El Salvador: How it started vs. how it’s going with the Bitcoin Law in 2021

The Latin American nation is still struggling to cope with BTC’s volatility when used as a medium of exchange and gaining mainstream understanding and acceptance from its populace.

Before June 2021, news regarding Nayib Bukele was likely not even a blip on many crypto users’ radar screens. The Salvadoran president instead made headlines for allegations of corruption and dictator-like behavior after his party’s congressional majority sacked five members of the country’s Supreme Court and its attorney general.

During the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami, however, Bukele stunned many participants and garnered international attention by announcing he planned to have El Salvador adopt Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender. Within a week, a supermajority of the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly — most members of Bukele’s own party — had passed the Bitcoin Law, requiring all businesses to accept the crypto asset as a form of payment alongside the United States dollar.

Bukele’s involvement in the crypto rollout seemed to extend further than many would have expected from a world leader. The El Salvador president was already active on social media and presented himself differently than many politicians, often casually dressed in a baseball cap and jeans. Since the Bitcoin Law went into effect in September, he has used his Twitter account to announce several BTC buys totaling 1,391 BTC — more than $71 million, presumably from El Salvador’s national treasury. He also proposed having the country tap geothermal energy from its volcanoes to mine crypto.

Locally, opposition to the Bitcoin Law manifested itself in the form of public statements from lawmakers not connected to Bukele’s political party as well as protests in San Salvador. Before the law went into effect on Sept. 7, a group of retirees, veterans, disability pensioners and workers marched through the capital city to voice their concerns about the crypto asset’s volatility and how the Bitcoin Law could potentially affect their pensions. Protesters calling themselves the Popular Resistance and Rebellion Block carried banners saying “No to Bitcoin” in the streets to demand a repeal of the law.

Officials outside Bukele’s sphere of influence also expressed skepticism over the rollout. In June, the U.S. Department of State’s Victoria Nuland encouraged El Salvador to take a “tough look” at Bitcoin to ensure the crypto asset was “well regulated” and “transparent,” and the government offered protection “against malign actors.” The International Monetary Fund issued its own warning in July, saying the consequences of a country adopting Bitcoin as a national currency “could be dire.”

In addition to helping establish the regulatory framework for adopting BTC payments, Bukele promoted efforts to build the infrastructure necessary for Salvadoran merchants and everyday citizens to use crypto. The country is already home to Bitcoin Beach, an area in the village of El Zonte, intended to be an experiment in which Bitcoiners can use crypto to pay for anything, from utility bills to tacos. Officials have also overseen the installation of hundreds of Chivo ATMs, allowing Salvadorans to withdraw cash 24 hours a day without paying commissions on their crypto holdings.

However, one announcement that will likely stand out as the most ambitious of Bukele’s crypto plans in 2021 was for the creation of a Bitcoin City funded initially by $1 billion in BTC bonds. Crypto exchange Bitfinex and Blockstream have already said they plan to support the initiative, which will reportedly aim for no capital gains, income, property or payroll taxes.

The criticism over Bukele governing like an authoritarian has not necessarily been mitigated with the Bitcoin Law rollout, but coverage is often paired with his statements on “buying the dip,” proposing a 24-hour Bitcoin news network, and other crypto-related developments in the country. There is little indication that the president has moved past self-identifying as the world’s “coolest dictator” — a Twitter bio that he later changed to the “CEO of El Salvador.”

Prior to the passage of the Bitcoin Law, police detained a San Salvador resident who had spoken out against the country adopting Bitcoin as legal tender. In October, following several protests against Bukele’s policies, the government banned gatherings, claiming its actions were aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 — however, it still listed sports and cultural events as exemptions.

“The crypto community embracing Bukele of all people shows that they need to think a little harder […] this guy’s an authoritarian who can’t provide basic services to his citizens,” said Tommy Vietor, a political commentator from Pod Save the World. “[El Salvador has] one of the highest murder rates in the world. He seems to think you can get power by plugging your Apple charger into a volcano somehow. Don’t try to sell us on a literal volcano-fueled tech utopia city — let’s just start a little smaller.”

At the end of 2021, it was still unclear whether the average citizen of El Salvador was reaping many rewards from the Bitcoin Law. Bukele did announce in October animals would benefit from crypto with the construction of a $4-million veterinary hospital funded by profits from the country’s Bitcoin trust. However, it’s likely the Latin American nation is still struggling to cope with the crypto asset’s volatility when used as a medium of exchange as well as gaining mainstream understanding and acceptance from its populace. 

The post El Salvador: How it started vs. how it’s going with the Bitcoin Law in 2021 appeared first on CoinRegWatch.

The worst influencer and celebrity NFT cash grabs of 2021

The floor prices for Logan and Jake Paul’s NFT collections have dropped a hefty 62% and 98%, respectively, since their all-time highs.

The monumental growth of the nonfungible token (NFT) sector in 2021 was a double-edged sword. While it may have transformed the wealth of countless investors and artists alike, it also gave birth to an alarming trend of popular figures who pounced on the tech to turn JPEGs into a quick profit. 

Here, we’ll take a look at four influencers and celebrities who allegedly threw quality and utility out the window to vacuum capital out of their supporters’ pockets amid a year plagued by a global pandemic, labor shortages, unstable finances and supply chain shortages. 

