“Thank You For Your Trust and Goodbye”
Many of China’s largest Ethereum mining pools are shutting down in light of China’s recent and severe crackdown on crypto. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced 2 weeks ago that not only is crypto mining illegal in the country, but so are all crypto-related transactions, including those provided by off-shore exchanges.
This means that individuals within China’s borders who are involved in any part of a crypto transaction — including and definitely not limited to trade facilitators, those in the IT department, or even market strategists — are subject to criminal investigation and are under threat of prosecution for attempting to “disrupt the financial market”.
Two of China’s largest Ethereum mining pools, SparkPool and BeePool, have announced they will discontinue services immediately due to regulatory and compliance concerns. In a chilling note on their official website, SparkPool listed hard cutoff dates for users to withdraw their funds and ended with the finality akin to that of a death note saying “Thank you for your trust and Goodbye”. China’s most recent crypto ban occurred in May, and its global ripple-effects sparked growth in competing markets where there are no such laws preventing crypto mining. Some Chinese miners quietly resumed operations after a brief radio-silence, but we’ll see whether that will happen again this time around.
Paid in Crypto? Yes please!
In their latest blog post released on Monday, Coinbase announced that users will soon be able to have their paychecks directly deposited into their Coinbase account, in full or in part, for no fee and in any currency active on the Coinbase exchange. They followed this up with a second announcement stating that users with a Coinbase VISA card will now also be able to sync up with Apple Pay and Google Pay, respectively and earn up to 4% crypto rewards on purchases.
“Our goal is to enable everyone to get more out of their money with the power of crypto – from getting your paycheck in crypto, to generating yield on your assets, to spending your crypto and beyond – all from a single account,” said VP of Product Max Branzburg.
The Coinbase VISA card works by converting crypto to fiat at the point-of-sale. The user must preload the card with a currency of their choice before making a purchase and designate their preferred cashback reward, which varies depending on the currency chosen (ex. 4% XLM, 1% Bitcoin rewards etc). Coinbase said that they will release more details on how the rollout will proceed in the coming months. It does not come without competition, though, as Mastercard and Gemini have both also announced plans to release crypto credit cards of their own, with up to 3% Bitcoin returns to sweeten the deal.
Great to have another crypto tool in our toolkit, helping people use crypto in their everyday life.
The wrong conference to speak at
American programmer Virgil Griffith, pleaded guilty to breaking US national security laws by participating in an unsanctioned blockchain and cryptocurrency conference in North Korea in 2019.
His charges included:
“conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) by providing services to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (“DPRK” or “North Korea”) including technical advice on using cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to evade sanctions”.
He is now facing up to 6.5 years in federal prison.
Virgil is a major contributor in the crypto space, and is known for his extensive work on Ethereum and the WikiScanner. To lose such a productive member of the community to jail because he spoke at the wrong conference seems outrageous to say the least. This is especially true because, as his attorney Brian Klein argued, “the knowledge he shared was all public domain”.
Cryptocurrency could be a game-changer in North Korea, freeing the wealth of all citizens there who are currently suffering under a brutal and totalitarian regime. Regardless, it doesn’t seem like accepting an invitation from the North Korean government is ever a good idea.
Yes Dad, Crypto IS a Real Job
According to a recent Bloomberg report, jobs in the crypto field increased by a whopping 1500% since last year. Daniel Adler, founder of CryptocurrencyJobs.co said, "… it’s the strongest I’ve seen since launching Cryptocurrency Jobs in 2017... everyone is hiring right now across roles". Popular Crypto companies such as Coinbase and Kraken have all published job listings in recent months, as have major companies such as Accenture, PayPal and JPMorgan Chase. We have come a long way — crypto is not just being taken seriously but embraced, and there are so many who now proudly declare it as both their passion and their career. To add icing on the proverbial cake, the total market cap of the crypto market surpassed $2 trillion this year alone (led by frontrunners Bitcoin and Ethereum). Not bad for a currency with “no inherent value”.
By the way, if you’re looking for a job as a crypto or privacy writer, or as a live producer on a crypto show, NBTV is hiring! Be sure to reach out at nbtv.media!
Tik Tok, Don’t You Ever Stop
The undisputed trendsetter for viral shenanigans has just made sure that those minute-long moments that “broke the internet” will become part of pop history — and possibly your own personal collection! TikTok announced this week that they will be releasing a line of NFT collectibles featuring the likes of Tik Tok legends: Lil Nas X, Curtis Roach, Bella Poarch, FNMeka, Gary Vaynerchuk, Grimes and Brittany_Broski called “Tik Tok Top Moments”. The creators will collaborate with NFT artists: Rudy_Willingham, COIN ARTIST, RTFKT, JessssTheMess, and x0r to memorialize their most “culturally significant moments”. The NFTs will then be auctioned off, with most of the proceeds going to the artists and creators themselves. Built on the Ethereum network, they are powered by Immutable X and promise “zero transaction fees” along with being completely carbon-neutral. The first NFT is set to go on sale on October 6th, 2021. You can check out the official NFT drop site here.
By Will Sandoval, NBTV Associate Producer, and Naomi Brockwell.
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