Bitcoin Magazine’s Week in Review

Bitcoin Magazine’s Week in Review brings you the most critical, interesting and popular news stories affecting Bitcoin this week.

Op Ed: Bitcoin and the Dawn of the Negative Interest Rate Era

Anyone who tells you about the history of cryptocurrencies, and bitcoin in particular, will point out that the entire cryptocurrency era began in 2008 in the wake of the worst financial crisis in 75 years. 

In a recent opinion piece, Peter C. Earle, a research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, describes the increasing central bank negative interest rate phenomenon, the role of bitcoin in the financial space and how both investors and regulators should view the rise of the asset. 

Belarus Could Get a Nuclear-Powered Bitcoin Mining Center

So far, private individuals and firms have dominated the bitcoin mining sector. But things may soon be changing in Eastern Europe. In a video that has recently been getting attention, the president of Belarus spoke about the prospect of using the country’s nuclear power to mine bitcoin. 

Naturally, this raised questions about how a country-backed mining initiative could help the Bitcoin network or the country that undertakes it.

Bitcoin Trading in Hong Kong Spikes, Reaches Highest Levels Recorded

Hong Kong is currently mired in one of the most widely covered political crises of 2019. And, meanwhile, the trading price for bitcoin in the country has been surging. Cryptocurrency prices around the world have been largely decreasing, but data from LocalBitcoins shows that residents of Hong Kong are now turning to bitcoin as a secure store of value in the face of upheaval against the government.

Venezuela Has Traded $250M BTC in 2019 (and Other Bitcoin Utility Data)

Since its popularity began to rise, many have compared the escalation of bitcoin to the infamous tulip bubble in the 17th century Netherlands. Well, in typical comic fashion for the cryptocurrency space, Matt Ahlborg, a data scientist, has developed Useful Tulips, an online platform dedicated to presenting data that underlines the utility and increasing adoption of bitcoin. 

Useful Tulips presents cryptocurrency data by geographic region, with metrics coming primarily from LocalBitcoins. The website shows the real-world use of cryptocurrencies across several regions in the world, giving a detailed report about the places driving adoption.

Bakkt to the Wall? Evaluating Bakkt’s First Week and Its Future Potential

Bakkt launched its physically-delivered bitcoin futures contract offering to much fanfare. However, if there is one thing that the launch of this product showed, it is that hype doesn’t necessarily translate to great performance.

In an analysis of its performance, Bitcoin Magazine spoke with industry leaders such as hedge fund manager Su Zhu and eToro U.S. managing director Guy Hirsch, who are urging patience as it’s still too early to label Bakkt a failure.

“I see the hesitance as a ‘wait-and-see’ approach more than a reaction to the structure of the offering,” Hirsch noted. “Crypto is still a relatively new asset class and institutions are still learning about the benefits that it offers.”

Bitcoin Hash Rate Heading to 100 EH/s: How Price, Halving and Security Are Involved

What’s the relationship between Bitcoin's hash rate and the token’s price? Does one affect the other? Ordinarily, you’d believe that the increase in the hash rate would translate to an increase in price. But, while the hash rate is moving quickly toward the 100 exahashes per second (EH/s) mark, bitcoin is teetering on the brink of $8,000. 

Secure the Bag: Cutting Transactions in Half to Resolve Bitcoin Network Congestion

When the Bitcoin network is congested, waiting times and transaction fees increase. This period is particularly frustrating for platforms and services that need to pay hundreds, if not thousands of users simultaneously. Bitcoin Core contributor Jeremy Rubin has found a way to resolve the network congestion problem, a solution called “OP_SECURETHEBAG.”

This operation code included in Bitcoin’s programming language that allows platforms like exchanges to split their transactions into two transactions — a “sending” and “receiving” transaction.

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