Also today, a miner beats odds of 1 in 1.36 million and gets chosen to add the next block to the Bitcoin blockchain — earning $266,000.
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Bitcoin has broken through $43,000 for the first time in close to a week on the back of grim inflation figures from the U.S. The Consumer Price Index increased by 7% in December, marking the fastest year-on-year gains since 1982. Such a surge had been widely anticipated by analysts, and sets the stage for the Fed to switch off the money taps and begin increasing interest rates. The release of the latest inflation figures has reliably led to an increase in Bitcoin's price over recent months.
El Salvador has made a substantial loss on its Bitcoin investment over the past four months. President Nayib Bukele has been aggressively buying crypto ever since adopting BTC as legal tender in September 2021. Sudden falls in Bitcoin's value have regularly been accompanied by Bukele declaring that the Central American country was "buying the dip" — and at the time of writing, it holds 1,391 BTC in reserve. In cash terms, El Salvador's Bitcoin buys have cost $73.2 million — but at the time of writing, this BTC is worth a mere $60.7 million, resulting in a $12 million loss.
A private dining club claims it is becoming the first in the world to offer membership in the form of non-fungible tokens. A standard membership at the Flyfish Club costs 2.5 ETH and offers access to a cocktail lounge, restaurant and outdoor space. The project's website is adorned with endless pictures of sumptuous seafood, and says the club will be "in one of the most beautiful buildings that exist." The restaurant is due to open its doors in the first half of 2023.
A miner with a 1 in 1.36 million chance of being chosen to add a block to the Bitcoin blockchain has received a 6.25 BTC reward. To put this achievement into context, the computing power they were using meant they could have waited 26 years for this to happen. As Wolfie Zhao from The Block Research noted: "This is fun. Winning full Bitcoin block rewards with only 0.000073% of the current total hashrate. Either extraordinary luck or persistent Proof-of-Work, or both."
Solana has the potential to become "the Visa of crypto," according to Bank of America. In a research note, analyst Alkesh Shah argued Solana's value lies in how it can handle thousands of transactions per second — with real-time data stating each transaction commands fees of $0.00025. He wrote: "Its ability to provide high throughput, low cost and ease of use creates a blockchain optimized for consumer use cases like micropayments, DeFi, NFTs, decentralized networks (Web3) and gaming."
One in four small businesses plan to start accepting digital currencies such as Bitcoin this year, a new Visa survey has revealed. The research indicates that the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Singapore and Brazil are especially forward thinking — with more than 30% of merchants in these countries set to support crypto payments in the coming months. But it's more of a mixed picture elsewhere. Just 19% of small businesses in the U.S. are planning to follow suit, falling to 8% in Canada.
Politicians in the U.K. have warned a central bank digital currency "could present significant challenges for financial stability and the protection of privacy." The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee concluded a CBDC "would have far-reaching consequences for households, businesses and the monetary system for decades to come." While the authors acknowledged a CBDC could reduce the transaction fees businesses pay, there appears to be "few other significant advantages for consumers."