May 22 is known as the Bitcoin Pizza Day after computer programmer Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 bitcoins for two delivered Papa John’s pizzas in 2010.
Being one of the earliest well-known purchases in the history of Bitcoin makes it an iconic day. Those 10,000 BTC that has been offered for two large pizzas worth $40 is now worth about $90 million.
Hanyecz organized his pizza offer on bitcointalk forum,
“You can make the pizza yourself and bring it to my house or order it for me from a delivery place, but what I’m aiming for is getting food delivered in exchange for bitcoins where I don’t have to order or prepare it myself, kind of like ordering a ‘breakfast platter’ at a hotel or something, they just bring you something to eat and you’re happy!”
In his first television interview with CBS News last year, Hanyecz shared,
“I honestly thought it would be really cool if I could say, ‘Hey, I just traded this, you know, open source internet money for a real world good.”
But Hanyecz didn’t stop after the first real-word transaction that involved cryptocurrency, he continued spending Bitcoin.
He minted and spent about 100,000 BTC in all, which would have been now worth more than $900 million, much of it on pizza, Hanyecz shared on “60 Minutes.”
2nd post by Hanyecz for another “open offer.” He also got the pizza on May 22nd.
Despite the price of bitcoin skyrocketing, Hanyecz isn’t really phased out about his deal as he told the NY Times in 2014,
“It wasn’t like Bitcoins had any value back then, so the idea of trading them for a pizza was incredibly cool. No one knew it was going to get so big.”
A freshly formed consortium known as Asia Pacific Provenance Council is banking on blockchain to enhance efficiency in supply chains that exports Australian agricultural surplus estimated to be worth about $76 billion to China each year.
The consortium has partnered with VeChain public blockchain which will enable solo shipments containing agricultural produce such as avocados which will be tracked from their Australian picking point of pick up to their arrival in China for consumers to buy them. The partnership will enable each member of the supply chain to easily confirm the products that have been shipped, their location as well as their storage conditions such as temperature, humidity and other components.
VeChain will also offer Australian companies such as Fresh Supply Co (FSC) fresh product tracking capabilities like exporters as well as logistics operators to record how different agricultural lots are moving via supply chains, international shipment service providers as well as customs.
David Inderias, Fresh Supply Co CEO stated that the technology will be helpful in improving trust among those involved. He explained:
“…being able to say that our products are safe, and that we have tracked them, is going to be table stakes for dealing with China.”
The current COVID-19 pandemic and its effects all over the world, necessitated the urgency of the partnership, VeChain stated. The firm explained that the pandemic is a threat to producers of food and manufacturers as well as vendors all over the world.
VeChain explained that it seeks to become an enabler empowering its partners with blockchain technology to help in development of apps for different sectors of the economy.
In a statement shared with Bitcoin Exchange Guide, VeChain CEO Sunny Lu explained how the platform will help in the current COVID-19 crisis. He said:
“The implementation of blockchain technology certainly contributes to buffering the immediate economic impacts of the pandemic for the enterprises, and will help improve productivity by unleashing more resources and growth opportunities.”
In the recent past, public awareness when it comes to food safety has gone up and blockchain technology will help in keeping with the track.
Famous crypto trader J0E007 famously known for betting against Bitcoin’s price disappeared from the internet after Bitcoin’s price recently hit $10k. This has led to unrealized losses amounting to $21million. He has since then deleted his Twitter and Bitfinex accounts.
Before his accounts self-destructed, J0E007 left a farewell letter on his twitter timeline on May 7th saying his journey was undoubtedly very exciting but had now come to an end. He described his stay as having been experimental. J0E who had specialized in betting against Bitcoin’s price to drop, made all the headlines when he netted $10million in 5 minutes back in February this year when the price dropped. However his fortunes were soon to reverse when Bitcoin’s pre halving rally recently began to pick up the pace.
An unexpected price hike
The price of BTC recently went up to $10,000 and this is when things started going south for J0E007. His unrealized losses spiked up to $21million on the Bitfinex Leaderboard. The price Leaderboard was introduced in 2019 to allow anyone to view performance of traders listed on the board, this including realized profits and unrealized losses. The $21million unrealized loss earned J0E a top traders spot but on the opposite end, the red zone. This also led to J0E withdrawing himself from the Bitfinex Leaderboard meaning his trades would not be publicly displayed.
Recording on average $10million in gains every month, J0E had created a name for himself on the cryptocurrency futures market as arguably the most profitable Bitcoin trader. In the space of 8 months running from September 2019 to April of 2020, Joe007 outwitted all traders listed on the leaderboard combined. In that same span, he had made $61 million in profit while the rest realized a $25 million loss.
