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As the year that felt like a decade on speed starts to draw to a welcome close, some of us are starting to try to make sense of the timeline of narratives and events. Most of us (myself included) are failing. And that in itself is an intriguing narrative, that sheds light on bitcoin’s rally.
Bear with me while I try to explain.
On the one hand, we have a rapid rise in the bitcoin price, and coalescing institutional support from traditional investors and companies that see potential in crypto assets and markets.
The deflation debate
First, let’s look at another pair of conflicting economic trends.
Most economists seem to believe that a resurgence of inflation is unlikely. Depressed consumption and excess supply, the continuing impact of technology and demographic shifts, the low velocity of money and the weak labor market are just some of the factors they point to. These have already led to deflation in some key economic areas.
An inflation hedge
But does that really matter for bitcoin?
Bitcoin is seen as an inflation hedge mainly because of its limited supply, which is not influenced by its price, and because of its relative attractiveness when real yields head to zero or lower.
A dollar debasement hedge
Bitcoin is also a hedge against a more gentle but just as pernicious debasement of currency through a loss of trust.
Traditionally, inflation moves in tandem with the strength of the local economy. But it can be triggered by currency weakness, which raises the prices of imported goods.
A hacked database of over a million Ledger customer emails has been made available on hacker site Raidforums.
The data was stolen during a June 2020 hack of the hardware wallet manufacturer's e-commerce database.
No financial information, recovery phrases, or keys were exposed in the attack.
More than a million customer emails that were apparently stolen from hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger were made publicly available on a hacker site today. Ledger said it was still confirming the details of the incident but admitted that the data “indeed could be the contents of our e-commerce database from June, 2020.”
The leaked data, which was published on Raidforums, also includes names, physical addresses and phone numbers of Ledger customers, and appears to originate from a hack of Ledger's e-commerce database in June.
According to cybersecurity site haveibeenpwned.com, it had already listed 69% of the addresses in the dumped database as having been compromised, from the time of the original hack.
What information was leaked?
The original hack targeted Ledger's marketing and e-commerce database, meaning that only contact and order details were involved; no financial information, recovery phrases, or keys were exposed in the attack. In 9,500 cases, phone numbers, postal addresses and details of product purchases were exposed in the hack.
Listen here, Elon Musk: Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy, has some advice. Saylor has bought $1.3 billion in Bitcoin in the past few months, he claims on Twitter, and he's willing to share his tips with you, the self-titled Lord Edge.
MicroStrategy bought hundreds of millions in Bitcoin—$500 million since August, and plans to buy another $650 million more with investors' money.
Since Saylor invested, Bitcoin has more than doubled in price; yesterday, it hit a new all-time high of $24,000. Many attribute the bull run to investments from large institutions, such as MicroStrategy.
Saylor told Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, that he is "happy to share my playbook with you offline—from one rocket scientist for another." Send him a message, Musk, and he'll open like a clam.
In a huff, Musk said that "Bitcoin is almost as bs as fiat money" before proclaiming the One True Coin: Dogecoin. Musk, whose Twitter profile cites him as "Former CEO of Dogecoin," pumped the price of the meme coin after he tweeted about it six hours ago.
On December 6th, just two days after the start of a NFT-backed “card pack” sale for their blockchain-based video game Alien Worlds, the 15-man team behind development studio Daococo sold out of packs after having successfully raised $250,000.
While a quarter million might seem like a pittance in a world where a single NFT critter can fetch six figures and more established games like The Sandbox and Decentraland routinely raise millions, for a smaller studio it’s the kind of raise that can ensure success for a project — and, according to Play To Earn editor-in-Chief Robert Hoogendoorn, the unique set of incentives for buyers means it might well become part of a larger trend.
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“For centuries, land ownership has been a privilege of the upper classes,” says Alien Worlds co-founder Michael Yeates. “Now in crypto, everyone has the chance to earn passive income by owning land which is truly theirs.”
However, developers looking to cash in on the new trend might want to do so research first, cautioned Hoogendoorn.
“Understand scarcity, and build the game's economy around that, and [make sure] you've got a game economy that's interesting for players to put lots of time and effort in.”