Crypto News

Cardano price dips after smart contract launch, Walmart working with Litecoin is fake news, Coinbase raises $2B from junk-bond sale: Hodler’s Digest, Sept. 12-18

Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Cardano launches smart contracts after successful hard fork

After years of anticipation, Charles Hoskinson’s brainchild, Cardano, finally launched its smart contract functionality via the Alonzo hard fork on Monday. You’d think the result of this would be some bullish price action for ADA but, alas, its price dropped 10% following the rollout. 

While Cardano was keen to celebrate the milestone, it also emphasized in a blog post that it’s still in the “early days” of the project, adding that now is when “the mission truly begins.”

The team also urged its community to not be overzealous in boarding the hype train just yet, and to be patient with the smart contract functionality in its formative stages: 

“There are high expectations resting on this upgrade. Some unreasonably so. Cardano watchers may be expecting a sophisticated ecosystem of consumer-ready DApps available immediately after the upgrade. Expectations need to be managed here.”

Fake news: Litecoin price surges 35% following Walmart adoption hoax

While real news made the price of ADA drop, fake news made the price of Litecoin (LTC) pump this week.

Numerous publications reported Monday that Walmart planned to have a “pay with Litecoin option” for its e-commerce websites starting on Oct. 1 as part of a partnership with the Litecoin Foundation. Following the spread of the fake report, the price of LTC surged 35% before sharply falling within hours. 

A spokesperson from Walmart confirmed that the news was fake within an hour, while the Litecoin Foundation’s director of marketing, Jay Milla, also told Cointelegraph that the announcement did not come from Litcecoin’s side of things.  

“The Litecoin Foundation has yet to enter into a partnership with Walmart,” said Milla.

Vitalik Buterin makes list of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2021

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of this year, joining the likes of Naomi Osaka, Britney Spears, Xi Jinping and Elon Musk. 

Buterin was featured in the “Innovators” section of the Time 100 list, with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian authoring his profile. Ohanian highlighted Buterin’s work in building the Ethereum network and encouraging the development of decentralized apps and NFTs.

“No one person could’ve possibly come up with all of the uses for Ethereum, but it did take one person’s idea to get it started,” Ohanian said. “From there, a new world has opened up, and given rise to new ways of leveraging blockchain technology.”

Coinbase increases junk-bond offering to $2B after investors swarm

After seeing enormous demand for its $1.5 billion junk-bond offering that was announced on Monday, Coinbase reportedly increased the size of the sale to $2 billion. 

According to a report from The Economic Times, there was at least $7 billion worth of orders that were placed in competition for seven- and 10-year bonds offering interest rates of 3.375% and 3.625%, respectively.

Coinbase stated on Monday that the raised funds will be put towards “continued investments in product developments” and “potential investments in or acquisitions of other companies, products, or technologies” in the future. 

The funds might also come in handy when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, comes knocking on the door with a lawsuit if the USD coin lending program is actually launched.

US lawmakers propose adding digital assets to ‘wash sale’ rule and raising capital gains tax

Reports surfaced this week that Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives proposed tax initiatives that could swipe some extra profits from the gains of “certain high-income” crypto users. 

According to a document released by the House Committee on Ways and Means on Monday, the proposal would increase the tax rate on long-term capital gains from the existing 20% to 25%. 

On the same day, President Joe Biden said he planned to nominate acting chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Rostin Behnam, to assume the role permanently, while also naming Kristin Johnson and Christy Goldsmith Romero to fill two other vacant commissioner seats. 

In a private meeting held on Sept. 8 between Fidelity Digital Assets President Tom Jessop, six of the firm’s executives and several SEC officials, the executives outlined a number of reasons why the enforcer should finally approve the Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund. 

These examples included increased demand for digital assets, the prevalence of similar funds in other countries, and the rise of Bitcoin adoption — all of which sound like reasons that would fall on deaf ears for the SEC.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $46,951, Ether at $3,376 and XRP at $1.07. The total market cap is at $2.11 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Curve DAO Token (CRV) at 41.73%, Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR) at 41.16% and Avalanche (AVAX) at 33.23%. 

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Arweave (AR) at -19.24%, Solana (SOL) at -21.27% and Revain (REV) at -17.11%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“Many platforms have dozens or hundreds of tokens on them. While each token’s legal status depends on its own facts and circumstances, the probability is quite remote that, with 50, 100, or 1,000 tokens, any given platform has zero securities.”

