, Head of Bank Solutions at NYDIG, hundreds of banks are already enrolled in Fidelity’s program, with more in the pipeline.
Demand to join the project has so far been limited to smaller banks, but could adoption put pressure on giants like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America to offer crypto to their retail banking customers too?
PayPal and Square revenue rapidly rises
PayPal’s transaction revenue in Q1 rose by a whopping 33% to $5.62 billion. The rise has been largely attributed to the success of their recently-added crypto offering, with CEO Dan Schulman explaining, “We’ve got a tremendous amount of really great results going on tactically with our crypto efforts.”
They also noted a change in the habits of its users, adding that customers who have purchased crypto through their platform are logging into PayPal twice as much.
Chiming with PayPal’s Q1 success is another big player in the payment space, Square. Square, which is also owned by Twitter founder and Bitcoin bull Jack Dorsey, reported a 266% boost in revenue year-over-year by means of its Cash App. In a shareholder letter, the company explained that “Cash App generated $3.51 billion of bitcoin revenue and $75 million of bitcoin gross profit during the first quarter of 2021, each up approximately 11x year over year.”
Square’s mighty first-quarter performance in 2021 saw its total revenue clear $5 billion, which means that bitcoin revenue accounted for 70% of the company’s total consolidated Q1 revenue.
Billionaire Mark Cuban excited by Ethereum’s growth price potential
Billionaire entrepreneur and television personality Mark Cuban has revealed his love of Ethereum in a series of bold statements about the cryptocurrency, noting that its price ceiling is “uncapped.” Cuban recently pointed out there is currently over 4 million ETH staked in Ethereum 2.0, an ongoing upgrade to the Ethereum network that forms part of a multi-year initiative to move the Ethereum blockchain from a proof-of-work consensus mechanism to proof-of-stake.
Staking is a process whereby users can earn yields on their cryptocurrencies by locking them up on the blockchain. At the same time, locked funds can be used to provide liquidity for DeFi platforms.
"That effectively is deflation for Ethereum,” said Cuban. “It wouldn't shock me if we're getting significant deflation, which is one of the reasons that ETH is skyrocketing so much. So that's why I think ETH really is uncapped in terms of how high it can go."
Remembering cypherpunk Hal Finney
The crypto community remembered early Bitcoin innovator and cypherpunk Hal Finney on 4 May, what would have been his 65th birthday.
Finney, who sadly passed away from ALS in 2014, was a key early member of the Bitcoin community and one of the first to respond to Satoshi Nakamoto’s post on the cypherpunk mailing list. More than ten years have now passed since Finney became the recipient of the first-ever transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Prior to his death, Finney wrote, “When Satoshi announced the first release of the software, I grabbed it right away."
— halfin (@halfin) January 11, 2009
“I think I was the first person besides Satoshi to run Bitcoin. I mined block 70-something, and I was the recipient of the first Bitcoin transaction, when Satoshi sent ten coins to me as a test. I carried on an email conversation with Satoshi over the next few days, mostly me reporting bugs and him fixing them.”
Rest in peace, Hal Finney. We're thankful for the contributions you made to crypto.
Photo of Hal running, 1980's, demonstrating his characteristic enthusiasm and lust for life. pic.twitter.com/GV20bn5e8F
— Fran Finney (@franfinney) May 4, 2021
— Documenting Bitcoin 🟩 (@DocumentingBTC) May 4, 2021