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Venezuela Owns Bitcoin, SoFi Adds Cryptocurrency Trading, Libra Launch Unclear

Venezuela Owns Bitcoin, SoFi Adds Cryptocurrency Trading, Libra Launch Unclear

Another week, another of Crypto Tidbits. Bitcoin has been absolutely slammed over the past week, shedding 20% of its value in a few days’ time. Altcoins have followed suit, posting similar, if not worse losses.

Unfortunately, the news cycle reflected the drop in the Bitcoin market. While there was a smattering of positive news events — an explosion in the Bitcoin hash rate and launches of crypto trading by finance giants — not much took place in the industry.

NewsBTC’s here to compile what took place over the past seven days that is important, however.

Related Reading: Crypto Tidbits: Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Inbound, NASA Hints at Blockchain Ambitions, Libra in Hot Water

Bitcoin & Crypto Tidbits

  • Bakkt Successfully Launches Bitcoin Futures: This week, Bakkt finally rolled out its physically-deliverable Bitcoin futures contracts — marking a massive step forward in the financialization of this market. Unfortunately, the product didn’t get much traction from the get-go, with its first trading session seeing less than $1 million in volume. Due to this, many traders flipped bearish, bashing Bakkt for its inability to immediately draw in the “institutional herd”. It is believed that the pessimism around the exchange is what contributed to the sell-off earlier this week.
  • Facebook CEO Zuckerberg Doesn’t Commit to 2020 Launch: Over the past few weeks, executives of the Libra Association and Facebook have claimed that the cryptocurrency will launch by 2020. Despite this, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said to the Nikkei Asian Review that he isn’t exactly too sure about that launch date, citing regulatory concerns.
  • Bitcoin Hash Rate Falls Off Cliff, Then Shoots to New Heights: At the start of this week, Bitcoin’s hash rate metric suddenly fell off a cliff, falling from near 100 exahashes per second to 67. Investors were quick to express their concerns on online forums. Cornell University professor Emin Gün Sirer noted that this trend looks “very unhealthy”, before going on to bash the seeming shortcomings of Bitcoin’s Proof of Work system and its relation to exchange security. But, data readings from shows that Bitcoin is now doing fine. It’s doing so fine, in fact, that the data provider estimates that Bitcoin’s hash rate has breached 100 exahashes per second for the next time, hitting 108.5 exahashes per second on September 26th.
  • Venezuelan Government Doubles Down on Crypto: According to four Bloomberg sources with “direct knowledge of the matter”, Venezuela’s central bank is purportedly looking to see if it can logistically and legally hold cryptocurrencies. A state-run enterprise, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, is trying to get the central bank to use Bitcoin and Ethereum for certain financial transactions.
  • Fintech Firm SoFi Adds Cryptocurrency Trading: Fintech startup SoFi has revealed that it will be allowing its clients to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin through an exchange platform meant to launch next Tuesday. SoFi joins Robinhood and Cash App as one of the few Silicon Valley-based fintech giants offering Bitcoin and cryptocurrency services to their retail audience.
  • German Finance Giant Boerse Stuttgart Launches Bitcoin Platform: In similar news, Boerse Stuttgart, Germany’s second-largest stock exchange, opened a crypto asset trading platform earlier this week. CEO Dr. Dirk Sturz has said that he believes that blockchain-based assets will continue to be a growing market, hence the need for this new platform, Boerse Stuttgart Digital Exchange.
  • France Sees Bitcoin Adoption Event: According to a French trade publication, support for Bitcoin payments will be launched at over 25,000 stores by early 2020. The stores accepting BTC will include Sephora, the cosmetics giant, and athletics clothing brand Decathlon.
  • IBM Open to Working With Libra: Speaking to CNBC on Monday, Jason Kelley, IBM’s general manager of blockchain services, said that the firm is open to “work with Facebook” as “blockchain is a team sport”. Kelley argued that Libra is bringing legitimacy to blockchain technologies. Importantly, this doesn’t mean that IBM is looking to become a member of the Libra Association.
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