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.

ACINQ, Startup Behind Eclair Lightning Implementation, Raises $8M

The Lightning Network continues to remain the standard for asset transfers in the Bitcoin space, and with that growth, there has been a corresponding positive reception to development efforts as well. 

On October 9, 2019, ACINQ, the French company that helped bring about the éclair Lightning implementation, announced that it had successfully raised $8 million in a Series A funding round. 

The round was led by venture capital firm Idinvest Partners, and according to the company, the funds will go into expanding the team and preparing for both the improvement of existing products and the development of new ones. 

SEC Rejects Bitwise’s Bitcoin ETF Proposal

The hopes of Bitwise Asset Management getting the regulatory nod to launch its bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) were dashed once more, when the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected its proposal on October 9, 2019. 

Bitwise has had quite a long road, filing its ETF proposal with the NYSE Arca back in January 2019. After an initial delay in August 2019, many believed that the asset management firm would finally get the green light this time. However, citing an insufficient level of investor protection, the SEC rejected its proposal, thus extending the industry’s agonizing wait for a bitcoin ETF.

IRS Releases Tax Guidance on Hard Forks and Airdrops

The inclusion of cryptocurrencies in the tax system of the United States took an interesting, if unsatisfying, turn this week as well, when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published its Revenue Ruling 2019-24 on October 9, 2019.

A follow-up to the draft published by the tax authority back in 2014, the new guidance provides some clarity on how the agency would tax holders for airdrops and hard forks, as well as the classification of taxable activities. This publication is a significant step for crypto taxation, but the guidance creates more questions than answers.

Pelosi’s Challenger Agatha Bacelar on Bitcoin as an Agent for Social Change

Agatha Bacelar, a Democrat from California who will be challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her seat in the House of Representatives in 2020, is a fan of Bitcoin. 

In an interview on the Bitcoin Magazine Podcast, the 27-year-old politician shared her views on the world’s most popular digital asset. She discussed how it can help promote social good, enhance financial and personal empowerment. 

“I read the paper, saw its potential for actually starting a social justice movement. I didn’t see it as much as an economic tool,” she explained during the interview.

Poolin: Surviving Bitmain and the Path that Lies Ahead

Created by ex-Bitmain staffers, Poolin has evolved into much more. Since they jumped ship in 2017 to focus on their product, the mining pool has risen to unprecedented heights, going as far as becoming the world’s third largest mining pool by hash rate.

Of course, this hasn’t happened without its fair share of controversy. Poolin and Bitmain have served their fair share of lawsuits between themselves, but through it all, Poolin has remained standing. While at the Chengdu Mining Summit, Bitcoin Magazine interviewed Poolin top executive Kevin Pan, where he spoke on a wide array of topics, including but not limited to their experience since defecting from Bitmain and how they have managed to stay competitive in the market for mining pools.

Op Ed: Is the Age of Bitcoin-Powered Discounts Finally Upon Us?

The vision of using Bitcoin for payments has changed over the years, with merchants and retail service providers add (and sometimes dropping) support for the digital asset to their payment infrastructures. 

In his op-ed, Kyle Torpey speaks about how the idea of incentivizing consumers to use bitcoin has evolved since its early days: from the effects of scaling issues to the promise of Lightning payments, as well as the companies which are positioning themselves to take this movement forward. 

DropBit Adds Lightning Network Support

DropBit, a Bitcoin wallet and payment service positioning itself as “the Venmo for Bitcoin,” announced this week that it would be providing support for the Lightning Network. 

DropBit is popular for allowing Bitcoin transfers to people who don’t own any. The team behind the app announced that the app’s version 3.0, which is set to be released soon, will now come with Lightning support.  

DropBit will open a channel for the recipient and deposit the funds from the sender right into the channel. Once the new user has verified the information, the bitcoin is accessible to them.

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