When one of the biggest Bitcoin critics had his day to testify before Congress, the crypto world knew it would be brutal. Popularly known as Dr. Doom, Nouriel Roubini held nothing back as he attacked crypto, but it was the aftermath that was even more exciting. Roubini called out the industry’s most renowned personality, Vitalik Buterin and the back-and-forth could end in a debate between the two. In a week that had both the good and the bad, South Korean exchange Bithumb sold a stake to a plastic surgeon, Coinbase listed its first ERC-20 token, China’s richest list contained 13 crypto investors as the market lost over $20 billion mid-week. Here is the week that was….
The Week That Was
“Decentralization in crypto is a myth…. Developers are centralized dictators (Buterin is “dictator for life”), read part of a tweet by Roubini, a tweet that angered many crypto enthusiasts and which got the attention of the Ethereum co-founder. Nouriel further accused Vitalik and Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin of “stealing 75 percent of the Ether supply and becoming instant billionaires.” Vitalik was quick to counter and the exchange, which brought in many other participants, ended up with the proposal of a debate between the two heavyweights. While no official date or venue has been set, crypto market observer and former banker Kevin Pham has been proposed as the moderator. The world awaits.
The week began with a report indicating that the U.K’s largest crypto exchange Coinfloor was laying off most of its 40 employees off, blaming the restructuring on a bearish market and low trading volume. Fellow crypto exchange Coinbase was also reported to have recorded its lowest volume in the past year, mirroring the steadily declining overall crypto volume.
The week also witnessed the hacking of Ethereum-based adult entertainment platform SpankChain which lost $38,000 to cybercriminals. The hacking served to support a report by CipherTrace which highlighted the increase in crypto hacks this year. The report revealed that crypto exchanges have already lost $927 million worth of cryptos in the first nine months of this year, a 250 percent increase from the amount recorded throughout 2017.
While cryptos haven’t been performing as well this year, 13 crypto entrepreneurs made it into China’s rich list which was published last week. Bitmain’s co-founders Zhan Keituan and Wu Jihan were the richest, with Keituan appearing in the top 100 with an estimated wealth of $2.4 billion. At $2.1 billion, the founder of the largest crypto exchange, Binance, Changpeng Zhao was third on the list with OKCoin founder Star Xu and Huobi founder Li Lin following suit.
The week was one to forget for the crypto market however, with a mid-week market crash seeing most major cryptos experience double-digit losses. Ripple was one of the biggest losers, shedding 11.7 percent as Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash lost 10.5 and 11.3 percent respectively. The market shed $20 billion in just a few hours but has since recovered, with Bitcoin rising from $6,300 to trade at $6,640 at press time.
The week also saw Coinbase list 0x, its first ERC-20 token. The native token of the platform, ZRX, was made available for trading on all states except New York, with Coinbase exercising a four-stage process to ease its users into the trading of the token. Gemini also received the approval to list Litecoin, with the trading set to begin tomorrow. The week also saw South Korea’s giant crypto exchange Bithumb sell a stake to an investment consortium led by one of the most renowned plastic surgeons in the country. The group, BK Global Consortium acquired a 50 percent stake in BTC Holding Co., the largest investor in Bithumb.