Crypto Tidbits: Bitcoin Surges, XRP Exchange Hack, LedgerX’s BTC Futures, Chainlink on Coinbase

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Another week, another round of Crypto Tidbits. Wow, what a crazy week it’s been for Bitcoin (BTC). Not only was the market absolutely absurd, with BTC finding itself riding on a proverbial rollercoaster, but so was the underlying industry.

Related Reading: Analyst: Bitcoin is Still in a Clear Uptrend Despite Recent Crash; is a Move Towards $20k Imminent?

Over the past seven days, we’ve seen everything really: Bitcoin up 20% in a day’s time, a $2,000 crash in minutes, and bouts of volatility and volume not seen since 2017’s peak. Anyhow, BTC, as of the time of writing this, is at $11,600, up 8% on the week. During the same time span, most traditional assets lost value, accentuating the uncorrelated nature of crypto assets.

On the fundamental side of the industry, a key exchange was cleared for BTC futures, crypto startups bagged huge partnerships, and institutional involvement continued. All good signs for the seemingly impending bull market. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

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Related Reading: Crypto Tidbits: Bitcoin Above $10,000, Facebook Launches Libra, Ripple & Moneygram Team Up

Crypto & Bitcoin Tidbits

  • Binance Looks to Join Libra Association, Could List Facebook’s Crypto: For the most part, the Libra Association, the group of corporations behind the Facebook-backed crypto & blockchain are mainstream firms: PayPal, Visa, Booking Holdings, Spotify, Uber, and so on. But, Coinbase and Xapo have made the list too, marking two “crypto native” firms. Per a recent interview, Binance is trying to join their ranks, with a company executive explaining in interviews with Finance Magnates and BlockTv that discussions have taken place between Binance and Facebook. In these interviews, Strategy Officer Gin Chao claimed that Binance may list Facebook’s digital asset once it moves from a private chain to public, and that his company may even become a validator on the blockchain. There are no concrete plans, however.
  • Twitch Accepts Bitcoin Once Again: First spotted by a user of the Reddit sub-forum known as “Cryptocurrency”, Twitch allows users to contribute to their favorite content creators with Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash yet again. Per the user’s experience using this feature, the acceptance of Bitcoin is being completed through BitPay, an industry leading cryptocurrency payments solution based it Atlanta. Twitch’s sudden reacceptance of the leading cryptocurrency and its estranged cousin, Bitcoin Cash, may have something to do with a recent partnership. For those who missed the memo, earlier this year at Consensus, cryptocurrency upstart Flexa unveiled Spedn. A play on “HODL”, an industry inside joke, Spedn is a solution that allows users to spend Bitcoin, Ethereum, Gemini Dollars, and Bitcoin Cash in certain partner chains. These partners include Nordstrom, Gamestop, Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowe’s, and arguably most importantly, the Amazon-owned Whole Foods.
  • Coinbase Adds Chainlink Amid Massive Partnership, Google Support: Chainlink has seen a helluva week, a week that some would say was even crazier than Bitcoin’s. Earlier this month, technololgy giant Oracle revealed that it would be working with the Chainlink platform for its in-house blockchain project, and will be announcing corporate partners for the venture later this year. Google, yes the Google, then name-dropped the Ethereum-centric project in a blog post and a Youtube video, claiming that it would be allowing for Chainlink oracles to interact with BigQuery. And most recently, Coinbase, for both its “Pro” and consumer platforms, has added the LINK token for trading.
  • Square Adds Bitcoin Deposits at Long Last: Last week, prominent Bitcoin podcaster Marty Bent revealed that users could deposit BTC into Square’s flagship product, Cash App. Later, Square cleared the air, publishing a support page and a flashy tweet that revealed that yes, users can now directly deposit Bitcoin into Cash’s coffers. The process, per the page, is the same old, same old. Interestingly though, there is a $10,000 weekly limit on Bitcoin deposits though, which may have something to do with the fact that users can purportedly only spend $10,000 on BTC a week. This, coupled with the fact that the Jack Dorsey-run fintech startup’s Bitcoin division made its first hire, marks the company’s continued acceptance of the cryptocurrency.
  • LedgerX Inches Out Bakkt, Approved to Launch ‘Physical’ Bitcoin Futures: Just a few weeks back, Bakkt revealed that it would be launching its Bitcoin (BTC) futures product for user testing in late-July. But, it seems that another cryptocurrency exchange has beat the New York Stock Exchange-backed initiative to the punch, so to speak. Announced Tuesday morning, LedgerX, a crypto asset derivatives platform headquartered in the Big Apple, has received clearance from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). This regulatory green light will allow the company to list physically-settled BTC futures, which are far different than the paper contracts offered by the CME.
  • Walmart Joins Hands With Crypto Startup in China: Announced via a press release, Walmart China, which presides over 424 retail stores, is now working with VeChain. The two partners join China Chain-Store & Franchise, a retail consortium that purportedly has 1,000+ members; Pricewaterhouse Coopers, a “Big Four” auditor; and the Inner Mongolia Kerchin, an Asian cattle company. Together, the companies involved form what is now known as the “Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform”, or WCBTP for short. By the end of 2020 — just over 18 months away — the collective wants to trace 50% of packaged fresh meat, 40% of packaged vegetables, and 12.5% of packaged seafood that Walmart China sells through blockchain technologies.
  • Crypto Exchange Hacked for Millions in XRP, Cardano: Announced Wednesday night via an extensive Twitter thread, Bitrue, a Singapore-based exchange, has lost a large stash of XRP and Cardano (ADA) in a recent hack. Being surprisingly candid and upfront about the details of this debacle, the exchange sad that a hacker had managed to siphon “9.3 million XRP and 2.5 million ADA” from Bitrue’s “hot wallet” to “different exchanges”. The exchange has promised to return “100% of lost funds” to the 90 affected users, a move which not many hacked cryptocurrency platforms have promised. Bitrue has also claimed to have been in close communication with Huobi, Bittrex, and ChangeNow, three crypto platforms which received the hacked funds that have since “frozen the affected funds and accounts.”

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