Wright Coming Out and Consensus 2016 Does New York. Cryptospace News, April 30 – May 7

overviews
08.05.2016

Bitcoin growth continuing, Craig Wright coming out of the closet, Consensus 2016 being held in New York, and other milestones of the week – all together in ForkLog’s weekly overview.

Bitcoin Price

Even though some of the week’s events have initially undermined bitcoin price, so that it dropped down to $441 on Monday, further developments caused it to grow again. Having surpassed the $450 line, bitcoin stood almost still for a while. On Thursday, the exchange rate started growing again. On Friday, it reached $461.67 for a short while. Inevitable correction slightly decreased the rate. Bitcoin is being traded at the price of around $459 at the moment of writing.

Saturday night cap of Bitcoin comprised $7,125,751.

The Wrightgate

The week’s highlight is, by all means, Craig Wright’s amazing attempt to prove he is Satoshi Nakamoto. The news made the headlines on Monday, when three major publications – BBC, The Economist, and GQ – published their reports on their meeting with Wright who had provided them with proofs substantiating his claims. In particular, Wright managed to publically sign his messages with cryptographic keys created at the dawn of cryptocurrency and directly linked to bitcoin’s genesis block.

Bitcoin community, however, was pretty skeptical about the news. Also, some managed to find several technical non-conformities. Then Wright promised to provide additional proofs, and, in particular, effect a transaction from one of the first bitcoin addresses. However, the very next day, all previous entries in Wright’s blog were deleted, and only one short apology was placed in their stead.

“I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot. I can only hope that their honour and credibility is not irreparably tainted by my actions. They were not deceived, but I know that the world will never believe that now. I can only say I’m sorry,” Wright wrote.

The Wrightgate has tartished the reputation of Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen, who earlier publically supported Wright. Andresen’s access to bitcoin core was eventually restricted. However, the Wright’s story is possibly not over yet.

Consensus 2016

The Wrightgate has coincided with major international conference Consensus 2016 in New York, which featured presence of all prominent bitcoin/blockchain industry players. Possible identification of Satoshi Nakamoto surely became an issue of top interest; however, the event itself was remarkable with a string of interesting news.

One of the conference’s key points was blockchain applications beyond cryptocurrency. Speaking on the issue were both bitcoin evangelists believing that, bereft of bitcoin, the technology is useless, and traditional finance advocates. The latter are convinced that we all could do without that dubious bitcoin, though features that its underlying technology offers are to be taken into account.

The conference was preceded by two-days-long hackathon Building Blocks, with Decentralized Energy Utility proclaimed the winner. The startup’s solution optimizes power supply services for streetlights.

Over the course of the event’s first day, Delaware governor Jack Markell has officially presented an initiative for automation of legal and operational corporate activities. The state’s authorities are in the process of developing distributed ledger shares, a new kind of corporate shares.

BitPay presented the community with a debit card. Created in partnership with Visa, the new card will enable users to pay with cryptocurrency in PoS terminals, and withdraw fiat from ATM’s.

Yet another remarkable news concern establishment of a blockchain bank to be deployed by Deloitte in cooperation with ConsenSys Enterprise. The latter is known for developing Ethereum-based financial services. Deloitte has also announced a series of partnerships with several companies, including BlockCypher, Bloq, Loyyal, and Stellar Development Foundation. The consulting company has stated that each of those companies will enable it to move further globally with the support of its expertise and numerous prototypes of various blockchain tools.

The attendees also examined iPayYou, a project claimed to be the most secure, useful and easy-to-use bitcoin wallet. One of the wallet’s creators is former Amazon top manager, Gene Kavner.

Another ambitious project presented in New York was a new software package by 21 Inc., which, as it is said, enables any computer to earn bitcoins without using the company’s earlier device 21 Bitcoin Computer.

Another important event within Consensus 2016 was Blockchain Awards 2016 ceremony. OpenBazaar was the king that night, as it won in three of five nominations, including The Best New Startup, Bitcoin Champion, and the Most Promising Consumer App.

