Weekly Report: MicroStrategy chief says firm will hold onto Bitcoin stash amid crypto market tumble

Weekly Report: MicroStrategy chief says firm will hold onto Bitcoin stash amid crypto market tumble

By Sam Grant - min read

The cryptocurrency market has continued bleeding on the second straight day. Bitcoin has sunk further, hitting a six-month low. It is currently trading at around $35,500, 6.28% down on the day. Ether and other altcoins have also haemorrhaged, erasing a chunk of gains from recent rallies. The crash has been attributed to the global stock sell-off and a looming crypto ban in Russia.

Here are other top cryptocurrency headlines that you might have missed this week:

Singapore's top financial regulator goes after cryptocurrency ATM operators

Cryptocurrency ATM operators in Singapore were on Monday ordered to halt their operations in accordance with recently published guidelines.

The issued 'request' outlawed crypto businesses from lending services at physical crypto ATMs. Singapore has five crypto machines spread across its malls, two of which were confirmed inactive on Tuesday following the order as per a Bloomberg report.

This represents the latest efforts of the Monetary Authority of Singapore to regulate the cryptocurrency sector. The MAS argued that providing locals exposure to digital assets through automated teller machines promoted impulsive crypto trading and prompted trading decisions without consideration of the risks involved.

Twitter takes a major leap, bringing verifiable NFT profile pictures to your timeline

Jack Dorsey's Bitcoin-only philosophy has seemingly been upended following the launch of the feature. On Thursday, Twitter announced that it is looking to an NFT profile picture verification feature for Twitter Blue users.

In a move that saw the tech giant become among the first social media platforms to build NFTs into their app, Twitter Blue subscribers on iOS devices will onwards enjoy the ability to connect their crypto wallets to their Twitter profiles and therefore display their NFTs.

Whereas several users are already using NFTs on their profiles, Twitter will now add verifiability to indicate authentication and true ownership of the digital art. Further, the profile pictures would be distinct in shape, taking a natty hexagonal structure different from the platform's usual circular profile pictures.

However, Twitter has not clarified how it intends to deal with right-clickers who could well download the NFT profile pictures, mint them into digital collectibles and use them as their own NFT profile pictures.

The social network also stated that the new NFT feature is still in active development, and it remains unclear whether it shall be rolled out to the general community on the platform.

Just as in DeFi, Ethereum is losing to rival ecosystems in NFTs, JPMorgan cautions

In a note recently sent to clients, JPMorgan postulated that Ethereum is continually losing its market share to lesser networks such as Solana. Solana has consistently outperformed Ethereum in NFT volume share since August 2021, which is the time around when the NFT scene started seeing great burgeoning.

A team of analysts from the investment banking firm explained that Ethereum has been plagued with congestion issues and high gas fees, unsuitable factors for users who want to mint NFTs. Competing ecosystems such as Solana, Wax, and Tezos are snapping the migrating users into their circles.

Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, who led the research team, explained that Ethereum's market dominance in the space has fallen by 15% in the space of a year. Early 2021, the ecosystem's dominance was 90%, which is now at 80%.

Panigirtzoglou also explained that were this trend to appear "more sustained" as the year progresses, we could see a bigger impact on Ethereum's valuation resulting from this market shift.

This could be cause for concern as JPMorgan theorised that Ethereum's market share in NFTs was far more valuable than in DeFi. The reason being NFTs are the "fastest-growing universe in the crypto ecosystem."

MicroStrategy will 'hodl' its $5 billion Bitcoin stash, CEO says

MicroStrategy chief executive Michael Saylor has said that his firm will not sell any Bitcoin in its portfolio but rather stick to exclusively buying and hodling.

Saylor's comments come at a time when the mood around crypto markets is bearish, with digital assets hardly looking up. The business executive asserted that even when the BTC market fell by up to 40% to less than the $40,000 support, he did not panic.

Saylor also maintained that he feels "great comfort" in Bitcoin, given the spiking inflation levels that fiat money is showing. He argued that by hodling Bitcoin, his firm had established a pretty good standing against an inflationary environment.

He previously predicted at the tail end of last year that he expects Bitcoin to hit $600k in the future and eventually $6 million. However, his firm belief in Bitcoin is at the moment not paying back, as MicroStrategy stocks have plunged 16% in the last year despite Bitcoin climbing 35% within the same period.

Intel plans to release more efficient ASIC miners, bags Ohio-based startup as a first major customer

California-based chip manufacturer Intel is reportedly planning to release an ultra-low-voltage and energy-efficient ASIC miner in the ISSCC conference slated for later next month.

Tom's Hardware, which first published the story, suggested that the forthcoming project would be for a Bitcoin-specific ASIC to align with the patent for an optimised SHA-256 datapath that intel filed for in 2018IC. It would also be important as Bitcoin leverages the hashcash SHA-256 cryptographic hash algorithm.

During an interview towards the end of last year, Intel's Systems and Graphic Architect Raja Koduri indicated that the company was interested in the project. He said that the tech manufacturer was working on hardware optimised to solve high cost and high power consumption constraints in blockchain validation.

The mining chip that Intel plans to release, the 'Bonanza Mine,' also appeared in a subsequent report, this time by Fox Business.

The news piece reported that GRIID, an Ohio-based mining startup firm, had reached an agreement with the chipmaker to become the first recipient of BZM2 ASIC miners. According to an S-4 filing by GRIID, the supply of the Bitcoin mining equipment kicks off this year. Also, the startup would have a "significant share" of Intel's future pool of miners.