Logan Paul 

For any crypto enthusiasts who don’t know Logan Paul, he is a controversial YouTube “content creator” who has more than 23 million subscribers. His audience is primarily built up of young and impressionable individuals to whom he gladly sells merchandise, among other things. 

Paul’s NFT project “CryptoZoo” launched around last September and features egg NFTs that can be hatched into hybrid animals that are derived from the combination of two easily searchable Adobe stock images. 

Paul claims that he spent more than $1 million to launch “CryptoZoo,” and the project’s description on NFT marketplace OpenSea describes itself as an “addicting game that provides real-life value,” although it is unclear what that actually means. 

At the time of writing, the NFTs’ floor price sits at a respectable 0.15 Ether (ETH) or $573. However, the figure marks a whopping 62% decrease from its all-time high in November. 

Paul was an avid crypto supporter throughout 2021 and was a major promoter (and alleged co-founder) behind a crypto token dubbed “Dink Doink,” which is now down 97.6% from its launch price with a current 24-hour trading volume of around $15.

Jake Paul 

All good things come in pairs, and Logan’s divisive brother, Jake, also made a splash in 2021 when he milked the proverbial NFT cash cow. 

The younger Paul’s career has taken a slightly different twist than his brother’s in that he transitioned from YouTube to boxing retired UFC fighters who are known for their lack of boxing ability. 

Paul is reportedly one of the founders behind the “Stick Dix” NFT project that launched in November and features artwork depicting hand-drawn stick figure people with enlarged phalluses. The project’s roadmap outlines that it will invest $300,000 into influencer marketing and drop exciting things, such as the “Stick Dix” clothing line. 

Unsurprisingly, the NFT project hasn’t been doing well of late in terms of its floor price, with OpenSea showing that it has decreased around 98% since its brief all-time high in November to sit at 0.002 ETH ($7) at the time of writing. 

Tekashi 6ix9ine

Popular rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, or Daniel Hernandez, reportedly distanced himself from an NFT project he promoted that some investors described as a “huge scam” last month. 

According to a report from Rolling Stone on Dec. 17, the “Trollz Collection” featuring 9,669 Tekashi 6ix9ine-style avatars, was brought to a halt after one of the project’s Discord moderators apparently went rogue in a botting attack on the group, spamming fake minting links that swindled the user’s funds. 

In response to the hack, the “Trollz Collection” team decided to stop allowing further mints and capped the project at 4,797 NFTs. Tekashi 6ix9ine also deleted his social media posts about the project and changed his NFT avatar profile picture online to a different photo. 

An investor named Jacob who withheld his last name out of privacy told the publication that he spent $40,000 on the project due to its ties to Tekashi 6ix9ine and its roadmap, which promised the launch of a blockchain game, governance rights and charitable donations. 

Jacob claimed that none of those things are yet to surface, with reports of the crypto game slated for launch last November going cold.

“It turned out to be a huge scam,” Jacob said. 

John Wall 

The team behind NBA superstar John Wall’s NFT project found itself in hot water in September after the NFT community spotted that the art depicted in his NFTs appeared to be ripped off from the online game Fortnite. 

The “Baby Ballers” collection comprises 4,000 NFTs featuring unique cartoon baby basketballers. The artwork has since been changed to feature original artworks. However, in its formative stages, the NFTs featured background images that looked exactly the same as screenshots from Fortnite, while others had alleged the babies were heavily derived from DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby franchise.

“Celebrity cash-grabs like this John Wall NFT coming out show that these celebs think they can take from the community,” said Twitter user Fxnction, adding, “Celebs really think they can come into an industry they know nothing about, never interact with the community, then launch a scam project they’ll abandon in three months?”

The team behind the project attempted to do damage control at the time; however, it appears that its Twitter page has since been deleted, while the website is also down at the time of writing. Users on Twitter have also reported that they have been ghosted on the project’s Discord channel. 

The floor price on OpenSea paints a grim picture as well, down 99% to sit at 0.001 ETH or $3.

The post The worst influencer and celebrity NFT cash grabs of 2021 appeared first on CoinRegWatch.

Professor At Elon Musk’s Alma Mater On Why Bitcoin Is The New Gold For Millennials

Famed Billionaire Investor Bill Miller Compares Bitcoin To A Ferrari And Gold As A Horse And Buggy

A Wharton professor believes Bitcoin is now preferred as a long-term investment by young investors to gold.  2021 was not the best year for gold as it struggled in its role as a hedge against inflation. Wharton launched a cryptocurrency course in Q4 of 2021 to teach the rudiments of blockchain technology. A finance professor […]

Bitcoin & cryptocurrency news

OpenLive NFT Secures $1M Fund to Bolster Potential NFT Projects

[PRESS RELEASE – Please Read Disclaimer] OpenLive NFT, an innovative NFT Marketplace specially built for exchanging NFTs such as popular NFT platforms, Rarible, Opensea, Foundation, etc., has secured $1M from a recently-concluded fundraising round led by a number of leading investors and strategic partners in the crypto and blockchain industry. FA Capital, Stech, Fudubank, CoinPublic, […]