Your guide to a better future
All the bitcoin, cryptocurrency and NFT news for the week ending April 22.
Julian is a staff writer at CNET. He’s covered a range of topics, such as tech, travel, sports and commerce. His past work has appeared at print and online publications, including New Mexico Magazine, TV Guide, Mental Floss and NextAdvisor with TIME. On his days off, you can find him at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque watching the ballgame.
Welcome to Nonfungible Tidbits, a weekly roundup of news in crypto, NFTs and their related realms.
Our lead story this week is Twitter signing on as the first company to use Stripe’s new cryptocurrency payments feature. The social network plans to give creators — people who monetize their video, art and music directly through their relationships with the audience — the option of getting paid in a stablecoin.
We’ll also cover Coinbase launching a beta version of its NFT marketplace, New York lawmakers considering a moratorium on fossil-fuel powered cryptocurrency mining in the state, and a strange cyberattack on a DeFi protocol in which the hacker left the stolen cryptocurrency behind.
Online payment processor Stripe said on Friday that it’ll allow businesses to pay their customers in cryptocurrencies. The first business that’s signed on for this feature is social media giant Twitter, which currently uses Stripe to pay creators. Right now the cryptocurrency that’ll be used for the payout is a stablecoin called USDCoin, or USDC. The value of the USDC stablecoin is pegged to the US dollar, which makes the value less volatile than that of other cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin.
Twitter will draw on Stripe’s cryptocurrency payments feature by offering it as an option to creators who sell premium content to their followers, such as those who receive earnings from Twitter’s paid Ticketed Spaces and Super Follows features. Creators can opt to have their payout sent to a digital wallet.
Read CNET’s full story on Stripe’s cryptocurrency payment roll out here.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase on Wednesday released the beta version of a feature that’ll allow users to buy and sell NFTs on its platform. Coinbase calls the new feature “a Web3 social marketplace for NFTs,” which sounds like the exchange may include social media elements in the feature. Right now the beta version only lets people view Ethereum-based NFTs on Coinbase.
Read CNET’s full story on the launch of Coinbase’s NFT marketplace here.
A cryptocurrency mining rig.
A battle over how and if cryptocurrency mining should be allowed to operate is heating up in New York, according to a Wall Street Journal report. New York lawmakers are considering measures that would place a two-year moratorium on reactivating old fossil-fuel power plants in the state for the purpose of cryptocurrency mining.
Cryptocurrency mining operations are incredibly energy-intensive, so electricity is a big part of miners’ overhead. Buying enough electricity to mine cryptocurrency is expensive, and crypto miners need uninterrupted access to power around the clock. So miners are using old power plants as a cheap source of electricity for their operations.
The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index estimates that the bitcoin network’s energy usage is a little less than the energy used by the entire country of Egypt. Greenpeace and other organizations are currently engaged in a campaign to change the way the bitcoin network works to reduce the networks’ carbon footprint.
In an odd turn of events, a hacker stole $1 million in crypto from a decentralized finance protocol called Zeed, then failed to get it out. Generally speaking, DeFi protocols are code sets that run on blockchains and facilitate various financial transactions and transfers using cryptocurrencies. Business Insider India called the hack similar to robbing a bank and then forgetting the bags of money. The publication also noted that almost 97% of all cryptocurrency stolen this year has come from hacks and exploitations of DeFi protocols.
Thanks for reading. We’ll be back with plenty more next week. In the meantime, check out this story from CNET’s Daniel Van Boom about how an Apple iCloud exploit caused a cryptocurrency trader to lose more than $650K.