Hello again and welcome as always to Overbit's Weekly Round Up.
Unfortunately, this week, we get off to a little bit of bad news. After weeks of months of defying the institutional and corporate interest in Bitcoin, it seems one of its loudest supporters has walked back their support.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday, 12 May, Elon Musk posted an image of a text snippet. In that snippet, Musk announced that Tesla (TSLA) would no longer accept Bitcoin for its car purchases (despite it continuing to hold it on its balance sheets). According to Musk, the decision was driven by concern over Bitcoin mining and its environmental impact.
Musk said TSLA was "concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel." Though these are shared concerns with some, it seems an odd decision just under two months after initially making a move.
This move took cryptocurrency enthusiasts by surprise and drove down the price of Bitcoin after-hours, falling over 15% to and below $46,000. The rest of the market wasn't spared, either, not even Elon's darling Dogecoin. The dog coin plummeted over 20% after hours, alongside Ethereum, Litecoin and most of the market (though some of the DeFI sectors, such as YFI, were muchly unaffected).
In our second story of the week, Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum founder, donated $1.5 billion in Ethereum and "meme coins" in one of the largest-ever individual philanthropy campaigns on Wednesday.
Buterin sent 500 ETH and over 50 trillion SHIB (Shiba Inu), a meme coin, to the India COVID-Crypto Relief Fund, which was worth about $1.14 billion at the time of the transaction. Some investors were alarmed by the sale, which contributed to a 35 per cent decrease in SHIB's price in the last 24 hours.
Before today's crash, the meme coin managed to attract billions of dollars in investment from retail investors in China and elsewhere, thanks to recent spikes in the Dogecoin cryptocurrency.
Buterin's sale of some dog-themed meme coins — which were sent to him without his permission in the first place — comes as India battles a coronavirus outbreak. Sandeep Nailwal, the man behind the Indian relief fund and the co-founder of crypto company Polygon, said in a tweet that he would not do anything that will harm the nation." any community, especially the retail community involved with SHIB."
Buterin, who became the world's youngest crypto billionaire at the age of 27 earlier this month, also donated $336 million in Ethereum and Dogelon Mars (ELON), a meme token, to the Methuselah Foundation. This charity supports tissue engineering and regenerative medicine therapies and over 13,000 ETH to Givewell, a nonprofit that curates the best charities across the world.
The takeaway from this week's edition is that Billionaires are here to stay in crypto, and the industry gets more and more interesting as it evolves.