When viewed from the outside, the world of cryptocurrency can seem truly strange. It’s a market dominated by odd characters making crazy claims, huge unexplained price changes, and seemingly bizarre business decisions. This unpredictability is part of what makes the cryptocurrency industry such as fascinating topic for countless journalists, analysts, and pundits.
The past two weeks have been even weirder than normal. Here are five strange bitcoin headlines from the last week.
1. Researchers claim single “whale” behind bitcoin’s $20k price increase. Was a single buyer at Bitfinex behind bitcoin’s price surge to $20,000 in 2017? That’s the claim made by a recently updated research paper written by University of Texas professor John M. Griffin and Ohio State University professor Amin Shams. The researchers cite increased Tether stablecoin activity at Bitfinex prior to the increase in price, which they claim could only be the result of a “single large account holder.” The report’s sources, methodology, and conclusions have all been met with deep skepticism by most cryptocurrency analysts.
2. Roger Ver thinks Bitcoin Cash could be worth $290K one day. Currently trading at $293, BCH is the fourth largest cryptocurrency token by market cap, but activist investor Roger Ver clearly believes that the token is wildly undervalued. On Nov. 4, Ver posted to Facebook offering to give his followers $5 in BCH (and $1 in BCH to new followers), which he claims “could easily become worth $5,000 some day.” While stranger things have happened in cryptocurrency, BCH would need to see a 99,900% price increase for Ver’s prediction to become reality.
3. Craig Wright fails to pay $4.5 billion settlement in bitcoin case. Earlier this week, self-proclaimed bitcoin creator Craig Wright abruptly broke a settlement agreement with the estate of his deceased bitcoin-mining partner Dave Kleiman. While Wright agreed to settle out of court with Kleiman’s family for half of his claimed 1.1 million BTC holdings and intellectual property, his attorneys now claim that Wright is unable to finance the settlement. Wright was held in contempt of court earlier this year for failing to produce evidence of his claimed BTC holdings, among other issues.
4. Stellar “burns” half of its Lumens supply. Earlier today, the Stellar Development Foundation announced that it had destroyed 55 billion XLM ($3.7 billion), or half of the total supply of Lumens tokens. The move is widely believed to be an attempt to stabilize XLM’s price, which has struggled in recent months. (XLM is currently selling at 2014-era prices.) Stellar is also on the verge of falling out of the top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap, which could prove to be a PR headache for the Foundation. XLM’s price increased dramatically after the burn’s announcement, rising 20% to $0.084 per token. The Foundation still controls around 30 million XLM.
5. Lottery winner invests half of prize in BTC. An Illinois Lottery winner took to Reddit yesterday to announce that he had placed half of his winnings in bitcoin back in May. The man, identified only by his Reddit username of “Joxnlol,” produced evidence of the winning ticket, and stated that his post-tax winnings amounted to $357,000. If true, Joxnlol would have invested around $178,500 in BTC back in May, when prices hovered around the $8,000 range. Joxnlol says that he doesn’t plan to touch his investment for at least a year.