Why Is Crypto Twitter Abuzz About Tungsten Cubes?

Bitcoin is often referred to as “digital gold,” but the only metal anyone on Crypto Twitter is talking about today is tungsten. And not just any form of tungsten, but a cube of it.

Everyone from Bloomberg host Joe Weisenthal (aka @TheStalwart) to CoinShares CSO Meltem Demirors is opining today about tungsten, a 4-inch cube of which weighs over 40 pounds. (If that’s too heavy, you can get a 1.5-inch cube that weighs just over 2 pounds.)

Blame Nic Carter. The co-founder of Coin Metrics tweeted a picture yesterday of an Amazon page for the product, showing that there were only three 4-inch tungsten cubes remaining from supplier Midwest Tungsten Service Store—despite the $2,999 price tag.

“All the reviews are just like ‘yep, it’s heavy. does what it says on the tin,'” he remarked.

According to the product reviews, customers enjoy lifting it, smashing things with it, and using it as a paperweight. As of yet, there are no apparent blockchain applications for the metal.

It took less than 10 hours after Carter’s tweet for the cubes to sell out, and only slightly longer for his Twitter followers to turn tungsten into a full-fledged meme.

Demirors, who purchased her own cube, believes tungsten shouldn’t be bound by the physical world: 

But former Zcash Foundation Executive Director Josh Cincinnati thinks that the newfound attention may negatively affect the price of NFTs:

Weisenthal, who writes frequently and often skeptically about Bitcoin, is bullish on tungsten. He bought his own cube:

But eToro US marketing exec Brad Michelson suggests that tungsten could be a fad, just like ICOs:

If you’ve missed out on the latest “must-have” asset, don’t worry: you can get an NFT cube on OpenSea. It weighs nothing.


The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.


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Coinbase NFT Marketplace Waitlist Soars Past 1.5 Million

Key Takeaways

  • Signups for the waitlist to use Coinbase’s NFT marktplace have surpassed 1.5 million.
  • The waitlist went live only two days ago.
  • Coinbase’s new NFT marketplace is one of several announced so far this year.

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Coinbase is following other major players into the NFT fray, including FTX U.S., Crypto.com, and Visa. Consumer interest has exploded, with over 1.5 million signing up for the waitlist in the first two days. 

Coinbase NFT Waitlist Erupts

The waitlist for Coinbase’s new NFT marketplace, announced just two days ago, has already surpassed 1.5 million.  

With over 60 million users, as well as its unique focus on cultivating “social engagement,” Coinbase seems to be in a strong position for capitalizing on the wild growth the NFT sector has seen this year. In the third quarter, there was more than $10 billion in NFT sales volume, compared to only $1.3 billion in NFT sales volume in the second quarter. In August alone, OpenSea did $3.4 billion in NFT sales volume. 

Coinbase’s waitlist for access to its NFT marketplace, however, has dwarfed the number of OpenSea users over the last 30 days, which was 261,000. The waitlist passed one million yesterday, after one day online. 

The company wrote in a blog post concerning its new NFT marketplace: 

“Our mission at Coinbase is to increase economic freedom in the world. By enabling more people to join the creator economy and profit from their work, NFTs have an important role to play in this mission.  Just as Coinbase helped millions of people access Bitcoin for the first time in an easy and trusted way — we want to do the same for the NFTs.”

Coinbase is not the only major exchange that recently announced an NFT marketplace. In March, Crypto.com announced its own NFT marketplace, and FTX U.S. launched a Solana NFT marketplace only three days ago.

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The NFT marketplace is expected to launch later this year.

(Disclaimer: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies.

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Binance Hires Mark McGinness as Chief Regulatory Liaison Officer

Binance – the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange – recently hired Mark McGinness as its Chief Regulatory Liason Officer. McGinness is a former Head of International Relations at the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

How McGinness Helps Binance

According to a press release shared with CryptoPotato, the hire is part of Binance’s effort to better cooperate with regulators. They’ve made many recent hires for similar purposes, expanding its compliance team by over 500% since 2020.

With the DFSA, McGinness was responsible for expanding the group’s regulatory network and settling memoranda of understanding. He was Chief Decision Maker for the DFSA on matters referred by its Enforcement division.

