This Week in Crypto 1-8-24

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Welcome to this week’s edition of This Week in Crypto, where we delve into the remarkable events shaping the cryptocurrency landscape. Our focus this week includes a historical milestone in digital currency, as we celebrate the 15th anniversary of Bitcoin’s genesis block — a pivotal moment that laid the foundation for cryptocurrency as we know it today. We’ll also zoom into the thrilling world of Formula 1, where cryptocurrency and high-speed racing collide, following Stake’s exciting new sponsorship deal with the Sauber F1 Team. Additionally, we explore the intersection of classic animation and modern digital assets with the entry of Disney’s “Steamboat Willie,” the first-ever Mickey Mouse cartoon, into the public domain. Join us as we unpack these stories and their implications for the ever-evolving realm of crypto.

Crypto Community Celebrates 15th Anniversary of Bitcoin’s Genesis Block

Last week, the crypto community celebrated Bitcoin’s technical 15th birthday – the mining of the first block on the blockchain, also known as the genesis block. First mined on January 3, 2009, the initial block laid the foundation for what would become one of the top ten most valuable assets globally. While the Bitcoin whitepaper was released on October 31, 2008, many consider the mining of the genesis block as the true inception of Bitcoin, transforming it into a tangible store of value and a transferable currency. This ushered in a new era in digital currency, setting the stage for a decade and a half of growth, cementing Bitcoin’s position in the financial sector.

The 15th anniversary of the Bitcoin genesis block is not just a celebration of its age but also a testament to the strength and resilience of the Bitcoin ecosystem. Over the years, miners have continuously processed transactions, creating approximately 825,000 blocks that are now a permanent part of Bitcoin’s ledger. This ongoing process has not only proven to be a viable business model for individuals and corporations but has also played a crucial role in safeguarding the Bitcoin network from external threats. The persistence of miners signifies a robust confidence in Bitcoin, underscoring its relevance and potential in the ever-evolving landscape of digital finance.

Crypto Casino Stake Secures Spot in F1 with Two-Year Deal to Sponsor Sauber Team

Cryptocurrency betting and casino platform Stake has made a significant move in the world of Formula 1, securing naming rights to Sauber’s F1 car for the next two years. The rebranding, unveiled on New Year’s Day, will see the team launch its 2024 season in London. The collaboration also includes streaming website Kick.com, which will have naming rights to the chassis of Sauber’s car, the Sauber C44. 

As the F1 sport continues to attract global attention, more crypto-related companies are seizing the opportunity to promote their brands. Companies like OKX, Crypto.com, and others have been team sponsors in F1, leveraging the sport’s global fan base for advertising and sponsorship deals, further intertwining the worlds of cryptocurrency and high-speed racing.

The influx of crypto firms into Formula 1 sponsorship is a testament to the sport’s growing appeal to a tech-savvy, global audience. From Crypto.com’s $100 million investment in F1 to McLaren releasing F1 NFTs and Kraken sponsoring British F1 team Williams Racing, the trend is evident. Stake’s partnership highlights how Formula 1 continues to be a global platform for tech and crypto firms to expand their outreach and brand recognition.

Disney’s Steamboat Willie Becomes a Meme Coin & NFT Collection

The iconic first-ever cartoon of Mickey Mouse, “Steamboat Willie”, recently entered the public domain, sparking some new creations in the crypto and NFT markets. On January 1, the 1928 character became available for public use, marking the end of its 95-year copyright under U.S. law. This shift allowed for the creation of new digital assets based on the character, including a meme coin and several NFT collections. The meme coin, named MICKEY, was quickly minted and is inspired by the original Mickey Mouse character.

In the world of NFTs, Steamboat Willie’s entry into the public domain occurred amid significant trading activity. Three NFT collections quickly climbed the ranks on the OpenSea marketplace, dominating the trending list. The “Steamboat Willie Public Domain 2024” collection soared to the top spot with approximately $1.2 million in trading volume, while two other collections related to the film also secured high rankings. 

Disney, while acknowledging the public domain status of the 1928 version of Mickey Mouse, has stated its intention to continue protecting its rights in the more modern versions of the character. This development highlights the intricate balance between copyright laws and the evolving digital landscape, where characters like Mickey Mouse find new life in meme coins and NFTs.

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