5 Key Things That Happened in Crypto This Past Week

5 Key Things That Happened in Crypto This Past Week

Bitcoin, the most valuable cryptocurrency in terms of market value, continued its rally into the weekend. On Sunday, it surpassed $42,000, its highest level since May. It has since stabilized and is currently trading at $39,800 as of Monday morning. The movements of Bitcoin are not the only thing happening in crypto at the moment. Here are five important things that happened in crypto over the past week: From the Senate's infrastructure bill proposal, to record trading volumes for NFTs (or nonfungible tokens), here are five.

Amazon Denied Reports that It Will Accept Bitcoin Payments

City A.M. reported that Amazon would not accept bitcoin payments. "Despite our interest in this space, the speculation surrounding our specific plans for cryptocurrency is false. CNBC spoke with an Amazon spokesperson who said that they remain focused on exploring the possibilities for customers shopping at Amazon.

According to a job posting, the company confirmed that it is looking for a digital currency expert and blockchain expert to join the Amazon payments team on July 23.

Senator Elizabeth Warren Pushes for More Regulation of Cryptocurrency

Senator Elizabeth Warren, D.Mass., has doubled her call for more regulation of cryptography this week. Warren wrote a July 26 letter to Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary, urging the Financial Stability Oversight Council to coordinate a "cohesive regulation strategy" around cryptocurrency. I urge FSOC urgently to use its statutory authority and address cryptocurrencies' risk and ensure safety and stability in our financial system.

Warren spoke on Tuesday at the Senate Banking Committee hearing titled "Cryptocurrencies - What are they good to do?" She continued her criticism of the space. Warren stated that Crypto puts [financial] systems at the mercy of a shadowy, faceless group super-coders or miners.

Warren stated Wednesday on CNBC's "SquawkBox" that bitcoin is not a reliable hedge against inflation.

Square and Tesla Record Bitcoin-related Impairments in the Millions

In its July 26 earnings report, Tesla reported $23 million in bitcoin-related impairments. Tesla announced in February that it had purchased bitcoin for $1.5 billion. By March 31, the company estimated its investment to be worth $2.48 Billion. However, bitcoin's price plunged by more than 40% during the second quarter. This affected Tesla's bitcoin holdings. The company was then hit with an operating income charge due to this drop in bitcoin prices.

Square is in a similar position. Square, like Tesla, reported $45 million in bitcoin related impairments in its earnings reports late Sunday.

Infrastructure Bill Criticized by the Crypto Industry

The Senate's bipartisan Infrastructure Bill proposal caused concern in the crypto community last week. A provision of the package outlined plans to impose stricter tax collection rules on "digital assets." Initial definitions of cryptocurrency broker were too broad. Many worried that it would cover miners and others who don't have the right information to comply.

The Senate's latest version of the bill was released on Sunday. This clarified the definition. If the provision is passed, it would define "broker" to be "anyone who (for consideration), provides any service that results in digital assets being transferred for another person."

The Blockchain Association still calls for more changes. Kristin Smith, the Blockchain Association's executive director, stated that while minor improvements have been made to the language, there are still fundamental questions and concerns about some terms and definitions in the provision. "[T]his provision could be read to apply to people in the crypto ecosystem that don't have the information needed for information reporting."

In the latest draft of infrastructure bill, nearly $30 billion is being raised to combat crypto tax evasion.

Record Trading Volume of NFTs

CoinDesk reported that OpenSea, the largest marketplace for NFTs, had seen record-breaking trading volume over the past two days. Volume reached $35M on Saturday, and $49M on Sunday. As of late, the market has been particularly hot. A whale spent $6 million on Friday to purchase over 100 CryptoPunks. Gary Vaynerchuk, an entrepreneur, also spent $3.7million on a Fahrenbot that same day.

CryptoPunks can be considered rare NFT collectibles. Each avatar is 24x24 pixels and has its own features and accessories. There are 10,000 total, but no two are the same.