Millennials trust Bitcoin more than Microsoft, Disney, Netflix stock View in browser

“Bitcoin will never die. It’s a pure form of economic interaction” ~ Jameson Lopp, CTO of Casa, Bitcoin node and custody service provider

Market State

The cryptocurrency market is still below $200 billion. During the last week Bitcoin experienced quite a price swing. It surged from $7100 to $7800 within 10 minutes. Currently Bitcoin is standing around $7317. Also last week the Bitcoin blockchain recorded almost 9 billion dollars worth of transaction in a single hour. This was the highest hourly transaction value in the entire history of Bitcoin. The Bitcoins were moved by the cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex, in 21 separate transactions, each of which transferred around 56000 BTC which is nearly $416 million for a fee of only $0.60

The Ether is more or less stable compared to last week. Ethereum’s Istanbul network upgrade has successfully taken place. The upgrade is expected to support 3000 transactions per second and keep low transaction fees. Despite the hard fork the price of Ether hardly moved. Currently Ether is trading at $147.

The list of countries interested in central bank issued digital currencies continues to increase. British Virgin Islands, home to cryptocurrency companies such as Tether and Bitfinex, is planning to release its own national cryptocurrency. The token will be 1:1 backed by US dollar. The Bank of France has also confirmed that it is planning to launch a central bank digital currency for financial institutions in 2020. People's Bank of China has been experimenting with a national digital currency since 2014. However, no clear launch date has been revealed yet.

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Quiz of the week

What is gas in Ethereum?

  1. A way of rewarding Ether miners
  2. A way of estimating number of Ethereum nodes in the network
  3. A way of measuring the amount of computational effort that will take to execute certain operations on Ethereum

Scroll down to see the answer at the end of the newsletter.

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Top stories of the week
Crypto Could Replace Cash by 2030 According to a Deutsche Bank Strategist

A recent research “Imagine 2030” by Deutsche Bank Research suggests cryptocurrencies could replace fiat currencies by 2030. The document presents 24 ideas for how the next decade may evolve. However the editors of the report admitted that they don’t have a crystal ball and not at all certain that the predictions will be proved true. Still the authors think it’s worth performing these thought experiments in order to prepare for the future. The 24 predictions come from several analysts. Two of the them address the increasing role of cryptocurrencies. The report highlighted the fragility of the current fiat system and warned that - this is mainly due to increasing expenditure in order to improve voter turnout - it will be put under the high inflation rate in the years ahead. 

The report says cryptocurrencies have always been additions rather than substitutes to the financial system despite their well-known benefits, such as security, speed, minimal transaction fees, ease of storage. But over the next decade the situation could change. Eventually, inflation could drive demand for alternative currencies from gold to crypto. Therefore the research predicts that cryptocurrencies may become the 21st century cash in the decade and the demand for them will likely be higher significantly by 2030. However the bank concludes that cryptocurrencies need to overcome three main hurdles which are legitimacy in the eyes of governments and regulators, price stability and global reach in the payment market. According to the document “cryptocurrencies may constitute the best tool for a digital war” and the question is which country will take advantage of being prepared for that. It’s worth noting that the survey further predicted that the number of blockchain wallet users would increase to 200 million by 2030.

Central Bank of France Will Be Testing Its Digital Currency in 2020

A French financial news site, Les Echos has reported that France has now joined the list of countries that are interested in creating their own digital currency. François Villeroy de Galhau, the governor of the Bank of France, announced that the bank is planning to test digital Euro by the end of the first quarter of 2020. The news was confirmed by the Bank of France on Twitter. The digital Euro will be restricted to financial institutions only and will not involve retail payments by individual customers. The initiative aims to strengthen the efficiency of the French financial system and ensure sovereignty of central banks against private initiatives Facebook's Libra stablecoin. According to Villeroy de Galhau there is no denying that digital payments are shifting towards big tech firms like Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook which is a threat to traditional banking business model and could also be a threat to European sovereignty. He said “It is no longer just about transforming our payment systems, it is our very currency that is at stake.”

Microsoft Announced Crypto Collectibles Rewards

Microsoft Azure has partnered with Enjin, a blockchain gaming company to launch a community incentives program called Azure Heroes, which will reward developers who contribute to its community by mentoring, creating content about Azure and more. Microsoft Azure is blockchain-enabled cloud computing service for developers to build, test and manage cloud applications and services. The two firms have developed crypto collectibles, also known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum blockchain. Crypto collectibles are one of a kind tokens, each token has its own unique parameters thus they are not interchangeable. Microsoft has announced six different digital badgers, each of which have a limited supply of between 100 and 10000. The tokens can be stored on the Enjin wallet. Their limited supply is publicly verifiable on the Enjin blockchain and the contributions required to earn each badge. The reward system will only be available in selected western European countries. The price of Enjin token surged by 55% since the announcement.

Millennials Trust Bitcoin More Than Microsoft, Disney, Netflix Stock

According to a recent report from brokerage firm Charles Schwab, more millenials own Bitcoin based investment (millenials were born between 1981-1996). The report published the investment strategies from different generations based on data from over 140 000 retirement plans of Schwab’s customers. The figures revealed that millennials hold 1.84% of their assets in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which ranked 5th in the holding list surpassing the stocks of Netflix, Microsoft and Disney. Millennials seemed to prefer tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, Tesla, Facebook which were at the top four spot of their stock holdings. Schwab’s report also showed that Generation X and Baby Boomers didn’t appear to be as fond of Bitcoin as the younger generation. Millennials were born between the early years of the 1980s to mid-years of the 1990s and they grew up using the internet. Thus the digital world and digital currency is far more natural to a millenial. Millennials have lived through the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 caused by the banks. Several other surveys have already found out that younger generations tend to favor Bitcoin rather than traditional financial assets, such as the Grayscale survey from July 2019.

A Bitcoin Wallet Is Sent To The International Space Station

SpaceChain, a Singapore based space blockchain organization that aims to build the world’s first open-source blockchain-based satellite network, has sent its blockchain hardware wallet technology to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Previously SpaceChain has sent two blockchain nodes into space in preparation of decentralized satellite network. However, according to SpaceChain the third node is fundamentally different from the other two nodes and will operate independently of SpaceChain’s past launches. SpaceChain developed their own software to make the third node compliant for use on the ISS.

This new wallet will not communicate with the previous nodes and all communications will route through the ISS feed to ground, therefore the connection will be slow, it will take hours for any single transaction to complete. But in this case being slow is a feature, not a bug, as they will use the satellite node to complete multisig transactions. Multisig transactions require multiple approvals in order to complete a transaction and in this case one of the three signatures will be provided by the satellite-based node. “We see so many crypto exchanges get hacked. And within two minutes the funds - millions of dollars - get transferred. By utilizing this channel we can not only secure transactions, but have a chance to intercept suspicious activity” - said Zee Zheng, CEO of SpaceChain. The based multisig technology might be an ideal solution for cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets and custodial services who hold large amounts of Bitcoin. According to Zheng these companies “are more than willing to trade a few extra hours for added peace of mind.”

In September, 2019 SpaceChain received €60000 grant from the European Space Agency (ESA) under its Kick-start Activity program. Their mission is to build a blockchain infrastructure free from government control and the threat of any physical hardware hacks.

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Quiz answer

What is gas in Ethereum?

The correct answer is “C”.

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