Messaging giant WhatsApp to launch crypto payments in the US

Bitcoin and Crypto Market News Friday, December 10, 2021 - 18:31

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Last week, Bitcoin (BTC) further shattered the confidence of the bulls as the market leader lost major support levels at $52,000 and $50,000 in quick succession. The market sentiment turned mildly bearish and has gotten even worse ever since Bitcoin tested $42,000 briefly. In spite of gloominess prevailing in the market, there was no shortage of fund flow into crypto startups as the fundamentals of blockchain technology remain resilient as ever. In this article, we summarise some of the cryptocurrency news that caught everyone’s attention.

Polygon with a mission

Polygon (MATIC), a layer 2 Etherum-based scaling protocol, continues to make strategic acquisitions that positions itself as the transaction layer for Ethereum. In that light, Polygon has acquired Mir Protocol, an Ethereum scaling startup that uses Zero Knowledge (ZK) proof technology also referred to as ZK rollups. To understand the significance of this move, let's take a moment to understand what ZK rollup means for Polygon.

Ethereum can be thought of as a group of computers that stores transactions and maintains a global state (who owns how many ETH, what smart contracts are available etc) of those transactions. But it was becoming increasingly difficult to perform these transactions without a spike in the transaction (gas) fees. This is where Polygon came in and tried to mitigate the issue by moving the transaction layer off the base Ethereum layer.

A ZK-proof is a cryptographic tool that can be used to create ZK-rollups. With ZK-rollups, transactions can be processed but don’t require all transaction data to be posted on Ethereum. This helps to reduce the block space used on Ethereum, enabling it to scale and reduce gas fees. Polygon claims Mir Protocol has developed the fastest ZK proof technology that can generate proofs faster and verify more transactions in a single proof. With Polygon already the most adopted scaling solution by DeFi users, this recent acquisition cements its position to be a global player in scaling blockchain technology to a billion users. Also, as a part of the deal, Mir will be rebranded to Polygon zero.

WhatsApp jumps the gun 

Meta (formerly Facebook) owned message platform WhatsApp announced the launch of its new pilot program where a set of limited users in the US can send and receive cryptocurrency from within a chat. This feature will be powered by Novi, Meta’s digital wallet that launched as a pilot more than a month ago. The payments are to be made through Pax dollars (USDP), a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar issued by Paxos. It is worth noting that Meta is committed to the launch of its cryptocurrency Diem (formerly Libra) in the future.

Firms Scoop Bitcoin again

Strong Bitcoin proponent Michael Saylor announced this week that his company Microstrategy had bought an additional 1,434 BTC for approximately $82.4 million in cash at an average price of $57,477. With this, MicroStrategy’s holdings of 122,000 BTC are valued at more than $5.9 billion, representing more than $2.2 billion in gains since its initial purchase in August 2020.

Mobile cloud platform Phunware has purchased an additional 100 BTC for approximately $5 million in cash at an average price of approximately $49,750 per Bitcoin. As of December 9, 2021, Phunware holds an aggregate of approximately 630 BTC.

Disclaimer:This article was authored by Giottus Cryptocurrency Exchange as a part of a paid partnership with The News Minute. Crypto-asset or cryptocurrency investments are subject to market risks such as volatility and have no guaranteed returns. Please do your own research before investing and seek independent legal/financial advice if you are unsure about the investments.




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