October 2, 2020 | technology | No Comments
With September coming to a close with yesterday’s close, here is brief recap of all major Bitcoin and cryptocurrency news events of the past month.
MSTR Doubles Down On Bitcoin
In August, business services company MicroStrategy made headlines when it became the first publicly-listed company to convert portions of its cash reserve into Bitcoin. The company purchased $250 million worth of Bitcoin, taking over 21,000 coins off the open market.
In the press release announcing the first purchase, company CEO Michael J. Saylor remarked:
“This investment reflects our belief that Bitcoin, as the world’s most widely-adopted cryptocurrency, is a dependable store of value and an attractive investment asset with more long-term appreciation potential than holding cash.”
Three weeks after this original announcement, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing indicated MicroStrategy was looking at increasing its exposure to Bitcoin despite it already making up a large portion of its reserve.
Days later, the company announced it had bought more Bitcoin with its cash reserves. In total, the company has spent $425 million on BTC.
KuCoin Hacked For $200m In Crypto
Marking the most notable crypto hack in many months, the Singapore-based KuCoin was hacked for over $200 million in assorted cryptocurrencies in late September.
Around seven hours after blockchain analysts recorded a series of suspicious transactions from the firm’s Bitcoin and Ethereum wallets, the exchange revealed that it had suffered a “security incident.” The company wrote:
“According to the latest internal security audit report, part of Bitcoin, ERC-20 and other tokens in KuCoin’s hot wallets were transferred out of the exchange, which contained few parts of our total assets holdings.”
According to blockchain analysts, more than $200 million worth of cryptocurrency was siphoned out of KuCoin’s hot wallets in total. Most of the value was in Ethereum, ERC-20 tokens, Bitcoin, and Stellar-based tokens.
KuCoin pledged to “completely” cover the funds affected by the incident. The company also got in contact with the projects affected and law enforcement to try and catch the hacker.
Certain projects affected used emergency admin conditions to freeze or re-issue the coins stolen from KuCoin’s wallets. Some in the space argue that this goes against the very premise of cryptocurrency: decentralization.
Many saw this hack as yet more validation that users should hold their cryptocurrency in their own wallets and use decentralized exchanges.
Kraken Becomes The First Crypto Exchange To Receive Bank Charter
Kraken became the first cryptocurrency exchange to receive a U.S. bank charter this past month.
The company announced that it launched a new entity Kraken Financial (tentative name) in the state of Wyoming. State regulators gave this new entity approval to become the “world’s first Special Purpose Depository Institution.”
As a SPDI, the firm now has the ability to provide a swath of “comprehensive deposit-taking, custody, and fiduciary services for digital assets.” Due to Wyoming banking laws, Kraken Financial will need to have full reserves, disabling the fractional reserve banking common with traditional banking services.
SQ Crypto Forms Patent Alliance
Financial technology giant Square continued its support of the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency space when it launched the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA).
The COPA is a non-profit that will disallow companies from restricting access and usage of technologies in patents.
In a Twitter thread announcing this new organization, Square Crypto, the firm’s cryptocurrency arm, wrote:
“If you’re tired of grant tweets and patent trolls, we’ve got great news. Today Square is announcing the formation of the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA). As you know, from Square Crypto to Cash App, Square is in the fight to keep bitcoin and crypto free and open.”
Jack Dorsey Reasserts Support For Bitcoin
Adding to the last headline, Square and Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey reasserted his support for Bitcoin in an interview with Reuters.
Echoing comments he made in 2019 to podcaster Joe Rogan, Dorsey said that Bitcoin is the “best manifestation” of a native digital currency for the internet. He added that he doesn’t see Bitcoin losing that position, presumably referencing some sentiments that Bitcoin will be overrun by an altcoin.
While he does see that the cryptocurrency is in this advantageous position, he elaborated that Bitcoin is not yet usable. On what needs to be improved with the technology to ensure it is the internet’s native currency, Dorsey said:
“Two big things [to focus on]: first, transaction times and efficiency — making it time-effective and cost-effective, and second, that it be intuitive to people why they might use it and what it is. They should be able to use it in a way that feels similar to handing over paper cash.”
Uniswap Launches UNI Token
Leading decentralized exchange Uniswap launched the UNI token this past month in one of the most notable events for the Ethereum ecosystem this year.
The exchange gave away 400 tokens to every Ethereum address that had interacted with Uniswap contracts before the first of September. Those that provided liquidity to facilitate trading were entitled to a larger claim, with some early adopters in the space reporting claims of tens of thousands of coins.
The idea with this distribution was to allow historical users of the protocol to get some say in the future of Uniswap.
UNI is a governance token that can be delegated to delegates, who can make and vote on proposals to influence the direction of Uniswap.
The coin has since been listed on exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, and FTX.