McGinness was also Head of International Relations for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). There, he served as an advisor to ASIC’s chairman on international engagement and global standard-setting. The Officer has even held advisory positions for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

Binance CEO ‘CZ’ Changpeng Zhao said McGinness’s help will be instrumental to the exchange’s cooperation with policymakers.


“Mark is one of the most respected regulators and compliance experts in the industry. He brings with him over 30 years of invaluable experience working alongside key stakeholders in the financial services industry. Mark joining our leadership is not only a huge step forward for Binance, but the industry as a whole, as we work to grow the industry responsibly with the support of regulators and policymakers across the globe.”

Meanwhile. McGinness recognizes the need for greater understanding of blockchain technology among policymakers. He intends to “bridge the divide” between blockchain and government to establish regulatory frameworks and a better understanding of the space.

Binance Is Cooperating With Regulators

Binance is dedicating tremendous resources to ensuring its regulatory compliance. Last month, the exchange hired IRS-CI Expert as its VP of Global Intelligence and Investigations. The expert – Tigran Gambaryan – is responsible for audits and investigations relating to criminal activity on the company’s platform.

Similarly, Binance recruited a former US Treasury CI in August to report and combat money laundering, and expand its AML and investigative programs.


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Why We Could See The First Approved U.S. Bitcoin ETF In October

Various investment funds have applied for Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. The number has grown as interest in crypto has been on the rise in recent months. A couple of countries so far have approved some crypto ETFs and investors can trade on these. However, the United States is yet to see the approval of its very first bitcoin ETF.

Speculations around the approval of a bitcoin ETF have been on the rise lately. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was expected to make a ruling on various Bitcoin ETFs that had been filed. But the regulator had moved up the date. In the case of VanEck, moving it by 60 days until the SEC would provide its decision on the Bitcoin ETF.

SEC Boss Clarifies Stance On Crypto

After SEC Chairman Gary Gensler announced that the regulatory body had no intention of banning bitcoin in the United States, investors began to expect the approval of a bitcoin ETF soon. The reasoning behind this being that the chairman would not go out of his way to provide information like this if there wasn’t good news in the future.

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Related Reading | Number Of Bitcoin Active Entities Grows 19% To Hit 2020 Bull Levels, Set Up For New Highs?

It is expected that October will see the approval of the first bitcoin ETF in the country, which would enable investors to begin trading on Bitcoin Futures ETFs. Instead of having to trade on Canadian crypto ETFs.

In addition to the SEC’s stance on crypto regulation, a Canadian mutual fund with the same language as a bitcoin ETF had been previously approved by the regulation. This was put forward by asset manager James Seyffart, who believes that since the SEC had approved this mutual fund, then it would most likely approve an ETF that consisted of similar wording.

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Bitcoin ETFs Getting Closer To Approval

Eric Balchunas, an ETF analyst for Bloomberg, took to Twitter to point out some events that may signal that the first bitcoin ETF is close to being approved. The analyst pointed out that Valkyrie, a digital asset management firm, had updated their Bitcoin Futures ETF prospectus.

Bitcoin price chart from TradingView.com

Bitcoin price chart from TradingView.com

BTC breaks above $57K again | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

Now, updates to ETFs are not a mundane thing. An update to a prospectus is only required when the regulators are close to approving it and the firm needs to make sure that the document contains the correct information. In addition to this update, Valkyrie had also updated added their ticker ($BTF) to the document.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Whales Accumulation Patterns Shows Strong Bullish Sentiment Among Top Holders

Balchunas notes that while this is a good sign, it does not mean that a bitcoin ETF is going to be approved. If anything, it means that the firms who submitted these ETFs are moving in the right direction towards getting approval. However, every launch is usually preceded by an update. “That’s what happens right before a launch, they fill in all the XXs and add ticker,” said the analyst.

Featured image from Coingape, chart from TradingView.com


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Should Bitcoin Journalists Hold Bitcoin? A Modest Proposal

Traditional wisdom in financial reporting holds that it is unethical to be heavily invested in an asset you are covering.

