You’ve heard of hyberbitcoinization: how bitcoin could one day replace hyper-inflated fiat currencies. Now say hello to its lesser companion, hypertokenization: the idea that there should be a token for everything. Like salt and pepper, tokens are best enjoyed in moderation, but if the top stories from This Week in Bitcoin are an indicator, we could be in danger of overdosing.
Coinbase’s Love Affair with Ethereum Intensifies
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is a big admirer of Ethereum – that’s why he’d rather while away his time creating dapp browsers than address engineering problems like unbatched bitcoin transactions, which were credited with exacerbating high fees last year. Coinbase got round to fixing those problems eventually and belatedly introduced Segwit too. With those tasks out of the way, Brian Armstrong is free to return to his one true love: Ethereum. The exchange has confirmed that it will be adding ERC20 tokens soon, and the likeliest contenders to be listed all surged in price off the news.
One ERC20 token that won’t be surfacing on major exchanges is the petro. Bitfinex has confirmed that it won’t be touching that one with a bargepole, and has ordered its staff not to trade it either. It’s safe to assume Bitfinex staff won’t be losing too much sleep over that edict. Speaking of hypertokenization, a new study claims that 80% of all ICOs are scams, which aptly came in the same week that Massachusetts shut down five scammy ICOs. There’s nothing wrong with tokenization, to a point, but with ICOs now launching dual tokens, and tokens coming with their own sub-tokens (tokenception?) surely we’ve reached peak token.
When the Bulls Are Away the Bears Will Play
On weeks of relentless red, it’s best not to stare too long at your portfolio. Sure, there are still ways to profit from a bear market, but it’s hard work. Bitcoin’s not even out for a three-count, let alone dead, but that won’t stop the naysayers from writing it off, just as they did in 2016 and 2015 and every year before that.
Instead of fixating on cryptocurrency prices in the here and now, let’s take it back, way back, to 1586. That may seem like a primitive time, devoid of all the tech comforts we take for granted, but in 16th century Britain a primitive form of cryptography was emerging. In a roundabout way, we owe our encryption and blockchain technology to a plot to restore a usurped monarch to the throne. In a new series on Crypto History, we recounted “a 432 year-old plot to kill a queen, and how early forms of cryptography were coveted weapons in the broader battle for Europe’s very soul.”
Tantrums and Handbags
Back in the here and now, and the remainder of this week’s top stories were mostly filled with bans, lawsuits, and crackdowns, the stuff that bear markets are made of. Five Japanese crypto exchanges have thrown in the towel, Russia and friends are suing over internet giants banning ads, Mailchimp have also lain down the banhammer and the CLOUD Act spells bad news for privacy advocates, which is all of us.
If it wasn’t for someone paying $10 million in bitcoin for Nelson Mandela’s golden hands, Brits mistaking cryptocurrency for something else, or Cointext paving a way to send bitcoin cash without the internet, we’d have had no cause to smile since last Sunday. Even today’s spate of April Fool’s stories did little to lift spirits. When $7k? When breakout? When moon? Soon, we hope. Real soon. This will be the final Sunday edition of This Week in Bitcoin, but fear not as it’s being replaced by a new feature starting tomorrow. (Here’s a clue: it’s gonna be daily, and no, we’re not calling it Today in Bitcoin.) Meanwhile, you can still get your weekly roundup each Friday in This Week in Bitcoin podcast with Matt Aaron.