Bitcoin Shatters Records, Siemens’ Digital Bond, and More- In Crypto This Week

Bitcoin Shatters Records, Siemens’ Digital Bond, and More- In Crypto This Week


  1. Bitcoin sees record-high on-chain metrics as Ordinals NFTs rise in popularity.
  2. Tech giant Siemens issues digital bond worth $65 million on public blockchain.
  3. Paxos faces potential SEC lawsuit over BUSD token.

Bitcoin’s Dealing NFTs

The launch of Ordinals, Bitcoin’s own NFT collection, has skyrocketed Bitcoin’s popularity. The blockchain registered an all-time high of 44 Million non-zero addresses! Non-zero addresses are wallets that have any amount of Bitcoins.

The Ordinals protocol, launched in January 2023, allows users to transfer and receive individual Satoshis. Users can inscribe each Satoshi with data, which could be smart contracts that can be used to enable NFTs. Notably, this is the first time in history that the Bitcoin network is being used for anything other than peer-to-peer BTC transfers.

A report from Glassnode noted that the Ordinals NFTs had contributed significantly to a short-term uptick in the Bitcoin network’s usage, bringing many new active users with non-zero addresses onto the network.

Bitcoin also registered a new all-time high in terms of average block size, with the figure surpassing 2.5 MB for the first time since the launch of the network in 2009. This growth, too, coincides with the launch of the Ordinals protocol- from July 2021 to February 2023, the average block size hovered between 0.7 MB and 1.5 MB. Interestingly, this increase in block size has not led to a surge in fees due to the Taproot upgrade, which was intended to make BTC transactions more efficient.

However, Ordinals has sparked a debate in the Bitcoin community. Those opposing the protocol say Bitcoin wasn’t meant for non-financial use cases and storing data on it will only congest the network and drive up transaction fees. The protocol’s supporters believe Bitcoin was meant to be censorship-resistant, and this new use case must be embraced as well. While we don’t know what the future holds, Ordinals is currently making Bitcoin relevant for a whole new audience, and transaction fees on the network seem unaffected- win-win?

Siemens Ventures Into Digital Securities

German tech giant Siemens is the latest player in the digital securities space, following the issuance of a $65 Million bond with a one-year maturity on the Polygon blockchain. 

The company announced that the bond was directly sold to investors like DekaBank, DZ Bank, and Union Investment without having to use a bank. The process cut costs and also eliminated the need for central clearing and paper-based global certificates, which makes issuing digital bonds a much faster and more efficient process than its traditional counterpart.

Siemens’ tokenized bond was issued under the German eWpG legislation for digitally native electronic securities. The legislation supports both centralized and decentralized ledgers. 

While there have been many digital bonds issued on private blockchains, Siemens is one of the first large corporates to do it on a public network. And this isn’t the first time the company has explored the blockchain space. It recently partnered with JPMorgan’s Onyx for blockchain-based payments. Onyx is a JPMorgan business unit that focuses on integrating with innovative tech in the financial services space.

Roadblock for BUSD?

New York State regulators have ordered Paxos, the crypto firm, to stop issuing BUSD (Binance USD), stating concerns that it cannot “safely” issue the token. BUSD is the third largest stablecoin by market cap. This followed the issuance of a Wells Notice by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) to the Paxos Trust Company, stating that BUSD is an unregistered security.

The SEC also informed the crypto firm that it would pursue a lawsuit against them for violating investor protection laws. Once a Wells Notice is issued, the accused party is required to respond within 30 days to make their case against the charges. 

Paxos has released a statement saying it disagrees with the SEC and that BUSD is not a security under federal securities law, meaning they were not required to register it as one. They also added that all Paxos-issued BUSD is backed 1:1 by USD and that it has always prioritized the safety of its investors’ assets.

Paxos mentioned that it is complying with the NYDFS’ order to stop issuing the token from February 21st and that all new and existing Paxos customers can convert their BUSD to Pax Dollar (USDP), which is Paxos’ in-house dollar-backed stablecoin. Binance has added that they will continue to support BUSD despite the order against Paxos.

The lack of clarity when it comes to crypto regulations has been a huge point of friction in recent times. And for cryptocurrencies to become mainstream and gain widespread adoption, a universally accepted set of laws needs to be introduced. While many governments around the world have recognized this as an issue and begun working on it, large-scale changes will likely take time.


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