Last Week in Review: SA retailer starts accepting Bitcoin, and Google makes Solana announcement
The highlights from last week’s headline grabbers. All the important news, numbers and events from the crypto industry in easy-to-read, digestible news bites.
News from the block
One of South Africa’s largest retailers is accepting Bitcoin
- Pick n Pay, a South African retailer with more than 1,900 stores across Africa, started accepting Bitcoin payments. The project is being piloted in 39 stores across South Africa.
- Payments are processed on the Lightning Network, a layer-2 network, built on the Bitcoin blockchain, which allows the Bitcoin network to scale.
- To pay with Bitcoin, customers must first download a Lightning Network wallet, such as Muun, and the CryptoQR app by CryptoConvert.
Google Cloud became a Solana validator
- Google started running a Solana node to help validate and secure the Solana network.
- The internet giant also announced plans to launch its Blockchain Node Engine service to Solana developers and node operators early next year, the same service it’s offering to Ethereum node operators.
- A node is a computer that helps validate a blockchain network and keeps a copy of the network’s entire transaction history.
Companies recognise the future potential of blockchain technology
- 88% of companies surveyed in the latest report by Citigroup said they are actively exploring distributed ledger technology.
- “We are seeing a greater sense of momentum and purpose in all developments across the industry,” Okan Pekin, global head of securities services at Citi, said.
- Almost 300 companies participated in the Securities Services Evolution white paper.
JP Morgan executed its first live DeFi trade on a public blockchain
- The global banking giant traded tokenised Singapore Dollars for Japanese Yen. The test project also involved the buying and selling of tokenised government bonds.
- Multinational Singaporean DBS Bank and SBI Digital Asset Holdings were also involved in the pilot project, executed on the Ethereum layer-2 network, Polygon.
- Blockchain and smart contract technology allows financial transactions to be performed directly between parties without financial intermediaries. The pilot demonstrates that cross-currency transactions of tokenised assets can be traded, cleared and settled instantaneously.
What is the Lightning Network?
Retailers are using the Lightning Network (LN) to integrate Bitcoin payments into their operations, but what exactly is LN and what does it mean for the future of Bitcoin? Let’s take a look.
Crunching the numbers
1 million – Bitcoin’s Lightning Network can process up to 1 million transactions per second (tps). Without the Lightning Network, the Bitcoin network is capable of handling about 7 tps.
140% – The price of Dogecoin last week surged by more than 140% after Elon Musk tweeted a picture of a dog wearing a Twitter shirt.
134 – The number of stablecoins currently in existence.
12.28% – Ethereum outperformed Bitcoin by more than 12% in October.
The crypto time capsule
Almost 10 years on, and no-one could have imagined…
Satoshi Nakamoto stopped contributing to the Bitcoin code in 2011, leaving the further development of the original cryptocurrency in the hands of other Bitcoin developers, who have been publicly contributing to the code ever since. You can see their contributions here.
Worth a watch
Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson shows how a store-bought computer can help power a global financial system.