Bitcoin continued its downward trend with the price dipping below $30k on Tuesday for the first time since January.

Though the primary cryptocurrency has since bounced 20% from its recent low and is now trading at around $34k, this is still a decline of about 50% from its peak in April. Notably, Bitcoin's hashrate has also plunged more than 40% since the beginning of June while mining difficulty is set for a record-breaking downward adjustment of over 21% later this week.

Both the difficulty and hash rate plunge reflect the magnitude of China’s mining ban which has really materialised since the beginning of June. It's now estimated that roughly 90% of the bitcoin mining capacity in China has gone offline. Laying out the red carpet for fleeing Chinese miners is next door neighbour, Kazakhstan. Canaan, one of the industry’s largest manufacturers of bitcoin mining machines announced last week it'll be setting up a base of operations in the central Asia country. BIT Mining also stated it had already shipped some of its equipment to Kazakhstan.

Crossing over to look at the wider altcoin space, you'd be hard pressed to find frenzied jubilance in those markets. ETH still lingers below $2k but it was Internet computer (ICP) which faced a particularly tough week. The token, which around six weeks ago was trading as high as around $630, has seen a massive decline and is currently changing hands at $44.

Below is our weekly roundup of industry news. If you’d like to get in touch with us about any of our products or services, we look forward to hearing from you. Just send us a note.

This week's top stories

UK regulator bans Binance from regulated activities in the country

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has ordered Binance to stop undertaking any regulated activity in the country by June 30th. But since the exchange pulled its application for the FCA's cryptoassets register, it will be unable to offer unregulated services — such as spot trading — either.  In the UK, crypto-assets themselves, such as bitcoin and ether, are unregulated but certain trading products related to them, such as futures and options trading, are regulated. Read More

a16z triples down on blockchain startups with massive $2.2bn Crypto Fund III

Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto arm is reaffirming its commitment to startups building blockchain projects with a new $2.2bn crypto fund. Andreessen Horowitz’s 2018 crypto fund ushered in $300m of LP commitments and its second fund, which it closed in April of last year, clocked in at $515m. The new multibillion dollar fund not only showcases how institutional backers are growing more comfortable with cryptocurrencies, but also how Andreessen Horowitz’s assets under management have been quickly swelling to compete with other deep-pocketed firms including Tiger Global.  With this announcement, Andreessen now has some $18.8bn assets under management. Read more

El Salvador offers $30 of bitcoin to citizens to boost its use

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele doubled down on the country’s new law making Bitcoin legal tender and offered $30 worth of the cryptocurrency to any citizen who signs up for a digital wallet. The government will create its own Bitcoin wallet called Chivo, which is slang for “cool” in El Salvador, Bukele said during a national address on Thursday night. The funds will be deposited into the account of any citizen who downloads it and registers as a user with their phone number and ID number. He also confirmed that the law making Bitcoin legal tender will enter into force on September 7. Read more

In case you missed it..

⚡️Iran seizes 7,000 crypto miners amid Bitcoin energy crackdown.

⚡️FTX is now 'official crypto exchange' of the Major League Baseball.

⚡️Goldman begins trading on JPMorgan’s repo blockchain network.

⚡️Coinbase enters Japanese market after completing registration with financial watchdog.

⚡️US Fed official calls Tether a ‘challenge’ to financial stability.

⚡️Bank of Israel uses Ethereum blockchain for upcoming ‘digital shekels’.

⚡️Morgan Stanley co-leads $48m Series B for blockchain firm Securitize.

⚡️Chainalysis raises $100m, this time at $4.2bn valuation.

⚡️Colombia’s Capital unveils $2.8bn blockchain investment plan.

⚡️Cardano adds 50,000 new staking addresses in just 3 weeks.

⚡️PayPal and Visa lead $300m funding for Blockchain Capital.

⚡️Binance says it will no longer serve Ontario users.

⚡️Biden nominee for Treasury Dept will prioritise crypto regulation.

⚡️Authorities in South Korea seize $47m in crypto from tax evaders.

⚡️Tesla, Facebook, Google stocks launch on the Solana blockchain.

⚡️McAfee found dead in Spanish prison as extradition loomed; autopsy planned.

⚡️SEC reportedly delays Robinhood's IPO due to its growing crypto business.

⚡️Gemini pledges to offset 350,000 tons of bitcoin-related carbon emissions.

⚡️21Shares launching world’s first Solana ETP on SIX Swiss exchange.

⚡️Facebook, Google, PayPal and Tesla tokenised stocks coming to FTX.

From Copper

South American revolution? El Salvador bitcoin news sparks intense debate worldwide

El Salvador’s decision to adopt bitcoin as legal tender was possibly the most surprising takeaway from the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami. As we near three weeks since President Nayib Bukele’s initial announcement, our latest article explores the opportunities and risks this bold decision could represent for the Salvadoran economy, as well as the important consequences for bitcoin investors worldwide. Read more

Copper CEO and Head of Strategy join speaker lineup for Bretton Woods: The Realignment

In 1944 the world’s most powerful nations gathered at a secret conference in New Hampshire to rebuild the global monetary system. Today, that system is no longer working. Hosted at the same hotel as the original conference, Bretton Woods: The Realignment, organised by Blockworks, will gather the world’s top minds in digital assets in a summit on August 11 - 13.  Our CEO Dmitry Tokarev and Head of Strategy Asen Kostadinov and myself are thrilled to join the illustrious speaker lineup which includes Dan Tapiero, Lyn Alden, Mike Green and more. Apply to attend the event here.

Recording available: DigitalAssetsLIVE Summit fireside chat with Asen Kostadinov

Our Head of Strategy, Asen Kostadinov, recently attended the DigitalAssetsLIVE Summit, an event hosted by Hedgeweek and InstitutionalAssetManager. For those of you who missed the event, a recording of Asen’s fireside chat with Nick Evans, MD at Global Fund Media, is now available to watch on our YouTube. In this insightful but condensed discussion, you’ll hear Asen discuss: 1) where we are in terms of the institutionalisation of the cryptoasset class, 2) the stumbling blocks that could get in the way for institutional adoption and engagement in the space, and 3) the current regulatory landscape. Watch it here.

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