Last week’s hot topic was the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami. There was a lot of hype beforehand but we never saw any massive announcements. Strike’s Jack Mallers did report some interesting partnership plans, though. Samson Mow reported on progress at the state level. Tesla, Block, and Blockstream are building a mining farm running on solar energy. Luna Foundation Guard owns almost 40,000 bitcoins!
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The Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami
The biggest news last week was of course the Bitcoin 2022 conference. This is the largest Bitcoin-related event in the world. It took place in Miami, just like in 2021. The conference brought together tens of thousands of Bitcoin enthusiasts.
Bitcoin 2022 got off to a flying start when the city’s mayor Francis Suarez unveiled the Bitcoin Bull.
When following the news & social media, we got the feeling that the hype and expectations of the conference were not quite fulfilled. In particular, the revelations from Samson Mow and Jack Mallers were smaller than expected. The much-speculated Apple news was also missed.
Bitcoin actually fell hundreds of dollars during Mallers’ speech and ended the week ten percent lower than before the conference started. Macroeconomic challenges weighed on the price more than the hype surrounding the Bitcoin 2022 conference.
Many were also expecting an interesting speech from President Bukele of El Salvador, but he had to cancel his participation.
While there were no major revelations from Miami, Bitcoin 2022 was another example of the sector moving forward. Bitcoin is influencing the decisions of more and more governments and politicians in the future. This is particularly happening in the United States, which has become the leading Bitcoin country in the world.
The Bitcoin sector in the U.S. is driven by the mining industry (thanks to the Chinese ban in the summer of 2021) and regulations moving in the right direction. There are also many pro-Bitcoin U.S. politicians.
Jack Mallers announced new Strike partnerships
Jack Mallers was certainly the most awaited speaker at the Bitcoin 2022 conference. Expectations were very high after last spring when Mallers revealed El Salvador’s Bitcoin plans to the world. While the news was this time also significant, many felt it was less than expected.
You can watch Jack’s speech from the video below.
Mallers gave a presentation of about 45 minutes. A large part of it was spent explaining the history of payment systems. Mallers brought up the fact that the infrastructure built by Visa & Mastercard & the banks hasn’t really evolved in 50 years. It is slow and costly, especially for merchants, who are charged several percent of card payments.
The solution, of course, is the Bitcoin lightning network. The Strike app allows you to send dollars via the lightning network. Dollars are first converted into bitcoins (satoshi), transferred to the recipient via the lightning network, and converted back into dollars.
Mallers revealed two significant integrations. The first one is with Shopify, which will enable payments across tens of thousands of online stores. Mallers also demonstrated this in practice.
In addition, Mallers announced a partnership with two payment service giants (Blackhawk & NCR). This will allow Bitcoin to be used as a payment method in places like McDonald’s, Starbucks, and dozens of other well-known stores in the US.
In practice, the integration allows Bitcoin to be used without KYC. This was the main news for many Bitcoin enthusiasts!
Development at the national level: Mexico, Honduras, and Madeira
In addition to Mallers, expectations were high for Samson Mow’s speech. Mow is a former Blockstream CSO who has recently moved on to work on promoting Bitcoin adoption at the state level. Many speculated that Mow would do a “Jack Mallers” and announce a new state that would adopt Bitcoin as its official currency.
Unfortunately, Bitcoin fans were disappointed. While Mow reported progress in three different countries, the level of El Salvador was not yet reached. The news covered Mexico, Honduras, and the Portuguese island of Madeira.
Check out Samson Mow’s presentation in the video below.
In Honduras, there is a region called Prospera, where Bitcoin will be treated as an official means of payment. Bitcoin payments are not taxable transactions. You can also pay your taxes with bitcoins. However, this is a single economic territory, not the whole of Honduras.
Also, Madeira has made Bitcoin a tax-free asset. You can buy and sell bitcoin freely without tax consequences. In Mexico, one of the country’s senators is pushing ahead with a law that would make Bitcoin a legal tender.
These are all positive steps but were clearly overshadowed by 2021. El Salvador is still the only country so far where Bitcoin has been made a legal tender at the state level. However, we expect this situation to change in 2022!
Tesla, Block and Blockstream to build a mining farm
Let’s highlight one more topic that was announced at the Bitcoin 2022 conference. It was brought up by Adam Back in an interview with CNBC. Back is the founder of Blockstream. It is a collaborative project between three technology companies.
Tesla, Block (formerly Square), and Blockstream are building a solar-powered mining farm.
Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, and cypherpunk Adam Back are going to build a bitcoin mining facility powered off solar power.https://t.co/CKZtGg74uH
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) April 8, 2022
Tesla is involved as a supplier of equipment and technology. The solar power plant will get energy from Tesla’s panels and store it in batteries manufactured by Tesla. Blockstream and Block will do the rest.
If you are unfamiliar with these two companies, Blockstream is known for Bitcoin’s Liquid network and has also launched Bitcoin satellites into space.
Block is the second significant company of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. It is best known for the super-popular CashApp, which was also a big advertiser at the Bitcoin 2022 conference. Block also provides payment terminal technology.
According to Adam Back, the project is a Proof of Concept for solar-powered Bitcoin mining. The farm’s statistics will be open to all. It will be used to attract more companies to take advantage of solar power.
The farm is located in Texas, in the center of the U.S. mining industry. The region offers huge amounts of both solar and wind energy.
Note: We updated our guide to Bitcoin mining last week. It provides a good information package for those interested in the topic!
Luna Foundation Guard and Microstrategy continued Bitcoin purchases
One of the most interesting news of the spring has been Luna Foundation Guard’s activities on the market. This is the foundation that guides the development of the Terra platform. Terra is the platform for the UST stablecoin, to which LFG’s purchases relate.
Luna Foundation Guard plans to build a Bitcoin reserve of up to $10 billion for the algorithmic UST stablecoin. It can be used in an emergency to stabilize the price.
LFG continued its Bitcoin purchases last week as well. It added $173 million worth of bitcoin to its wallet. LFG has 39,898 bitcoins in its wallet, with a market value of $1.6 billion at today’s price.
Terra founder Do Kwon also joked about the purchases on Twitter.
Feeling cute, might go shopping later 🧡
— Do Kwon 🌕 (@stablekwon) April 10, 2022
The Luna Foundation Guard has made an investment in the Avalanche platform as well LFG acquired the AVAX Token for 200 million dollars. Half of the purchases were financed with UST stablecoin and the other half with Luna tokens. Avalanche founder Emir Gun Sirer also tweeted about the collaboration between these two projects.
We shouldn’t forget Michael Saylor either!
MacroStrategy has purchased an additional 4,167 bitcoins for ~$190.5 million at an average price of ~$45,714 per #bitcoin. As of 4/4/22 MicroStrategy #hodls ~129,218 bitcoins acquired for ~$3.97 billion at an average price of ~$30,700 per bitcoin. $MSTRhttps://t.co/Z45OuJU5KI
— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor) April 5, 2022
Microstrategy invested $190 million in bitcoins the day before the Bitcoin 2022 conference. Microstrategy now owns 129,218 bitcoins with a combined value of approximately $5.2 billion. Although the bitcoin price has been dropping for a long time, Saylor is still up about $1.2 billion in BTC purchases.
Both Saylor and Do Known will continue to buy bitcoin in the future. So far purchases at this level have not pushed Bitcoin above $50,000. The pressure brought on by the macroeconomy is still too much.