‘Make or break’ for Bitcoin, Binance under pressure, Strike attacks Coinbase

Cointelegraph Magazine

Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.Top Stories This Week Bitcoin mining difficulty just fell by a record 28% — but will this help prices recover?Bitcoin has recorded its biggest mining difficulty drop of nearly 28%, but one model suggests prices will not bottom until October.The drop is in response to the ongoing miner migration out of China and the subsequent loss of hash rate — and this could deliver a profit boost for the miners still at work.Bitcoin has now closed its third red monthly candle in a row, meaning BTC/USD is now the furthest away from its stock-to-flow model estimates in more than two years. Data shows the world’s biggest cryptocurrency fell 40.36% in Q2… the biggest quarterly plunge in over three years.Plan B said the next six months will be “make or break” for the stock-to-flow model, adding: “Even for me it is always a bit uneasy when Bitcoin price is at the lower bound of the stock-to-flow model.” Binance faces regulatory upheaval as lawmakers target ‘global’ exchangesRegulatory woes are piling up for Binance. Japan has accused the exchange of operating without proper registration, and toughened measures in the Canadian province of Ontario have prompted Binance to announce that it plans to cease all operations there.Monday saw Binance suspend the use of Faster Payments in the U.K., meaning that it would take longer for British customers to withdraw pounds from the exchange. This came days after the Financial Conduct Authority told the exchange to cease all regulated activities in the country. However, this was later reinstated.Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority are the latest financial regulators to announce a regulatory crackdown on Binance.As a major global exchange, the exchange has been struggling to find the right jurisdiction for operating its business.  Bitcoin.org blocks access to Bitcoin software download in the UKBitcoin.org has blocked U.K. visitors from downloading Bitcoin Core software, as well as the whitepaper authored by Satoshi Nakamoto. It comes days after a British court ruled in favor of self-proclaimed Bitcoin creator Craig Wright.He had accused Bitcoin.org and its current operator Cøbra of copyright infringement for hosting the BTC whitepaper in the U.K.Cøbra elected not to mount a defense in order to protect their anonymity — and was also ordered to pay interim legal costs of £35,000 (about $48,600.)The judgment is the latest salvo in Wright’s assault on people who dispute his claim of being Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.  Strike to offer ‘no fee’ Bitcoin trading, taking aim at Coinbase and SquarePayments platform Strike has announced that it will allow U.S. customers to buy and sell Bitcoin with almost no trading fees — taking on the likes of Coinbase, Square and PayPal.Strike’s founder and CEO Jack Mallers says his platform is setting out to be the “cheapest and easiest place on the planet to acquire BTC.”Mallers has taken aim directly at Coinbase too, describing Coinbase’s fees as “asinine.” He added: “Make no mistake, when you buy Bitcoin on Coinbase, you are supporting shitcoins.”In other developments, Coinbase has revealed that it plans to list digital assets on its exchange faster than it does now. And as the exchange seeks to bolster its global presence, it’s going to launch a crypto app store offering products developed by third parties.Meanwhile, Robinhood has filed an application with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering. That application came a day after regulators ordered the company to pay a $70 million penalty, amid allegations it caused “widespread and significant harm” to thousands of users. Elon Musk’s latest attempt to pump Dogecoin fails miserablyDogecoin prices surged but did not skyrocket after receiving another endorsement from Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday.Musk’s first tweet declared “Release the Doge!” — sending the joke cryptocurrency up 8.42% to $0.261. A sell-off followed suit, taking DOGE/USD down to $0.247.Less than an hour later, Musk tweeted a rather unusual message that said: “Baby Doge, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, Baby Doge, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, Baby Doge, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, Baby Doge.”DOGE/USD subsequently rose 5.22% to $0.26 after the second tweet.This is modest compared with the wild gains we’ve seen after Musk’s tweets in the past.Winners and Losers  At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $34,544.52, Ether at $2,219.30 and XRP at $0.2469. The total market cap is at $1,433,529,255,589.Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are XinFin Network, Compound and Internet Computer. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Celo, Theta Fuel and Revain.For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.   Most Memorable Quotations“Make no mistake, when you buy Bitcoin on Coinbase, you are supporting shitcoins.”Jack Mallers, Strike CEO “I did suggest to the President that whatever Salvador chooses to do with regards to Bitcoin, you ensure that it is well regulated, that it is transparent and that it is responsible, and you protect yourself against malign actors.”Victoria Nuland, U.S. State Department  “While I believe in the power of new technology, we also need to manage its impact on our economy and society.”Rishi Sunak, U.K. Chancellor “The ‘Rick Astley’ is the holder that keeps buying and never tends to sell much.”Willy Woo, Bitcoin analyst “140 free NFTs for 140 of you, besties.”Twitter “A good currency, in my view, is one that’s used to buy coffee, buy your house, buy a car, and on that count, Bitcoin has failed, and not just failed, it’s failed miserably.”Aswath Damodaran, New York University professor of financePrediction of the Week  44% of investors expect Bitcoin to drop below $30K in 2021: CNBC surveyA recent CNBC survey suggests 44% of portfolio managers and equity strategists think Bitcoin will be below $30,000 by the end of this year.Out of the remaining 56%, 25% predicted the price to shoot up and settle at $45,000 — while another 25% projected that we could see $55,000.A small minority of 6% said Bitcoin could return back to $60,000, near the $65,000 all-time high seen in April 2021.FUD of the Week  Bitcoin has failed miserably as currency, says NYU’s ‘dean of valuation’Aswash Damodaran has launched another blistering attack on Bitcoin.The professor of finance at New York University said: “A good currency, in my view, is one that’s used to buy coffee, buy your house, buy a car, and on that count, Bitcoin has failed, and not just failed, it’s failed miserably.”He added that Bitcoin’s only claim to fame is in the returns earned by early investors, adding: “When I run into Bitcoin enthusiasts, they seem to push this notion that Bitcoin is a great currency because they’ve made a lot of money on it.”Back in May, Damodaran claimed Ether stands a better chance of becoming a commodity than Bitcoin. UK’s NatWest bank limits transactions to crypto exchangesAs the crypto crackdown continues in Britain, another high street bank has intensified its efforts to curtail its customers’ use of digital assets. Natwest Group has reportedly capped the daily amount its customers can send to cryptocurrency exchanges due to concerns over investment scams and fraud. However, the new limits on fiat currency transfers have not been revealed.NatWest said the restrictions are designed to be temporary — and, in some cases, payments to specific crypto asset firms where there have been “particularly significant levels of fraud-related harm” will be blocked altogether. ‘We don’t have much time left’ to regulate crypto, says Bank of France governorBank of France governor François Villeroy de Galhau said that Europe should make crypto regulation a priority or risk digital assets challenging its monetary sovereignty.He warned the European Union only has “one or two years” left to establish a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.“We in Europe need to move as quickly as possible,” the governor added. Best Cointelegraph FeaturesLondon fork enters testnet on Ethereum as difficulty bomb sees delayAs Ethereum’s London upgrade launches on the Ropsten testnet, mainnet anticipation for stakers and miners increases.Stablecoins under scrutiny: USDT stands by ‘commercial paper’ tetherAre stablecoins actually stable? Tether’s basket of reserve assets raises eyebrows as a new round of debate regarding backing begins.Slow, but not steady: India’s stance on Bitcoin and crypto is evolvingIndia’s regulatory stance on crypto has been shaky at best and prejudiced at worst, but what is India actually doing about crypto?