J0E believed in the shorting trading strategy which banks on asset prices falling in the future. By definition, for him to make a profit, Bitcoin’s price has to go down. On this occasion, unfortunately for him Bitcoin’s price skyrocketed up to $10,000.
Bitcoin proving to be a performing asset
According to coindesk after breaking the 10,000 threshold mark since February, Bitcoin jumped 6% causing a $13 billion surge in market value for the entire crypto market. Binance recorded record-high volume of 23 billion daily value for its BTC-USDT trading pair. As much as BTC is left vulnerable to crashes after sudden price spikes, this trend has seemingly eased in the past month. The risk of Bitcoin long squeeze is not as high as seen in previous trends.
Popular analyst PlanB who is known for his scarcity-based stock-to-flow model recently in an interview on Peter McCormack’s podcast What Bitcoin Did talk about how Bitcoin is “not a toy anymore.” From a toy, the digital asset has evolved into magical internet money and now to dollar parity.
Reflecting on the world’s leading cryptocurrency’s past ten years, the analyst said bitcoin may not even be an asset anymore as “it’s gonna be much bigger than that.”
Further moving onto his model, he points out a very famous quote about models that says, ‘“all models are wrong but some are useful’ and that’s very true.” As for his updated S2FX model,
“it’s more useful (than the original S2F) because it forces you to think in phases, in big steps – in this case, a hundred billion dollar Bitcoin into a multiple trillion-dollar Bitcoin market value. That’s a huge leap and it’s not gonna be a gradual thing that something is going to change in the next couple of years.”
If it doesn’t then all bets are off which means the model will break.
“I would be very happy if it would only forecast the next halving or maybe two halvings correct that would be very useful right now,” said the analyst.
Reciting another famous quote, “I’d rather be roughly right than exactly wrong.” PlanB said “that’s why I always talk about orders of magnitude right with this model It’s not about the exact dollar value of Bitcoin.”
The S2FX model doesn’t provide precise targets rather rough ones. The actual Bitcoin will be above or below, scattered around that target.
Instead of getting married to the model and putting all the belief and money into it, which is “so stupid,” the model should be seen as a way of structuring thinking about something and maybe get some rough direction from it, he added.
Issue with the $288,000 in 2021
As we have reported, this model has a number of critics. Bitfinex bitcoin whale Joe007 is one of those who had said,
“One problem with the S2F model is that it’s divergent, predicting a ridiculous price of $1 trillion BTC by 2050 and infinity after 2140. An alternative FSM model is convergent and more realistic. But if you expect $1M BTC any time soon you may be disappointed.”
The bitcoin whale, however, does believe in Bitcoin which he said is “much more than just a currency.” He said earlier this year,
“It’s a completely new social technology: non-political non-confiscatable self-sovereign extra-hard money. I expect it to precipitate a transition of humanity to a completely new economic and social order that will slowly emerge over time.”
This latest model meanwhile also puts the bitcoin price at $288k, up from $100k projected by the original S2F model. This means the price could be both over and below this fixed price line from 2020-2024.
However, not everyone believes in these numbers.
Crypto enthusiast Tyler Durden said the problem with this new high is the daily volume required to take bitcoin to $288,000. This can’t happen in a single daily candle and as such needs “sustained volume over a fairly medium-term time frame.”
My issue with #btc at $288,000 in 2021 is not the price – I believe it’s true value is higher – it’s the daily volume required up there.
$1/4bil to cover the output alone. Today it’s $14.4mil.
In the middle of the largest liquidity crises the world has ever seen.
The well known artificial intelligence (AI) firm SenseTime, valued at $7.5 billion, has officially partnered with China’s digital currency research institute, an offshoot of the Chinese Central Bank, to help in accelerating the creation of digital yuan.
SenseTime, which is based in Hong Kong, announced that the deal will see the startup offer its expertise on accelerating, innovating as well as implementing the applications for AI technology within the Chinese financial sector.
SenseTime and China’s Central Bank – The Finer Print
According to the deal, SenseTime will collaborate with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) to enhance risk control as well as operational capacity among the financial institutions across China.
SenseTime will now consult the Digital Currency Research Institute in the creation of a joint research division that will oversee the adoption of AI within the financial space in China.
“The two parties will jointly establish a research and innovation body, take application scenarios as guidance, jointly develop applications of AI technology in financial scenarios, and accelerate the advancement of AI innovation research in the financial field.”
