On episode 429 of the Bad Crypto Podcast, hosts Joel Comm and Travis Wright continued their mission of covering the latest news in the crypto space for the crypto curious and the crypto serious. The entertaining duo reviewed fascinating news stories and marveled at the revelation that major card network MasterCard (NYSE: MA) appears to be doubling down on cryptos.
Other news items covered included the current coin shortage in the United States, how Bitcoin searches affect price and the recent Twitter hack. Jonathan Keim, communications director for CryptoCurrencyWire, a contributor on the episode, reported on cybersecurity legend John McAfee’s latest initiative and recent controversy.
The headline item for the podcast was the news that MasterCard is expanding its cryptocurrency program. The card network, the second largest with a 30% market share, is inviting cryptocurrency companies to join its Accelerate program for crypto-card issuers. The network has also formed an alliance with London-based crypto-payment processor Wirex, which makes the latter “the first ‘native’ cryptocurrency platform to gain principal membership” (http://nnw.fm/Z1N91). The deal allows Wirex to directly issue crypto-payment cards. Now Wirex customers can top up their fiat-currency, designated payment cards using cryptocurrencies.
Keim’s report centered on colorful cybersecurity figure and two-time presidential candidate, John McAfee, who has been capturing headlines from undisclosed locations. His announcement of plans to launch the Ghost Cell Phone Data Service, the first 4G data service to make connections to the network untraceable, has been met with some skepticism. But McAfee is ploughing ahead. The Ghost Cell Phone Data Service uses eSIM technology, which makes data connections on a smartphone possible without the use of a physical SIM card. The lack of hardware should make the system less vulnerable to data breaches.
In other news, there’s a shortage of coin in the U.S — so much so that the feds are pushing people to empty their cookie jars and spend the proceeds (http://nnw.fm/rgpGb). Onset of the coronavirus pandemic forced the U.S. Mint to cut staffing and production of coins, which went unnoticed at first as economic activity slowed. But as business resumes, retail establishments are hard pressed to give customers change.
The deteriorating situation has prompted Fed chairman Jerome Powell to form a task force to “make recommendations on ways to cope with the shortage” (http://nnw.fm/nXsiX). Hopefully, the situation will be saved by good Samaritans such as Edmond Knowles, who amassed 1,308,459 pennies in four 55-gallon and three 20-gallon oil barrels in his garage, a collection that tipped the scales at around 4.5 tons when he cashed it in in 2005 (http://nnw.fm/x7JH7).
Bitcoin has done it. The cryptocurrency crashed through the $10,000 ceiling over the weekend of July 25–26. The currency was trading slightly lower as this week’s episode was being taped. Interestingly enough, crypto watchers might have seen that coming; search interest on Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) had fallen considerably, to the lowest it has been for seven months, a phenomenon, that in the past, has presaged a rise in price (http://nnw.fm/zGUyr). On Tuesday, July 28, Bitcoin price reached $10,923.90.
And for a while, the Twitter hack was the talk of the town as well. Earlier in July, hackers took over the accounts of a number of well-known public figures, including former president Barack Obama, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, presidential hopeful Joe Biden, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, investment mogul Warren Buffett, and rapper/producer/fashion designer Kanye West. Messages from the compromised accounts solicited donations, with close to $120,000 in BTC being lost as people responded. Fortunately, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase blocked the further transfer of $280,000 in Bitcoin (“BTC”) to the scammers (http://nnw.fm/VFdhj).
To listen to this episode of the Bad Crypto Podcast, as well as see other recent episodes, visit https://badcryptopodcast.com/episodes/.
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