Microsoft patents new cryptocurrency mining system powered by human body. View in browser

“I think once the dust settles of liquidations, margin calls, and outright panic, Bitcoin will start to show its strength against unlimited fiat printing.” ~ Alan Silbert, managing director at INX, cryptocurrency & security token platform

Market State

The overall cryptocurrency market is above $200 billion for the first time since the crash of Black Thursday, on the 12th of March, 2020, when the market crashed to $119 billion. Following the crash many investors moved their funds to stablecoins rather than converting them into fiat currency and taking their money out of the cryptocurrency market. Over the past week Bitcoin remained relatively stable between $6700 and $7000. Currently Bitcoin is trading at $7270. Altcoins are also continuing to recover. Some of them even enjoyed double digit growth over the last week. Ethereum rose by 24% to $168. Bitcoin Cash is up by 23% and currently trading at $265. Bitcoin Cash is about to have its very first halvening on the 8th of April, 2020.

Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has declared that we have entered a global recession, that is as bad as or worse than in 2009. Despite the global financial crisis cryptocurrencies have been outperforming the traditional stock market in recent weeks. A number of exchanges reported a massive surge in new users. The number of wallets holding at least 1 Bitcoin reached a new all-time high of 797,632. Central banks around the world are printing more money. The United States Senate passed a $2 trillion (1012) stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Reserve has been printing roughly $1 million per second to prevent economic disaster. When the governments print more money, it causes the prices for everything to jump higher and reduces your purchasing power. This might be one reason why people are turning to cryptocurrency to protect their wealth.

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Quiz of the week

How many Bitcoins will be issued per block after block reward halving in May, 2020?

  1. 12.5 BTC
  2. 6.25 BTC
  3. 3.125 BTC

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

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Top stories of the week
US Dollar Pegged Stablecoins Are Booming Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

While Bitcoin fell from its $8000 range to $6000 and other coins have significantly lost their value, stablecoins on the other hand saw a record transactions volume of over $90 billion which is an 8% increase from 4Q of 2019 and more than 280% since 1Q of 2019 according to a research by The Block cryptocurrency news site. Tether (USDT) transactions on the Ethereum blockchain accounted for 62% of the total stablecoin volumes in the first quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, DAI and USDC showed the largest growth in volume, increasing by 344% and 54% to $1.3 billion and $5 billion, respectively since 4Q of 2019. According to Steve Ehrlich, CEO of crypto trading platform Voyager Digital, “This unfortunate crisis has created extreme market volatility across global markets, both legacy and digital, causing many to move their assets into the U.S. dollar to de-risk. Similar behavior in crypto has been observed as many are using the 1:1 stablecoin peg as a risk-protection tool.” Stablecoins allow investors to minimize the volatility of price in times of economic downturns as well as save exchange fees and transaction cost. The US dollar is still viewed as the world's safest and most stable currency and there is strong demand for USD from other countries as their currencies are weakening against the US dollar. As stablecoins maintain all benefits of cryptocurrency, they make it possible to move US dollars between countries in a cheap and fast way due to permissionless nature which might have made the stablecoins to boom amid the crisis.

Tech Giants Are Collaborating with Health Organizations to Fight Against Coronavirus

The World Health Organization and government agencies have partnered up with leading tech giants such as IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft as well as a San Francisco based blockchain company Hacera, to create a blockchain based solution to gather and analyse coronavirus data from around the world. The blockchain platform, called MiPasa is built on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric. MiPasa is utilizing advanced data analytics and privacy tools that helps people and public health officials to detect coronavirus infection hotspots and assist the early detection of coronavirus carriers. “We feel that there isn't enough information out there to make informed decisions” said Jonathan Levi, CEO of Hacera, the company that built the platform. MiPasa already draws data from the World Health Organization and several national health organizations including European, American, and Chinese Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Hong Kong Department of Health, the Government of Canada and China’s National Health Commission. Any qualified government agencies are able to easily integrate their platforms via APIs. “ Our hope is that this tool can help technologists, data scientists and public health officials by giving them the data they need at scale to respond and devise solutions that can help subdue the outbreak or support recovery” said the CTO at IMB, Gari Singh.