Another Technological Novelties

Chain has announced the launch of a platform dubbed Chain Open Standard (Chain OS1) based on blockchain protocol with access rights. The platform was powered by ten major finance and telecom companies. Chain OS1 will enable major finance apps to work in blockchain networks with access rights and meet the strict requirements of financial industry, including compliance with regulations, security, and confidentiality.

Cloud service provider Amazon Web Services has launched a project offering an experimental environment to blockchain-related companies. Thanks to a reserved infrastructure and AWS support, startups will be able to effectively test different blockchain-based applications.

Aforementioned ConsenSys has announced the launch of a project dubbed BTC Relay to provide programmatic capabilities of interaction between Ethereum and Bitcoin networks. The development was commenced and sponsored by Ethereum Foundation.

Ethereum

Ethereum’s founder Vitalik Buterin talked about Ethereum’s future, its prospects and whether it can be considered bitcoin’s rival. In particular, he noted that the potential of Ethereum-based apps is limited only by developers’ imagination.

A new ambitious project Akasha somehow confirms what Buterin said. The project built on Ethereum protocol presents itself as a next generation decentralized social network. It was officially launched on May 3, World Press Freedom Day. However, it is available in alpha only. However, the idea of creating a permanent decentralized data storage looks promising.

Platforms

Interesting news comes from crowdfunding platform Waves. Platform’s team has recently announced the future partnership with Mycelium including the integration into the new version of popular bitcoin wallet. Earlier Mycelium has announced crowdsale of 5% of the company’s shares. The wallet’s new version adds new options for individual financial management (including that of fiat currencies) to the list of existing ones.

Meanwhile, Slock.it has announced it would launch a DAO via raising funds in a decentralized trust. The investment process has just started, but the raised amounts have already reached $18 million.

Cryptocurrency Regulation

Microsoft and major American insurer USAA have joined the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a non-profit organization protecting interests of digital currency industry in its interaction with regulators. Also joining the Chamber were Jeff Garzik’s Bloq and capital market apps developer Symbiont.

Bitcoin exchange Coinbase and financial service provider Ripple Labs Inc. intend to obtain BitLicense, the well-known New York license to provide virtual currency services. NYDFS has posted the information that the companies applied for the license on its official website.

Meanwhile, also in New York, bitcoin exchange Gemini was granted a permission to commence with Ethereum trading. According to NYDFS, Ethereum trade at Gemini will become the first instance when such permission was granted to a digital currency service operating beyond bitcoin. The state’s governor Andrew Cuomo stated that the decision is in line with the authorities’ efforts to support innovations and emerging industries.

Government of the Isle of Man will change its legislation in gambling businesses by adding provisions concerning bitcoin and other digital currencies. Earlier the authorities stated they sought to make the island a safe harbor for digital currency companies. Online casinos and bookmakers registered under the new provisions will be able to accept digital currencies on the same conditions as traditional means of payment.

Meanwhile, governments of Germany and Austria commenced a joint project to study digital currency usage in organized crime.

“The joint project will assess the subject and its threat profile in order to develop innovative and workable approaches toward regulating virtual currencies in a way that is compatible with their fundamental nature. The project will strive to develop actionable, internationally applicable and interoperable solutions for Europe and beyond,” the project’s memo reads.

Finally, some good news have come from Russia. Local Ministry of Justice objected several provisions of the bill on money surrogates, which also covers bitcoin and other digital currencies. The ministry finds it necessary to provide additional justification for penalizing issuance and turnover of money surrogates.

However, it is unlikely to hinder the bill. Meanwhile, Switzerland demonstrates a completely different approach towards digital currencies. Authorities of the town of Zug have launched an experiment implying bitcoin payments for utility and municipal services.

ForkLog Exclusives

This week ForkLog readers could find out about QIWI’s plans on blockchain first hand. The company tests the technology for payments processing. Alexei Arkhipov, QIWI’s cryptotechnology director, spoke of the project’s details.

Also, we contacted Smile-Expo, the organizer of Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Prague, to know about the course of preparation for the event. The conference is to be held on May 19.

A week before, on May 12, Kyiv will host a meetup featuring the Lightning Network team. The project enables rectification of some scalability problems in Bitcoin.

Have a nice day!

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