Summer Dreams, Rippled at the Seams
Roger Ver, bless him, seems to be just as clueless as the rest of us when it comes to the upcoming Bitcoin Cash fork/update/symposium/total war. Asked by YouTube channel Crypto Strategies what he thought of mining giant Bitmain’s impossible-to-understand “wormhole” proposal, Ver admitted that he, well, didn’t really understand either, saying: “I don’t know, is the short answer.” That might also be why Roger, when we asked him to explain what the whole Bitcoin Cash-fork saga was actually about, referred us to someone called Jake instead. We’ll let you know when Jake gets back to us.
While Bitcoin Cash faces a long winter of discontent, Ripple is having an Indian summer. The bankers’ beloved cryptocurrency has spent the past few months racking up the number of exchanges it operates on. From just 29 last year, Ripple’s XRP is now available on 103 exchanges world wide. That’s a 300 percent increase, which is impressive given everyone outside corporate finance seems to hate Ripple’s guts. The exchange data was compiled by Hodor, a “Ripple prognosticator,” who, true to form, offered the prognosis that the growth spurt was down to Ripple’s “xRapid” expansion program, which provides extra liquidity to banks. Ripple has also been tapped by the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, one of the five largest banks in the world, to reinforce its payment network.
The only pie Ripple doesn’t have its fingers in, it seems, is Iran. It’s certainly a pie worth sniffing out—Iran is continually beefing up its blockchain program, and has now formally recognized cryptocurrency mining as a legitimate industry. The decision, which dovetails with plans to instate a sovereign cryptocurrency, will reportedly bolster trade between Iran and its “friend countries,” presumably those same friends it likes to start proxy wars in Syria with. Cute.
Meanwhile, in retail news, CoinDesk revealed in an earth-shattering investigation on Tuesday that China-based crypto company NEO had tried to purchase streaming giant BitTorrent, but was thwarted by other China-based crypto company Tron, which bought it for $140m in July. Hmm. Less of a scandal and more, “how shopping works.” So melodramatic, Coindesk.
Maybe NEO would have found a better deal at Walmart, where “Bitcoin Chocolate coins” are going for a tidy $1 a piece. NewsBTC writer Tony Spilotro notes that the coins “aren’t held to a fixed supply, the price doesn’t fluctuate, and you don’t need to pass an extensive know-your-customer identify [sic] verification process to buy some.” Just you wait Tony—one year from now, and they’ll be flogging these on the New York Stock Exchange for $7,400, Iran will somehow be using them to evade US sanctions, and Dr. Craig Wright will be proposing a hard melt to better align the sweets with Walmart’s Vision.