The first block of Ethereum’s 2.0 Beacon chain was created and this brings the Ethereum community one step closer to the final destination. While Ethereum was launching its new phase, Bitcoin enjoyed a rise in price and USDT hit new market cap records. 

Read about this and other news in our summary of the main and current affairs in the cryptocurrency market this week: 

  1. In comparison to last week, Bitcoin rose in price and even crossed a new all-time high above $19,892. But despite everyone’s expectation, BTC still didn’t cross the 20K price line. While Bitcoin goes up, the gold sector is going through hard times, as the record outflow from the gold market was recently noticed. It was the largest weekly outflow in history, which matches with the entrance of major institutional investors into the Bitcoin market. Gold Bullion International co-founder Dan Tapiero said in the next five years gold will be at $4,000 and Bitcoin will be between $300K and $500K. While some expected BTC price volatility in December, some discussed what will happen to users’ Bitcoins after their death and how to pass them on to the next generation. 
  1. Ethereum 2.0 Beacon chain was finally launched. The first block was created, but staked ETH are likely to be locked up until Phase 1.5 of the Ethereum 2.0 rollout, currently planned for late 2021 or early 2022. Nevertheless, due to the high demand for staked Eth2, the count of Ethereum’s nodes rose to 11,259 — surpassing Bitcoin by more than 100. While Ethereum 2.0 went ahead and its node amount rose, its price seemed to stagnate and by the end of this week, it held a $596 price. And if you are interested in what is coming next for the Ethereum 2.0 network, read the road map prepared by Vitalik Buterin. 
  1. Tether (USDT) stablecoin beat its record. Its market price increased again and swelled by 1 billion over nine days, and this is the second-fastest expansion in its history. By the end of this week, Tether had a market cap of nearly $19.4 billion, meaning that there are roughly 19 billion USDT in circulation at a price of $1.00. Tether has the fourth-highest market capitalization of any cryptocurrency.
  1. The Visa payment system announced that soon USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin transactions will be compatible with certain credit cards, meaning businesses can send and receive USDC payments directly from any business inside the payment system. By the way, early this week the company changed its CEO – former State Street and JPMorgan Chase executive David Puth became the new leader of the project.
  1. Good news for South Korean crypto lovers. Their government officially postponed the 20% Tax for cryptocurrency. Local crypto advocates, the Korea Blockchain Association, succeeded in a lobbying campaign to delay the new tax rules till 2022. The decision will provide local crypto businesses with more time to adapt to new tax laws, according to which all investors in South Korea will pay a 20% tax rate on crypto trading gains above 2.5 million won ($2,260) per year. 
  1. In 2021, S&P Dow Jones will launch crypto indexes, which will include around 550 crypto assets, as they assure that it is an “emerging asset class”. But it is still not clear how they plan to choose cryptocurrencies and what is the methodology behind their selection if it is not based on market capitalization.
  1. For 5 years, the $5M in BTC stolen in the hack attack on Bitfinex in 2016 have been waiting to be moved. Only 1%-2% of the stolen money has been transferred within these 4 years, 98% of the stolen money is still untouched, probably due to troubles with laundering the  digital assets. 

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