Today on Bitcoin This Week we talk about Kim Kardashian and her recent poker charity game using Bitcoins, we comment on how blockchain could help fight the Valley Fever and more.
Kardashians Up The Stakes for Bitcoin
Kim Kardashian West, the reality tv and social media starlet, was spotted this week in Los Angeles, betting with what appeared to be Bitcoin chips. Kardashian flaunted her perfectly round, if a little on the large side, betting chip for Instagram. “We moved into Bitcoin” she announced to her 114 million followers.
Kardashian was in attendance at a charity poker night in aid of cancer research along with her only-slightly-less-famous family members, Khloe, Kriss, and Kendall. Husband Kanye was not at the event but has tweeted his approval of Bitcoin in recent months. It remains to be seen, however, if Kanye will follow fellow rapper Akon and launch a coin of his own.
Bitcoin Will Take Us Back 300 Years Says Nobel Laureate
Bitcoin is “more likely than not” to become completely worthless, opined Paul Krugman in an opinion piece this week in the New York Times. The economist, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2008, stated his belief that Bitcoin adoption would be like taking economics back in time over 300 years, because of its high fees and its proposed replacement of trusted banks with a decentralized monetary system.
The Nobel Laureate outlined a potted history of money in his article, from the days of gold coins to the growth of paper money tethered to gold, to today’s fiat money systems. The current, frictionless, cashless economy is cheap and effective, he said, so why try to fix it? The only people who benefit from Bitcoin, he continued, are the same that stockpile cash – criminals. Firms that accept cryptocurrencies were accused of “signalling” and trying to look cutting-edge for the sake of it. But his biggest gripe is Bitcoin’s lack of tethering: the currency has no real-world value, only accruing it through speculation. Once the market starts to believe that Bitcoin is worthless, it will become worthless.
Blockchain Will Help Fight Valley Fever
Valley Fever, an endemic fungal infection prevalent in desert regions, seems an unlikely beneficiary of blockchain technology. Congressman Kevin McCarthy of Arizona believes that it could be vital to collate private data on the spread of the disease while simultaneously protecting the privacy of patients.
Announcing the move as part of the FORWARD Act, the Congressman expressed hopes that “… one day, Valley Fever will join the ranks of polio or smallpox – a relic of the past that has been eradicated through the ingenuity and hard work of the men and women who are dedicated to finding better treatments and, ultimately, a vaccine.” Part of that ingenuity is blockchain which fellow Congressman David Schwiekert said “should become the future of medical research.”
Almonds Successfully Tracked From Australia to Germany With Blockchain
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia announced this week that seventeen tons of almonds had been shipped and tracked from Victoria to Frankfurt using a new blockchain platform. Working in collaboration with five Australian and international logistics firms, the Bank said the success of the experiment “brought to life the idea of a modern global supply chain that is agile, efficient and transparent.”
By putting cumbersome paperwork on the blockchain and utilizing Internet of Things devices to monitor temperature and humidity conditions within the container, the blockchain platform helped ensure the smooth passage of the almonds, while also providing a greater level of transparency to the logistics process. It is hoped that blockchain will eliminate costly and time-consuming global logistics inefficiencies, and help enhance security and traceability for food and other products.
Bitcoin Suffers Losses
Bitcoin (BTC) suffered losses this week after a fortnight of gains, indicating perhaps that whispers about the return of the bull market are premature. It opened Monday trading at $8221 before losing ground and closing at $8180. A bigger dip followed on Tuesday, with Bitcoin (BTC) falling to a low of $7696 before closing at $7780. Wednesday saw further depreciation, Bitcoin (BTC) struggled to rise to $7600 and seemed as though it would drop to the $7500 mark towards the end of the day.
South Korean lawmakers planning a possible move to end tax breaks for crypto investors is one reason why the market slumped this week. It will most likely continue to be sluggish as investors await the SEC’s ETF decision, which is due late August to early September.