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This Week in Crypto...

September 19, 2021
During the Weekend, the Bitcoin (BTC) network logged its 700,000th block, a major milestone. At the time of the last 100,000-block milestone (two years ago) the BTC price was worth less than $8,000. Today, one BTC is worth nearly $48,000. Even though almost 90% of BTC that can exist have already been mined, at the current pace of block production, the final BTC will be mined around the year 2140.

Javier Argueta, a legal adviser to El Salvador’s President, announced that in order to encourage foreign investment, the country will reportedly exempt investors from paying a capital gains tax and an income tax on Bitcoin (BTC). Argueta also said that El Salvador’s official BTC wallet, Chivo, would temporarily halt BTC transactions if the value of BTC fell substantially to minimize the impact of price fluctuations or extreme volatility.

On Monday, 

Cardano successfully completed its Alonzo hard fork and launched its long-awaited smart contract functionality. The Alonzo fork enables smart contracts to be written for Cardano using Plutus scripts, which the team describes as “a purpose-built smart contract development language and execution platform using the functional programming language Haskell.” The team also told excited users to manage their expectations of the infant program.

President Biden announced his picks to fill the vacancies in the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). In addition to Kristin Johnson and Christy Goldsmith Romero for commissioner seats, he asked acting chairperson of the CFTC Rostin Behnam to assume his position on a permanent basis. All nominations must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a simple majority vote. According to her faculty profile at the Emory University School of Law, Johnson has been examining the implications of emerging innovative tech like distributed digital ledger technologies.

On Tuesday,

Google partnered with blockchain studio Dapper Labs to develop an NFT marketplace. As part of the deal, Google Cloud will serve as a network operator for Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain. The partnership will help Dapper expand its operations through scalable and secure infrastructure provided by Google.

Maxime Bernier, founder and leader of the People's Party of Canada, said in a tweet that he supports the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country. He said cryptocurrencies are “another new and innovative way” to counter the actions by central banks, which he claimed are “destroying our money and economy.” The tweet comes before a Canadian federal election scheduled for next Monday.

On Wednesday,

European Union officials announced a $177 billion investment fund for blockchain, data infrastructure, 5G, and quantum computing, among others. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission stressed the importance of investing in digital technology for the entire region. The $177 billion investment fund is about 20% of the $887 billion stimulus package agreed upon by EU leaders.

Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu spoke at a meeting of the Exchequer Club and listed cryptocurrency and decentralized finance activity among the innovations contributing to disintermediation of the banking system. Hsu attributed previous failures of U.S. financial regulators to the “siloed” nature of various regulatory bodies’ operations.

On Thursday,

Crypto became a legal method of payment for commercial transactions and investments in Cuba. The legislation (Resolution 215 of 2021) contains provisions for a licensing framework for crypto exchanges and other virtual asset service providers operating in Cuba. Among many other perks, Cubans will enjoy easier remittance flows from overseas despite the United States embargo.

A bronze statue of the enigmatic Bitcoin (BTC) creator Satoshi Nakamoto was unveiled at Graphisoft Park in Budapest. The sculpture shows the upper half of a figure with a featureless face wearing a hoodie with the BTC logo. The co-founder of the statue project said at the unveiling “Whoever he or she was, Bitcoin creates value, and especially the technology behind Bitcoin, blockchain, creates value.”

On Friday,

PayPal announced that all eligible customers in the United Kingdom can now buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies using their PayPal accounts. Customers can trade four major cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The move marks the first expansion of PayPal’s cryptocurrency services beyond the United States.

El Salvador exceeded United Kingdom’s crypto ATM count, becoming the country with the third largest crypto ATM network. Last month, the country was 43rd on the list with only four functional ATMs. In one month, they were able to install 201 machines and become third (behind the U.S. and Canada).


For more information, visit: 
Bitcoin Has Been Able To Log 700,000th Block With Network | (digitalmarketnews.com)
Foreign investors exempt from tax on bitcoin profits: El Salvador (yahoo.com)
Cardano gains smart contract capability following ‘Alonzo’ hard fork (fxstreet.com)
President Biden announces picks to fill CFTC vacancies (cointelegraph.com)
Google Partners With Dapper Labs to Power Flow Blockchain - BeInCrypto
Canadian Prime Ministerial Contender Comes Out in Support of Bitcoin Days Prior to General Election - The Daily Hodl
EU set to invest $177B in blockchain and other novel technologies (cointelegraph.com)
OCC's Hsu Addresses Need for Cryptocurrency Oversight (bankinfosecurity.in)
Cuba brings crypto regulations, makes crypto a legal payment method | Invezz
Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto honored with a statue | Tokeneo
UK users can now join Americans in trading crypto on PayPal | Invezz
El Salvador ranks third in global Bitcoin ATM installations, data finds (cointelegraph.com)

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