“To the extent it is used I fear it’s often for illicit finance. It’s an extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions, and the amount of energy that’s consumed in processing those transactions is staggering,” the former Fed chairwoman said. Yellen’s comments have been cited as a reason for bitcoin’s recent losses. However, Yellen’s assessment of bitcoin as a inefficient medium of exchange is an important point and one that has already been raised in the past by bitcoin bulls. Using a volatile asset in exchange for goods and services makes little sense if the asset can tumble 10% in a day, or surge 80% over the course of a two months as bitcoin has done in 2021, critics argue. To put a finer point on it, over the past 12 months bitcoin has registered 8 corrections, defined as a decline from a recent peak of at least 10% but not more than 20%, and two bear markets, which are defined as falls of 20% or more, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Since the violent storming of Capitol Hill and subsequent ban of former U.S. President Donald Trump from Facebook and Twitter, the removal of Parler from Amazon’s servers, and the de-platforming of incendiary right-wing content, messaging services Telegram and Signal have seen a deluge of new users. In January alone, Telegram reported 90 million new accounts. Its founder, Pavel Durov, described this as “the largest digital migration in human history.” Signal reportedly doubled its user base to 40 million people and became the most downloaded app in 70 countries. The two services rely on encryption to protect the privacy of user communication, which has made them popular with protesters seeking to conceal their identities against repressive governments in places like Belarus, Hong Kong, and Iran. But the same encryption technology has also made them a favored communication tool for criminals and terrorist groups, including al Qaeda and the Islamic State.��������������������������������������� from TW