This Week in Crypto 2-26-24

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Welcome to This Week in Crypto, your go-to source for the latest and most significant developments in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. This week, we delve into a trio of groundbreaking stories that are shaping the future of digital currencies. First, we uncover new insights from the historic email exchanges between Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto and early collaborator Martti Malmi, offering a rare glimpse into the origins of the world’s first cryptocurrency. Then, we report on a legal victory for the Texas Blockchain Council and Riot Platforms, who successfully challenged a U.S. energy department’s data collection effort, marking a significant moment for privacy and autonomy in the crypto mining sector. Finally, we explore a pioneering partnership between Overdare, the metaverse game by the PUBG publishers, and Circle, to integrate in-game wallets and USDC payouts, signaling a new era for content creators in the Web3 space.

New Historic Emails Shed Light on Bitcoin's Origins

Recently, Martti Malmi, an early collaborator with the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, unveiled a great amount of history through the release of 120 pages of email exchanges between them on GitHub. These emails were initially disclosed as part of a legal dispute in London involving the Crypto Open Patent Alliance and Craig Wright, who claims to be Nakamoto. The release provides a fascinating glimpse into the formative days of cryptocurrency, shedding light on the intellectual exchanges that helped shape Bitcoin. 

The correspondence, while not revealing Nakamoto’s true identity, offers a wealth of information that enthusiasts and historians will find invaluable. Interestingly, the emails challenge the long-held belief that Nakamoto coined the term “cryptocurrency.” In a message from June 11, 2009, Nakamoto expresses intrigue over the term suggested by someone else, pondering its adoption for Bitcoin – a moment that highlights the collaborative spirit that has been a hallmark of Bitcoin’s development.

Texas Blockchain Council and Riot Platforms Win Lawsuit Against US Energy Data Collection

The Texas Blockchain Council (TBC) and Riot Platforms, a Bitcoin mining company, recently filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy and the Energy Information Administration (EIA), among others, challenging their request for detailed energy usage data from cryptocurrency miners. Filed on February 22 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, the lawsuit argued that the demand for information was excessively intrusive and politically driven, potentially setting a dangerous precedent for government overreach into private industry sectors like Bitcoin mining. The plaintiffs labeled the data collection effort as a politically motivated attack, aimed at undermining the cryptocurrency industry under the guise of an “emergency” request for a national energy consumption snapshot.

In a decisive legal victory, the court granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) in favor of the TBC and Riot Platforms, halting the EIA’s attempt to gather this energy usage data from crypto mining operations. This ruling, issued just days after the lawsuit was filed, underscored concerns about the potential for irreversible harm and the overreach of governmental authority. The court criticized the EIA’s emergency survey as unjustified, highlighting the significant discrepancy between the estimated time to comply with the survey and the actual burden placed on businesses. This case marks a significant moment for the cryptocurrency industry, demonstrating its ability to push back against what it perceives as regulatory overreach and the importance of protecting proprietary business information from unwarranted governmental involvement.

PUBG Creators Venture into Metaverse with Circle's Web3 Wallet Integration

Overdare, a metaverse game initiative by the creators of PUBG: Battlegrounds and software company Naver Z, has partnered with Circle, the issuer of USD Coin (USDC), to bring in-game Web3 wallet integration and USDC payouts to its gaming content creators. This collaboration, announced today, aims to simplify cryptocurrency transactions within the game, allowing creators to earn stablecoins for their contributions. The move is part of Overdare’s strategy to incorporate nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and provide a Roblox-like gaming experience built on Unreal Engine 5, facilitating an easy transition for creators from traditional Web2 platforms to the burgeoning Web3 ecosystem.

Circle’s involvement introduces its Programmable Wallets service to Overdare, enabling not just in-game wallets but also offering USDC as a stable and regulatory-compliant method for creators to manage their earnings. This initiative is seen as a significant step towards redefining digital entertainment and supporting the creator economy within the Web3 space. The partnership reflects a growing interest in blockchain gaming, as evidenced by the recent surge in value of the Web3 game Pixel’s crypto token, which saw a remarkable increase following its listing on the Binance exchange. This development underscores the potential of blockchain technology to enhance the gaming industry and provide innovative revenue models for content creators.

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