This week a report by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK which found that for 69% of young investors Bitcoin (BTC) and associated cryptocurrencies was akin to a form of gambling.
The statement reflects a broader media-driven hype towards the crypto sector with many people getting involved because they heard about it on the internet or in mainstream media. Meanwhile, the Financial Times discovered that many Chinese crypto owners were operating under the radar and using overseas exchanges to successfully move money around.
We also witnessed a push from different figureheads in the industry who made the case for blockchain and crypto in the betting and gaming industries. At the eGaming Seminar on the Isle of Man, a panel made the case for blockchain and how it can help with compliance and traceability.
Coinbase understandably made the news once again, being one of the largest regulated exchanges in the world. Facebook launched its Novi wallet with the exchange and Paxos to pilot test the solution and explore scaling opportunities.
Meanwhile, Coinbase signed a partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in a bid to secure another prominent position in the mainstream. Workers in Miami, one of the most crypto-forward-thinking cities in the US, may soon be paid in BTC as city mayor Francis Suarez has been making headlines for months now.
In Europe, Russia has been debating how to best end the hegemony of the US dollar, and specifically its own dependency on it. Officials are exploring alternatives to the currency by introducing digital alternatives that would allow them to skirt a financial system dominated by Washington.
However, to get to that point, Russia will need a concentrated effort whereby businesses and financial institutions seek alternatives to the US dollar or even introduce their own digital currency instead. As China's mining capacity hit a zero, North America has been boosting its own potential.
New York wants to convert two old power plants into crypto mining facilities. However, the idea has been met with stern opposition. Meanwhile in Canada, there are new crypto mining initiatives being rolled in. But instead of looking at BTC mining as an activity that produces excessive energy, Canada is going to use that energy to heat up residential and commercial buildings.