Is privacy too dangerous to be allowed?

We've been here before.

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BITCOIN BOX SCORE

Exchange Rate: $59,190
Market Capitalization: $1.17T
Hash Rate (90 days): 599.6 EH/s
Transactions (30 days): 14,632,893
Network Fees (day): 16 sat/vB
Bitcoin Dominance: 54.16%

Last week, the war on bitcoin and crypto took a dangerous turn. The U.S. government's crackdown on companies and individuals involved in the cryptocurrency industry increased in intensity and scope. The situation is now beginning to look similar to the Cryptography Wars of the early 1990s.

Charges filed against Samourai Wallet's founders and the broader assault on self custody and bitcoin companies reflect a clear pattern: our government is making a tremendous mistake. Power players look at bitcoin, which is an innovative technology for financial privacy and freedom, and see only a threat to their positions. The resulting battle will weaken the U.S. economy, civil society, and its position as a leading innovator.

Senators and presidential candidates are voicing concern, recognizing self-custody as essential to financial freedom.

All is not lost. Following the footsteps of privacy activists who fought and won the Cryptography Wars, the bitcoin community must rally to defend these rights.

As we stand at this crossroads, it's important to remember the lessons from past battles. We must persist and ensure that privacy and autonomy are not sacrificed at the altar of fiat, national security, or any similar dubious justification for undermining the natural rights of U.S. citizens.

NEWS

ūüŹ¶ The first bank failure of 2024

Regulators have seized Republic First Bancorp and arranged for its acquisition by Fulton Bank following the bank's financial struggles. The takeover includes all Republic Bank assets and deposits, significantly expanding Fulton's presence in Philadelphia.

A harbinger of things to come?

This latest bank failure comes as commercial real estate losses and other stressors mount.

Peter Coy has written an interesting¬†New York Times¬†article¬†scrutinizing the FDIC's increased practice of bailing out insured¬†and¬†uninsured depositors when banks fail ‚Ästleading to higher costs being passed on to consumers and systemic risk.

ūüü† Bitcoin for business is happening

MicroStrategy hosted the Bitcoin For Corporations conference, showcasing its treasury strategy, which has resulted in the firm acquiring over 214,400 bitcoins. The event, attended by executives from across the tech industry including from Microsoft and Google Cloud, explores corporate bitcoin adoption and features speakers from Citibank and Fidelity.

During the conference, MicroStrategy announced Orange, an enterprise platform for building decentralized identity applications on the Bitcoin Network.

See the presentation below.

Not just MicroStrategy

River Financial's CEO Alexander Leishman¬†also recently highlighted¬†the growing trend of companies increasingly owning bitcoin ‚Ästwith businesses averaging about 4 BTC held using River. Corporate and SMB adoption is happening.¬†

Did you know? Coinbits now supports business accounts. To hold bitcoin in your business treasury, reach out today.

‚ö°ÔłŹCoinbase integrates Lighting

Coinbase, one of the world's oldest and largest crypto exchanges, has integrated the Lightning Network to offer fast, cheap bitcoin payments. Lightning support marks a significant step in improving internet payments, with Coinbase managing the transaction signing process Lightspark, a lightning infrastructure provider, maintains a Lightning node.

This event marks a maturing of the Lightning Network, one of many second layer solutions being developed to enable broader bitcoin adoption.

ūüö®Block Inc. faces federal probe

An NBC News investigation revealed that Block, the fintech firm founded by Jack Dorsey, is under federal scrutiny for alleged compliance failures. It stands accused of processing transactions linked to sanctioned entities using its Square and Cash App units.

Update your priors.

Block's alleged violations were revealed a week after the company announced multiple significant bitcoin initiatives. 

Ryan Adams provides important context in the tweet below.

Now Square and Cash App being investigated for "processing crypto transactions linked to sanctioned countries and terrorist organizations"

I can hear people saying

Oh a company being investigated - they must have done something wrong - where there's smoke there's fire.