After all, it’s tricky to be impartial when writing about a project on which vast tracts of your wealth depend. Just as a reader might appraise warily a report on Apple’s glowing financials written by, say, Tim Cook, a reader of the venerable Coinqueefer would be rightly skeptical when the daily exhortation to “Buy More PIG” is written by somebody using his daughter’s college fund to buy more PIG.

It is not a good look—this much should seem obvious.

But it’s not obvious to cryptocurrency people. Some months ago, the investment strategist Lyn Alden argued, in a widely shared series of tweets, that holding cryptocurrencies is actually essential for covering the crypto markets. Her argument was that holding Bitcoin is now so lucrative that not holding it is likely to produce its own sort of bias.

“It’s understandable that you can’t own some minor altcoin that you could conceivably move the price of with your words, as a journalist,” wrote Alden. “But bitcoin is a $900 billion market cap asset. An individual piece of writing, even at WSJ or Bloomberg, won’t materially influence it now.”

It’s no small irony that Alden’s pro-conflict-of-interest view was obviously colored by her own substantial investments. But she has a point. As my cherished colleague David Z. Morris put it in a piece at Coindesk, holding Bitcoin—or, say, Ethereum, another cryptocurrency that has arguably become large enough ($450 billion market cap) for journalists to justifiably invest in—helps you understand the technology like nothing else can.

Morris wrote: “A much more important argument for allowing journalists to own at least a little bitcoin (as a treat) is that they need exposure to how it works at the social, technological and market levels. Someone reporting about Instagram without having used it would be irresponsible, and the same goes for crypto: If you’ve never used MetaMask, I’m a bit less interested in your theories about the future of Ethereum.”

True, true. But the result of Morris’s argument is the somewhat embarrassing phenomenon of disclosure theatre, in which writers acknowledge their ostensibly measly crypto holdings in exchange for presumed immunity. I have seen writers “disclose” that they own “less than 1 BTC,” which could still be as much as $57,000 as of this writing, a not inconsiderable sum to an ink-stained wretch.

Everyone wants their own version of “full disclosure” from tech journalists, and it is getting absurd.

I have a modest proposal that I believe will solve this dilemma once and forever.

If a cryptocurrency journalist wants to truly understand the market about which they are writing, they have a moral obligation to invest all of their savings into crypto, at a minimum of 100x leverage, with the purpose of losing every last penny they have and being forced to remortgage their ailing mother’s bungalow. Only then will they appreciate the beat they’ve been assigned to cover.

The problem is thinking that having “skin in the game” when it comes to crypto is akin to a tech reporter holding Apple stock or whatever. But that carries with it the assumption that crypto is a safe investment and will necessarily color one’s bias favorably. The crypto markets, however, are more volatile than one of my dinner dates when she finds out I “forgot” my wallet.

I think it’s better to compare journalists holding crypto to journalists who cover wars from the frontline. Would you trust an account of the Vietnam War by a reporter who had never once reclined at Khe Sanh fingering his worn copy of “The Quiet American” as choppers blaring “Fortunate Son” blazed in from the horizon? I think not!

The point is, the daily crypto markets are war. And only through investing will you learn this.

I know a journalist—well, more like a wilted husk of a thing that once called itself a journalist—who is illustrative of this point. “Reuben,” let’s call him, recently went all in on NFTs after another friend unexpectedly made a killing. He got all lathered up and blew a lot of money on some abstract JPEGs, and for a while there was a clear bias to his reporting. You could see the prose in his articles straining not to tank his investments. Until, that is, Reuben’s investment tanked, precipitating a bitter turn in his reportage. Within days, Reuben turned from a wild promoter into a devout no-coiner.

“I would fall asleep thinking about NFTs,” Reuben wrote to me over Telegram. “Then I would dream about NFTs. Then my first thought upon waking would be about NFTs. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night. I would lie there, confused and delirious, thinking that investing in NFTs would be the ticket to falling back asleep. I became convinced I would only be able to do so if I took the advice of a hallucinatory vision of a man named Matthew Graham, who was urging me to buy CrypToadz. I didn’t actually mind losing the money. $1,000 in NFTs is worthless; I was happier when I started sleeping again.”


