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Crypto Tidbits: Bitcoin Halving, Reddit Using Ethereum, JP Morgan Dabbles in Crypto

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Another week, another round of Crypto Tidbits. Bitcoin has seen quite the tumultuous week, The cryptocurrency started off the week with a bang, collapsing from ~$9,700, the weekly open price, to a low of $8,100, in a dramatic sell-off that liquidated over $200 million worth of long positions on BitMEX and hundreds of millions of more on other exchanges. Despite the drop, which came a day before the much-awaited block reward halving, the cryptocurrency has since recovered, rallying as high as $10,000 on Thursday, though Bitcoin has since returned to ~$9,400. Bitcoin chart from TradingView.com Crypto’s performance this week comes as the stock market has continued to stagnate in the 2,800-2,900 point range. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones have been stalling as the economic outlook remains dismal, with a total of 35 million Americans filing for unemployment over the past two months. Whatever the case, analysts are still bullish on Bitcoin. The chief executive of crypto startup Nexo, Antoni Trenchev, for instance, told Bloomberg he expects the price of BTC to breach $50,000 in 2020.  Explaining his $50,000 by the end of the year price prediction, Trenchev explained that with a perfect confluence of Bitcoin’s block reward halving while central banks increase the supply of money around the world, BTC’s value proposition is getting a huge boost. Trenchev added that the fundamentals of the Bitcoin network are stronger than ever. Related Reading: Crypto Tidbits: Bitcoin Roars Past $10k, Halving Days Away, Ethereum 2.0 Nears Bitcoin & Crypto Tidbits Elon Musk Bumps Bitcoin: Elon Musk has once again talked about Bitcoin. The Tesla CEO remarked on a tweet published Friday that he thinks the “massive currency issuance” by governments and central banks is making Bitcoin “look solid in comparison.” Despite this support, he asserted that he still only owns 0.25 Bitcoin that he got as a gift from a friend, worth approximately $2,250 as of the time of this article’s writing. This is the latest time the billionaire entrepreneur has said good things about crypto assets in recent years. Previously, he told ARK Invest that he thinks Bitcoin’s structure is “quite brilliant,” touching on the asset’s ability to bypass currency controls and the like. Pretty much, although massive currency issuance by govt central banks is making Bitcoin Internet 👻 money look solid by comparison — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 15, 2020 Bitcoin Halving Comes to Pass: On Monday, Bitcoin’s block reward halving transpired when block 630,000 was mined. A halving is an event that decreases the reward cryptocurrency miners receive for verifying or “mining” blocks — or processing transactions — by 50%. Bitcoin halvings take place approximately every four years, making this latest halving the cryptocurrency’s third since its inception in 2008. According to May 14th data shared by crypto analytics company Coin Metrics, the halving has started to have “large impacts” on the Bitcoin network. The hash rate — the measure of computational power being used to mine blocks, or process transactions in layman’s terms —  has “dropped 30%.” JP Morgan Chase Begins to Service Crypto Companies: According to a report from the Wall Street Journal published on Tuesday morning, JP Morgan Chase has taken on two top Bitcoin exchanges, Coinbase and Gemini Trust. These are purportedly the first clients the bank has taken on that are “crypto-native” — that’s to say, operating solely/mostly in the cryptocurrency industry. Per the Wall Street Journal’s sources, “people familiar with the matter,” the accounts were opened and approved in April, and transactions through the account have just started to be processed. Analysts see this as a big deal as it shows, as Mike Novogratz put it, that JP Morgan believes “the future will include crypto currencies, digital assets, and blockchain based systems.” Reddit to Use Ethereum for New Points System: This week, internet forum Reddit, which is one of the most visited sites in the world with hundreds of millions of active users, confirmed the launch of a new project called “Community Points.” Community Points are tokens for specific subforums on Reddit, which can be used to redeem rewards and get access to certain featured that token holders won’t have access to. For the time being, tokens will only be issued on Ethereum’s Rinkeby testnet for the CryptoCurrency and FortniteBR forums, which have around one million users apiece, though analysts say this program will expose crypto to more than two million individuals. Featured Image from Unsplash

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Nick Chong, Khareem Sudlow