Cryptocurrencies have been making headlines – and not always for the right reasons
by Sophie Mackenzie
Netflix’s South Korean survival drama series Squid Game is the streaming giant’s biggest debut hit, reaching 111m viewers worldwide, according to CNN. So perhaps it was only a matter of time before scammers exploited the global obsession with the show. Technology blog network Engadget reports that the creators of $SQUID, a cryptocurrency inspired by the show – which promised to enable buyers to play an online game based around it – have made off with as much as US$3.38m of investors’ cash.
The article says that the coin launched in late October and rose 310,000% in just a few days, before plummeting in value to US$0 on 1 November. Its website promptly disappeared as its creators staged a so-called rug pull, cashing in the currency for real money and vanishing.
Highs for bitcoin and ethereum
Bitcoin could hit a record US$100,000 before the end of year, according to an article for Forbes by Billy Bambrough. He quotes CoinList chief executive Graham Jenkin, who told CNBC that most of his colleagues would bet on that record figure by the end of the year, although, “It’s getting pretty tight so I’m not sure that we’re going to make it there, but that’s what we’re predicting toward the start of the [new] year.”
Bitcoin’s price has doubled since a slump earlier in the year, reaching a record US$66,000 per coin in October, according to Coindesk. Meanwhile ethereum, the next-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, hit an all-time high last week, adding 1,000% over the past 12 months against bitcoin’s 400%.
Bambrough writes that the widespread adoption of ethereum-based decentralised finance, together with the ongoing popularity of non-fungible tokens and the currency’s growing list of use-cases, “combined with a hotly anticipated upgrade that is reducing supply and that developers hope will improve efficiency and scalability” will see it continuing to outperform its rival in terms of growth.
Satoshi unmasked – or not
When they’re not glued to the markets, crypto-watchers might be found avidly following proceedings in a Miami courtroom this week, according to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald by Jonathan Levin and Olga Kharif.
“Cryptocurrency enthusiasts may be disappointed if they’re expecting a three-week trial in Miami federal court to finally establish the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of bitcoin,” they write. “But curiosity seekers will nonetheless be drawn to watch Australian computer scientist Craig Wright, the self-described inventor of bitcoin, defend himself against claims that he swindled the estate of a deceased Florida man of its share of some US$65bn of the peer-to-peer currency and intellectual property related to blockchain technology worth billions of dollars more.”
The case centres around whether the late computer scientist Dave Kleiman collaborated with Wright on the early development of bitcoin, which could entitle his estate to half the value of a cache of coins allegedly held by Satoshi. However, Wright’s claim that he is in fact the mysterious creator of the cryptocurrency, and any clues confirming or repudiating this that emerge during the trial, will only add to the fascination it has for crypto fans.
Sydney Morning Herald article