Crypto Tidbits: Harvard Goes Crypto, China Bitcoin Mining ‘Ban’, Bakkt Nears

Another week, another round of Crypto Tidbits. While the Bitcoin price actually stagnated over the past week, falling from $5,450 to $5,000, the underlying industry was as active as ever. Over the past seven days, Harvard formally invested in a crypto asset (not just an industry project), Bakkt moved closer to launch with a key hire, and more news was released regarding Facebook’s blockchain division.

Related Reading: Crypto Tidbits: Bitcoin Passes $5,000, SEC Doubles-Down On Crypto, Binance DEX Nears

Crypto Tidbits

  • Tim Draper Looks To Invest In Facebook’s Crypto Amid Search For $1 Billion: Over recent months, Facebook has been quietly bolstering its efforts in the cryptocurrency space. And the social media giant is purportedly looking to continue their foray. Per Nathaniel Popper, the New York Times’ resident Bitcoin and crypto reporter, Facebook’s primarily Palo Alto-based blockchain arm is looking for venture capital partners to contribute $1 billion+. Tim Draper, a Bitcoin-friendly Silicon Valley investor, seemingly confirmed these rumors, telling Bloomberg that he intends to see if Facebook’s venture is “a good fit” for his portfolio. This comes ahead of the company’s purported intent to launch a stablecoin-esque digital asset centered around WhatsApp in the coming three to four months.
  • China Looks To ‘Ban’ Bitcoin MiningEarly last week, a governmental committee in China, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), released an updated list of activities it is looking to restrict. Interestingly, out of the 450-odd articles, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining was mentioned. The NDRC hinted that it sees this industry as potentially illegal, unsafe, or a detriment to China’s environment and energy grid (which is weird considering that underutilized hydropower is Chinese miners’ go-to medium to power their Bitcoin ASICs). While some claimed that this would kill Bitcoin, as China is a hub for mining and ASIC creation, many pundits aren’t so worried. Some cryptocurrency enthusiasts claimed that either the restrictions would fail or that the ‘ban’ may take years, if not decades to come into full effect. So don’t worry too much.
  • Harvard’s $39 Billion Endowment Dives Into Crypto With Blockstack ICO: Harvard University, one of the world’s most well-regarded educational institutions, has finally purchased its first crypto assets directly. According to Bloomberg, which cited a recent filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the university’s endowment and two other investors purchased 95.8 million Blockstack Tokens, valued at $11.5 million. Blockstack is expected to be the first industry firm to have a token sale approved by the SEC’s “regulation A+ framework.” This news follows rumors that the school’s $39 billion endowment siphoned money into blockchain project funds, not Bitcoin or other digital assets themselves.
  • IMF’s Lagarde Warns Crippling Potential Of Bitcoin And Other Cryptocurrencies: At a recent event, Christine Lagarde, the chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) told CNBC that she is worried about the threat that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies pose to traditional banking.

  • Bakkt Snags a PayPal, Google Staffer As New Exec: Bakkt, the cryptocurrency initiative spawned by NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange, recently picked up another technology expert in its ongoing hiring spree. The Atlanta-based platform picked up Mike Blandia, a former employee and engineer at both Google and PayPal, as its new Chief Product Officer. Just recently, Bakkt also signed former executives and employees of Youtube, CBOE, and Barclays.
  • Binance May Delist Bitcoin SV: Over the past week, the debate around Australian coder Craig Wright rapidly heated up. It got to a point where Wright and Co. looked into serving the creator of the Lightning Network initiative with a lawsuit, sparking a widespread backlash. Binance chief executive Changpeng Zhao jumped in on the action recently, taking to Twitter to claim that if this “s*it” continues, he would consider delisting Bitcoin SV (BSV), which is Wright’s favorite iteration of the Bitcoin protocol. It isn’t clear if Zhao intends to follow through, but his impassioned tweet on the subject matter has garnered over 12,000 likes as of press time.

  • Coinbase Loses Key Executive Amid Crypto Winter: It seems Crypto Winter has hit Coinbase a bit hard. In a recent Medium blog post, Dan Romero, a long-standing vice-president at the $8 billion American startup, revealed that he would be leaving Coinbase after a five-year tenure. An explicit reason was not divulged, but Romero did mention that he still believes in Bitcoin, crypto, and most importantly, Coinbase. The industry entrepreneur added that he will be taking a hiatus, as he considers his next steps. This comes just weeks after Coinbase lost Christine Sandler and Adam White, who migrated to Fidelity Investments’ Bitcoin division and Bakkt respectively.
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