SenseTime’s Background of Exciting Innovation
Established in 2014, SenseTime provides expert services on facial recognition as well as images but on a large scale. The startup has since attracted numerous clients and partners over time such as Weibo, Alibaba, Xiaomi, and Huawei.
The firm is backed by Alibaba, which led SenseTime’s funding round with an investment of $600 million back in 2018. SenseTime is also backed by big names such as Temasek Holdings (Singapore’s state investment company), SoftBank Vision Fund, Qualcomm Ventures, and others.
China has been keen on the introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), and is currently conducting a pilot program of its digital yuan in four cities including Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu, and Xiongan.
The American restaurant giants McDonald’s and Starbucks are some of the firms involved in digital yuan piloting in Xiong’an, for example. Reportedly, China is aiming to introduce the use of digital yuan across the country in May 2020.
Known by people all over the word for their automobiles, BMW, announced they will launch a new blockchain supply solution in 2020, to no less than 10 suppliers.
The new blockchain platform, PartChain has already passed successful testing by BMW last year. Previously the platform’s model of the blockchain was to ensure immediate data transparency and traceability for car parts across supply chains in which many international parties are engaged.
Automotive Lighting and 2 BMW Plants Ran the Pilot
The solution pilot for tracking and purchasing front lights had in 2019 involved 2 BMW plants from a total of 31, and 3 locations of the Automotive Lighting supplier. One of the BMW AG’s Board of Management members, Andreas Wendt, who’s also responsible with the Group’s purchase and supply network, said BMW is planning to expand to more suppliers in 2020, precisely to 10 of them.
Blockchain Gets Combined with Cloud Tech
According to Wendt, BMW’s blockchain plan was to use blockchain in order to create a platform that’s open and allows data between the Group and supply chains to be shared safely and anonymously. Since the pilot was used only for component tracking, the plan is for BMW to extend the platform’s applications to manufacturing raw materials. Aside from blockchain, which provides the collection of data and transaction in a tamper-proof way, PartChain employs Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services technologies.
PartChain to Be Shared with MOBI
Wendt also said that BMW has the intention to share PartChain with Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) members. MOBI was co-founded by BMW in 2018. It was created after BMW, Renault, Ford and GM decided to collaborate with major blockchain, engineering and tech firms, amongst which the biggest names are IOTA, IBM, Hyperledger and Bosch.
The MOBI Vehicle Identity Standard was created, and it’s a program based on blockchain database for identity numbers of vehicles, supporting digital certificates of ownership, warranty, mileage and identity of vehicle, information that can be kept in an electronic wallet.
Telegram’s Open Network (TON) Initial coin Offering saw a few well known names as investors in the Gram tokens (GRAM) ICO project, such as Mikhail Abyzov, former Russian Minister of Open Government Affairs, Russian-Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich, and Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs’s widow.
According to BlockTV, she was an early investor in the blockchain project. She invested $5 million or more since $5 million was the minimum amount for an entry in the pre-sale funding round. Laurene Powell Jobs inherited around $20 billion from her husband. Today, she’s a businesswoman, the social change organization Emerson Collective’s executive and a philanthropist.
Telegram Raised Around $1.7 Billion from the ICO
In 2018, Telegram managed to raise around $1.7 billion with its ICO. The company that has Pavel and Nikolai Durov as founders encountered some problems with the (SEC) and no longer launched the project. The SEC states there are thirty nine investors that were committed investors of the TON’s ICO.
Telegram Didn’t Register the Token Sale
The charge brought by the SEC against Telegram is that the token sale was never registered, which represents a violation of the law in the US. 1 billion GRAM was bought by American investors, at a price starting somewhere under $1. The total of tokens bought by 171 people and organizations from across the world was 2.9 billion tokens.
The US Markets Saturated with Illegal TON
Last year, the SEC stopped Telegram’s token offering, saying it doesn’t want the US markets to be flooded with tokens that were sold illegally. Here’s what Stephanie Avakian from the SEC’s Division of Enforcement had to say about the matter:
“We allege that the defendants have failed to provide investors with information regarding Grams and Telegram’s business operations, financial condition, risk factors, and management that the securities laws require.”
Telegram Still Launching a Blockchain Platform
In spite of all that happened, Telegram is still developing and planning on initiating their blockchain platform. In early 2020, the exchange released a notice of the TON and GRAM tokens to the public. Aside from Laurene Powell Jobs, Roman Abramovich, the Russian Israeli billionaire, and former Minister of Open Government Affairs in Russia, Mikhail Abyzov, also participated to the ICO.
