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Weekly Cryptocurrency News Briefing

By Bilal Ahmed Mir, 16th November 2021

  • The Bitcoin Taproot upgrade has been activated, provisioning a way for developers to integrate new features that will provide heightened privacy, scalability and security on the Network. For instance, to enhance scalability, Taproot will make it possible for less data to be stored on the blockchain leading to increased scalability to meet ever growing demand previously not possible.
  • Russian Premier, Vladimir Putin says that Cryptos are too unstable and “too early” to be used in settling oil contracts due to their volatility. Putin said, “It’s too early to talk about that for now because cryptocurrency can of course be a payment unit, but it is very unstable. To transfer funds from one place to another, yes, but I think it’s still premature to trade, especially to trade energy resources”. However, it has potential to reduce the US dollar dependency that widely exists in settling oil contracts, which Putin and his predecessors have been trying to do for years as he considers that, “It has a place to exist and can be used as a means of payment, of course, but trade in oil, say, or other primary materials and energy sources – still, it seems to me, it is a bit early to talk about this”. Crypto may be the perfect solution Russia is looking for to reduce US dollar dependency.
  • Total Crypto market capitalisation rises above $3 trillion for the first time. Much of the positive market moves can be attributed to the wide acceptance of popular Crypto’s such as Bitcoin and Ethereum as a means of investment by the retail and institutional investors. Corporations such as Amazon and Twitter have also increased vacancies for Crypto related jobs specifically focusing on implementing Crypto based Payments within their platforms which Amazon is working on, contributing to ever increasing value for the market.
  • Mastercard plans to launch crypto-linked payment cards in the Asia Pacific (APAC). This comes as welcome news to Mastercard users in the region who participated in a recent survey relating to their consideration of adopting crypto payments. Nearly half said they are considering adopting crypto payments in 2022. Partnerships with leading Crypto trading firms and exchanges have already been formed. Rama Sridhar, Executive Vice President of digital and emerging partnerships, has stated the firm wants, “to give people even greater choice and flexibility for how they pay”.
  • The Total Value Locked (TVL) within Decentralised Finance (DeFi) has skyrocketed by 2,736% in just one year, to $300 billion. Leading DeFi blockchains include the likes of Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche, and Tron which host multiple DeFi protocols in their Proof of Stake (PoS) networks, a much more efficient alternative with higher transaction throughput than Proof of Work (PoW). This will help the acceleration in the development of more next-generation apps decentralised apps (dApps) which will continue to increase adoption.
  • Miami will give “Bitcoin Yield” From MiamiCoin to its citizens. This comes after the launch of MiamiCoin earlier this year through the platform CityCoins which makes possible the creation of programmable tokens specific to a city and provides an extra source of revenue for local governments through local mining of tokens powered by Stacks. Stacks enables smart contracts on the Bitcoin Network. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has advocated for citizens to “hold Bitcoin” but through district intervention wants to “increase the utility of Bitcoin” for the local population.

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