News on the Block graphic 15/07/2022

In the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, things are always changing. Whether it’s new projects being launched or older ones collapsing, things are constantly shifting. Here are the biggest cryptocurrency news stories from the past fortnight.

Mt. Gox Exchange to Release 150,000 BTC to Users After Eight Years

In the early days of crypto, Mt. Gox played a pivotal role in the overall cryptocurrency landscape. Mt. Gox was a cryptocurrency exchange that was launched in 2010. Between 2011-2013, the exchange lost 850,000 Bitcoin. It is not entirely clear if the Bitcoin was lost through hacking, fraud or good old-fashioned mismanagement. Investors then entirely lost faith in the exchange, leading to Mt. Gox filing for bankruptcy in February 2014.

Mt. Gox was an important early adopter in the cryptocurrency business space, handling more than two-thirds of all BTC transactions at its peak. Unfortunately, the loss of such huge volumes of BTC left a bad taste in many traders’ mouths, eventually leading to a prolonged bear market until the 2017 bull run.

Recently, the court-appointed trustee for Mt. Gox announced a formal rehabilitation plan to return 150,000 missing BTC to creditors.

While no doubt a relief to those who lost Bitcoin, the implications of such a huge amount of BTC being re-introduced to the market are worth considering. To put it into perspective, 150,000 BTC is currently to the tune of approximately $4.5 billion AUD ($3 billion USD). Despite its recent crash, BTC is also worth approximately 3500% more than it was when the coins were lost.

Some experts predict we’ll see the market flood with sold Bitcoin. Others, though, predict early adopters to be a bit more investment savvy and hold their BTC, especially during a bear market. At the end of the day, only time will tell.

Mass Migration of Terra-Based Projects Moving to Polygon

For those unfamiliar, the Terra Network was a cryptocurrency project that was built on the Tendermint consensus protocol. The keyword here unfortunately being “was”.

Yes, Terra is still technically running, but in the words of Multicoin Co-founder Kyle Samani, “Terra in its current form is dead for all practical purposes”.

This is in response to the UST depegging event in May 2022 that led to the eventual collapse of LUNA. When we talk about a coin “losing its peg” we mean that it can no longer maintain its tied value to its real-world asset. The UST stablecoin was meant to be pegged to the US dollar, but due to several factors, it lost its peg.

This event led to a mass migration of Terra-based projects moving to the Polygon Network. 48 projects built on the Terra Network have already migrated, and a spokesperson from Polygon has announced that the company will offer financial and technical assistance to any projects making the move. 

Related: Guide to Polygon (MATIC)

Reddit Moves Into “NFTs”

Reddit is moving into what are essentially NFTs, but they won’t be calling them that.

Social media platform, Reddit, has announced plans to launch its own blockchain-based assets. These assets, which will be called “Collectible Avatars,” will be stored on the Polygon blockchain.

While Reddit is certainly a hotbed for cryptocurrency discussion – this is their first foray into “NFTs”.

While the exact launch date is to be decided, naturally there is already a subreddit for all Collectible Avatars news.

The Avatars are designed by Reddit’s own extensive community of artists and will be available to all users of the site. The core artwork mimics Reddit’s iconic mascot, Snoo.

GameStop Launches NFT Marketplace

Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have been all the rage lately. And it looks like GameStop is getting in on the action. The company, in partnership with Immutable, has launched an NFT marketplace.

This move comes as no surprise as we’ve seen a surge in interest in NFTs this past year. It seems like there’s an NFT for everything, from digital art to in-game items.

And with the recent price surge of GameStop stock, it’s clear that the company is looking to capitalize on the current trends.

The marketplace is utilising both the Ethereum mainnet and Loopring’s layer-2 scaling solution, and it currently features solely artworks. There are plans in the future though to bring video games and other items to their NFT offering.

GameStop is by no means a new player to the blockchain space. In May last year, they announced plans for a new token ($GME) and recently launched their own NFT wallet.

With the launch of their NFT marketplace, it’s clear that GameStop is committed to evolving as a business and have identified the crypto and blockchain space as an effective avenue to do this.

Bitcoin sinks below $20k USD as US inflation jumps to 40-year high

This week, Bitcoin once again dipped below the $20,000 USD mark, erasing its weekly progress as the new Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose to 9.1%. This new reading keeps the pressure on the US Federal Reserve to further Increase interest rates at its next meeting in late July.

Directly after the announcement, Bitcoin fell 4.2% to $19,200 USD. Altcoins were quickly to follow.

While there’s certainly a degree of panic selling going on in the market, many are also using this as the opportunity to adopt the “buy low, sell high” mentality.

Nothing is ever guaranteed, though historically speaking, evidence suggests Bitcoin will once again rally. It’s likely, however, that inflation is going to play a key role in this.

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