Gary Gensler, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman

“One can even see an inscription about the regulator’s obligations on the banknotes, while cryptocurrency is not backed by anything.”

Behzod Khamraev, Central Bank of Uzbekistan deputy chairman

“Advocates say crypto markets are all about financial inclusion, but the people who are most economically vulnerable are the ones who are most likely to have to withdraw their money the fastest when the market drops. […] High, unpredictable fees can make crypto trading really dangerous for people who aren’t rich.”

Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator

“Rising valuations across asset classes, massive price swings in cryptoassets and event-driven risks observed in 1H21 amid elevated trading volumes raise questions about increased risk-taking behaviour and possible market exuberance.”

The European Securities and Markets Authority

“It’s a no-brainer that your crypto earnings are taxable like other income and should be declared in the Income Tax Returns. As of now, it is not clear whether the GST would be applied on the amount of cryptocurrency bought or on the transaction fees paid by the user.”

Nischal Shetty, WazirX CEO

“If a person has assets in Bitcoin and makes high profits, there will be no tax. This is done obviously to encourage foreign investment.”

Javier Argueta, legal adviser to El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele

“While it might be helpful for the SEC to provide advisory guidance to companies, it has no obligation to do so.”

Marc Powers, former SEC Division of Enforcement officer

“In a situation where the relevant taxation infrastructure is not sufficiently established, the deferral of taxation on virtual assets is not an option, but an inevitable situation.”

Noh Woong-rae, South Korea National Assembly member

Prediction of the Week 

New Bitcoin price model suggests BTC won’t go below $39K again

Analyst William Clemente came up with a new metric for Bitcoin price boundary forecasts, posting the tool on Twitter this week. Called the “Illiquid Supply Floor,” the chart merges PlanB’s stock-to-flow metric and on-chain Bitcoin supply data from Glassnode. The result? A chart showing Bitcoin’s current price against the backdrop of possible upper and lower price range boundaries. 

Bitcoin’s price rallied this week, showing recovery after the asset took a sizable dive down to the $43,000 range during the week of Sept. 7

According to Clemente’s chart, the $39,000 price range could be the current bottom limit for Bitcoin’s price should it drop once again, given “a price floor based on Bitcoin’s real-time scarcity” — Clemente’s description of the lower limit on the chart.  

FUD of the Week 

Solana and Arbitrum knocked offline, while Ethereum evades attack

The recent Solana-rama was temporarily brought to a halt this week after the supposed “ETH killer” suffered a denial-of-service disruption for around 45 minutes.

Twitter account Solana Status explained that a large increase in transaction load to 400,000 per second overwhelmed the network, creating the denial-of-service and causing the network to start forking. The incident appears to have slightly damped enthusiasm in SOL, as the price is down 26% over the past seven days. 

Ethereum layer-two rollup network Arbitrum One also reported its sequencer had gone offline for roughly 45 minutes this week, while Ethereum was also the subject of an unsuccessful node attack from an unknown identity.

OpenSea exec used the platform’s influence to pump his own NFTs

Earlier this week, OpenSea head of product Nathan Chastain was named and shamed after he was outed for hyping NFTs he purchased and then featuring them on the homepage of the popular marketplace.

While being bullish on NFTs is nothing new, getting caught for tokenized insider trading is — and Nathan Chastain is estimated to have earned at least 18.875 Ether (ETH), $65,700 at time of writing, from his antics.   

OpenSea officially confirmed the accusations on Wednesday, noting that it was “incredibly disappointing,” and emphasized that the behavior did not represent the firm’s values. Chastain then proceeded to hand in his resignation the following day with his tail between his legs.

Protesters burn Bitcoin ATM as part of demonstration against El Salvador president

Anti-Bitcoiners and protesters of El Savador President Nayib Bukele’s policies destroyed a BTC ATM in the nation’s capital city on Wednesday. 

Local news outlets shared images of the ATM burning in San Salvador within a crowd of journalists and protesters. The booth hosting the BTC ATM was defaced with anti-BTC graffiti and a sign saying “democracy is not for sale.”

Despite maintaining a strong approval rating, Bukele appears to have caused a stir with his forceful approach to politics. There have now been multiple protests in El Salvador regarding adoption of BTC, with activists taking the streets as early as July to voice their concerns.

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