Welcome to the second installment of This Week in Bitcoin in which we round up the most enthralling stories from the past seven days and repackage them in bite-size chunks. It’s like having your own bitcoin Sunday paper, but without getting your hands smeared with newsprint. Put the kettle on and the tell the kids to go out and play. It’s time to talk bitcoin.
Bitfinex Reach the End of Their Tether
How can tethers be real if our eyes aren’t real?
The week began with the unfortunate news that Bitfinex/Tether had lost $30 million in USDT, with the hacker seemingly bypassing 3 of 4 multi-sig protections, leading some to call it an inside job. Never fear though, for Tether simply pulled a DAO and forked away the stolen funds. Now stop asking so many awkward questions and let’s all move on. Everything’s fine at Bitfinex HQ. Just fine.
While the vultures were circling Bitfinex, one enterprising soul was busy extricating $600k worth of bitcoin cash that had been mistakenly sent to segwit bitcoin addresses. Instead of eloping with their slyly-gotten gains, the individual charitably offered to return the bitcoin cash to its original owners. There was just one small catch: the finder’s fee would be 30%.
Whoever scooped up the BCH floundering in segwit addresses has certainly done a comprehensive job: in addition to recovering one transaction of 33 BCH worth $41,000, they went to the trouble of hoovering-up all the shrapnel, including numerous transactions worth mere cents.
The Shape of Bitcoin to Come
Rare pepes: more precious than ICOs?
After all this talk of futures trading that’s helped elevate the price of bitcoin, we figured it was time to dissect how it all works. Speaking of trading, we kick-started a new trading tip column from Eric Wall. His introductory advice? Sell bitcoin gold. Meanwhile, the bitcoin community gorged on schadenfreude and irony as it emerged that JP Morgan had been fined for money laundering, Jamie Dimon was pondering bitcoin futures, and a gold fund was buying bitcoin. The hypocrisy, it burns.
As an antidote to all the suits pontificating from their glass towers, we visited a Sichuan mining farm for a frontline report on the troubles facing China’s miners. As usual, most of the news emanating from China this week concerned mining, including the curious case of the new Dragonmint miner. Could it really unseat Bitmain and usher in a new dawn for decentralized mining? Probably not, since the entire campaign could be a well-orchestrated hoax, but we’ll be watching keenly just in case.
The Dragonmint 16T miner produced by the firm Halong Mining is calling itself “the world’s most efficient Bitcoin miner,” even though it has yet to be sold on the open market.
Exit Scams and Buyers Be Damned
The Tether hack caught the headlines, but there were several lesser reported stories highlighting the vampires who continue to prey on hapless investors. We covered them all of course, including “trustless” payments startup Confido doing a bunk with $400k of ICO funds. (Its lawyers have since posted a statement from the team promising to pay back investors, but this seems unlikely, and does nothing for traders who bought the tokens on exchanges shortly before Confido crashed.)
To counteract the doom and gloom, we paid a visit to the world’s most bitcoin-friendly neighborhoods and dug out some extremely geeky tees for Bitcoin Black Friday. As the weekend drew in, bitcoin hit new record highs with the entire cryptocurrency market swelling to $275 billion. Other stories that were lapped up like a free fork included Australians paying their utility bills in crypto.
Finally, while we’re serious about reporting on the many ways in which bitcoin is bettering the world, we’ve always got time for pepe. Rare Pepe Blockchain Cards Have Produced More Value Than Most ICOs we claimed and we stand by that assessment. See you next week for more canned highlights from the weird and wonderful world of bitcoin. Shadilay.