Bitcoin startup closes after a 6-year run, China will start issuing national digital currency to government employees, Libra quits plans to back their stablecoin with multiple fiat currencies and more in our weekly roundup.

Coingecko’s quarterly report ranks BTC as one of the worst performers of 2020

Cryptocurrency ranking website CoinGecko named Bitcoin one of the lowest-achieving tokens of 2020 in their latest quarterly report. The 55-page document analyzed crypto prices, trading volumes, and exchange metrics over the first four months of the current year.

Regardless of the gains, BTC saw at the very beginning of 2020, the coin experienced the biggest loss in cost and market cap dominance as investors moved to more stable tokens after the Black Friday market crash. Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV are four other in the top five worst-performing cryptos — all with an average return of around 12% in the first quarter. With BTH and BSV, this number is largely due to the tokens experiencing their first halving earlier this month.

All in all, Bitcoin’s total loss averaged at around 11% from the beginning of the year with market capitalization shrinking by over 5% due to the market’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Chinese government employees will be paid with national crypto in May

Suzhou government employees will receive 50% of their transportation allowance for the next month in DCEP.

DCEP — China’s central bank national digital tokens — will be issued to the employees by several major state-owned banks. All parties are getting ready for the unprecedented program: banks were told to prepare and sign DCEP issuance contracts, employees were required to download crypto-wallets developed by the participating banks.

In a statement made back in December 2019, the People’s Bank of China issue a statement about accelerating the implementation strategies of state-controlled cryptocurrency. The next city in line for the DCEP pilot program is Shenzhen — the country’s tech hub.

Bitcoin startup Purse announces the decision to dissolve the company

A pioneer Bitcoin startup — Purse — will shut down completely in June 2020. The company announced its decision to cease operations in a statement made earlier this week.

Purse’s representatives did not provide any reasons for the closure. There is, however, some speculation that the abrupt decision can be linked to Amazon cutting returns they pay to their affiliate partners. Affiliates that referer clients to Bezos & Co will now be compensated as much as 80% less than they previously were.

Purse was an affiliate: the company offered Amazon discounts by connecting crypto-investors with holders of Amazon gift cards. The cards could be purchased for discounted rates with either BTC or BCH. The sudden cutback of funding could’ve severely altered Purse’s business model.

All new sign-ups have been disabled as of April 16, with the “Shop” and “Earn” functionalities shutting down on April 23.

Libra cancels efforts to make a multi-currency stablecoin

The Facebook-run Libra Association announced that it’ll pull back from plans to create a global issue a multi-currency stablecoin. The Libra Association — which was unveiled to be a consortium of credit firms, venture capital organizations, and major tech companies — now plans to make a series of stable tokens, each backed by a single sovereign fiat currency.

This is a move made to placate regulators and central bankers that had boycotted the original plan since the release of Libra’s whitepaper in 2019. Most of the concerns were centered around appropriately regulating digital transactions and maintaining proper control over a fluctuating multi-currency coin. Regulators wanted the company to improve Libra’s proximity to global regulators, public institutions, and banks.

All in all, the world is yet to see a truly sovereign-resistant crypto.

The Great Lockdown is changing the global mining landscape

Mining has become increasingly difficult as most of the world goes into full shut-down as the result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Most businesses are required to shut down and those that can stay open are finding it next to impossible to stay afloat. Mining requires power and cooling systems, and servicing these systems is becoming more and more difficult.

In most countries, mining does not qualify as an “essential service” thus making mining businesses unable to operate under quarantine. Several major US-based players — like California-based crypto mining company Digital Farms — announced that their operations had been indefinitely suspended. Miners in Argentina and China are also not permitted to continue as usual.

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