Indian Crypto Industry Surges After Ban on Crypto Lifted

The Indian crypto industry has been thriving ever since the 4th of March, 2020 when the supreme court lifted a nearly two year banking ban placed on cryptocurrency companies by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in April, 2018. Over 1.38 billion people now have the right to access cryptocurrency. Following the supreme court ruling several international crypto companies, such as Kraken, Binance, OKEx and Kucoin have announced their plans to expand services in India. Paxful, a global peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading platform has conducted a survey among Indians aged between 18 and 55. The March survey result was released on the 2nd of April and revealed that 75% of the respondents had already invested in cryptocurrencies. 6% of those who invested in crypto, made their first investment in 2020, all the others before 2020. Furthermore, almost 57% of those who invested in cryptocurrencies made their first investment during the ban, with the help of peer-to-peer exchanges. 90% of respondents holding Bitcoin and 44% holding Ethereum. More than 75% of respondents rely on cryptocurrencies to easily and fairly transfer money bypassing the limited Indian banking system. 64.8% believe cryptocurrency is the path to financial freedom. Indian cryptocurrency exchanges have now enabled fiat deposits and withdrawals. WazirX, India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, which has been recently acquired by Binance, has seen over 300,000 new users in March, 2020. Another Indian crypto exchange, Coindcx witnessed 10 times growth in the first week after the supreme court lifted the RBI ban. Due to COVID pandemic the whole country is currently under a nationwide lockdown. Exchanges stated that signups and trading volume continued to grow even after the lockdown. Nischal Shetty, CEO of Wazirx explained that “people have more time on their hands to search online for crypto related information during the nationwide lockdown, which led them trying crypto trading for the first time."

Revolut Brings Cryptocurrency trading to All of Its 10 Million Users

In an e-mail sent to its customers on the 2nd of April, 2020, UK based mobile banking service provider Revolut stated that it is now offering its cryptocurrency trading feature to all users, which was previously only available to its premium customers. The fintech company was founded in 2015 and now has more than 10 million customers, mostly in Europe. The move appears to counter the current money printing across the globe. “We are starting to see quantitative easing and currency devaluation happening again right now. We had planned to make this official later this year, but in light of recent events, we’ve decided to give all Revolut customers the opportunity to explore different ways of diversifying, including through crypto.” Revolut users can trade five cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ripple for a flat fee of 1.5%, which will increase to 2.5% per trade in May for all standard users but stay the same for premium users. However, Revolut’s cryptocurrency trading feature is not perfect, as it doesn’t allow users to move their coins to any other wallet. Users can either hold or sell and if they sell they will be charged 5% fee.

Cryptocurrency Investors File 11 Class Action Lawsuits Against Exchanges and Token Issuers in New York

On the 3rd of April, 2020 several cryptocurrency exchanges and crypto firms have been sued for selling unregistered digital tokens and other securities for US investors. The entities involved in the 11 class action lawsuits include cryptocurrency exchange Binance, BitMEX, KuCoin, Bibox and token issuers, Tron, Bancor, Civic, Kybercoin, Quantstamp and Status. The 11 lawsuits allege that these exchanges and token issuers have failed to comply with securities laws intended to protect investors and engaged in market manipulation. The plaintiffs claimed the exchanges profited from transactions and cash payments, often exceeding $1 million, from token issuers seeking to list their tokens on the exchanges. The allegations claim these token sales were completely centralized. For example, the accusation against the Tron Foundation notes: “The creation of TRX tokens thus occurred through a centralized process, in contrast to Bitcoin and Ethereum. This, however, would not have been apparent at issuance to a reasonable investor. Rather, it was only after the passage of time and disclosure of additional information about the issuer’s intent, the process of management, and success in allowing decentralization to arise that a reasonable purchaser could know that he or she had acquired a security. Purchasers were thereby misled into believing that TRX was something other than a security, when it was a security.” The lawsuits could drag on for years as many of the defendants are located outside the US (in countries like South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, the U.S., China, Seychelles, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, British Virgin Islands, and the Cayman Islands) also the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could further slow down the progress of the lawsuits. According to fintech attorney Richard B. Levin, these cases are likely to go to trial.

Microsoft Patents New Cryptocurrency Mining System Powered By Human Body

Microsoft has patented a cryptocurrency mining system that utilizes brain waves and body heat. The patent was published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on the 26th of March, 2020. The application was filed on the 20th of June, 2019. The document reads “a brain wave or body heat emitted from the user when the user performs the task provided by an information or service provider, such as viewing advertisement or using certain internet services, can be used in the mining process. Instead of massive computation work required by some conventional cryptocurrency systems, data generated based on the body activity of the user can be a proof-of-work, and therefore, a user can solve the computationally difficult problem unconsciously.” The new mining system would use special sensors and user devices that would connect to a server and would verify whether “the body activity data satisfies one or more conditions set by the cryptocurrency system, and award cryptocurrency to the user whose body activity data is verified.” Microsoft believes that using human body heat to mine a cryptocurrency may reduce computational energy for the mining process as well as make the mining process faster.

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Quiz answer

How many Bitcoins will be issued per block after block reward halving in May, 2020?

The correct answer is “B”.

Thank you for reading :) 

Please stay home and take care of yourselves and your loved ones.

MrCoin Team

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