Nov 4, 2018 - Energy & Environment

Bitcoin climate fears and other crypto news this week

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios.

This week, Bitcoin's 10th birthday triggered a lot of essays about the digital currency around the Web — but that's wasn't all the important industry news.

Catch up quick: No, Bitcoin won't destroy our climate by 2033; the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission has shut down more than a dozen illegal initial coin offerings in the past year; CryptoKitties' maker raises $15 million in new funding.

No, Bitcoin won't destroy our climate by 2033 (Axios)

  • Why it matters: A new study predicts that Bitcoin's usage will cause such a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions that it will affect our climate.
    • But some of the assumptions are questionable, namely not accounting for the rise of renewables, the likelihood that mining shifts to countries with cleaner energy, and that it's hard to predict what will ultimately happen to Bitcoin.

The SEC has shut down more than a dozen illegal ICOs in the past year (SEC website)

  • Why it matters: "Given the explosion of ICOs over the last year, we have tried to pursue cases that deliver broad messages and have market impact beyond their own four corners," the commission's Division of Enforcement writes in its annual report.
    • Since the explosion of digital tokens and ICOs last year, the SEC has been ramping up it enforcement actions against nefarious players, including a number of fraudsters. Three of those issuers raised a total of $68 million via illegal ICOs before being shut down.

CryptoKitties' maker raises $15 million in new funding (CoinDesk)

  • Why it matters: Amid the explosion of attempts to apply blockchain technology to just about anything, collectibles has been one promising use case.
    • Though CryptoKitties—a game for collecting and breeding digital cat pets—has faded from the headlines since its initial debut, interest from investors and the company's hints that it's working on something new could mean it's not over. After all, collectibles and gaming are historically huge business.
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