Roundtabled Consensus, Ukrainian Breakthrough, and Peaks of Ethereum: Cryptospace News for February 21-27
The week was marked by cryptocalypse in Russia, which had uncovered bitcoin’s cunning plans to demolish the country’s financial system; continuing scalability debates; a Ukrainian breakthrough in blockchain applications; and many more.
During last seven days, bitcoin did its best to keep with the best traditions of volatility. It managed to solidify its standing and then lose momentum, effectively returning to the values of the week before.
Saturday, February 20, bitcoin was traded around $430, while on February 27 the price according to CoinDesk comprised $434.08. The week it took bitcoin to gain four dollars, saw it peaking at $446 on February 21 and dropping down to $430 later the same day. The price was solidifying on Monday and Tuesday as bitcoin was roaming in the corridor between $435 and $440.
February 24, bitcoin abruptly went down to $411; however, the cheapening was short-living, and the cryptocurrency was being traded for the values between $420 and $425 for most of Thursday and Friday.
The community was actively discussing the timeline for SegWitÂ released
July 2016: Hard-fork code released
July 2017: Hard-fork activated (provided it garners massive support from the bitcoin community)
Some prominent community members were dismissive about the proposed plan. Thus, Brian Armstrong, executive at Coinbase, said that the scalability program was overdue. He believes that Bitcoin Classic is a better solution for the cryptocurrency’s scaling issues.
However, most stakeholders of bitcoin industry, and major miners in the first place, are quite skeptical about Bitcoin Classic. Thus, Samson Mow, COO at BTCC, even stated that the hard-fork solution in question was futile.
However, there are other opinions on the table. Eugene Radchenko, a developer at AIRA DAO, for instance, stated that there is no such thing as block size problem.
Ukrainian Blockchain Breakthrough
While European countries cautiously consider the technology and generally test the waters, Ukraine has already launched a testing for state property privatization systemÂ based on blockchain. In case everything goes as planned, the platform will allow anyone to launch their own access points for government auctions, or even buy state property for cryptocurrency. The platform will be tested in Ukrainian cities of Odessa, Sumy, and Kyiv.
Bitcoin in Russia
February 25, Russian news feed was oversaturated with news on meeting of State Duma’s working group named â€śLegal regulation of issuance and turnover of cryptocurrencyâ€ť. Thanks to the meeting, Russian bitcoiners found out how much of them there is. According to Andrei Lugovoy, the deputy chairman of the Duma’s security and corruption prevention committee, there are 200,000 of them.
That was all about good news. The Investigative Committee spokesperson stated that distribution and uncontrolled turnover of cryptocurrencies may cause Russia’s financial system to collapse. Deputy head of Russian drug control service, FDCS, stated that local drug dealers started using cryptocurrencies 20 times as often.
Additionally, it was announced after the meeting that the ominous draft law criminalizing cryptocurrencies is to be submitted to the Duma this JuneÂ at latest. The document is likely to bring no good news to Russian bitcoiners.
Japanese Financial Services Agency has apparently decided to regulate bitcoin similarly to any other ordinary currency. According to the regulator, recognizing bitcoin as a legal tender would calm down the crypto-market and bring new investment thereto.
At the same time, Australian cryptocommunity, including representatives for bitcoin and blockchain startups, considers establishing a code of conduct for digital currency industry.
In addition, Europe may create an operative group for digital currencies set to promptly cover issues related to cryptocurrencies and technologies underlying them. The group will research digital currencies and, most importantly, compile relevant recommendations as to regulating them.
Deutsche Bank, one of the world’s largest banks, has prepared a report titled â€śFintech 2.0: Creating new opportunities through strategic allianceâ€ť. The document describes enormous potential that combined efforts of partnering companies might have, as well as draws attention to fintech startups. According to the report, those mostly new companies are the key component in integration of blockchain in major banking / financial entities’ infrastructure.
Startups are expected to show their worth in a sector like corporate international remittances. Among the most prominent companies in the sector is Ripple.
Latest events might possibly cause someone to think that the California-based startup gradually loses ground. However, in 2016 the company returned into the spotlight. Earlier the company announced its strategic partnership with Japan’s SBI Holdings; this week it announced a cooperation with Royal Bank of Canada to develop a new remittance service based on blockchain technology.
Additionally, a few days ago the company stated that the companies using its network and XRP token for international transactions may reduce by 42%.
Ethereum is Coming
Ethereum price peaked at $5.74 (0.01351040 BTC) February 23, and rose even higher to $6.01 (0.0139 BTC) by Saturday morning. However, market cap of the cryptocurrency turned out to be even more impressive: earlier this week it comprised $443 million, outpacing Ripple and Litecoin combined. By the weekend, the market cap rose to $465 million.
Among other Ethereum-related news, the one concerning the pronounced interest of BoostVC investment company to the technology might seem the most promising. The company’s founders Adam Draper and Brayton Williams told they were ready to invest in Ethereum-based projects as they saw extended investment opportunities in this regard. Also the new Ethereum exchange to be launched in India this March.
However, there might be another pleasant surprise a little ways down the road. At least, Ethereum’s communications executive Lisa Chen hinted on that in her tweet:
Some exciting Ethereum announcements are on the way
— Lisa Cheng (@lisacheng) February 27, 2016
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