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Weekly crypto news: Bitcoin mining remains very popular in China, despite ban

Weekly crypto news: Bitcoin mining remains very popular in China, despite ban

After the crypto market collapsed last week, this week (May 14, 2022 to May 21) was the time for stabilization. Bitcoin (BTC) and most other cryptocurrencies are roughly at the same price they were at the beginning of the week. Only Terra (LUNA) and UST continued to fall.

However, Do Kwon, the founder of Terra, has an idea ready to still go on with the almost dead declared project. Kwon's idea and other interesting news items, such as China still being big into Bitcoin mining, are covered in the weekly crypto news overview. So read along!

Do Kwon wants to 'fork' LUNA's blockchain to make Terra Classic

Terra users will soon vote on a split of the blockchain. Do Kwon is trying to breathe new life into the fallen blockchain after his UST stablecoin was disconnected from the dollar and LUNA went from nearly €100 to fractions of a cent in a week.

His latest proposal - after Terra users rejected his earlier plan to redistribute coins and abandon UST stablecoin - is to split the blockchain in two in a similar fashion to Ethereum's split of Ethereum Classic.

The proposal, made today and titled "Terra Ecosystem Revival Plan 2," allows blockchain purists to keep the current, collapsed blockchain, which will henceforth be called "Terra Classic." The cryptocurrency will be Luna Classic (LUNC).

The new blockchain will distribute 1 billion Luna tokens to developers, UST holders and those who owned or staked Luna or its derivative projects before the price of stablecoin was disconnected. The redistribution will include token lockups (temporary locking of tokens) for most of LUNA, ostensibly to prevent a sharp drop in price as Terra determines how to proceed without UST.

Convenience store chain Kwik Trip partners with Coinsource for Bitcoin ATMs

American convenience store chain Kwik Trip and Coinsource, a provider of Bitcoin ATMs, have partnered to install cryptocurrency ATMs in nearly every Kwik Trip store in Wisconsin.

Derek Muhney, executive vice president at Texas-based Coinsource, said it is the "largest partnership announcement in the history of Bitcoin ATMs."

Installation of the ATMs began in March. Muhney said 94 machines are installed and operational at Kwik Trips in Wisconsin. By the end of July, that number will rise to 500.

For Kwik Trip, it was a matter of making a deal with a company with a proven track record, said John McHugh, director of communications for Kwik Trip.

"There are a lot of newcomers ... so we wanted to go in with a company that really had a good reputation," McHugh said.

There is an 11% fee for buying and selling Bitcoin through a Coinsource ATM, Muhney said, but the cost is reduced for Kwik Trip Rewards members.

With the promotional code Kwik20, customers also get a 20% discount on the cost. New users can also use the code Kwik50 to get a one-time 50% discount, Muhney said.

China still accounts for 21% of Bitcoin hash rate, despite ban on Bitcoin mining

China has again become a major center for Bitcoin mining, with secret miners accounting for more than a fifth of the network's hash rate, according to data from the Cambridge Digital Assets Program (CDAP).

The Chinese government issued a blanket ban on Bitcoin mining in June 2021. At the time, it was the latest attempt by Chinese authorities to eradicate mining activities, having been in conflict with the industry for years. As of September 2020, China-based Bitcoin miners accounted for 67% of the hashrate.

Hashrate is a measure of the total computing power on a blockchain. Each hash represents a guess at a cryptographic string. The person who guesses correctly wins the right to verify and add a block of transactions to the blockchain. A reward in Bitcoin is then issued for this.

The report suggests that a significant proportion of Chinese Bitcoin miners have found ways to adapt to the ban, using foreign proxy services to hide mining activities, rather than leaving the country. New data from the CCAF shows that China, which accounted for 21% of Bitcoin hashrate, is now second only to the US, which now accounts for 38%.

12 years ago, someone paid 10,000 Bitcoin for two pizzas

12 years ago, on May 18, 2010, American Laszlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoin. In retrospect, this was probably by far the most expensive meal of his life. In fact, it is such a bizarre story that May 18 is now officially "Bitcoin Pizza Day," a high day for Bitcoin enthusiasts, as it also marked the start of commercial Bitcoin transactions.

The estimated value of the 10,000 Bitcoin that Hanyecz paid for that day is $41. If he had held on to these Bitcoins, they would have been worth about $300 million today. And to make the story even worse, he reportedly spent an additional 90,000 Bitcoin on lunch and dinner that same summer.

By his own admission, Hanyecz is not rich at all now and would have spent it all, but he is happy that he was able to contribute to the digital revolution.

New regulations on crypto in Nigeria

Nigeria's Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has published new rules regarding the issuance, exchange and custody of digital assets in the country. This comes 20 months after the Commission initially released a statement on how it would classify and treat digital assets.

"Digital assets" is a catch-all term for all types of crypto assets, including, for example, NFTs.

The SEC's position stands in stark contrast to that of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which currently restricts local financial institutions from doing business with crypto-related companies. In particular, the new SEC rules require launchpads and exchanges to maintain trust accounts with receiving banks.

All in all, this development could bring legitimacy to crypto and related businesses and ultimately open new doors for the use of crypto in Nigeria, which is one of the leading countries for the global adoption of crypto.

Nigeria's central bank was also visiting El Salvador last week, where a major Bitcoin meeting was hosted for central banks and financial authorities from 44 different countries. Want to know more about this important meeting? Then read the article "El Salvador hosts Bitcoin meeting for 44 countries" here!

10 New coins!

This week we listed 10 new coins on Coinmerce:

Luc Smits van Oyen
Coinmerce news