⚖️ Bitcoin Can’t Be Copyrighted, And That’s Good
Craig Wright loses in UK court, Bitcoin NFTs continue to be popular, and US regulators take aim at crypto.
Welcome to the first edition of This Week In Bitcoin here on Substack! This newsletter is curated and written by the team at Relai, the best place to buy bitcoin instantly.
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The past week was a net positive for Bitcoin: Copyright claims on Bitcoin itself are null and void. Ordinals, aka Bitcoin NFTs, are still hot (and controversial). And ‘crypto’ is in trouble in the US. These events confirm our Bitcoin-Only strategy: Bitcoin differs from crypto. That’s also why Bitcoiners are not panicking in times like these. Instead of speculation and making a quick buck; we are focusing on the long-term prospects of an innovative monetary asset like bitcoin.
Quote of the Week:
“The crypto meltdown was painful in the short term, but it’s necessary over the long term for the industry to grow up. What the industry needs is adult supervision. It needs the Goldman Sachs and the Morgan Stanleys and the BlackRocks to come into the industry. It needs clear guidelines from Congress. It needs clear rules of the road from the SEC.”
- Bitcoin Bull Michael Saylor
⚖️ Craig Wright Loses Bitcoin Copyright Claim In UK Court
One of the most intense legal battles of the Bitcoin space adds another chapter. Craig Wright, who claims to be non-other than Satoshi Nakamoto himself, has lost his copyright claim on the file format of Bitcoin. Wright, whom his critics call ‘Faketoshi’, claimed that he wrote the original Bitcoin white paper and therefore owns the intellectual property of both the text and the software. However, British judge James Mellor ruled this week Tuesday that the file format of Bitcoin can’t be treated as a literary work and, therefore, the copyright law does not apply. “It remains the case that no relevant 'work' has been identified containing content which defines the structure of the Bitcoin File Format,” judge Mellor said. Copyright claims to the 2008 Bitcoin white paper are subject to later rulings.
My take: This ruling is a win for the Bitcoin community. Especially for Bitcoin developers, who were regularly threatened with legal action by Wright. However, it is unlikely that the Craig Wright story ends here.
🖼️ Bitcoin NFTs Explode In Popularity As Research Shows 13,000 Ordinals
Controversial NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain are still a thing, and they seem to rise in popularity. Recently released data on the usage of Ordinals shows more than 13,000 transactions, taking up around 526 MB of Bitcoin’s blockspace. In simple terms, ‘Ordinals’ allow users to store images or other media files on the Bitcoin database. Critics argue that it is getting spammed, and fees for regular transactions are artificially driven up. Bitcoin developer Rene Pickhardt tweeted: “So Adam Back invented hashcash as a spam prevention mechanism. Then Satoshi utilized this in Bitcoin to solve double spending. And now folks waste precious blockspace by spamming jpegs?! Why creating the Lightning Network in the first place if the base layer allows this shit?!”
My take: While NFTs on Bitcoin show that there could be more use cases than ‘just’ a monetary good. On the other hand, it's questionable whether blockspace of the most secure and decentralized network on earth should be used for something like this.
🎯 US Regulators Take Aim At Staking—And Crypto
After the FTX debacle and other crypto meltdowns in the past year, the US regulator seems to be keen to crack down on the industry. Especially staking, a controversial practice that lets users earn interest by simply holding specific proof-of-stake crypto tokens, seems to be the target of regulatory action. “We’re hearing rumors that the SEC would like to get rid of crypto staking in the U.S. for retail customers. I hope that’s not the case, as I believe it would be a terrible path for the U.S. if that was allowed to happen,” Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong tweeted. Meanwhile, there seems to be a larger crackdown on the whole US crypto industry underway. The crypto exchange Kraken settled with the SEC for $30 million and announced it will wind down its US staking operation. This comes in addition to a coordinated effort to deny crypto companies access to banking services.
My take: As a regulated, Swiss-based Bitcoin-Only company, we can sit back and watch the current events unfold. I believe that when the dust is settled, Bitcoin will come out stronger than ever, as more people than ever will realize that it is a unique asset.
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