This Week in Cryptocurrency – November 10th, 2017

This Week in Cryptocurrency – Weekly News Recap

Party’s over before it started: The much anticipated upcoming Bitcoin2x fork that planned to increase Bitcoin’s block size from 1MB to 2MB was suspended indefinitely due to a lack of consensus in the community. The decision was fueled by a desire to preserve unity of the Bitcoin community, albeit it had many cryptotraders jolt up in a sudden reactionary and borderline panicked ruckus.

Immediately following this news, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Altcoin markets surged (with Bitcoin’s price reaching more than $7,500). It seems though that today many cryptocurrency investors have “cashed out” their profits, as prices are down today for nearly every major cryptocurrency. Those who aren’t cashing out, seem to be piling into Bitcoin Cash (the previous fork of Bitcoin) that’s currently up 46% in the last 24 hours.

Come one, come all: Coinbase, the world’s most popular and arguably most user-friendly Bitcoin exchange, added 100,000 new users in a single 24 hour period. This is likely the introduction many of these users are going to have with the cryptoworld. Since Coinbase is a platform that is best-positioned for new user onboarding and currently only offers three coins (BTC, ETH, and LTC), we might even see some first-time users migrating to other exchanges that offer more alt-coins in the near future as well. Coinbase currently has around 12.3 million users and is in 32 countries.

Vitalik Unveils his 3-4 Year Plan for Ethereum: At the Devcon3 conference in Cancun, Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s 23 year old founder, talked about a three to four year plan that mainly covered technical improvements, as well as a focus on facilitating scalability. As more and more decentralized apps (dapps) continue to use Ethereum’s network, it’s becoming much clunkier. With a daily transaction rate of upwards of 20,000 nodes, this is a critical move Ethereum needs to take to maintain its dominance in the current dapp landscape.

Parity Bug Loses Millions:  Around $152 – $300 million of Ethereum was lost by the digital wallet service Parity when a developer named “devops199” (a screen-name that shall live in infamy) was attempting to fix a few bugs and accidently locked all the funds in the multisignature wallets permanently. Many of the locked funds also belonged to ICOs such as interoperability platform Polkadot, which had $98 million-worth of its funds locked up in Parity. Some users are even pushing for an Ethereum hard fork, which would require 51% of Ethereum users to turn a blind eye to the hack and jump onto the new chain of Ethereum (just like when Ethereum emerged out of Ethereum Classic after the $150 million DAO hack).

Electroneum got DDoS’d: Electroneum recently “ICO’d” and raised $40 million dollars, and was soon after DDoS’d. The distributed denial of service (DDoS) forced the company to delay the full launch of its mobile mining app, locking the accounts of roughly 140,000 people (by Electroneum estimates) holding its tokens while it brings its network back online safely. Rumor has it the DDoS attack was done on accident by devops199 (just kidding!).


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Bitcoin’s Big Bulls and Bears: B-b-b-b-race yourselves in case of more alliteration. Bloomberg released a brief list of Bitcoin’s biggest backers and detractors.

The list of backers included:

  • Roger Ver: Known as “Bitcoin Jesus,” Ver is viewed as one of the top and most vocal Bitcoin evangelists.
  • Ronnie Moas: the one-man-band at Standpoint Research who has offered over 900 stock recommendations over the past 13 years. He set a $50,000 target for 2027.
  • Countries such as Argentina and Turkey have shown signs of support for digital currencies such as Bitcoin.

The list of detractors included:

  • Jamie Dimon: Perhaps the most vocal detractor of Bitcoin is the CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co, who claimed he would fire anyone trading Bitcoin for being “stupid”.
  • Severin Cabannes: The deputy chief executive officer at Societe generale SA called Bitcoin a bubble.

Tim Draper Laughs in the Face of Fiat: The prominent venture capitalist and Bitcoin evangelist Tim Draper noted, “In five years, if you try to use fiat currency, they will laugh at you. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be so relevant … there will be no reason to have the fiat currencies.” The billionaire tech investor made his fortune funding companies like Tesla, Skype, and Twitter, and got involved with Bitcoin after buying 30,000 bitcoins from the government auction of assets that were seized from the Silk Road in 2014.

Goldman Maybe Likes Bitcoin?: Goldman Sachs’ CEO LLoyd Blankfein seems to be warming up to the idea of Bitcoin. In an interview with Bloomberg, he said “I read a lot of history, and I know that once upon a time, a coin was worth $5 if it had $5 worth of gold in it. Now we have paper that is just backed by fiat…Maybe in the new world, something gets backed by consensus.” This not only knocks fiat a little, but also suggests Bitcoin could serve as something useful in a “new world,” whatever that means…. 

Those damn Millennials and their damn Bitcoin: A venture capital firm called Blockchain Capital conducted a study of more than 2,000 people and found  that 30% of people in the 18-34 range would prefer to own $1,000 worth of Bitcoin than $1,000 worth of stocks or government bonds. The survey also found that 42% of millennials are at a minimum familiar with Bitcoin, compared to around 15% of people aged 65 and up.  With Bitcoin prices growing the way they are, Millennials might soon be able to afford a house AND avocado toast soon. [Bloomberg]

Hedge funds are digging Bitcoin: New York might be getting cold, but Wall Street is starting to warm up (to Bitcoin). Bitcoin’s growth over the past two weeks may have been due to hedge funds pouring their money into the digital currency, helping push it to new all time highs. Since the start of 2017, Bitcoin’s value has jumped over 600%. This puts Bitcoin’s market cap at well over $120 billion, more than many of the world’s biggest banks.

Straight Out of Uruguay: Uruguay is set to issue its own digital currency. Uruguay’s Central Bank formally announced their rollout of the digitization of the Uruguayan peso on November 3rd, 2017. However, this isn’t your typical run-of-the-mill ICO. The bank’s head noted that is will not be “a cryptocurrency such as bitcoins,” rather “a currency that remains the responsibility of the BCU.” So, it’s a pretty bold, albeit calculated, move. This will be the first country in the world to officially launch its own digital currency.

A Challenger Appears: The U.S. Dollar is the current incumbent for being the world’s reserve currency, but Bitcoin is starting to pose a global threat. The decentralized digital token has already seen several proof-of-concepts such as how Venezeulans are mining and using Bitcoin and other cryptos to combat their rampant inflation, how Urugary is launching their own digital currency, how Russia is looking to embrace a blockchain based crypto-Ruble, and even how North Korea is using Bitcoin to circumvent Western sanctions. The movement to diversify past the U.S. Dollar weakens it as the leading global reserve currency. Well, the silver lining is all other fiat currencies are being exponentially weakened. [Forbes]

Russia is coming in hot: Russia might currently be considered a laggard in the crypto game because it’s currently illegal to pay for anything in crypto or convert to rubles, but it is making strides to catch up. For one, Putin’s “Internet guy”, Dmitry Marinichev is currently building something called the “Russian Mining Center”, which will essentially be a large scale coin mining operation in a 9,000 square meter warehouse formerly used to produce Soviet-era cars. The mining operation has currently raised upwards of $53 million.

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