This Week on Crypto Twitter: Bitcoin Halving Anticipation to Elation—Then Back to Work

Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt

It was a rollercoaster week for Bitcoin and the broader crypto landscape, with most eyes fixed on the quadrennial Bitcoin halving finally executing early Saturday morning, on 4/20.

Monday brought an encouraging rebound after a weekend dip. As expected, Hong Kong joined the digital asset ETF party, approving Bitcoin and Ethereum spot ETFs.

Tuesday brought news that venture capital and investment firm Andreessen Horowitz launched its second gaming fund, with an eye for Web3 and AI-forward games. It comes along with a new accelerator program named Speedrun, which will infuse each cohort member with $750,000. “Nothing is too early for us to get involved,” declared a16z general partner Andrew Chen.

The gaming fund is part of a massive $7.2 billion raise across several sectors.

On the more whimsical side, news broke that another famous meme—a newer member of the “guy explains” category—would be going up for auction. Starting bid is 15 ETH (about $47,100), and the auction opens tomorrow.

Hump day brought the announcement of World Chain by the Worldcoin Foundation, an Ethereum layer-2 based on Optimism that uses ETH as its native token and Worldcoin (WLD) for gas fees. “Verified humans, including more than 5 million verified World ID holders, will get priority blockspace over bots and a gas allowance for casual transactions,” the foundation said.

That same day, a tangled saga appeared to be winding up as discredited Bitcoin creation claimant Craig Wright dropped his lawsuit against a dozen Bitcoin developers following his decisive loss in the UK high court.

The news came a week after Wright dropped a separate legal tussle in Norway.

In crypto hardware news, a newcomer announced a new smartphone—sort of. It’s a Google Pixel 7a running ethOS, and yes, it comes with an NFT.

The back half of the week was dominated by halving anticipation—including whether it would indeed land on a meme day. (It did, at least in UTC.)

A significant constituency among Crypto Twitter was more invested in the launch of Runes, scheduled to take place simultaneously. With the halving hours away, Bitcoin mining fees skyrocketed, a development some credited to Runes. Their takeaway? The reduction in Bitcoin mining rewards could be offset by the network activity generated by the new fungible token protocol.

The Bitcoin halving took place overnight, Saturday morning, and Crypto Twitter celebrated.

At least briefly.

When the pivotal Bitcoin block was minted, the miner got a surprise bonus.

As for Runes, the race was on to mint the first batch. Within minutes, the winners were revealed.

Planning ahead, Bitcoin developer and Runes protocol creator Casey Rodamor set up a Rune that will come to life at the next halving in four years.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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