In this week’s daily editions of Bitcoin in Brief we reported about China hiring a cryptographer, McDonald’s unveiling Maccoin, Bitmain getting richer and much more. The most commented-on article during the week covered Paul Krugman’s new attack on the idea of cryptocurrency on the pages of The New York Times.
Vitalik Wants More Crypto Cards
On Monday, we reported that the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, seems to think that there is too much effort to bring cryptocurrencies to Wall Street rather than Main Street. The crypto influencer twitted: “I think there’s too much emphasis on BTC/ETH/whatever ETFs, and not enough emphasis on making it easier for people to buy $5 to $100 in cryptocurrency via cards at corner stores. The former is better for pumping price, but the latter is much better for actual adoption.”
Bitmain Gets Richer
The big news on Tuesday was that Bitmain has added another $2 billion to its valuation, making the Chinese mining behemoth worth a whopping $14 billion ahead of its IPO. Bitmain reportedly pulled in a profit of $1.1 billion in Q1 of 2018 alone. To place that in context, the total value of all BTC mined in the same period was around $1.3 billion. It seems there really is more money in selling shovels than in chasing digital gold. There’s no official date for Bitmain’s IPO yet, other than that it’s coming “very soon”.
McDonald’s Unveils Maccoin
An interesting story we covered on Wednesday is that to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac, McDonald’s has announced the Maccoin, a “limited edition global currency” backed by the Big Mac. Starting at lunch time on August 2, customers can receive a Maccoin with the purchase of a Big Mac at 14,000 participating restaurants across the US. For the rest of the year customers can redeem their Maccoin for a free Big Mac at participating McDonald’s restaurants in the US and in more than 50 participating countries. The company said that more than 6.2 million Maccoins will be distributed globally in over 50 countries while supplies last.
Poloniex Under Investigation
On Thursday, it was reported that the Delaware-based cryptocurrency exchange, Poloniex, has been placed under investigation by the US Department of Justice (DoJ). The move follows a number of complaints from users who had been denied access to their account profiles. The Chief Special Investigator of the Investors Protection Unit (IPU) at the DoJ has reportedly sent out an email to a number of selected active Poloniex users on July 25, asking them to revert back if they had encountered any difficulties when using their Poloniex accounts.
China Hires Cryptographer
On Friday, we reported that the government of China is looking to hire a cryptographic specialist for one of its censorship agencies. The job posting published by the Chinese Public Broadcasting Research Institute under the State Administration of Radio and Television states that the applicants should be competent in cryptography and ready to “follow the advanced technologies in the field of blockchain and cryptocurrency.” According to the ad, the best candidate for this particular position should be a tech specialist with knowledge and skills in cryptographic algorithms and optimization. The job includes monitoring and developing tools to analyze the threats stemming from different cryptographic applications.
Governor of Jeju Gets a Bitcoin.com Wallet
On Saturday, we reported that Won Hee-ryong, the governor of Jeju in South Korea, has presented some ambitious plans for his province and they involve cryptocurrency adoption with the help of Bitcoin.com and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). He wants to turn Jeju Island into Korea’s Crypto Valley and has already made proposals for that to the country’s National Assembly. Won met with Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver who promised to contribute to the realization of the project and support the efforts of the governor. Mr. Ver showed Mr. Won how to download and install the Bitcoin.com wallet on his smartphone.
Paul Krugman is Wrong Again
The most commented-on article during the week covered the famed economist who’s made a career out of being wrong about things, Paul Krugman. The professor attacked the idea of cryptocurrency again on the pages of The New York Times. He wrote, among other things, that: “If speculators were to have a collective moment of doubt, suddenly fearing that Bitcoins were worthless, well, Bitcoins would become worthless.” Join the discussion.