The aggrieved investors stated that they had lost about $2 million during the scheme, and T.I and others mentioned in the case were used to promote the scam. Panell Jr., a US District Judge handling the case, agreed with T.I’s legal counsel and cleared him of the allegations.
The judge stated that the aggrieved parties only alleged that T.I, through his twitter handle, urged his followers to have a look at the FLiK ICO website. The judge continued to state that the plaintiff failed to offer further details on the alleged value of the FLiK tokens and, as a result, the facts provided do not amount to the level of particularity needed for such a case.
The Judge also threw out the claims by the plaintiff that T.I being part of the FLiK ICO marketing activities were contrary to Georgia’s Uniform Securities Act.
The judge explained that all those who participated in the FLiK ICO exercise had no known ties with Georgia state. The judge also said that the prosecutors failed to show how T.I’s twitter activities influenced the investors’ decisions to invest in the scheme.
T.I is just one of the celebrities who have been fighting cases for their activities in drumming up token sales during the 2017 ICO-mania. Recently, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fined Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled about $800,000 for their activities in advocating the CentraTech ICO scam.
The famous Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce, also known as the CryptoMom in the blockchain community, wants crypto projects to have a real chance at being successful without worrying about US securities laws.
1/ 🚨BREAKING🚨: SEC Commissioner @HesterPierce today publicly proposed a safe harbor for token sellers building decentralized networks.
It is an elegant solution to the most complex legal challenge of this crypto era.
She unveiled her proposal while holding a speech at the Chicago International Blockchain Congress on Thursday, and said crypto startups should be given a 3-year period of grace since they have sold their first token, in order for them to achieve enough decentralization and pass the evaluations conducted by SEC, the Howey Test conducted by the US Supreme Court included. Here is what some notes in the proposal are saying:
“The analysis of whether a token is offered or sold as a security is not static and does not strictly inhere to the digital asset.”
This means some tokens may seem like a security at the launch, but when mature enough, they no longer appear to be one.
Peirce Has Brought Safe Harbor Up Before
It’s not the first time that Pierce has come up with the idea of a safe harbor, but on Thursday, she made her proposal official. If other SEC commissioners adopt it, crypto projects would have to conform to some strict requirements when it comes to raising funds through a token sale. Code and personal disclosures, also public notices would have to be released. This is what Peirce’s notes say about this:
“The safe harbor is also designed to protect token purchasers by requiring disclosures tailored to the needs of the purchasers and preserving the application of the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws.”
Consumer Protection Increased
In an effort to increase consumer protection, Peirce said the project’s source code, token economics, transaction history and a history of other token sales that took place in the past should also be disclosed. She added the proposal is dependent upon development teams taking action in good faith, so it can’t be available to those teams that have disqualified members for the reason of being bad actors under the securities laws. Also, projects resulted from fraud or illegal activities would not be protected, as she exactly said:
“SEC enforcement has played an important role in combating fraud in connection with token sales.”
“The safe harbor would not provide immunity from such actions.”
Exclusivity Won’t Be Offered
Projects involved can still make operations under the existing federal securities laws. However, the proposal wouldn’t apply to already operational projects, but more to those in their early development stages, so that communities and networks are getting built more easily.
The major financial authority in the UK, known as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), wants to hire a cryptocurrency specialist.
More specifically, the FCA wishes to work with someone who has crypto expertise in order to know how to address digital assets according to the EU’s 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5). At least this is what an FCA LinkedIn posting from February 6 says. AMLD5 came into effect last month, on the 10th. It represents the efforts made by authorities to deal with money laundering activities in Europe.
The Expert Will Be a Part of the Core Function Team at the FCA
While the UK exited the EU 6 days ago, on January 31, the British government still needs to pay attention to the European cryptocurrency law that has recently been enforced, this being the reason why it’s looking for a crypto expert to join its core function team, which is the team dealing with intelligence and has been responsible with the interpretation of the AMLD5 regulation since January this year. As the job posting says, this person would be responsible with the enforcement and supervision of the regulation, also with processing applications of firms wanting to join the financial services industry in the UK.
The FCA Has Been Very Active in the Crypto Space
The FCA has many times made its voice heard in the crypto space. It has approved the operations of important firms in the industry and closely investigated what happened in the country’s crypto space. Back in July 2019, it announced that it won’t regulate 2 of the most used cryptocurrencies in the world: Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).
The FCA’s new action on AMLD5 arrives soon after the agency made the official announcement that it’s going to start supervising AML compliance of crypto companies in the country. It has been reported that the rules FCA plans to impose are going to be very stringent.