Bitcoin never sleeps or slows. With the holidays approaching, there was zero chance of the world’s leading cryptocurrency taking a break so we could tend to last-minute shopping and drinking. Like the primadonna that she is, this week in bitcoin continued the year’s trend of hogging the limelight, with tales of rising fees and Coinbase misbehavior fueling much of the action.
Don’t Be Evil
A lot of people had a lot of things to say about Coinbase this week, and most of it was negative. Whether it was raging about insider trading, disastrously introducing bitcoin cash, or slowness to adopt Segwit, Coinbase was taking flak from all sides. It’s a remarkable change in public sentiment towards an exchange that was once regarded so highly by many. Could Coinbase be in danger of becoming bitcoin’s Google – a monopoly that winds up doing more evil than good?
The week began with CME futures launching, which proved to be anti-climactic in the end. There was a sense that the market had been overbought in the weeks leading up, which may account for the sizeable slump that occurred mid-week. CME futures might have been a non-event, but there were plenty of talking points to be had elsewhere – like fees for instance.
Such Fees, Much Disappoint
Bitcoin Fees Are Infeasible we stated last Sunday. One week on, and those punitive fees look modest compared to the three and four-figure USD sums being touted now for moving large amounts of bitcoin. Transferring the digital currency is fast becoming the privilege of institutions and whales only. For everyone else, rocketing fees are forcing a switch to anything that isn’t bitcoin core – bitcoin cash, dash, litecoin, and even doge.
In a week that saw news.Bitcoin.com record record traffic, and a record number of reader comments too, everyone had a lot to say about everything. Stories that got the comments section frothing included the IRS pursuing taxes from altcoin traders and a round-up of bitcoin crashes to date, which was the most popular article of the week by some distance. We wrote:
The trend over nearly a decade is this: as much as bitcoin is propped up by hucksters looking to make a fast buck, there are many more still who work on building the project along every day. If BTC continues to have value, people will choose to support it.
What’s in a Name?
What’s in a name? When that name happens to involve bitcoin or blockchain the answer is a 3,750% rise in your share price. It’s the silly season for companies cashing in on the bitcoin boom, and while we’ve probably not hit Peak Bitcoin, we’ve surely hit Peak Bitcoin Names for Non-Bitcoin Things. Speaking of names, we wound up writing about “fake Satoshi” Dorian Nakamoto twice this week, including the handsome profit he seems to have made from cashing out his bitcoins.
While some of the stories that gained traction were decidedly silly – like a line of sex toys that lets you tether your pleasure to the price of bitcoin – there was serious business to report too. This included cryptocurrency crackdowns in India and Ukraine, the latter story brought by the latest addition to the news.Bitcoin.com team, Lubomir Tassev. We’ve now got a staffing presence in every major continent and region save for Antarctica (we’re still working on that one).
To Hodl or Not to Hodl
The news that Litecoin founder Charlie Lee had sold all his LTC was another hot topic. It wasn’t just the fact that he’d off-loaded that caused controversy, but that he seemed to have sold at the top, just before the cryptocurrency markets took a tumble. Bitcoin dropped by 30%, causing a few newbs to panic (not least those who’d mortgaged their house to buy bitcoin), but wiser heads shrugged it off. It was only the sixth time this year bitcoin had taken a tumble before rising again rapidly. After rallying to $15,000, bitcoin slipped below the $13k mark again today, but whatever price it ends the year on, 2017 has been an insanely good year for the cryptocurrency.
We’ve reached a stage where there isn’t even enough room in This Week in Bitcoin to cover everything that happened this week in bitcoin. From Goldman Sachs joining the trading party to Coinbase collecting UTXOs like they were rare Pepes, bucketloads of stuff has happened. Mike Novogratz got bearish, one futures trader got extremely bearish and Eric Wall weighed in with his weekly trading column, discussing the art of buying the dip.
Next week we hope to bring some exciting news that’s gonna make it even easier to keep up with the top stories from the world of bitcoin. Meanwhile, if dispensing cryptocurrency advice to ignorant in-laws at Christmas starts to tire, retreat to a quiet corner where you can catch up on the latest from us on Twitter and Telegram. Happy holidays from everyone at news.Bitcoin.com. May your altbags soar and your transaction fees drop. See you back here next week for the final round-up of the year.