Cryptocurrency News: Roundup #2 27th July 2017
Welcome to the second episode of ‘This Week in Cryptocurrency’, episode #2, a roundup of the news, comings and goings of the cryptocurrency world.
Another week has passed in the crypto world and a lot has happened. It seems like the bitcoin and the crypto world moves faster than the rest of the newsworthy topics around the world. After the historic fall of altcoins in the last few weeks and subsequent recovery, this week started with stabilized exchange rates of the top alt currencies. At least for a couple of days that is!
On Monday bitcoin was priced @ $2,770 and it was traded around that value for a good day and a half before it started to make a mini plunge yet again. The second half of tuesday saw the most popular cryptocurrency drop more than $200 at the back of fears of a potential split happening in the currency.
It was definitely a blow to the bitcoin miners who were banking on the success of Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 91 or BIP 91 that was introduced recently in the system.
The upgrade will eventually allow more transactions to take place inside the bitcoin blockchain and is part of a bigger upgradation plan to allow more fluidity and increase efficiency of the system. But, despite overwhelming support of the new BIP 91, there are increased fears that the new Segwit upgrade might not go as smoothly as previously thought.
The market is clearly torn between being optimistic about it and the fears that the second part of the segwit2x proposal might start a split. The 2MB size hard fork doesn’t have that many backers and if developers don’t agree to it unanimously till the proposed November implementation, the coin will split. Bitcoin Cash is already aiming to go ahead with the proposed Aug 1 User Activated Hard fork themselves and have some support from the big names in the bitcoin business like ViaBTC, Houbi and a few others. Coinbase has already refused to trade with these potential forks and it means that hard fork might be left orphaned if the split happens. