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News Summary 9/13: El Salvador, Cardano, Coinbase, Solana

Over the past week, there have been two hot topics in the world of cryptocurrencies: El Salvador made history by making Bitcoin a legal tender as a first country in the world, and Cardano finally got the expected smart contracts in place after years of waiting.

In our newest newsreel, we also take a look at the potential problems between Coinbase and United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We also go through the copying of NFT collections into the Solana platform.

Bitcoin is now a legal tender in El Salvador

El Salvador, a small country in Central America, made history on Tuesday 7.9 by making Bitcoin a legal tender. El Salvador is the first country in the world to make cryptocurrency an official means of payment.

Bitcoin will not be El Salvador’s only official payment method but will serve as an alternative to the US dollar. Making Bitcoin legal tender means that all merchants and services will have to accept BTC payments in the future, but dollars will continue to do business as usual.

The formalization of the Bitcoin currency in El Salvador eventually resulted in a surprisingly small uproar. At the time of adoption, Bitcoin’s price plummeted in just about an hour from $50,000 to $43,000. Coincidence or not!

The Central Bank of El Salvador now owns about 550 Bitcoins worth about 25 million dollars calculated at the current price. President Nayib Bukele even announced the purchases on Twitter!

The Bitcoin launch experienced minor technical problems, but no big drama was seen. Now people can pay with Bitcoin in El Salvador at Starbucks and McDonalds, for example!

We are eager to see which country next makes the same move as El Salvador. Panama and Ukraine, among others, have planned to make Bitcoin a legal tender. Time will show!

Cardano’s smart contracts are finally here!

Cardano, which price has risen like a rocket in recent weeks, has finally got smart contracts into his platform after a long wait. The so-called Alonzo hard fork was implemented on 12 September, and with the update, decentralized applications & smart contracts can finally be created on Cardano’s MainNet.

Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson called out the haters on Twitter.

So far most of the well-known Dapps have been developed in Ethereum’s network. The opportunity to develop fully automated decentralized applications, such as Uniswap and Aave brings significant value to Cardano and improves its position alongside competitors, especially Ethereum.

Despite this major improvement, only time will tell how much developers’ attention Cardano’s smart contract network will eventually attract. Cardano does not support Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which makes it not possible to transfer Ethereum apps directly to Cardano’s network.

This is a big minus from an adoption perspective, as app developers need to learn the new Plutus programming language to be able to build on Cardano’s ecosystem.

With Cardano’s smart contracts, several years of ghost chain speculation have been brought to at least some kind of conclusion. In the future, Cardano can be seen as a full-blooded competitor to Ethereum and other similar platforms. Only time will tell what kind of share Cardano will claim in the DeFi sector.

A bit surprisingly, Cardano’s ADA token price did not collapse in the market, as many investors expected.

Coinbase is in trouble with the SEC

The day after Bitcoin’s big price swing, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong brought out an issue in a long Twitter chat, opening up about the represented company’s problems with the SEC, United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

The problem with these two seems to be the Coinbase Lend service. The exchange wants to offer its customers a fixed 4 percent annual return on USDC stablecoin, but SEC doesn’t seem to be so excited about the idea.

There are several similar services on the U.S. market, such as Gemini and BlockFi. For one reason or another, these operators have not fallen into the SEC’s teeth, but with a similar decision by Coinbase, the SEC has announced that it will sue the company if the Coinbase Lend service is launched. Armstrong says the SEC refuses to give its opinion on the matter.

In the United States, the situation in the cryptocurrency market seems a bit confusing, as the SEC seems to start occasional investigations from here and there. Many US operators in the industry are allowed to operate and provide their services without problems, with others having to respond to SEC in court proceedings.

Gary Gensler, head of the SEC, has been widely seen as crypto-friendly, but so far Gensler seems to have caused mainly turmoil in the field of cryptocurrencies. There is currently an ongoing trial in the United States between the SEC and Ripple, which has been under follow-up since January.

NFT art copied to Solana platform

Perhaps the hottest cryptocurrency this autumn has been Solana, which has become the sixth-largest cryptocurrency project on the market in a short period of time.

Solana is a direct competitor to the smart contract platform Ethereum. Compared to Ethereum, the platform’s advantages are fast and cheap transactions, and the NFT boom, in particular, has grown Solana’s popularity wildly.

Recently, popular NFT collections have been copied to Solana.

CryptoPunks and Bored Apes, which have reached millions of euros in trade amounts, have received their own versions of the Solana platform under the names SolanaPunks and Degen Ape Academy. Enthusiasts don’t seem to mind that these are almost direct copies of the originals, as Solana’s network has also paid prices of more than $1 million for NFT art.

It has been expected that the NFT boom, which enjoys huge popularity, will spread not only to Ethereum but also to other platforms. However, it remains to be seen whether the copies will cause inflation for the original NFT collections.

Photo by James Harrison on Unsplash