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Bitcoin News of the Week Institutional investment OKEx Insights

China strengthens Bitcoin ban as El Salvador prepares free BTC for citizens

2021.06.26 Adam James

The cryptocurrency market continues to feel the influence of China’s renewed efforts to cast Bitcoin mining out of the country.

It may be summer, but the cryptocurrency market doesn’t take vacations — and this week has been as busy as ever. While China’s renewed efforts to completely remove cryptocurrencies from the country are influencing the wider market (and Bitcoin’s hash rate), El Salvador is planning a BTC airdrop of sorts for its adult citizens.

Here’s everything you need to know about these stories, and more, in this week’s edition of OKEx Insights’ News of the Week.

El Salvador to provide $30 in free BTC to adult citizens

In the latest piece of Bitcoin-related news out of El Salvador, the country plans to provide $30 in BTC to each of its adult citizens that downloads and verifies themselves on the Chivo e-wallet. The verification process involves facial recognition.

Furthermore, BTC will become legal tender in the nation on Sept. 7.

Key takeaway

  • Rough estimates of El Salvador’s adult population provide a total of over 3,400 BTC, worth more than $110 million.

John McAfee found dead at 75

John McAfee was reportedly found dead — with the cause of death still unconfirmed — after a Spanish court approved his extradition to the United States to face tax evasion charges. The enigmatic cryptocurrency proponent and antivirus-company creator was 75.

Key takeaways

  • Though his extradition was only in relation to charges of tax fraud, McAfee was also charged by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for promoting initial coin offerings. He was also charged by the Commodities Future Trading Commission for conducting crypto-related pump-and-dump schemes.
  • Multiple outlets have reported McAfee’s death as a suspected suicide, but his cause of death currently remains unknown.

Bitcoin hash rate plummets following China’s mining ban

The total Bitcoin hash rate has dropped roughly 50% from mid-May to late June. The near-halving of the total computation mining power has coincided with the Chinese government’s recent moves to shut down Bitcoin mining in various regions.

Key takeaways

  • China’s regulatory actions toward Bitcoin mining have opened the door for other countries — such as the United States — to garner a significantly stronger foothold in the competitive industry.
  • The long-standing fear that too much Bitcoin mining power was centralized in China is diminishing alongside the country’s share of its total hash rate.

Bitcoin’s hash rate has plummeted since mid-May. Source: Blockchain.com

MicroStrategy buys additional 13,005 BTC

MicroStrategy has purchased an additional 13,005 BTC for roughly $489 million, per an announcement made on Monday. The average price per coin was $37,617.

The software company well-known for CEO Michael Saylor’s Bitcoin bullishness now holds more than 105,000 BTC on its balance sheet, which was purchased at an average price of just over $26,000 per coin.

Key takeaway

  • MicroStrategy’s latest purchases come at a time when the BTC and wider cryptocurrency market is experiencing extreme fear after crashing roughly 50% or more from the year’s highs. This has some analysts questioning whether or not the software company is overleveraging itself on BTC.

Chinese banks ban cryptocurrency-related transactions

The People’s Bank of China is requiring that banks in the country cut off crypto-related funding channels — specifically for over-the-counter merchants — amid claims that China’s financial system has been disrupted and financial crime is being facilitated by cryptocurrencies.

Following the central bank’s statement, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China, the Construction Bank of China and AliPay followed suit with claims that they will terminate relationships with customers found dealing with cryptocurrency transactions.

Key takeaway

  • China’s increased focus on its hardline anti-cryptocurrency stance comes at a time when the country’s official digital currency, DCEP, is nearly ready for widespread mainstream usage.


OKEx Insights presents market analyses, in-depth features and curated news from crypto professionals.

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Disclaimer: This material should not be taken as the basis for making investment decisions, nor be construed as a recommendation to engage in investment transactions. Trading digital assets involve significant risk and can result in the loss of your invested capital. You should ensure that you fully understand the risk involved and take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary.

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