Crypto Roundup: Cathie Wood’s Milestone, Tesla Might Accept Bitcoin (Again), Crypto And “Debanking”

Hey there, crypto enthusiasts! 🚀

Another week has come and gone, and that means it’s time for another edition of Crypto Roundup.

There’s never a dull moment in the crypto-verse. But with so much other stuff happening in the world (ARM IPO, Hurricane Lee, college football, Taylor Swift gossip – we get it), it’s hard to stay on top of everything.

We’re here to spill the tea and tell you what’s important vs. what’s just hype.

Whether you’re an expert or just window shopping, our goal is to deliver the “need to know” info each week to our readers in bite-sized, easy-to-understand bits.

Whatever it may be, the goal is to leave you feeling smarter each week about all things crypto — and have a little fun along the way.

Let’s get started!

 

Tesla Might Rev Up BTC Payments Again 🚗⚡

Elon Musk, the multi-hat-wearing CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and owner of X (previously known as Twitter), had previously put the brakes on accepting Bitcoin payments for Tesla vehicles. The reason? Concerns about the “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions.” However, a recent report might just change that.

A Bloomberg analyst, Jamie Coutts, highlighted that over 50% of the energy used for Bitcoin mining now comes from renewable sources. This shift towards cleaner energy is partly due to miners moving out of China after its crypto mining ban. As it turns out, their new homes are not only much friendlier to crypto, but they’re also greener.

Why is this 50% mark so crucial? Well, Musk had stated in 2021 that Tesla would resume Bitcoin payments once about half of the mining energy was green “with a positive future trend.” While Musk hasn’t officially given the green light yet, this development could be a significant step in that direction.

Whether Tesla’s potential move will give it another boost remains to be seen. 📈🌿

Cheers: Ark Marks Important Milestone 🚀🍺

Eight years ago this week, Bitcoin was just a budding digital currency trading between $200 and $300.

Cathie Wood wasn’t a household name yet. But a bold move she made would change history. As Bitcoin Historian Pete Rizzo highlighted on X (formerly Twitter), Wood’s Ark Invest became the first exchange-traded fund (ETF) to invest in Bitcoin.

This decision was a major gamble. But it was also a testament to Wood’s belief in Bitcoin’s potential. As Bitcoin Magazine reports, she commented at the time:

“We believe the bitcoin platform could be as big as the Internet platform, which, in its early days, also faced tests associated with illicit activities. We would prefer to invest after, rather than before, such tests. We have been impressed that the bitcoin price has stabilized in the $200-300 range. It could have imploded but has survived.”

Fast forward to today, and Bitcoin’s value has skyrocketed by approximately 12,000%. This meteoric rise has solidified its status as a major asset class and attracted institutional and retail investors.

Cathie Wood and Ark Invest have been prominent players in the crypto realm throughout this time. Much like Bitcoin, they’ve seen meteoric rises — and steep falls. ARK Invest gained fame during the post-Covid bull market. Her most popular ETF, the Ark Innovation ETF (NYSE: ARKK), skyrocketed roughly 200% in 2020. It has since come crashing down, but bold predictions like her recent call for Bitcoin to reach $1.5 million keep her in the spotlight.

Notably, Ark is among the contenders, alongside giants like BlackRock and Fidelity, vying for a Bitcoin Spot ETF.

Wood may be a somewhat controversial figure, depending on your views. Some of her predictions seem far-fetched. Yet through it all, Cathie Wood’s early recognition and influence remain undeniable. Regardless of your opinion, she did make the call of a lifetime eight years ago.

Can Crypto Protect Against “Debanking”?🪙🏦

Let’s travel across the pond for a moment.

Nigel Farage, the British politician known for kickstarting Brexit, has been in a banking predicament.

Farage’s account was closed by Coutts, a prestigious private bank, due to his controversial views.

While initially it was reported that the closure was due to Farage falling below the financial threshold required to hold an account at Coutts, later revelations painted a different picture. A report from the bank’s reputational risk committee indicated that they did not find it “compatible with Coutts” to continue having Mr. Farage as a client. Why? His public views, which they deemed as “xenophobic, chauvinistic and racist,” conflicted with the bank’s stance as an “inclusive” organization and posed a reputational risk.

Farage believes his account closure is politically motivated. He has since been declined by nine other lenders. He has publicly voiced his concerns, stating that losing his bank account made him feel like a “non-person” and questioned his future in the UK.

The British government partially owns Coutts’ parent company, NatWest Group. And as The Guardian reports, NatWest Group CEO Alison Rose personally apologized to Farage over the document’s wording. But it also came to light that she discussed Farage’s case with a BBC reporter, which breached client confidentiality. Rose resigned hours later after the revelation. Coutts chief executive Peter Flavel was also fired the following day.

The Threat Of “Debanking”

I bring this up because, while Farage has the resources (and public platform) to fight back, not everyone has that same luxury.

For example, you may remember the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” in early 2022. This movement consisted of truckers (and other protestors) opposed to the Canadian government’s Covid-19 vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers. The protest gained significant traction, and in response, the Canadian government invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in history. One of its measures allowed the government to direct banks and financial institutions to freeze the assets and accounts of those involved in the protests or those funding them.

As a result, many individuals associated with the Freedom Convoy found their bank accounts temporarily frozen. The individuals whose accounts were frozen were not necessarily involved in any illegal activities or violent incidents during the protests. Many were simply donors or supporters. This move was controversial and sparked debates about civil liberties, the power of centralized financial systems, and the potential for overreach by the government.

Many supporters turned to crypto donations to bypass potential banking restrictions and continue funding the movement.

Why This Matters

Now, I want to be clear about something. You don’t have to like Farage’s views. You don’t have to like the Canadian truckers, either. But not long ago, it was generally agreed that we should defend people’s right to say things we disagree with.

These two examples should serve as a warning of the threat that the current centralized financial system poses. At the drop of a hat, you could be “debanked” without a platform to voice your grievances. There’s your “use case” for crypto in a nutshell. In a world where banks can seemingly pick and choose their clients, the promise of crypto is the promise of true financial inclusivity.

Closing Thoughts

And there you have it, folks. We covered a Murderers’ Row of mercurial personalities this week. But unlike the ’27 Yankees, our lineup may be just as well known for their colorful pronouncements as they are for their accomplishments

As we continue this fantastic voyage, one thing remains clear. Cryptocurrency is here to stay, and it’s reshaping our financial landscape in ways we could’ve only imagined a decade ago.

Always remember to do your research and stay informed. Until next week, keep those digital wallets safe and those crypto vibes high! 🌞

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