Bitcoin Skyrocketing, Public Services & Blockchain, and Platforms Launching. Cryptospace News, April 16-23
Bitcoin price growing, new investments in the industry, ambitious statements on practical application of blockchain technology – all highlights of crypto-industry’s week presented in ForkLog’s weekly overview.
Bitcoin skyrocketed to nearly $450 in less than a week. The first signals as to the upsurge popped up on Tuesday, April 19, when the price grew up on almost $5, from $430 to $434.55 in less than 90 minutes. On Wednesday, having successfully surpassed the $440 threshold, bitcoin ended its day’s journey at $442.06, and even surpassed $450 for a short time the next day. On Friday and Saturday, bitcoin was traded in the corridor between $447 and $448.
The main factor behind bitcoin price’s recent upsurge is probably release of Bitcoin Core 0.12.1, new version of bitcoin client with a series of amendments seeking to solve the network scalability problem. Additionally, long-awaited release of Segregated Witness followed the client’s release. The solution developed by Peter Wuelle allows for increasing number of transactions in each block. The news instantly caused bitcoin’s price to grow.
Notably, right before SegWit release, BTCC’s COO Samson Mow stated that Bitcoin Classic was irrelevant.
China-based mining company Bitmain Technology invested $1.6m in bitcoin trading platform BitKan. BitMain Technology operates one of the world’s biggest mining pools Antpool, so the investment could mark the company’s further expansion.
More investment-related news also came from Asia: India’s leading bitcoin exchange Coinsecure has announced it raised $1.2m in its continuing Series A round. The company, however, did not name the investors. Coinsecure claims to have the highest liquidity and trade volume of all Indian bitcoin exchanges with monthly processed volume of orders exceeding 3,000 BTC.
News on new investments in Asian companies and startups are soon to follow. At least, one may suggest it basing on negotiations between New York’s Gemini exchange and Australian investment company Trimantium Capital. The partnership agreement is expected to be signed in a short while. The parties intend to study new opportunities of running blockchain-related businesses in Asia Pacific.
Russia’s crypto-week kicked off with yet another statement by Alexander Bastrykin, head of Russian Investigative Committee. Once again, he saidÂ that cryptocurrencies threatened the country’s financial stabilities. He didn’t call bitcoin users extremists (however, even if he had, that hardly would’ve been surprising), but criminalization of cryptocurrency activities remains a serious menace.
The draft law implying bitcoin criminalization, as it turned out, has faced some objections. According to Alexei Moiseev, deputy minister for finance of Russia, the document “is being supplemented with clarifications and amendments due to numerous comments received”. However, its eventual introduction seems inevitable. It is expected during the parliament’s spring session, which means it would happen in early June at the latest. The draft law’s basic provisions remained the same.
Meanwhile, Moscow conference “Blockchain and Open Platforms 2016” saw Olga Skorobogatova, deputy chairwoman of the Bank of Russia, statingÂ that banks are interested in distributed ledgers, and national currencies might be digitized.
The event also featured examples of real-time application of distributed ledgers in finance. Sberbank, National Settlement Depositary, and major payment processors like QIWI and WebMoney presented their own ideas concerning the issue. QIWI came up with an idea of a national blockchain consortium similar to R3CEV.
ForkLog managed to find out that Russian Parliament is going to hold an international conference titled “Electronic Currency in the Light of Contemporary Legal and Economic Challenges”. The leaked letterÂ concerning the conference is signed by Andrei Lugovoy, head of the parliament’s committee for security and anti-corruption. He is known for his earlier statements, in which he dismissed attempts to ban cryptocurrencies. However, he is mostly known for being prime suspect in so-called ‘polonium case’ concerning murder of Alexander Litvinenko in London.
Finally, Alex Fork, leader of Russia’s Blockchain.community and founder of fintech accelerator Future Fintech registeredÂ Bitcoin as a trademark. According to Fork, Bitcoin LLC doesn’t intend to use the trademark in commerce, but only to prevent possible monopolization of Bitcoin as a brand. However, later news suggested that the registration covered a specifically stylized image of Bitcoin word rather than the word itself.
Blockchain and Government
Experiments on implementing blockchain in public services continue.
Thus, Poland’s Ministry of Digital Affairs (Ministra Cyfryzacjiw) considers Bitcoin and blockchain technology in the context of active digitalization of public services. The ministry listed cryptotechnologies along with the Internet of Things as technologies capable of accelerating progress and, on the other hand, posing yet unknown threats. The ministry, however, provided no further details as to possible blockchain application in public services.
Meanwhile, BitFury in cooperation with Georgia’s National Agency for Business Units Registration launched a blockchain-based pilot project for land title registering. The parties signed Memorandum of Understanding on Friday, April 22, in Georgian Technological Park, where one of BitFury’s data centers is located.
Finally, in Ukraine, Coinessa and BTCZoo developers have announced launchÂ of the country’s first nationwide access platform for eAuction project. Coinessa’s CEO Vladislav Kogan told ForkLog about the project’s details.
Waves team has presentedÂ the project’s testnet. Now investors and other enthusiasts will have early access to the system’s prototype. Moreover, the release would enable investor to participate in development by providing feedback to the team.
Emer Group, creators of Emercoin the cryptocurrency, have launched their own development platform. The platform dubbed Blockchain Engine would enable developers and companies to create their own applications on Emer’s blockchain.
Ethereum fans would probably excited to find out how the technology’s smart contracts may be applicable in IT jurisprudence. That’s what Valentin Pivovarov, founder of legal firm lexnet.io, told ForkLog in his interview.
If your interest for Ethereum lies in trading, yesterday’s news about Bitfinex launching margin trading for Ether could be interesting to you as well.
Good News for Gamers
The world’s biggest gaming platform Steam intends to add bitcoin as payment option. The news, however, is still semi-official: Steam-owned Valve did not confirm the rumors originating from Reddit where a letter from the platform’s supports service had been posted.
Have a nice weekend!
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