On this episode of the Unhashed Podcast, we have some catching up to do with the news. Topics includes American banks offering bitcoin through custody with NYDIG, Chinese miners suffering a crackdown from authorities, Blockfi’s very expensive affiliate payout error, and trying to untangle the mess of Elon’s tweets about bitcoin over the past few weeks.
For the first time, customers of some U.S. banks will soon be able to buy, hold and sell bitcoin through their existing accounts, according to crypto custody firm NYDIG. The company, a subsidiary of $10 billion New York-based asset manager Stone Ridge, has partnered with fintech giant Fidelity National Information Services to enable U.S. banks to offer bitcoin in coming months, according to the two firms. Hundreds of banks are already enrolled in the program, according to Patrick Sells, head of bank solutions at NYDIG. While the firm is in discussions with some of the biggest U.S. banks, many of the lenders that have agreed to participate are smaller institutions like Suncrest, a California-based community bank with seven branches. “What we’re doing is making it simple for everyday Americans and corporations to be able to buy bitcoin through their existing bank relationships,” Sells said. “If I’m using my mobile application to do all of my banking, now I have the ability to buy, sell and hold bitcoin.” – https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/05/bitcoin-is-coming-to-hundreds-of-us-banks-says-crypto-firm-nydig-.html
Cryptocurrency miners, including HashCow and BTC.TOP, have halted all or part of their China operations after Beijing intensified a crackdown on bitcoin mining and trading, hammering digital currencies amid heightened global regulatory scrutiny. A State Council committee led by Vice Premier Liu He announced the crackdown late on Friday as part of efforts to fend off financial risks. It was the first time China's cabinet has targeted virtual currency mining, a sizable business in the world's second-biggest economy that some estimates say accounts for as much as 70% of the global crypto supply. Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi on Monday suspended both crypto-mining and some trading services to new clients from mainland China, adding it will instead focus on overseas businesses. BTC.TOP, a crypto mining pool, also announced the suspension of its China business citing regulatory risks, while crypto miner HashCow said it would halt buying new bitcoin mining rigs. – https://www.reuters.com/world/china/crypto-miners-halt-china-business-after-beijings-crackdown-bitcoin-dives-2021-05-24/
Elon Musk tweeted about bitcoin. On May 12th, he tweeted a few paragraphs, announcing that Tesla would no longer be accepting bitcoin as payment for its vehicles, citing concerns about bitcoin’s emissions and environmental impact. He also clarified that “Tesla will not be selling any bitcoin”. Later, in response to someone suggesting that Elon is choosing doge over bitcoin, he suggested “Ideally, Doge speeds up block time 10X, increases block size 10X & drops fee 100X. Then it wins hands down.” Following up with “For those bad at math Up pointing backhand index, 100X higher transaction volume with 100X lower fees means total fees earned stay same. Low fees & high volume are needed to become currency of Earth.” Bitcoin twitter, to put it formally, had a fucking meltdown over the next few days. In response to one of many threads freaking out about Musks comments (this one by Peter McCormack), Musk tweeted “Obnoxious threads like this make me want to go all in on Doge”. Musk continued to mock his bitcoin critics, citing his experience with PayPal as relevant domain expertise, repeating the old “Bitcoin is centralized in China” FUD, and responding “indeed” to another tweet speculating how upset people will be when he dumps all his bitcoin and goes all in on doge. Markets responded by continuing their downward slide which had started from the first anti-bitcoin tweet, this time spurred on by further speculation that Tesla & Musk had sold their bitcoin. Later that night, Musk tweeted “To clarify speculation, Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin”. One week after the initial tweet, and with bitcoin having tumbled nearly 40%, Musk tweets that “Tesla has diamond-hands”, followed by “Credit to our Master of Coin”. He also find time to troll Michael Saylor several times during this all, calling him “Saylor Moon”, saying he should wear her costume for Halloween with a bitcoin tattoo on his upper thigh, and then in response to a typical Saylor bullish tweet, a meme of a man looking in the mirror saying “It’s not the bull market, you really are a genius”.
Nasdaq.com reports, BlockFi made a massive blunder that resulted in the crypto lending and trading platform accidentally sending out large sums of Bitcoin to some users. The platform was running a promotion that saw it offer up stablecoin cryptos tied to the USD to users. However, it made the mistake of sending these promo bonuses to users in Bitcoin instead. As a result, some users saw massive amounts of BTC added to their accounts. First off, BlockFi might not be able to get some of that Bitcoin back. One user was sent 700 Bitcoin worth about $28 million. They immediately withdrew the funds. Now BlockFi is threatening legal action against this user. They’re also offering up $500 for the return of the BTC