Memecoin sends BTC fees to the moon, miner profits top $50B and more: Hodler’s Digest, April 30-May 6
Memecoin hype fuels Bitcoin transaction costs, BTC miners block rewards surpass $50 billion and AI’s “Godfather” warns of technology dangers.
Top Stories This Week
Memecoin hype drives Bitcoin transaction fees to multi-year highs
The ongoing trading frenzy of memecoins like Pepe has triggered an unwanted consequence for Bitcoin (BTC) — raising its transaction costs to their highest point in two years. On May 3, the total amount of fees paid on the Bitcoin blockchain reached $3.5 million, jumping about 400% from late April. Bitcoin’s BRC-20 token standard has become the latest trend in the crypto ecosystem amid the rise of memecoins. A total of 8,500 different tokens have been minted using the BRC-20 standard. Gas fees on the Ethereum blockchain have also recently been skyrocketing to new multi-month highs.
Bitcoin miners earned $50B from BTC block rewards, fees since 2010
Amid an ongoing debate over miner costs and susceptibility to Bitcoin price dips, new figures suggest that miners are firmly in the black in the long term. Calculations from on-chain analytics firm Glassnode suggest that since 2010, fees and block reward subsidies have netted miners billions. Miners’ total all-time income is almost 40% higher than their estimated costs, coming in at $50.2 billion versus $36.6 billion, respectively.
‘Godfather of AI’ resigns from Google, warns of the dangers of AI
Artificial intelligence pioneer and former Google employee Dr. Geoffrey Hinton shared his concerns about the technology that he helped develop over the past several years. According to the neural networks expert, AI could pose a threat to humanity in the future as it learns unexpected behaviors from the massive amounts of data it analyzes. He is also concerned at the continuing AI arms race to develop lethal autonomous weapons systems, as well as an increased number of fake photos, videos and text flooding the internet.
Balaji pays out his crazy $1M Bitcoin bet, 97% under price target
A wild Bitcoin price wager between former Coinbase chief technology officer Balaji Srinivasan and pseudonymous Twitter user James Medlock has been settled 45 days ahead of time for $1.5 million. Medlock offered to bet anyone $1 million that the United States would not experience hyperinflation on March 17. The ex-Coinbase executive accepted the bet, predicting the U.S. dollar would deflate due to inflation and, as a result, BTC would reach $1 million within 90 days. In the deal, Medlock netted $500,000, while another $1 million went to two organizations.
Microsoft axes Bing wait list, giving users free access to GPT-4
Microsoft recently announced a number of new AI-powered features for its Bing chatbot and Edge web browser, including full access to the GPT-4 model — the same underlying engine that powers the ChatGPT Plus subscription service. The new features won’t require any purchases or subscriptions, though users will need a free Microsoft account to take advantage of the Bing chatbot’s full suite of functions. By contrast, OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus service costs $20 per month for access to the same GPT-4 model.
Winners and Losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $29,618, Ether (ETH) at $1,991 and XRP at $0.46. The total market cap is at $1.22 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Pepe (PEPE) at 961.32%, FLOKI (FLOKI) at 35.36% and Rocket Pool (RPL) at 10.15%.
The top three altcoin losers of the week are Sui (SUI) at -70.87%, Immutable (IMX) at -10.68% and Cronos (CRO) at -10.06%.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
Most Memorable Quotations
“Even in the U.S. where that [CDBC] was for quite some time a topic of not great interest, now there is engagement, and for the right reason. The future has arrived.”
Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund
“I spent my own money to send a provably costly signal that there’s something wrong with the economy, and that it’s not going to be a ‘soft landing’ like Powell promises — but something much worse.”
Balaji Srinivasan, former chief technology officer at Coinbase
“There’s going to be very few people over the next 10 years that don’t have some involvement in this [crypto] sector.”
Lisa Cameron, member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
“It’s this uncertainty that permeates everything. You just don’t know what’s coming next or where it’s going to come from or why or how in the U.S.”
Oliver Linch, CEO of Bittrex Global
“I console myself with the normal excuse: If I hadn’t done it [co-developed modern artificial intelligence], somebody else would have.”
Geoffrey Hinton, artificial intelligence pioneer known as the “Godfather of AI”
“Well, I think we have both, and I think it’s somewhat naive to say that this [banking crisis] is just limited to First Republic.”
Bob Michele, chief investment officer of J.P. Morgan Asset Management
Prediction of the Week
Bitcoin price sets new May high above $29.5K as traders eye breakout
Bitcoin eyed a reclaim of further lost ground on May 5 as $30,000 remained in play. The BTC/USD pair had dipped with United States equities at the Wall Street open the day prior, but the weakness was short-lived as $29,000 support returned.
Popular pseudonymous trader Alan, also known as Trader Tardigrade, was optimistic about upside continuation, which could mimic its breakout from late 2020. “#Bitcoin has entered the phase of ‘Storing of power,’” he told Twitter followers alongside a comparative chart, adding that the moment was the preparation for an “incoming Bull Run.”
FUD of the Week
Argentina’s central bank halts cryptocurrencies from payment apps
Argentina’s central bank banned payment providers from offering crypto transactions, alleging it intends to reduce the country’s payment-system exposure to digital assets. Cryptocurrencies are not regulated in Argentina, which means all coins and tokens are subject to the decision. Argentina’s fintech chamber urged the government to reconsider the decision.
FBI, Ukraine seize 9 exchange domains on money laundering allegations
Nine digital currency exchanges allegedly aiding and abetting cybercriminals had their domains seized by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and Ukrainian law enforcement. The seized domains included 24xbtc.com, 100btc.pro, pridechange.com, trust-exchange.org and bitcoin24.exchange. Each website reportedly offered anonymous crypto exchange services, skirting many of the rules and regulations required from a licensed firm.
Darknet hackers are selling crypto accounts for as low as $30 a pop
Cybercriminals from the shadowy parts of the internet are reportedly selling hacked, verified crypto accounts on the darknet for as low as just $30 apiece. Hacked accounts can be used to illegally evade Know Your Customer measures on popular cryptocurrency exchanges. But cryptocurrency accounts aren’t the only items on the list — account information for credit cards with balances of up to $5,000 are sold for just $110, while login credentials for online bank accounts with balances of up to $2,000 are sold for $60.
Best Cointelegraph Features
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