ProBit Bits — ProBit Global’s Weekly Blockchain Bits Vol. 51

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 Bitcoin Price Crosses $30,000 Mark For First Time in Almost a Year

The price of Bitcoin broke through the $30,000 range last week for the first time since June.

NYDIG, a fintech company that offers dedicated Bitcoin services, notes in research that Bitcoin saw a 71.9% rise in Q1 2023 as its correlations with “risk-on” assets such as US equities declined steadily.

Some of the factors the company highlights as having contributed to Bitcoin’s performance include the banking crisis affecting regional banks in the US and the controversial usefulness of the cryptocurrency as a hedge against inflation. Other reasons noted are the cyclical nature of Bitcoin prices and the coming Bitcoin's block reward halving that is scheduled to happen next year.  

 Chinese TikTok Flashes Bitcoin Ticker to 700 Million Users

Last week, there were reports suggesting that Douyin, the Chinese counterpart of short-form video hosting service, TikTok, added the Bitcoin (BTC) price ticker to feature on its platform.

With about 700 million daily active users and the most downloaded short video-sharing platform in China, the new function introduces users searching about Bitcoin to a display of its current highest, lowest, and the previous day's closing prices.

However, the update was short-lived as local media later reported that the price ticker was taken down a few hours after it went live.  

The ticker being taken down did not come as a surprise, considering that social media is tightly controlled in China and crypto-related transactions had been declared illegal in the country.

Meanwhile, it could be recalled—as we recently reported here—that major Chinese banks have been cozying up to crypto firms of late.  

 Tether, Lugano City Take Bitcoin Education to Swiss Universities

The city of Lugano in Switzerland last week announced the second Plan ₿ Summer School which seeks to take Bitcoin education to Swiss universities.

The program, supported by Tether technology company which powers the largest stablecoin by market cap, USDT, will offer attendees the chance to learn about Bitcoin, stablecoins, Peer-to-Peer technologies, regulation, and the fundamentals of coding, among others, over two weeks. Interested students would be expected to have a strong interest in Bitcoin and Peer-to-Peer technologies, currently be studying or just completed studies, and be fluent in English.

The program will also enable students to work in teams to develop their ideas and proof of concepts through Bitcoin and P2P technologies to participate in a pitch competition at the end of the two-week session to win a total prize of 9,000 USDT.  

 Arrest Made in Cash App Founder’s Murder Case  

In a follow-up to the killing of Bob Lee, the founder of mobile payment service, Cash App, San Francisco police last week arrested a tech consultant, Nima Momeni, for the stabbing that killed the software engineer.

Momeni, a UC Berkeley graduate and the founder of Expand IT, will be charged with Lee’s murder, according to the police. They portrayed Lee and Momeni as being familiar with one another, as the two had reportedly been driving through downtown San Francisco together in Momeni's car before they had a confrontation. Momeni was held without bail at San Francisco County Jail until his arraignment, according to DA Brooke Jenkins.

Twitter Allows Users to Access Financial Info

Another major news came out of Twitter last week. The microblogging site announced it started allowing its users to access stocks, cryptocurrencies, and other financial assets through the platform in collaboration with a social trading company, eToro.

The new feature on the Twitter app allows users to view market charts, buy and sell stocks, and other assets from eToro. The partnership will expand Twitter’s ‘cashtags’ feature, which users have been using to search for a ticker symbol to get price information from TradingView, to cover far more instruments and asset classes.

The previous week had seen Twitter replace the site’s bird logo with the image of a Shiba Inu, the logo of Dogecoin (DOGE).

 US Drops Draft Stablecoin Bill  

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee published a draft version of a potential landmark stablecoin bill that seeks to “provide requirements for payment stablecoin issuers, research on a digital dollar, and for other purposes.”

Amongst other things, it contains a general prohibition that states that it shall be unlawful for anyone to engage in issuing a payment stablecoin in the US through any means or to persons in the country unless it is a subsidiary of an insured depository institution that has approval or a non-bank entity licensed by the Board after a submission process. It says the process shall require the applicant to publish notice of such application in a newspaper circulating in its main office’s immediate or nearest communities.

 Ethereum Price Holds Firm Following Shapella Upgrade

As mentioned in our recent explainer on the likely impact of the Shapella upgrade on the Ether (ETH) token price, all eyes were last week on the staked ETH after the much-awaited fork.

token.unlocks showed that about 240,000 ETH was withdrawn by validators in the first 30 hours after the upgrade while about 100,000 ETH was deposited with 1.01 million ETH waiting to be withdrawn. However, by Friday, over 269.980 ETH had been withdrawn while about 111.970 had been deposited.

The impact on the Ethereum economy was not dire. Analytics firm, Glassnode, had estimated that a low total of 170,000 ETH would be sold after the upgrade.

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