- A new study disputes the myth that most crypto purchases are illegal goods.
- Four crypto leaders made Forbes’ annual list of the richest people in the world.
- Confidence in the upcoming Ethereum upgrade led to a 20% one-day price boost.
- Reddit might be implementing a new points system based on a crypto wallet.
Anti-cryptocurrency proponents are quick to spout the common belief that digital currencies are used for illegal purchases. However, a new study disputes this myth and confirms what we already knew to be true: Crypto traders largely use tokens for commonplace transactions, like buying clothing and food. In other words, they’re using crypto as an alternative to fiat, as intended.
The study, in which Visual Objects surveyed nearly 1,000 people “familiar with cryptocurrency” and 157 actual crypto owners, points out the vast differences in perception and reality when it comes to crypto. Unsurprisingly, bitcoin was the most popular token among those surveyed.
Visual Objects surveyed 983 people familiar with cryptocurrency and 157 cryptocurrency owners. The first group was asked what they believed crypto owners prefer to buy. 40% of them said that cryptos are mainly used to buy stocks, while 30% mentioned illegal items. Very few suggested that crypto owners buy clothing (15%) and food (14%).
In reality, the picture is quite different, at least from the perspective of cryptocurrency owners themselves. They said that they use their crypto wallets to buy food (38%), clothing (34%), stocks (29%), and gold (21%). 15% admitted that they purchased weapons and 11% bought drugs with crypto.
Forbes released its annual list detailing the richest people in the world earlier this week, and among the 2,000 or so billionaires on the list are four cryptocurrency entrepreneurs. Leading the digital currency industry (and number 690 overall) in wealth is Bitmain co-founder Micree Zhan, who boasts a not-too-shabby net worth of $3.2 billion. His co-founder, Jihan Wu, trails slightly behind with $1.8 billion.
In between Zhan and Wu is Chris Larsen, the former CEO of Ripple who’s sitting on a smooth $2.6 billion fortune. And coming in at 2,087 is Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, with a cool $1 billion net worth. Altogether, the world’s four Forbes-certified crypto billionaires have a combined net worth of around $8.7 billion.
Despite being reportedly worth more than a billion dollars, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao was conspicuously absent from the Forbes’ list. Zhao was named third among a list of “The Richest People In Cryptocurrency” by the publication in February 2018. Gemini founders Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are worth an estimated $1.8 billion, separately just shy of the benchmark for inclusion.
There were plenty of billionaires from traditional finance, including Bitcoin opponent Warren Buffett, who is said to be worth $75.4 billion. Even before Zoom took off during the Stay At Home era, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan had already made his fortune. The newcomer to the list has $5.5 billion to his name.
A planned upgrade to the Ethereum protocol may not be due out until July, but ethereum holders are already reaping the benefits. The token’s price saw a single-day increase of 20% by April 6 at closing and continued to see gains throughout the week. According to industry experts, the boost is due to growing confidence in the forthcoming upgrade, often referred to as Eth 2.0 or Serenity.
The 2.0 upgrade, often called Serenity, promises higher transaction throughput and a new security model under proof-of-stake (PoS). Eth 2.0 has been in development since 2015 but had failed to gain traction due to the highly technical expertise required to pursue it, until now.
“From a developer standpoint, Ethereum is the most popular blockchain where most of the smart contract and dapp activity occurs,” says Demian Brener, founder and CEO of OpenZeppelin, a leading security audit firm for Ethereum.
“People are realizing that Ethereum’s network effects especially around community and composability (ETH smart contracts interacting with each other) are stronger than they thought, which might lead to increased trust in the platform and thus higher prices,” Brener added.
Reddit, a popular discussion forum with sub-forums for just about every topic imaginable, may finally be implementing a long-requested feature: a cryptocurrency ecosystem. Redditor MagoCrypto stumbled upon some interesting interface options and shared screenshots of what appears to be a cryptocurrency wallet where users can collect points through individual blockchain addresses.
It is possible the points will have further functionalities in the Reddit ecosystem. Other questions involve memberships and voting, implying that they could be used to contribute to Reddit’s development.
Reddit has long been a popular source of information for cryptocurrency projects. It is home to many crypto communities, with r/Bitcoin boasting 1.4 million members and r/Cryptocurrency with 994,000. But so far, it has held off on implementing a blockchain-based system. Maybe the crypto-loving Redditors have good karma after all.
That’s the roundup for April 11, 2020. Check in next week for the latest news of cryptocurrency innovation and regulation around the world!
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