The power of youth is the commonwealth for the entire world. The faces of our youth are the faces of our past, our present, and our future. No segment in society can match with the power, idealism, enthusiasm, and courage of our young people.
Spiral Announces The Lightning Dev Kit
Spiral, a Square subsidiary focused on Bitcoin development, has formally presented its Lightning Development Kit (LDK) in a short film published on Monday. “The Lightning Development Kit is a way to easily integrate instant Bitcoin payments into any application
,” said Conor Okus, project manager at Spiral, in the film
. Spiral said it had been working on LDK for the past couple of years. The project is a flexible Lightning implementation geared towards developers who want to integrate Bitcoin’s Lightning Network into their applications frictionlessly. The library is available in the Rust and Swift programming languages. “When our team formed, we went out and interviewed dozens of wallet projects and developers
,” Steve Lee, lead at Spiral
, said in the film. “What we learned is that they were having a lot of problems adding Lightning Network capabilities
.” The LDK abstracts low-level Lightning logic away, removing barriers for implementing the Lightning Network and allowing developers to focus on their applications’ inner workings. Programmers can then seamlessly leverage a flexible implementation of Bitcoin’s layer-2 protocol to plug into the scaling network. Once implemented, LDK enables instant Bitcoin payments on games, apps, and other Bitcoin applications. The project had already borne fruit before this announcement. In July, Blue Wallet announced
a mobile implementation of the Lightning Network based on LDK. The rn-ldk leverages Spiral’s implementation to bring an open-source, lightweight Lightning node to React Native, a popular framework for mobile apps. Blue Wallet’s rn-ldk enables users to open and fund a Lightning channel from their mobile devices directly from an air-gapped hardware wallet, among other features.
Visa Opens Bitcoin Consulting Service
Visa is launching an advisory and consulting service on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency for its institutional clients, according to multiple reports Wednesday. The payments giant will advise banks, fintech companies, and retailers looking to implement Bitcoin services. “Visa hopes its crypto consultancy can help further mainstream adoption of Bitcoin
,” according to a CNBC
report. “Like rival Mastercard, the credit card giant sees cryptocurrencies as a key growth opportunity as it expands into areas beyond card payments
.” Its advisory practice will reportedly be housed within its consulting and analytics division. Visa’s European cryptocurrency lead Nikola Plecas told CNBC
that the company sees Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as a “huge new vertical and growth opportunity
,” adding that Visa “will be continuing to focus on growing this business moving forward
.” Visa also published a research paper
on Wednesday exploring consumer attitudes towards and usage of BTC. The research, conducted in partnership with marketing services firm LRW, surveyed more than 6,000 people globally and revealed that 94% of them are aware of cryptocurrency. In contrast, about one-third have used it in the past. The study also found that 18% of respondents would be likely or very likely to switch primary banks over the next year to one offering Bitcoin-related services. In emerging markets, that number rose to 24%, while 40% of those that already own Bitcoin or cryptocurrency said they would make a similar move.
Sats Center Launches To Educate U.S. Regulators On Bitcoin
Leading Bitcoin Companies have launched Sats Center, a nonprofit business league dedicated to fostering an innovative environment for Bitcoin, the organization said in a statement. The nonprofit will provide education to the public, elected officials, and regulators seeking to learn more about Bitcoin and how it can empower economic growth and financial inclusion. “Sats Center will focus primarily on the state and local level, filling in knowledge gaps about Bitcoin and the opportunities it can bring to communities
,” the company said in a statement
. “The organization will also create an environment for the innovative open-source industry to connect with regulators and community leaders
.” While many U.S. politicians and regulators are aware of Bitcoin, most still lack a comprehensive understanding of the network. Few people in power in the country realize the true value proposition of the peer-to-peer monetary system and how it can improve the lives of everyday citizens. This dynamic became clear as lawmakers of the House Financial Services Committee hosted a hearing
to better understand the nuances of Bitcoin technology. Most of those present bundled the sound monetary network and “digital assets
” into the same basket, discussing how Congress could help regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission embed them into current rules — dismissing critical differences between the two technologies. Sats Center’s mission
intersects with that reality. The nonprofit said it envisions a future where Bitcoin is leveraged to enable commerce, access to financial services, and individual economic sovereignty. To achieve that, Sats Center said it would build a grassroots community of educators, supporters, and advocates working together to inform people and build that future.