No.

Update your priors.

That's an old paradigm from a DOJ you could trust.

We're in a different world.

This DOJ has been politically co-opted to attack crypto in any way possible - laws be damned - civil liberties be damned.

Do you trust the DOJ after they've charged and arrested wallet developers for "unlicensed money transmission"? Just last week they laid out a case to make all non-custodial crypto software a money transmitter.

It's clear.

A powerful faction of the US political establishment has declared a war on crypto.

And regulation by criminal enforcement is the new operating manual.

We must fight back.

Ryan Sean Adams

BITCOIN ADOPTION CONTINUES

Texas A&M Professor Korok Ray announces the launch of The Bitcoin Research Institute to drive academic research at the intersection of bitcoin and artificial intelligence.

Alliance Resource Partners, a $2.8 billion coal mining company, announced that it has mined and now holds 425 bitcoins as part of a pilot project to monetize excess electricity.

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is set to approve Australia's first spot bitcoin ETFs by the end of 2024, aligning with global trends following successful launches in the U.S. and Hong Kong.

Metaplanet, a publicly-listed Japanese company, has purchased ¥1 billion ($6.25 million) worth of bitcoin, positioning it as a treasury reserve asset.

HOW BITCOIN WORKS

Learn one key idea about bitcoin each week. This week:

Bitcoin protects the vulnerable.

Bitcoin has few fans among progressive politicians. Many progressives think it should be regulated or banned to combat climate change and protect the dollar’s dominant global status.

Calls for bitcoin bans or regulations imply that bitcoin is of little value. After all, many other activities consume electricity and do not find themselves in the crosshairs of progressives. 

Energy consumption from¬†industries such as¬†healthcare, construction, and transportation is¬†orders of magnitude higher¬†than¬†bitcoin.¬†The output from these industries is vital to human flourishing ‚Äď but so is a secure monetary network providing access to sound money for all.

In fact, on balance, bitcoin is a relatively green technology, in that the share of renewable energy sources it uses is generally much higher than other industries.

The idea that bitcoin is somehow frivolous or unnecessary is not only misguided, it also threatens to harm the world's poorest and most vulnerable people. 

For billions of people living in developing countries with high inflation, weak property rights, and poor governance, bitcoin is used to protect personal savings. Bitcoin brings hope to the people to which the progressive worldview devotes itself.

Bitcoin offers universal access to a secure, decentralized payment network uncontrollable by moneyed interests. And unlike fiat currencies, its fixed supply prevents issuers from printing units and diluting their value.

In addition to its monetary qualities, bitcoin allows individuals to send and receive money at high speed, with final settlement. It is a powerful tool for remittance payments, which serve as a lifeline for many in the developing world. As just one example of many, in Uganda, people have used the bitcoin network for remittance payments since 2014.

As Nic Carter and Ross Stevens state in their report Bitcoin Net Zero, "People in [developing countries] value bitcoin's institutional qualities, which compare favorably with their local settings."

Any progressive argument against bitcoin based on its environmental impact, lack of regulation and oversight, or other concerns, must also account for the significant and undeniable humanitarian value that it offers today.

The Bitcoin Adviser simplifies the process of moving your coins off exchanges safely and securely. Get one month free when you sign up with this link!

COIN CHECK

Which prominent Venture Capitalist purchased 30,000 bitcoins in 2014 from the US government when the US Marshals Service (USMS) sold a portion of the seized Silk Road BTC at auction?

  1. Barry Silbert

  2. Tim Draper

  3. Marc Andreesseen

  4. Peter Thiel

Check your answer at the end of the page.

FROM THE MEME POOL

ANSWER

  1. Tim Draper. See Coindesk coverage of the event.

That’s all for this week, folks! When you signed up for this newsletter, we promised to act as your personal guide and help you understand what’s happening in the world of bitcoin. What did you think of today’s newsletter? Reply to this email and let us know what you’d like to see more of.

Until next week!

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