I too have felt the bitterness of an ill-advised investment. Earlier this year, when the price of Bitcoin was correlated tightly to whatever Elon Musk was tweeting, I took cynical advantage of a random pro-Bitcoin Musk tweet. Knowing for sure that there would be a subsequent spike in the asset’s value, I invested $2,000. Immediately after putting so much of my net worth (roughly 2,000 percent, if I’m honest) into Bitcoin, I became savagely unhinged. I became wildly desperate for Bitcoin to succeed. I scanned the lowest-rent of crypto blogs for signs that my investment would go up. It got so bad that I suddenly saw value in Pomp’s affirmatory tweets.

My savings, slowly but surely, increased by like 0.1 percent. Within months, I felt certain, I was going to make at least two or three dollars.

But then: catastrophe.

Just as my holdings reached a peak at which I thought it was acceptable to cash out, Coinbase froze. I couldn’t retrieve my winnings, and I was forced to watch—the horror!—as they dwindled a few hundred dollars below what I’d put in. I was growing increasingly deranged: tearing out my hair, twitching ceaselessly, reading Coindesk editorials. As soon as Coinbase roared back to life, I withdrew all I’d put in, losing an extra hundred or so on trading fees.

But I am glad to report to the likes of “Lyn Alden” that it was, indeed, a powerfully useful experience: Having lost a good sum of money to crypto, I am far smarter than I was when I stood on the sidelines.

And I hate it more than ever.


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Bitcoin-related altcoins surge as BTC ETF rumors spread across the sector

On Oct. 14, bulls flexed their muscles and showed their intent to push the price of Bitcoin (BTC) closer to its $65,900 all-time high. One reason for the move is the steady chatter about the possibility of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) being approved by the end of October. 

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that after hitting a low of $54,103 on Oct. 13, the price of Bitcoin rallied 8.2% to an intraday high of $58,532 on Oct. 14 as the ETF discussion made fresh rounds on Crypto Twitter.

BTC/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

The spike above $58,500 is also significant because it marks a 100% increase in the price of BTC since bottoming at $29,193 on July 20, signaling a strong recovery and increasing demand.

Bitcoin’s price performance is also a signal that market participants are back in accumulation mode, a fact that is backed by data from Glassnode showing that the amount of Bitcoin held in wallets of all sizes has been on the rise since the price briefly dipped below $29,000 in mid-June.

Bitcoin hodl waves. Source: Glassnode

Badger DAO brings Bitcoin to DeFi

The rising price and growing bullish sentiment surrounding Bitcoin have also helped bring extra attention to Bitcoin-related projects that aim to facilitate its integration into the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem and add smart contract capabilities to the Bitcoin ecosystem.

One beneficiary is Badger DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization focused on building products and infrastructure around Bitcoin’s utility in DeFi.

Data from and TradingView shows that since Oct. 1, the price of its BADGER token surged 187% from a low of $15.69 to a daily high of $45.09 on Oct. 14 as its 24-hour trading volume increased by 147% to $162 million.

BADGER/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The surge in the price of BADGER coincides with the token listing on crypto exchange Coinbase Pro.

Related: CME Bitcoin futures open interest hits 8-month high, greater than when BTC price was at $65K

Stacks brings smart contracts to Bitcoin

Another Bitcoin-focused project that has seen a bump in its token price is Stacks, a layer-one blockchain solution aiming to bring smart contracts and decentralized applications to the Bitcoin network.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for Stacks’ STX coin on Oct. 11, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. STX price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for STX began to pick up on Oct. 11 and reached a high of 82 around five hours before the price increased 33% over the next two days.

Overall, the ongoing discussions about a Bitcoin ETF continue to help drive speculation and price action across the crypto market, especially for tokens associated with the top cryptocurrency. But a word of caution is warranted, as there is still the possibility that this could turn into a buy-the-rumor, sell-the-news type of event.

It’s also worth noting that the possibility of a Bitcoin ETF has been discussed as far back as 2013, and it was one of the driving forces behind the 2017–2018 bull cycle, so it would be wise to wait for an official announcement from a regulatory body before assuming that the arrival of a BTC ETF is guaranteed.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and you should conduct your own research when making a decision.