The week in review: Institutional investment coming for Bitcoin?
The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of excitement, with the third Bitcoin halving and pizza day providing ample opportunity for (socially distanced) crypto parties. There’s no time for hangovers in crypto though. Here’s everything that went down this week. Read, rinse, repeat.
Calibra rebrands as Novi
Hear ye, hear ye! Libra is NOT a Facebook-owned project. And to prove it, they’ve given their digital wallet, Calibra, an exciting(ish) new rebrand. Calibra will henceforth be known as Novi – from the Latin words “novus” (new) and “via” (way).
When Facebook first launched Libra, there were two distinct entities — the Libra Association, a not-for-profit that oversees Libra, and Calibra, a Facebook subsidiary that is building a Libra-based wallet with integrations in WhatsApp and Messenger.
Unfortunately, by virtue of having a lot of overlap in what they were doing and having mostly the same letters in their names, many did not see the two entities as all that distinct. After a year of annoying questions aimed at Facebook’s higher-ups, the social media giant clearly hopes that the world will finally see the Libra project as an independent project run by a diverse array of companies, of which Facebook is just one.
David Marcus, who is running the division, said in a blogpost on Tuesday that Calibra sounded “a little too close” to Libra, the blockchain-powered system that supports the wallet. “We’ve made an update to make sure there is clear differentiation and clarity,” Marcus said. “Novi will be just one of the wallets that will eventually be built on the Libra network.”
“While we’ve changed our name from Calibra, we haven’t changed our long-term commitment to helping people around the world access affordable financial services,” he wrote. “Whether you’re sending money home to support the family members who supported you, or you’re receiving money from your friends no matter where they are, the Novi wallet will make money work better for everyone.”
Libra good for ads, says Zuck
If a rebrand wasn’t enough to get Libra fans’ juices flowing, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg this week also explained how Facebook can benefit from Libra.
Speaking during an annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, Zuckerberg said Facebook’s commerce work, including Libra, should be viewed through the lens of its ads business.
The social media giant’s ads business is designed in an auction format. Entities can bid for the best price depending on what an ad is worth to them in terms of what results they’re trying to achieve.
Zuckerberg explained, “If we can make commerce be more effective for businesses if when they run an ad, somebody who clicks on that ad is now going to be more likely to buy something because they actually have a form of payment that works that’s on file. Then it basically becomes worth it more for the businesses to bid higher in the ads than what we see are higher prices for the ads overall.”
Will Libra help with that? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter.
Grayscale buying all the Bitcoin
There have been mixed messages from institutional investment over the last month regarding crypto. Investor Paul Tudor Jones promoted it, Goldman Sachs went the other way. But actions speak louder than words and the actions of digital asset manager Grayscale Investments certainly suggest institutional money has arrived.
Since the third halving, the world’s largest digital assets manager, Grayscale Investments, has purchased more Bitcoin on behalf of its institutional clients than has been mined. According to data supplied by independent researcher Kevin Rooke, Grayscale added 18,910 coins to its Bitcoin Trust in little over two weeks since the halving. Only 12,337 coins were mined in that time period, meaning Grayscale has acquired the equivalent of 153% of all Bitcoin produced since the block reward halving.
According to its Q1 2020 Digital Asset Investment Report, the vast majority (88%) of Grayscale’s customers are now institutional investors. “88% of inflows this quarter came from institutional investors, the overwhelming majority of which were hedge funds,” stated the report. So has institutional demand finally arrived? We predicted it in our 2020 crypto trends piece – is it becoming reality?
China includes cryptocurrency in inheritance rules
China’s Inheritance Law has expanded the scope of inheritance to include internet property and cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.
The new code states: “When a natural person dies, the legacy is the personal legal property left by she/he.” Lixin Yang, a professor of Renmin University of China told China Central Television that this means “internet property and virtual currency will be inherited”.
The current “Inheritance Law,” whose original version was first established in 1985, included civil income, housing, trees, cultural relics, and copyrights. Zhang, Professor at Renmin University of China, added that the old version of Inheritance Law hasn’t been in line with the needs of the modern society. Is this another step towards legitimacy and mass adoption in the Communist state?
Reddit’s Fortnite community leads r/CryptoCurrency in Token Transfers
We recently reported Reddit’s decision to introduce ERC-20 community tokens to reward quality content. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the site’s cryptocurrency communities would be first through the door on that score, but it turns out they’ve actually been outgunned by Reddit’s r/FortNiteBR community.
r/FortNiteBR members have conducted almost five times as many ERC-20 token transfers as the r/CryptoCurrency community, with over 1% of Fortnite subscribers holding tokens. Just two weeks after Reddit launched the scheme, over 15,000 users have already performed almost 18,000 token transfers. Have you used it? Let us know your experiences on Twitter.