This Week in Cryptocurrency–February 23th, 2018
Market goes up, market goes down: In usual crypto randomness, the market took a slight dip after last week’s recovery, but there’s no need to worry. We’re seeing positive price movements this morning, and the 7-day chart shows greener pastures on the horizon.
At publishing time, the market is hovering around $460 billion, a roughly $12 billion drop from last week. Not ideal, but it could be much worse.
Bitcoin: Bitcoin is the only currency in the top-ten that increased in value since last week, gaining more than $400. At its current price of $10,457 Bitcoin increased roughly 4% from $10,478. SegWit activation has transaction fees as low as ever which most likely enabled Bitcoin to swim against the sea of red.
Ethereum: Ethereum fell 18% throughout the week to $800 before turning things around with a nice end-of-the-week bump. It currently sits at around $875.
Ripple: Still having trouble rebounding from January’s crash, Ripple fell an additional 10% this week. The coin is now priced at just over $1, significantly less than its $3.65 all-time high.
New York City Takes on Silicon Valley With First-Ever “Blockchain Week”: New York City announced its first ever “Blockchain Week”, which will run May 11 through May 17. Events include blockchain technology summit Consensus, job fairs, and a hackathon. According to job market analytics firm Burning Glas, NY has more job openings regarding blockchain than San Francisco. New York City Economic Development Corporation Senior Vice President Anthony Hogrebe says “the goal is really to plant that flag and send a very clear message…we ultimately want NYC to be the global capital for blockchain”.
Wyoming Considers Pro Crypto Bills to Become Crypto Haven: Wyoming state legislatures laid out a series of bills that would help bring blockchain technology to the state. If passed, the bills would lessen tax burdens on cryptocurrencies and exempt ICO’s and cryptocurrency exchanges from common regulatory laws. Canadian blockchain startup BlockCrushr has already expanded to the state, stating “Wyoming is one of the best places in the U.S. to do business.”
White House Official States Regulations Aren’t Coming Anytime Soon: In a statement to CNBC, White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Royce said “we’re still absolutely studying and understanding what the good ideas and bad ideas in that space are. So I don’t think it’s close”. While Royce believes there are clear advantages and disadvantages to cryptocurrency, he suggests the biggest threat to cryptocurrency is its criminal use and finds the irreversibility of Bitcoin transactions “troubling”. With credit cards and banks, “purchases can be undone and the cash retrieved”.
Crypto Donors Lead the Way in Fighting the Al Takeover: What happens when robots are smarter than us? Will it be the end of the human race? Not on the crypto communities watch, which gave 66% of the donations raised by the Machine Intelligence Research Institute in its annual fundraiser. This year’s largest donation came from Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, who gave $763,970 worth of ETH to help the non-profit organization protect the survival and freedom of the human race.
Founder of BitFunder Will Spend Years in Jail For Defrauding Users: On Wednesday, The Department of Justice (DOJ) and US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged BitFunder Founder Jon E. Montrol with defrauding its exchange users. The SEC alleges Montrol was operating the cryptocurrency exchange without a license and showed false balance statements to investigators. Montrol also failed to tell users of a cyber attack that stole over 6,000 bitcoins from users, worth more than $60 million today. For a final blow the Founder, The DOJ indicted Montrol of perjury and obstruction, which carry sentences of 5 and 20 years respectively.
Tesla Hacked By Eager Crypto Miners: In what is known as cryptojacking, hackers gain extra computer processing power to mine coins by installing software on other people’s computers. This time, cryptojackers targeted Tesla’s cloud computing platform. According to a Tesla spokeswoman, the matter was resolved within “hours” and that the “initial investigation found no indication that customer privacy or vehicle safety or security was compromised in any way”.
US Lawmakers Call for Gov. to Lead the Way in Blockchain Innovation: In a letter delivered to the heads of the SEC by three members of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus (CBC), “the U.S. should be the home to this innovation…to be successful, it is imperative that we adopt a deliberate, flexible and unified approach to regulation.” The three lawmakers also added that the government should stop focusing so much on unnecessary concerns, encouraging the SEC “to allow continued innovation in the market, and devote more creative analysis into the ways cryptocurrencies can be utilized.”
Secretive Trading Platform Raises $34 Million… By a 21-year-old: At the ripe age of 21, Taiyang Zhang leads blockchain firm Republic Protocol in its creation of “a cryptocurrency dark pool”. The demand for this type of platform has increased in the cryptocurrency world so that whales (traders with a lot of money) are able to “to solve for large, private orders” and for security reasons to make sure “people are not hacked, ransomed, or worse.”Zhang hopes that this product will also help alleviate some of the volatility that often comes with whales trading in the market.
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Cryptocurrency News from Around the World
Sorry Bitcoin, Iran Doesn’t Like You: According to the source, “The Central Bank of Iran says it is cooperating with other institutions to develop a new mechanism to control and prevent digital currencies in Iran”. The news is unsurprising, as many other Islamic countries in recent times have declared cryptocurrency “un-islamic”, going against the morality of the religion.
Polish Central Bank Admits to Creating Propaganda in Anti-Crypto Youtube Campaigns: The Central Bank of Poland is taking “haters gonna hate” to an all new level, reportedly spending around $27,000 to scare people away from cryptocurrency with fake news. One video, which has over 500,000 views, shows a young guy who loses all his money investing in crypto and “embarrassingly” can’t pay for his date at the restaurant. Please stop wasting your money banks, crypto isn’t going anywhere.
Global GPU Shortages Occurring From Mining Craze: Miners from around the world are turning to Asian markets located in Hong Kong and Singapore for cheaper GPUs, which are now selling for double their value-price due to escalating demand. High-end graphic cards are one of the most efficient ways to mine cryptocurrency, but the products limited-supply is making wanna-be buyers scour the streets for fair deals.
Dubbed “Crypto Valley”, This Swiss Town is Gearing for a Financial Revolution: The small town of Zug is making a name for itself as a crypto haven, possibly from the help of Ethereum inventor Vitalik Buterin who settled there in 2014. Located about 30 minutes from Zurich, Zug’s city council allows residents to pay for fees with bitcoin at its registration office.
France Bans Crypto Advertisements, Will Label Them as Derivatives: France’s financial regulator stated Thursday that “platforms which offer these products must abide by the authorisation and business conduct rules…[and they] must not be advertised via electronic means.” The move could mean a possible ban of of exchanges in the country who don’t adapt to the recent regulations.
Will the Petro Coin Work for Venezuela?: Venezuela began the sale of its official cryptocurrency dubbed “the petro” this week. According to the source, “as extreme inflation drags the Venezuelan bolívar down, food and medicines are scarce, crime is rife, and essential public services have buckled under the strain. Many residents have already fled the country.” In that respect, the coin is seen as a last attempt for the Maduro administration to help stabilize the countries economy.
$20 Trillion in Coins Almost Lost in Japanese Exchange Glitch: For a brief 20 minutes, users of the Zaif exchange were able to make purchases for free. One user reportedly tried to make off with $20 trillion worth of coins, but the company was able to recover the coins quickly. The firm states there is only one customer who ran-off with tokens and successfully sent them to another exchange, and are currently in the process of negotiating with the trader to return them.
South Korean Officials Believe Colleague Died from Crypto Stress: Head of economic policy at the Office for Government Policy Coordination Jung Ki-joon died this week, and his colleagues believe that “stress of dealing with the crypto sector may have contributed to triggering the heart attack.” While foul-play has been ruled out, there’s something odd about South Korea’s head of cryptocurrency regulation died before upcoming cryptocurrency regulatory framework for the country.
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