Florida Governor: We Welcome Bitcoin
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has reportedly proposed programs to make his state friendlier to Bitcoin innovation. The governor’s move gives Miami Mayor Francis Suarez state-level support, adding to the previous aid received at the county level. “Our view as the state government is this is something that we welcome and we want to make sure that the state government is crypto-friendly
,” DeSantis said, in a Bloomberg
report. DeSantis proposed a program to enable businesses in Florida to pay state fees in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, among other cryptocurrency-related proposals included in the state’s budget for next year. The move is an attempt to attract further Bitcoin investment to Florida. This year, the state has seen an influx of related entrepreneurs and businesses as new developments and welcoming officials plug into the Bitcoin narrative. Suarez started these efforts, advocating for friendlier regulation and novel developments at the city level to enable the flourishing of Bitcoin-related innovation. Suarez first proposed Miami integrate Bitcoin into its operations earlier this year. The resolution
sought to allow residents to pay city fees and property taxes in Bitcoin and city employees to get paid in Bitcoin. The proposal also intended to allow Miami to hold BTC. The mayor later received support from Miami-Dade County with the establishment of a cryptocurrency task force that would assess the feasibility of similar developments at a county level. DeSantis is the latest Florida official to show interest in enabling Bitcoin payments. The state-level support could improve Miami’s odds in passing the necessary legislation, as most proposals have since stalled. In October, Suarez said his plan to pay city employees in Bitcoin was advancing. Still, the lack of developments in that direction led the mayor to seek an alternative and use Lightning payments app Strike to get a paycheck in BTC.
Bitcoin Hash Rate Hits New All-time High
The Bitcoin hash rate has made a new all-time high, fully recovering from the Chinese Bitcoin mining ban this summer! The network is stronger than ever, having risen by over 114% in five months to fully recover from the more than 50% drop after the Chinese crackdown. China started increasing its regulatory scrutiny towards the industry in April. Bitcoin Magazine reported
that Beijing officials had begun examining the energy usage of local Bitcoin miners, as an “emergency notice
” was sent to data center operators in the city to gauge information about cryptocurrency mining, including the amount and share of power consumed by the activity. In May, the country banned
regulated financial institutions from offering Bitcoin services, including registration, trading, clearing, and settlement. The joint statement by Chinese regulators mentioned price volatility as harmful to its citizens and something that could infringe “on the safety of people’s property
” and disrupt “the normal economic and financial order
.“ Later that month, the country effectively started cracking down on Bitcoin mining with power rationing
measures and similar restrictions
. As a result, the Bitcoin network hash rate began to suffer. The ever-stricter regulations of the Chinese government and outright hostility towards the Bitcoin mining industry led prominent companies to flee the country and move operations overseas. The measures soon began covering the broader Bitcoin ecosystem, as major internet service companies in China started censoring keywords
related to Bitcoin exchanges. A more general crackdown on Bitcoin led to ASIC maker Bitmain halt rig sales, a miner exodus to ensue, and hash rate to decline. In under two months, the Bitcoin hash rate 7-day moving average dropped from 180.82 exahashes per second (EH/s) to 84.79 EH/s, according to Coin Metrics
data. As miners began moving out of China and the hash rate dropped by more than 50%, North American Bitcoin mining companies emerged as the winners. Publicly-traded U.S. Bitcoin miners saw their daily revenue increase significantly, posing an opportunity to accumulate more Bitcoin without needing to increase hash rate capacity. Bitcoin’s antifragility became evident as the hash rate started recovering by August. Now, almost five months after the metric bottomed at around 84.79 EH/s, hash rate has soared past pre-China ban levels, and in doing so, passed an extreme and important stress test. Bitcoin’s ability to gain from disorder and chaos, conveniently adapting to even dire circumstances, was demonstrated as the network returned more robust after the country housing the most significant share of hash rate banned the activity altogether.
