Well that escalated quickly. Telegram, the chat app, is launching a new cryptocurrency platform/blockchain/wallet thingie called the Gram sometime this year in the hopes of raising billions (yes that is a b) of $$. They are going to be dishing out 4% to their developers, holding 44%, and selling the rest away to
suckers investors, all while claiming to be fair and decentralised. Good luck to them.
Questions include: who uses XRP? Why would anyone use XRP? Why would XRP have any value? What happens when the 40 billion XRP that is held in escrow for two years comes on the market? For some answers, check out the second look CoinDesk published about the newly dubbed bitcoin "killer".
TL;DR: China really doesn't like bitcoin. They don't like it so much, they've now set upon a plan to slowly wind down or limit bitcoin mining operations across the country. This seems like bad news for China, but great news for Bitcoin and the rest of the world. For years, one of the largest risks of bitcoin centralisation has been that too much of the mining power has come from inside of one country: China. Now, with this orderly exit, China is doing bitcoin a massive favour and distributing that power across the rest of the world. For example, Quebec seems poised to take off where China left off
South Korean cryptocurrency investors could probably sue the government for whiplash after this week's rollercoaster ride. A battle seems to be brewing between the Ministry of Justice, who called for banning crypto-investing, and the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, who just wants exchanges to comply with the relevant KYC/AML laws for money transmitters. With China exiting stage left, it seems South Korea will be taking its place as bitcoin FUD capital of the world.