The price of BTC treaded carefully on Wednesday morning, hovering in the $6,200s, still more-or-less tied to the movement of the stock market, which opened the day down about 2.5% across the board. In the midst of a dire atmosphere plagued by a looming global recession (and an actual plague), the crypto community still managed to celebrate April 1st by filling everyone’s social media feed with light-hearted jokes and pranks.

Toilet Paper Token TPT

The logo for the coin currently listed as #1 on CoinMarketCap.

April Fool’s Pranks Bring Comedic Relief to Cryptosphere

Today is April Fool’s Day, long used as an excuse by crypto social media in order to cut loose in what can often be a dry, serious and sometimes frustrating subject. This year, it seems to be an especially necessary outlet, given the many problems in which the world is currently facing. Most notably was CoinMarketCap’s decision to include “Toilet Paper Token” at the top of their coin rankings, with a market cap of $85.583 billion and a 24-hour change of 1,123.97%. The circulating supply metric for the coin reads “Out of stock.”

CMC april fools

When the fictitious coin is clicked on, visitors are brought to a CoinMarketCap blog entry that displays a humorously-written summary of the advantages of tokenizing toilet paper:

“With TPT, users can purchase toilet paper online to avoid increased exposure to ‘Rona and take advantage of the Ply Count algorithm that calculates how much toilet paper each household is entitled to receive.

The implication of this system is no more hoarding or grocery store fights for the last set of rolls. Should stores run out of stock, TPT holders will be the first customers to be notified of restocking the preferred customers to receive supplies.” – CoinMarketCap

On Twitter, crypto users were having a field day, with several great pranks being pulled on stunned viewers who perhaps woke up forgetting what day it was.

The above were less pointed and biting than some of the others. As written by the fervent Craig Wright investigator Alistair Milne:

As written by Blockstream developer (and steadfast Ethereum critic) Samson Mow:

Perhaps taking things a little bit too far (as is seemingly the tradition there), Bitcoin Forum administrator Theymos introduced a feature that would randomly generate Zalgo text to user posts after they had “contracted” the “virus” by quoting or being quoted by other members.

bitcointalk april fools

All older posts made by inactive members remained un-afflicted, with the Zalgo text “virus” seemingly getting worse among active members the more they posted. Previous iterations of the Bitcointalk April Fool’s tradition included the introduction of KYC for forum membership (KYC being something thoroughly detested by much of the community), and a new member ranking system based on “politeness” and “imagination.” Not everyone was thrilled by this year’s version of the prank, pointing out that it lacked sensitivity toward those whose lives had been impacted by covid-19, and the random strings of vertical characters above and below certain words made it hard to read certain posts or take serious-minded posts very seriously.

Scammer Sets Up 9 Fake Bitcoin QR Code Address Websites, Collects Over 7 BTC

When trying to send bitcoin with a mobile wallet, there is nothing easier than scanning the QR code of the address to which it is being sent. Usually this is a great way to cut down on the potential for introducing errors as it does not require that an address be manually entered or even copy/pasted. However, a clever scammer (or group of scammers) managed to draw in over $45,000 worth of BTC during the month of March by registering a series of fake QR code generator sites.

Instead of generating individual QR codes for each address on demand, these websites always generated QR codes for the same BTC address (controlled by the scammer). Thus, when the code was presented for receipt of payment, funds would get sent directly to the scammer instead of the intended recipient who generated the code via one of these fake sites. In order to avoid this problem, it is recommended that users of QR code generator websites double-check the validity of the code they generated by scanning it with their own mobile device or computer camera before having bitcoin payments sent to it.

[email protected] Project Sets Their Sights on Covid-19

Dedicated to advancing organic chemistry by making use of spare computing power, the [email protected] Project has been around since 2014. At the time of its launch, it was a first of its kind project, which rewarded those who ran its protein folding simulation software with FoldingCoin tokens that ran on the Counterparty (XCP) platform. The idea is that by outsourcing processing power to perform these simulations, organic chemists and microbiologists working on finding cures for different illnesses (such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and forms of cancer) can greatly speed up the search for molecular conformations of a molecule that make it a target for drug treatment.