Nigerian Minister Calls For Fair Bitcoin Regulation
A Nigerian minister is calling for friendly Bitcoin regulation that would promote innovation and allow citizens to plug into the network’s opportunities rather than suppress usage of the possibilities enabled by the technology, reported Bloomberg
. “Clem Agba, minister of state for budget and national planning, said uncertainty in regulating cryptocurrencies risks denying government and citizens the chance to maximize opportunities from the technology
,” per the report. In February, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a reminder that it had banned financial institutions from facilitating Bitcoin-related transactions back in 2017 and ordered them to shut down accounts that had transacted with cryptocurrency exchanges since. The central bank said the decision was necessary to prevent crimes and mitigate risks. As the renewed ban came into effect, trading volume in peer-to-peer (P2P) markets skyrocketed quickly. By April, P2P Bitcoin trading in Nigeria had increased by 27% as citizens flocked to the alternative Bitcoin on-ramp. Although the CBN had banned financial institutions from dealing with BTC, local media outlet Today AG
reported that the central bank did not impose restrictions on Nigerians’ Bitcoin usage. That subtle difference, paired with Bitcoin’s decentralized and uncensorable nature, allowed citizens to work around the ban on exchanges and resort to pure P2P solutions to acquire BTC.
90% Of All 21 Million Bitcoin Have Now Been Mined
Over 90% of the total amount of Bitcoin that will ever exist has already been mined, according to data from the Clark Moody Bitcoin Dashboard
. As the monetary network advances in awareness and usage worldwide, fueling an increased demand for BTC, a sudden and robust supply shock might become inevitable. The Bitcoin network, the only form of digital cash that manages to solve the double-spending problem in a properly distributed and trustless manner, enforces a supply cap of 21 million coins through its consensus protocol, run by tens of thousands of nodes worldwide. A predictable and unchangeable monetary policy is one of the core aspects that make Bitcoin appealing, especially in the face of the reality of fiat and “crypto
” currencies —
the supply and monetary policy of which can change based on the decision of a select few people. The peer-to-peer (P2P) electronic money is sound, contrary to soft fiat money. Nobody has the power to inflate the supply of Bitcoin the same way nobody can reduce it. The Bitcoin network is “rules without rulers
,” and the rules are written in stone. Although “we are still early
” has become a meme, it is most likely true. Only a tiny subset of society understands what Bitcoin is and it’s potential for empowering regular citizens. People living in privileged communities that enjoy high levels of freedom and individual rights can be quick to dismiss Bitcoin; however, the P2P cash system can also empower them.
German Savings Bank To Offer Bitcoin Trading
Sparkasse, a German savings bank, is working to implement a Bitcoin trading offering for its 50 million customers, according to a report by Finance Forward
. The old municipal institution is reportedly preparing a service with which clients could start buying and selling BTC as early as next year. The report said the previously secret project is located at the center of the DSV Group, the Deutsche Sparkassenverlag, whose subsidiaries and associated companies are closely involved with the savings bank organization Sparkasse. A dedicated team at the S-Payment division, where payment solutions for private and corporate customers of the savings banks are developed and marketed, is working on the project. The Sparkassen
are centuries-old regional institutions run by local supervisory boards composed of city council representatives and management boards consisting of banking professionals. Savings banks only provide services to their region and focus on loan activities and regional development. According to a local news outlet Stern
report, the savings banks are the market leaders among German financial institutions. Their entrance into the Bitcoin market would enable a broader target group to trade BTC as other large banks have not ventured into the nascent sector. Sparkasse committees will reportedly vote on the project at the beginning of 2022. If approved, the first version of the Bitcoin trading offering could be launched later that year. However, given the regional principle of the savings bank, each of the 370 branches will independently decide whether or not to introduce the new feature. The offering would cut down middlemen like Bitcoin exchanges and not require additional verification procedures or intermediary transactions. Sparkasse customers would reportedly be able to access Bitcoin trading directly from their checking accounts.
As we coast through another week, we live through another hump of adoption. Nothing can stop Bitcoin!