Bitcoin in October: BitMEX, Paypal and OKEx, price to $13,800
7. November 2020
The month of October is almost over, so it is time for a monthly review again. What happened last month around Bitcoin? Both in terms of adoption and price, but also in terms of improvements to the protocol?
Let us start with the price. The price started the month around $10,700. It was the prelude to an historic month. The price peaked at $13,800 on the 28th.
1 October: Green electricity
76% of Bitcoin miners worldwide use renewable energy. A study by the University of Cambridge, published at the beginning of October, shows this. They combined the results of two online surveys among 280 organisations.
- 76% of Bitcoin miners (and other coins) use green electricity
- 39% of the energy consumed to secure the Bitcoin network comes from renewable sources such as hydropower plants and wind farms.
2 October: indictment BitMEX
In addition to the price increase, the most shocking news was perhaps everything surrounding the derivatives platform BitMEX. The exchange has been sued by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The charge was clear: according to the CFTC, BitMEX operates without the right papers and licenses.
Also, the exchange does not comply with the anti-money laundering guidelines of America. In the course of the month, the impact and consequences of the charges became increasingly clear:
- Chainalysis warns Bitcoin exchanges about all transactions of BitMEX.
- CTO at liberty after paying bail of 5 million dollars.
- BitMEX takes on a compliance officer after charges from the US.
- New indictment from Russia about market manipulation and extortion.
- BitMEX speeds up KYC procedures for all customers.
6 October: Europol on privacy tools
Europol wants to take action against Bitcoin or other crypt currencies that protect financial privacy. They see the mixing of Bitcoin via wallets such as Wasabi as a ’serious threat‘.
This was stated in the report Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment (IACTA) 2020. A privacy coin such as Monero is also undesirable. The authorities want to know who is doing the transaction.
The investigation focuses on, among other things:
- wallets that facilitate so-called CoinJoins, such as Wasabi and Samourai.
- centralised mixing services such as MyCryptoMixer and other commercial parties
7 October: First Bitcoin in operation in the Netherlands
October was also the month of a first: the AMDAX was the first company to complete its registration with De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).
Since the entry into force of the ‚crypto law‘ on 21 May this year, Bitcoin service providers in the Netherlands have had to comply with more rules and register with the DNB.
At the end of the month, the DNB announced that there were 38 companies left that wanted to follow in AMDAX’s footsteps. In July, there were still 48, which means that there have been dropouts as a result of this process.
13 October: Tor version 3
There was also news from the front end of the protocol and the Bitcoin Core client. In mid-October it became clear that the next version of Bitcoin Core supports the latest V3 addresses from the Tor Network. Developer Pieter Wuille announced that this will be the new standard next year.
More information can be found in the Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 155. This describes in detail how (and that) the client supports the new one from the Tor. The BIP has been merged. This is a great step forward in terms of privacy.
15 October: Taproot upcoming
Bitcoin also came another step closer to the arrival of Taproot and Schnorr Signatures in October. Halfway through the month, the pull request for implementation of the consensus rules was merged into Bitcoin Core. How this upgrade will be activated is as yet unclear.
16 October: OKEx in trouble
October was not only a difficult month for BitMEX. Fellow OKEx also got into trouble. They had to stop recording Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. An important pawn of the exchange had to report to the local authorities.
Star Xu literally had the keys in their hands. He was responsible for (part of) the private key to sign withdrawals. At the end of the month, the situation was still unchanged: the 200,000 Bitcoin of the customers were still frozen.
19 October: Bretton Woods 2.0
Governments need to work more together to save the world economy from the current corona crisis. This is what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) advocated. They even made an explicit reference to the Bretton Woods agreement of 1944, the start of the dollar as a world reserve currency.
This news caused a lot of commotion within the Bitcoin community. Is the IMF calling for a world currency? A CBDC that everyone can use? In that case it would be the Bitcoin anti-pool. Would it benefit the crypto currency?
21 October: PayPal will participate
PayPal opened its doors for Bitcoin (BTC) halfway through the month. U.S. customers of the multi-billion dollar company can use various services, including buying, selling and also storing Bitcoin.
PayPal does not facilitate (!) withdrawals for the time being. The cryptovaulta will therefore (for the time being) always remain under the management of the company. In addition to PayPal, sister company Venmo is also coming up with possibilities around Bitcoin.
As an indication: PayPal has 346 million active users and processed $222 billion in transactions in the second quarter of this year. It also became clear that PayPal wants to take over the Bitcoin custodial BitGo.
In response to the news, the price of Bitcoin shot up. A week later, on 28 October, it even reached the highest point of 2020, around $13,800.
27 October: adoption in Singapore
Singapore’s largest bank announced at the end of the month that it would start selling Bitcoin (BTC) and a number of other crypt currencies. The DBS, with over 5 million customers, announced this on its website.
This makes it the largest fiat gateway to cryptocurrency in the country. They offer four fiat currencies: Singapore dollar, Hong Kong dollar, US dollar and the Japanese yen. These are linked to Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash and Ripple.
That was the news in October. Do you want to have a say in the news? Come and join us in our Telegram chat!