Last week, the world celebrated the start of both a brand new year, and an entirely new decade. While 2020 is sure to have some incredible news for the cryptocurrency industry, it’s worth starting off the year with a few updates to stories from all the way back in those hazy, half-forgotten days of the late 2010s. Let’s take a look.
1. Ronnie Moas loses $20K BTC price bet with Vinny Lingham, reneges on charity donation. At the 2018 World Crypto Convention in Las Vegas, investment analyst and financial pundit Ronnie Moas made an on-stage bet with cryptocurrency entrepreneur Vinny Lingham, stating that if bitcoin’s price did not hit $28,000 by the end of 2019 he would donate $20,000 to FreeRoss.org. BTC’s price ended 2019 in the $7,200 range, however, and now Moas is refusing to honor the terms of the high-profile wager. Moas now claims that FreeRoss.org — a nonprofit organization working to free convicted Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht — is “UNACCEPTABLE” for “ethical” and “moral” reasons, and instead plans to donate $4,000 to five major nonprofits such as Oxfam and Doctors Without Borders. Not surprisingly, the online reaction against Moas has been harsh, with many cryptocurrency personalities pledging to donate to FreeRoss.org to replace the lost funds.
2. Ethereum’s “Muir Glacier” hard fork improves block times by 25%. The last month has been a dramatic one for the Ethereum community, with two major hard forks attempting to solve increasingly urgent problems for the network. The Muir Glacier upgrade, which was rolled out on New Years Day, seeks to prevent an “Ethereum ice age” that would create mining difficulties so extreme that it would essentially “freeze” the mining process. Thus far, Muir Glacier appears to be working as planned, reducing block times by around 25%. That’s great news for the Ethereum project, as well as the entire ecosystem of DApps, smart contracts, and alt-coin tokens that rely on the Ethereum blockchain for their continued existence.
3. Venezuelan Burger King franchises to begin accepting cryptocurrency. After living through years of economy-destroying hyperinflation, U.S.-backed sanctions, and ongoing political turmoil, something as simple as buying a Whopper and fries has become a real challenge for Venezuelans. This may be changing, however, as all 40 of the country’s Burger King locations are expected to begin accepting cryptocurrency payments later this year. BK will accept BTC, ETH, LTC, and other major tokens, but the company has yet to confirm that it will accept the Petro token, Venezuela’s controversial government-backed cryptocurrency.