This Week in Cryptocurrency – October 27, 2017

This Week in Cryptocurrency – Weekly News Recap

Bitcoin Breaks $6,000: Shortly after we posted last weeks “This Week in Cryptocurrency” newsletter, Bitcoin surpassed $6,000 for the first time ever Friday. The price continued rising, reaching as high as $6,194 (Source) on Saturday. 

Nobody Seems to Care About Bitcoin Gold: Following the Bitcoin Gold fork this week, BTG’s price has dropped down to a current price of $128.15. This puts BTG’s price only slightly above 1/3 Bitcoin Cash’s price. In addition to investors seemingly uninterested in the new forked coin, there’s been little news regarding BTG. The only BTG news story with a significant amount of shares details how BTG’s website suffered a huge DDOS attack immediately after the fork.

Will the Real Slim Shady, Please Stand Up: As if the cryptocurrency world wasn’t eventful enough, the upcoming Bitcoin SegWit2x fork around November 16th has people wondering which Bitcoin will be considered the true Bitcoin. Each side is filled with respectable figures in the Bitcoin community, as well as your fair share of adamant ideologists calling each other names on Twitter.

Preparing for the fork: The fork is predicted to happen around November 16th. To prepare yourself, be sure to follow as exchanges announce what they will be doing for the fork. For example, Coinbase announced that they “are going to call the chain with the most accumulated difficulty Bitcoin”. Gemini echoed this stance stating “… we will be measuring total cumulative computational difficulty of the blockchain to determine what we will call Bitcoin and BTC and on the Gemini platform”.

Once we get closer to the SegWit2x fork date, we’ll compile an in-depth report on each major exchange’s SegWit2x procedures. Stay tuned for this report.

“Ok guys, blockchain might be a threat”: Moody’s, the century plus old bond credit rating company, released a report titled “Consumer Digital Payments — US” that stated that the “threat” of cryptocurrencies and blockchain is “distant”, but businesses will eventually end up adopting the technology. [Source: Bitcoin Magazine]

At Home with the ICO: The old-school eCommerce giant Overstock.com is looking to raise the largest ICO rounds ever set at $500 million for its majority-owned subsidiary t0 (alternatively tZERO). Overstock has been around since 1999, and as of August 2017, was one of the first major eCommerce companies to start accepting Bitcoin as payments. Their CEO Patrick Byrne has also been an avid supporter of blockchain technology. Additionally, Overstock.com became the first publicly traded company to issue their stock via blockchain in December 2016, using its t0 subsidiary to sell 126,565 shares. Overstock has worked to develop t0 to be the first-ever trading platform for stocks and securities based on blockchain. In a press release, Byrne stated that “While many doubted, the tZERO team worked hard to be at the tip of the spear in creating and launching credible, capable and institutionally scalable blockchain technologies for crypto assets.” The ICO is expected to launch on November 15th and will last until December 31st.


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Thumbs up from Woz: Steve Wozniak, the lovable co-founder of Apple Computers, spoke at the Money2020 Conference and described Bitcoin as being “genuine and real” in the sense that it cannot be diluted, whereas he referred to fiat currencies such as the printable US Dollar as “kind of phony.” [Source: Bitcoin Magazine]

Nothing new from the world of Bitcoin naysayers: The head honchos of the Finance world had little to say this week after Bitcoin momentarily hit $6,000. This brings us to think about how captains of the finance industry such as JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon who called anyone trading it “stupid” and Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock, who called Bitcoin “an index of money laundering” will be viewed in a decade. One shouldn’t be so quick to make predictions, but something tells me if Bitcoin continues growing, we may start seeing some PR puff up stories and apologies.

MIT doing MIT things: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is making news again and reminding the world why it’s considered a powerhouse and incubator of tech talent by announcing a pilot program to issue diplomas via the Bitcoin blockchain. Using an app called the Blockcerts Wallet, 111 graduates will be issued diplomas and will be able to “share their diplomas almost immediately with whomever they please, free of charge, without involving an intermediary.” So, now instead of an MIT graduate inevitably telling you they have a diploma from MIT, they can show you it via blockchain.

Regulations from Down Under: The Australian government is set to vote on laws that will give the financial intelligence regulator AUSTRAC new powers to oversee digital currency exchanges. Australia is aiming to start regulating money laundering via Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and if passed, these laws would require exchanges to register with the government.

Amazon May Start Accepting Bitcoin: Rumor has it that the eCommerce giant Amazon may start accepting Bitcoin as early as late October. These rumors are based on claims made by financial technology sources in Silicon Valley, according to the German newspaper Welt. James Altucher, known for his books, podcast, entrepreneurial experience, and his occasional cringe-worthy “Crypto-Millionaire Hosts Free Cryptocurrency Masterclass” targeted Facebook ads, also claimed that Amazon may make the Bitcoin announcement during an earnings conference call on October 26th. At the time of writing this, Bitcoin isn’t priced at $7,000+ so it seems no news came from the conference call.

It’s important to reiterate that this story is a rumor, and should be treated as such.

Venezuelans Mining to Survive Inflation: What was once one of the richest countries in South America has been dealing with extreme hyperinflation, which the IMF predicts could hit 720% this year. Many Venezuelans have taken to mining Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as an alternative to the current conditions. Mining operations that bring in $800 a month provide citizens with a better lifestyle in a country where the minimum monthly salary is $40 which is supplemented by government vouchers of around $56. However, Venezuelans do this at the risk of being arrested for energy theft. [Yahoo News]

Alex Moskov

Alex is Head of Content at CoinCentral and a bona fide content nerd. He has experience in startups, digital marketing, and cryptocurrency.