A few years ago, there was a big faction of crypto people that did not like to think of themselves are crypto people — I'm in it for the tech, was their rallying cry. Or, blockchain without Bitcoin, was another.
Now, a recent opinion piece in the Financial Times has set Crypto Twitter aflame with another distinction that I wasn't aware that people were making en masse — Bitcoin, not crypto.
The argument goes: Bitcoin came before there was a market for it, therefore it's maintained by people who believe in its value, rather than its profit potential. Plus, its founder created the coin and then dipped, meaning that there is true decentralization unlike basically every coin after it. Еrgo, Bitcoin is not crypto.
This FT piece took these arguments and broke them apart — the piece claimed that Bitcoin is now being used to make a profit, that mining pools defy its decentralization claims, and that all the Bitcoin forks out their confuse the idea of what Bitcoin even is. Ergo, Bitcoin is crypto, and it's basically all bad.
Crypto Twitter, as you may imagine, had many, many issues with these points. Pete Rizzo, former EiC of CoinDesk, wrote an impassioned tweet thread where he split up Bitcoin and altcoins into three, entirely separate categories: coins where investors can buy prior to launch, founders with allocations prior to launch, and Bitcoin.
In Rizzo's opinion, Bitcoin stands alone because it has no risk asymmetry.
Other Twitter commentary were less eloquent, throwing about claims of FUD (exactly one of the issues raised in the FT piece is that it's too hard to have a logical argument about the merits of crypto because people prefer to just yell "FUD"). One tweeter posted a meme of a Bitcoin Pepe the frog with a T-shirt reading "didn't read, never selling."
Last month, we wrote about the crypto skeptics symposium that took place in London, allowing a group of crypto naysayers to meet together and talk about why crypto is bad. On the other hand, basically every other crypto conference out there is a long weekend of people applauding crypto.
Perhaps the Financial Times' next opinion piece could show the other, crypto-optimistic side of things, giving people like Rizzo a spot to showcase their maxi views and let readers decide where they fall.
Or, the author of the piece could create a podcast using the very overused trope calling crypto the "Wild West," which she did — it's called A Sceptic's Guide to Crypto: The Crypto Wild West.
Jesse Powell has revealed that he's resigning as Kraken's CEO because "there's a lot of stuff I don't enjoy doing." He told Protocol that he likes to think of his switch to chairman as a "nice promotion" — and says Dave Ripley is "better suited" to the challenges this exchange faces. Powell said he wants to focus on advocacy because "dangerous things" are happening in the U.S. when it comes to legislation — and maybe work 40 hours a week instead of 80. When asked whether he's stepping down because of the bear market, he said: "I don't like that I'm going out at the bottom of the market. It would have been nice to bow out six months ago and take credit for the full rise to the top. There's just never a perfect time to do this."
The United Kingdom has a new law that will make it "easier and quicker" for law enforcement agencies to seize, freeze and recover cryptocurrencies. Announcing the measures, the Home Office warned that digital currency is "increasingly used by organized criminals to launder profits from fraud, drugs and cybercrime." Politicians point to figures from the Metropolitan Police, which has reported a big rise in crypto seizures over the past year. It's hoped that strengthening powers in the Proceeds of Crime Act will ensure law enforcement "can keep pace with rapid technological change and prevent assets from funding further criminality." The National Crime Agency says these reforms are "long awaited and much welcomed."
Celsius is considering turning its debt into so-called "IOU" tokens. An internal meeting that was leaked online shows the embattled crypto lender is weighing up wrapping the BTC, ETH and USDC that's owed to customers into a token. Customers would then have the option to redeem them, trade them on exchanges, or keep hold of them in the hope that Celsius Network recovers. All of this comes as the company grapples with a $1.2 billion black hole in its finances, and bankruptcy proceedings continue. Court filings have previously confirmed that 300,000 customers have a balance of more than $100. In other news, shareholders are demanding their own fiduciary so they have a seat at the table as talks continue.