Have you ever woken up, looked at your to-do list, and thought, “Shit. Where do I start?”

Heavy Zen

That’s how this week went for Bitcoin.

Everyone from global payment processors to globally systemically important banks to your next-door neighbor is suddenly in the game.

It’s been a whirlwind of news so let’s check out some of the biggest highlights.

We finally have a Bitcoin ETF… sort of.

The Ontario Securities Commission has approved the first North American Bitcoin ETF to trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

For those unaware, Canada isn’t part of the United States, but it’s pretty close — think of this launch as a testnet for the US.

Purpose Bitcoin ETF has over $10 billion in assets under management and plans to keep its Bitcoin holdings in cold storage. Good thinking — we don’t need another Mt. Gox.

Over the border, Grayscale has officially announced a Yearn Finance fund.

Yearn is one of the largest DeFi projects and helps users maximize returns on their crypto investments via their automated lending platform.

Think Robinhood without the arbitrary trade limits and favoritism towards Wall Street.

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It’s unclear if Grayscale’s over 52,000 ETH added to their holding last week was related to the announcement, but it certainly can’t hurt.

Grayscaling in.

Even further south, we have big news coming out of Florida.

Ahh, Miami — sunshine, beaches, no draconian lockdowns, and now Bitcoin.

Mayer Francis Suarez announced via Twitter that Florida passed a resolution allowing employees to receive a percentage of their salaries in Bitcoin. Suarez instructs the council to identify an agent that can help the municipality procure Bitcoin for the city’s treasury.

Additionally, residents can pay fees in Bitcoin. No word yet as to whether transaction fees will be tax-deductible, but here’s to hoping.

That Will Smith song is now stuck in your head, you’re welcome.

It’s not just major US cities. The Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis released a report exploring potential applications for Ethereum and DeFi.

While the report urges caution over scalability and smart contract soundness, the Bank is overall quite hyped about the technology.

Author Fabian Schar praises the accessibility, speed, and transparency of the network and sees a promising future for governmental applications.

Given the US treasury can’t account for over 21 trillion dollars, we’re sure the government could use some more transparency in their lives.

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Governments are cool and all, but if you’ve ever been to the DMV, you know they’re not exactly quick to innovate.

The private sector is where all the quick-thinking financial action takes place. That’s why news about the oldest bank in the US, BNY Mellon, supporting Bitcoin investments is so exciting.

The $2 trillion bank plans to store and manage Bitcoin on behalf of clients, serving as a custodial entity for individuals that want direct exposure to the digital asset.

When your rival makes a huge announcement, it’s hard to keep quiet. JP Morgan piped up shortly after BNY Mellon’s statement to comment that they won’t be offering Bitcoin custodial services as client demand “isn’t there yet.”

That’s a far cry from CEO James Dimon’s comments in 2017 calling Bitcoin a fraud. It looks like banks are finally coming around to the idea that using 20th-century technology two decades into the 21st century isn’t a wise business decision.

So, firms let you buy Bitcoin, Miami enables you to get paid in Bitcoin, and banks will keep your Bitcoin safe for you. But how do you spend the stuff?

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Leave it to Mastercard — the payment processing giant announced that they would give merchants the option to accept crypto payments by year’s end.

While not explicitly mentioning Bitcoin, it’s hard to imagine the company facilitating Dogecoin payments and not Bitcoin. But hey, with Elon Musk’s support, anything is possible.

Known for their $1000 monitor stands and insanely large cash piles, Apple also announced a foray into the world of crypto payments.

Partnering with BitPay, the largest crypto payment processor globally, Apple will extend to users the ability to transact in multiple cryptocurrencies. Bitpay commented that with Apple on board, they expect Samsung and Google to follow suit quickly.

We have giant banks, cities, central banks, and payment processors together racing to get their hands dirty with Bitcoin and other cryptos.

Like Paul Revere riding through the night, we at HeavyZen have shouted, “The institutions are coming!” for years now — it looks like they’ve finally made their entrance. It’s shaping up to be an exciting year.

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Busiest Week of Bitcoin’s Life. Have you ever woken up, looked at your… | by Heavy Zen | The Capital | Feb, 2021

by Benjamin Hartman
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