Though it fell out of popularity for quite some time, [email protected] has had new life breathed into it by shifting its focus 100% to covid-19. The non-profit organization recently received a pledge from blockchain development company Bitfury to dedicate some of its processor power to performing protein folding simulations for [email protected] In addition, Ethereum token creator CoinWeave has also pledged to donate miner hash power usually used to mine altcoins toward this goal. Anyone can contribute their spare processing power to [email protected] by simply downloading and installing their folding simulation software.

A Cautious Message of Hope

Within the past few hours, a pertinent, heartfelt missive was penned on Medium with the title “Dear Bitcoiners,” which has already managed to attract several thousand viewers. The message is not only an astute observation on the current state of Bitcoin, but how Bitcoin is responding to the world, as well. Here are a few excerpts from it that do well in carefully putting today’s situation in a positive light.

“The current crisis — and the financial repercussions that will inevitably follow — will make it obvious that we need Bitcoin more than Bitcoin needs us…

If you can contribute by coding, writing, educating, discussing, recording, creating, or simply hodling — great. But make no mistake: Bitcoin is bigger than all of us. And, dare I say it, the current failure of the legacy system is bigger than Bitcoin…

They say that nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come. I believe that Bitcoin’s time has come, and in hindsight, it will be obvious to everyone.” – Medium author Gigi

The article (which is well worth a read in its entirety) is a reminder that while Bitcoin is likely to emerge stronger than ever amidst covid-19 and economic-induced problems, it is important that the community maintain vigilance when it comes to protecting its growing place in the world economy.

With zero hacking incidents and only an immeasurably tiny fraction of downtime across its 11 years of operation, the Bitcoin Network has proven itself to an extremely stable, viable entity. It is made to endure tough times, like those we are currently facing. One thing it cannot do for itself, however, is make sure that society remains free enough to use it. To that end, it requires an active base of supporters willing to fight for its right to be used. With each passing day, the case for Bitcoin grows stronger, but it will need some help along the way to make sure it is given a fair chance to come into its own.

Also in the News

  • Due to the sudden and prolonged reduction in the price of BTC, several bitcoin mining operations have been shutting down, leading to a steep drop-off in hash power being directed at the Bitcoin Network, and subsequently a drop in the mining difficulty. With the bitcoin reward halving only 45 days away, mining operations that have already been operating at a loss face slim chances of making an immediate profit in the foreseeable future.
  • Mega-exchange BitMEX recently published a research report detailing where every developer active (and inactive) in the development of Bitcoin Core receives their funding. The results suggest that Bitcoin development is now less centralized than even before, with 16 different and often competing entities funding its developers. This represents a significant change from the days of the now-defunct Bitcoin Foundation, which used to be one of the only organizations funding development.
  • Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin proposed an idea for an Ethereum-Bitcoin bridge that would allow for the immediate conversion the two cryptocurrencies, stating that such a development was long overdue. In a March 25th tweet, Buterin stated “We should put resources toward a proper (trustless, serverless, maximally Uniswap-like UX) ETH <-> BTC decentralized exchange. It’s embarrassing that we still can’t easily move between the two largest crypto ecosystems trustlessly.” Though Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs) have been around for a few years now, they deal exclusively with Ethereum-based tokens — a persistent problem which has limited their chances for success in the long term.
  • Also related to CoinMarketCap, exchange giant Binance has agreed to purchase the coin metrics standard for $400 million, making it the single biggest acquisition deal in the history of cryptocurrency. The move will bring a fresh air of legitimacy to the website, which has been accused of being too lax in allowing exchanges and coins to report artificially inflated trading volume. It is unlikely that its user interface will be altered significantly. It is also unlikely that the Toilet Paper Token listing will be carried over by the site’s new owners.