Coinbase screws up, Florida bans CBDCs, and Bitcoin Ordinals…


Top Stories This Week

Coinbase calls Pepe a ‘hate symbol,’ prompting calls to boycott the exchange

An email sent out to Coinbase customers describing the Pepe the Frog meme as a “hate symbol” co-opted by alt-right groups has drawn significant ire from the PEPE memecoin community this week. Two hours after the email was sent, the hashtag “#deletecoinbase” hit the trending sidebar on Twitter, with over 14,000 comments calling on users to boycott the exchange. Paul Grewal, the Coinbase’s chief legal officer, took to Twitter to respond to the outrage and apologized: “We screwed up and we are sorry.”

Florida governor signs CBDC bill into law, restricting some uses of US and foreign CBDCs

United State’s Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill restricting the use of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in the state. The new law prohibits the use of a United States federal CBDC “as money within Florida’s Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).” It also bans the use of CBDCs issued by foreign governments and calls on other states to use their commercial codes to institute similar prohibitions. DeSantis said he was spurred into action by White House studies of the new financial technology. The law takes effect on July 1.

Milady memecoin surges 5,250% after Musk tweet, exchange listings

Milady (LADYS), the self-organized memecoin based on the anime avatar NFT collection of the same name, surged by over 5,250% on May 11 after Elon Musk tweeted a meme using the imagery of a Milady NFT. The tweet also boosted the collection’s average sale price. “LADYS is a meme coin without any intrinsic value or expectation of financial return. There is no formal team or roadmap,” said the token developers. “The coin is completely useless and for entertainment purposes only.”

Ordinals good or bad for Bitcoin? Supporters and opposers raise voices

Bitcoin Ordinals continue to inspire debate among the Bitcoin community. Soon after their introduction in January 2023, opponents of the technology began to raise concerns about its perceived flaws, citing slow speeds and rising transaction costs. Meanwhile, its supporters claim that the ordinals provide more opportunity, improve decentralization and ensure freedom of expression. The technology enables adding text, images and code on a satoshi — the smallest unit of Bitcoin.

To catch a scammer: Kraken builds fake crypto account to ‘bait’ fraudsters

Crypto exchange Kraken has provided a novel method for flagging malicious wallets — building a fake crypto environment to “scam bait” bad actors. Kraken created the “custom environment” for popular streamer Kitboga to frustrate a scammer posing as U.S. President Joe Biden. The punchline comes when Kitboga, who portrays an elderly person with a $450,000 balance in Bitcoin, infuriates the scammer after incorrectly typing his wallet address before sending over all of the funds.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $26,707, Ether (ETH) at $1,803 and XRP at $0.43. The total market cap is at $1.12 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Kava (KAVA) at 15.28%, Bitcoin SV (BSV) at 5.19% and PAX Gold (PAXG) at 0.20%. 

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Pepe (PEPE) at -54.43%, PancakeSwap (CAKE) at -27.15% and WOO Network (WOO) -24.48%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

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Most Memorable Quotations

“A blanket pause on AI’s training, together with existing trends that seem to be de-prioritizing investment in industry AI ethics efforts, will only lead to additional harm and setbacks.”

Christina Montgomery, chief privacy and trust officer at IBM

“The tokenization of real-world assets may offer an unprecedented opportunity to create new market infrastructure and drive efficiency in the trading of products across the globe.”

Cathy Clay, executive vice president, global digital and data solutions at Cboe Global Markets

“The metaverse is dead! Let’s organize an online wake so that we 600,000,000 monthly active users in Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, PUBG Mobile, Sandbox, and VRChat can mourn its passing together in real-time 3D.”

Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games

“We screwed up and we are sorry [about comments regarding Pepe the Frog].”

Paul Grewal, chief legal officer at Coinbase

“People are actually adopting [crypto] inside of their portfolios. Whether you’re talking about the retail side, high net worth or institutional investors, everyone’s looking at their portfolios and trying to get that type of exposure.”

Neil Tan, chair of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong

“The key lessons learned from the Terra LUNA crash include proper diligence. Doing due diligence on each project would save potential investors future heartache.”

Obinna Uche Uzoije, Twitter analyst

Prediction of the Week 

Bitcoin enters $26K ‘bearadise’ as BTC price approaches 2-month lows

Bitcoin neared two-month lows on May 12 amid fears that a “head-and-shoulders” pattern would put bears ahead.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD reaching $26,100 on Bitstamp — its lowest since March 17. Despite encouraging macroeconomic conditions for risk assets, Bitcoin failed to capitalize on the potential for gains as bid liquidity headed lower.

This “head-and-shoulders pattern” would create a negative precedent if confirmed. “We simply cannot let the #Bitcoin head and shoulders crowd win,” said pseudonymous financial commentator Tedtalksmacro, before adding that if Bitcoin climbs back above $27k things could get “very interesting.”

FUD of the Week 

Pepe memecoin frenzy gets unwanted attention from scammers

Bad actors have taken notice of the hype surrounding the Pepe memecoin, resulting in scam attempts that now plague the crypto community. According to blockchain security firm PeckShield, at least 10 memecoin scams have been created over the past few days. The firm reported scam tokens that recently had their liquidity removed, rug-pulling investors. Fake Pepe claim sites are also starting to become increasingly common on Twitter.

‘Bitcoin is not under attack:’ BTC maxis allay fears of a DoS offensive

A sudden rise in Bitcoin transaction fees and unconfirmed transactions sparked concern on Crypto Twitter over the week about a potential denial-of-service attack on the network. Bitcoin average transaction fees were at $19.20 on May 8, according to BitInfoCharts, while the backlog of transactions stood at 459,341 on the same day. The increased demand on the network has even caused total fees per block to temporarily exceed the block subsidy reward of 6.25 BTC. Bitcoin analysts and commentators have rushed to allay community fears.

ParaSpace team clashes with CEO over alleged whereabouts of protocol funds

NFT protocol ParaSpace published several alleged irregularities tying its CEO Yubo Ruan to mismanagement of funds equaling 2,909 Ether. The funds had previously been stolen during a hack, but were later recovered thanks to white hats. Ruan, however, returned only a portion of the funds to the protocol treasury. ParaSpace employees have now taken full control of the protocol and are calling on Ruan to step down. The CEO denied any wrongdoing.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Cryptocurrency trading addiction: What to look out for and how it is treated

Treatment centers are seeing an uptick in clients struggling with cryptocurrency addiction. Although the symptoms are not difficult to spot, some crypto traders may not even be aware of what’s troubling them.

$3.4B of Bitcoin in a popcorn tin: The Silk Road hacker’s story

The Silk Road hacker lived the high life for a decade with his stolen billions — but was caught due to a transfer of pocket change.

William Clemente III tips Bitcoin will hit six figures toward end of 2024: Hall of Flame

Will Clemente III ditched school to become a crypto analyst and says Bitcoin has a strong chance of hitting six figures toward the end of 2024.

Editorial Staff

Cointelegraph Magazine writers and reporters contributed to this article.

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