Also today, FTX announces a big-name brand ambassador, Ether outperforms Bitcoin... and Vitalik Buterin suffers abuse on Twitter yet again.
Embarrassing stats for El Salvador
Just 3.6% of Salvadoran businesses say Bitcoin has caused an increase in sales since it became legal tender six months ago. And according to the Chamber of Commerce, only 13.9% of companies have completed a transaction using BTC since last September. Overall, 4.7% of those polled said Bitcoin has caused complications for their business — or had even caused sales to fall. Meanwhile, 91.7% said BTC had made no difference whatsoever to their operations. The statistics may prove embarrassing for President Nayib Bukele, who firmly believes that the cryptocurrency can transform the country's economy.
Delays for "volcano bonds"?
El Salvador had been due to release its long-awaited volcano bonds between March 15 and 20. They aim to raise $1 billion — with $500 million earmarked for the creation of Bitcoin City, and the remaining $500 million directly invested into BTC. According to the Financial Times, the bond has drummed up a lot of interest — with $1.5 billion in demand reported so far. But it appears that the invasion of Ukraine may have resulted in the sale being delayed, as El Salvador joins other countries in grappling with supply shocks.
Ether nears $3,000 as Bitcoin pulls back
ETH is outperforming most major coins right now — and is coming tantalizingly close to $3,000. The #2 cryptocurrency is up 3% over the past 24 hours, and by 15% on a seven-day timeframe. By comparison, BTC is relatively flat… and has appreciated by just 5.69% since this time last week. Data reveals that more than 2 million ETH has now been burned since last summer — reducing the amount of Ether in circulation substantially. Excitement is also beginning to build as a long-awaited merge between Ethereum's Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake blockchains draws nearer. Bitcoin experienced a pullback over the weekend, and has been struggling to meaningfully break resistance above $42,000.
FTX adds Naomi Osaka as ambassador
Ace! FTX has unveiled another top sports star as one of its brand ambassadors. Tennis wonder Naomi Osaka is now partnering with the exchange — joining the likes of Tom Brady. She will receive an equity stake in the trading platform, and will also be paid in cryptocurrency. Osaka is going to be focused on encouraging women to get involved with what the industry has to offer. In a statement, she said: "We have seen the statistics about how few women are part of crypto by comparison, which kind of mirrors the inequality we see in other financial markets." She'll be directing and producing content for FTX, and the exchange's logo will appear on her kit in future tennis tournaments.
Buterin abused on Twitter
Vitalik Buterin has once again become a target for abuse on Twitter — this time after being featured on the front cover of TIME magazine. The Ethereum co-founder gave an insightful interview and talked about his fears for the crypto industry, but many quote tweets about the article made snarky comments about the programmer's appearance instead. Buterin shared screenshots of some of the most brutal tweets — describing them as "truly amazing." And while it's noble of him to laugh off the criticism, it really does underscore how toxic the social network can be. "I have never seen a face more deserving of being shoved in a locker in my entire life," one user wrote.