Today’s crypto news report is brought to you courtesy of Chequers Brexit, “Europe’s Least Satisfying Fudge”…
This year is shaping up to be make or break for cryptocurrency. Largely misunderstood at its inception, a Bitcoin-lead cryptomania gripped the world towards the end of 2017 and most of us have spent the last year or so trying to work out what it all meant.
Well, now it’s time we found some definitive answers to the fundamental questions blockchain tech has thrown up. What is cryptocurrency for and who does it benefit? Does the world really need or want decentralised cash systems?
Following a torrid 12 months, the market has stabilised again long enough for us to turn our attention to the wider issues…
Bitcoin is rocksteady at 3,830 US dollars today (how the mighty have fallen!), a shift of about 0.01% across the week. Ethereum has mounted a commendable recovery effort, growing by nearly 18% in the last 7 days, leaving its coin value at a satisfactory 152 USD. Eating its dust this week is Ripple, which reported losses of round 2%.
The big winners for today’s crypto news report are Chainlink (41.30%), ICON (12.48%), and Augur (15.28%), all of which put the top 3 to shame with some galloping weekly gains.
Much was made of crypto asset regulation last year and with the new year only just begun it seems a new landscape is already emerging, with the US taking the lead.
Overstock, an online retailer, has announced that it would become the first American business to take advantage of Ohio’s new crypto tax breaks by paying a portion of its bill in Bitcoin. Elsewhere, a repackaged Digital Token Act – which posits a set of guidelines classifying the security status of digital tokens – is making its way through Colorado’s legislative bodies.
Whilst regulators are coming to accept the rise of DLTs as inevitable, a new report by McKinsey suggests that all the excitement surrounding them may be premature. The management consultancy’s report concludes that blockchain tech is of limited real-world use and examples of its practical application are few and far between.
Another dissenting voice pouring cold water on new years’ celebrations came from the now sadly deceased cyberpunk Tim May who recently claimed that Satoshi Nakamoto would “barf” if they could see the current state of crypto. Cointelegraph quoted the digital anarchist as having said that;
“attempts to be ‘regulatory-friendly’ will likely kill the main uses for cryptocurrencies, which are NOT just ‘another form of PayPal or Visa.”
One this point, May and McKinsey would have found some unlikely common ground. The consultancy included a caveat in its dour findings to the effect that even though they consider blockchain tech to lack commercial viability it, “brings benefits where it shifts ownership from corporations to consumers.”
So, behind all of the smoke, mirrors and hyperbole if we ask the question; who does blockchain tech benefit? and the answer is corporations, then I’m afraid all the regulation in Washington, London and Beijing won’t be enough to rescue Nakamoto’s egalitarian vision…