Bitcoin HODLer and Advocate Sen. Lummis Assigned to Senate Banking Committee

Cynthia Lummis, the Bitcoin community’s favorite senator, has been appointed to serve on the Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs and Senate Commerce, as announced by the senator herself in a tweet yesterday.

Lummis: Regulation Should Cause More Innovation and Less Obstruction

Lummis appears to be ready to share her knowledge of digital assets with her peers.

“Through my role on the Banking Committee, I hope to shine a light on many of these pioneering efforts and work with federal regulators to ensure that regulation of digital assets are structured to encourage innovation, instead of stifling it.”

The senator also added that she will aid in providing proper regulation to promote “vibrant, safe financial markets.”

Being the first incumbent senator to hold Bitcoin, it’s no secret that Lummis is one of the most crypto-friendly officials in the Senate. In fact, last year, she had acknowledged Bitcoin as a store of value in Good Morning America. Furthermore, the senator has also spoken in favor of other digital currencies as of late.

Educating the Government Is Key

In a podcast interview with Anthony Pompliano, she expressed her desire to educate other members of the Senate about digital currencies while seeking the help of listeners:

“We’re forming a financial innovations caucus in the Senate. We hope to use it as a springboard to educate members of the U.S. Senate and their staff about Bitcoin specifically, other opportunities in cryptocurrencies, financial innovation, and blockchain.”

This time, she further emphasized Bitcoin’s superiority as a store of value for consumers, namely as a hedge against the US dollar.

In a separate interview with Peter McCormack last December 2020, Lummis had pointed out that the US government officials at large fear crypto mainly because of their lack of understanding. And with her new efforts, this might actually change.

Lummis had stated that the forthcoming caucus aims to counter the narrative that crypto-assets are mostly used for money laundering, which would foster a more innovative environment for the industry. She also talked about stablecoins as an area ripe for innovation, citing Facebook’s Diem and the Federal Reserve’s plans for a CBDC.

The senator has already begun speaking with regulators about digital assets, including Treasury secretary and Bitcoin skeptic Janet Yellen.

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Crypto Artist Auctions Fractions of Michelangelo’s Masterpiece as NFTs

In brief

  • Crypto artist Pak has launched an auction for their collection of non-fungible tokens titled “The Creation.”
  • The artwork is based on Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” cut into 560 individual NFT-tiles.
  • Collectors will bid on each tile and thus successively reveal different parts of the whole picture.

Pak, currently the second-highest-grossing crypto artist in the world, has just launched their next non-fungible tokens (NFT) auction, titled “The Creation.” And this time around, they didn’t even have to create anything—instead, that job was delegated to Michelangelo and the bidders themselves.

“Art creates collectors create creators create art,” Pak curiously tweeted yesterday, hinting at the upcoming auction.

Yeah, it’s a bit complicated.

According to metrics platform, Pak is currently the second-most profitable crypto artist in the world as his NFTs have been sold for roughly $5.2 million combined.

The main attraction of the drop is Michelangelo’s most famous artwork, “The Creation of Adam.” The original, physical fresco painting made by the Italian artist currently forms part of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling—as it has been for half of the last millennia.

For the auction, Pak has digitalized “The Creation of Adam” and cut it into 560 (35 by 16) different tiles, each represented by an NFT. Collectors are invited to bid on any piece of the artwork they want, and when a tile is successfully auctioned off, it will be revealed on the collection’s main token contract called “CREATION.”

NFTs are a special kind of blockchain tokens designed to be unique and not interchangeable. Unlike “common” digital assets, each NFT is one-of-a-kind and can’t be replicated, ensuring its scarcity and collectability. Any digital data can be embedded within an NFT—such as artworks, for example.

“While Pak is behind the concept of this artwork, the actual ‘creators’ here are the collectors themselves. In this case, the collecting/creating experience is equally, if not more, important than the ‘creation’ itself,” Aisha Arif, community marketing and growth specialist at digital marketplace MakersPlace, told Decrypt.

She added that Michelangelo’s classical masterpiece was intentionally chosen for this dynamic structure to encourage thought and dialogue centered around the question “Who is the Creator?”

“The final visual artwork will feature only the tiles that are collected, any tiles that are not collected will remain black in the final creation. In this sense, the collectors are also the creators,” she added.

One of the many possible outcomes. Image: Pak

But what if collectors will buy every single tile of the artwork, thus turning it into an exact replica of Michelangelo’s fresco and robbing it of the meaning embedded by Pak? To avoid this, all tiles have a global minimum bid amount that increases with the beginning of every 20 new tile auctions based on a Triangle Number progression.

“This payment structure has been put into place to ensure that not all tiles are purchased since, eventually, the minimum bid amount will increase to a very high price point,” Arif explained, adding, “Only those 560 tiles live on this contract and only the collected tiles will be minted. The rest will not exist.”

NFTs will be minted in the order in which they are collected and each token will be sent to the winning bidder subsequently. MakersPlace will receive the standard commission of 15% of the proceeds while the rest will go to Pak. The auction will last for 72 hours.


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Altcoins soar to multi-year highs while Bitcoin price gathers steam

Ether (ETH) led the market higher as it trekked toward another new all-time high at $1,763. ETH CME futures are scheduled to launch on Feb. 9, leading many analysts to predict that the top-ranked altcoin will hit $2,000 before meeting any significant resistance. 

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows Ether currently trades at $1,714, an increase of 3.27% on the 24-hour chart while Bitcoin (BTC) is up 0.21% and trading at $37,633.

ETH/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Gas fees on the Ethereum network also set a new all-time high this week with the average transaction cost reaching $17.5 on Feb. 3, which prompted some exchanges to halt ETH and ERC-20 withdrawals.

Ethereum average gas price. Source: Etherscan

On Feb.4 Yearn Finance (YFI) underwent an exploit which saw a hacker drain $11 million worth of DAI stablecoin from the version 1 DAI yield vault. The team has responded quickly by taking several steps to help mitigate the damage of the attack.

These included Tether freezing $1.7 million in stolen funds which will be returned to the project and a proposal from the MakerDAO community to create a purpose-built collateralized debt position (CDP) to make affected users whole.

Positive news came from Protego, a Washington-based institutional crypto custodian, who announced that it has become the second crypto-native firm to receive national licensing from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Democrats vote to push the stimulus bill forward

Stocks rose on Friday as U.S. lawmakers passed a key hurdle in the rollout of the next stimulus package which could see individuals making less than $50,000 per year get a $1,400 stimulus check.

A majority of the major indices finished the day in the green, with the S&P 500, Dow and NASDAQ closing the day up 0.39%, 0.30% and 0.57% respectively. Silver also saw a gain of 2.82% and closed the day at $26.98.

Altcoins push higher

As Bitcoin trades in a range between $36,000 and $38,000, altcoins are gaining momentum and multiple coins saw their prices breakout on Friday.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

MakerDAO (MKR) gained another 45% to establish a new all-time high of $3,099 before correcting to $2,810, while the DeFi infrastructure protocol 0x (ZRX) has seen its price rise 61% to $1.63.

Notable performers from the larger cap altcoins were Cardano (ADA), which is up 26.44%, and Binance Coin (BNB) which reached a new all-time high at $64.87

BTC/USD daily chart. Source: Coin360

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.17 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 60.1%.