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Bitcoin whitepaper turns 12

October 31 marked the 12th anniversary of the Bitcoin whitepaper published by Satoshi Nakamoto amid the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. Over the last decade Bitcoin has seen its highs and lows, multiple price bubbles, heated debates over scaling solutions, many forks, and more.

For many years crypto enthusiasts were dreaming about global adoption, and in 2020 we can finally see a major shift towards Bitcoin and other cryptos among governments, institutions, and retail investors. A series of big companies disclosed that they’ve purchased Bitcoin this year, with Nasdaq-listed business intelligence firm MicroStrategy leading the trend.

The biggest news, though, came from PayPal, which allowed its US customers to buy and sell cryptos, essentially giving retail investors easy access to crypto assets. Following unprecedented demand, the payment giant revealed in November that it will increase daily crypto purchase limits from $10,000 to $15,000 and expand its crypto services to Venmo users in the first half of 2021.

While Facebook has been recently caught censoring the #bitcoin hashtag due to community safety concerns, Twitter and Reddit have embraced crypto. Twitter has a dedicated emoji for Bitcoin, and its founder Jack Dorsey claims to be a strong supporter of Bitcoin and the Lightning Network. Reddit has introduced experimental Ethereum-based community points back in May, which currently reside on a testnet. This doesn’t stop crypto enthusiasts from trading those tokens for real money, though.

Governments across the world have also changed their approach towards crypto in the last few years, shifting from blanket bans to attempts to regulate the emerging space. The most recent headlines were focused on Iran, which officially allowed cryptocurrencies to be used in international trade, following new US sanctions. According to new legislation, local miners can redirect crypto to the Central Bank of Iran’s funding mechanisms for imports. Iran had to move towards wider adoption of censorship-resistance money, because its economy has long been struggling under US sanctions, which limit access to the international banking system.

Decentralized governance

Users vote on the future of the projects

Israel-based startup BProtocol leveraged flash loans from DeFi platform dYdX in order to manipulate the election outcome of the MakerDAO protocol. The team behind the startup was able to borrow WETH, exchange it for around $7 million worth of MKR, use those tokens to vote before repaying its loan - all within one transaction block.

Shortly after the flash attack, the MakerDAO community began voting on a new proposal to change the governance system in order to prevent similar attacks in the future. The new rules increase the time between a proposal’s passing and its implementation from 12 hours to 72 hours, and deactivates users’ ability to freeze Maker’s oracle service and liquidation engine.

Meanwhile, Uniswap’s second governance proposal has once again failed to reach the minimum quorum of 40 million UNI votes. The proposal was attempting to distribute UNI tokens to more than 12,000 addresses that used Uniswap via third-party interfaces and thus missed the initial 400 UNI airdrop in September.

Following the recent decentralized governance trend, members of the r/cryptocurrency subreddit are calling Redditors to actively vote on different proposals, most of which are trying to solve the problem of so-called “MOON-farming”, when users repost a low-quality meme for many times, until it catches up. The subreddit has been flooded with memes and infographics since it started rewarding users with community points, which can be sold on the market. The latest rules restrict memes and media posts to only be allowed on weekends.

In other news

  • While the world is rapidly moving towards wider crypto adoption, Bitcoin’s off-chain scaling solutions are still lagging behind. Average on-chain transaction fees have recently skyrocketed above $13. Experts explain that such a dramatic rise in transaction fees was fueled by a significant drop in network’s total hashrate, caused by the seasonal migration of large Chinese miners in search of cheaper electricity.

  • More than half a billion dollars were withdrawn from Chinese-run crypto exchange Huobi, following rumors that its COO, Zhu Jiawei, was arrested by the Chinese authorities upon arriving to Beijing. The exchange has denied the rumors.

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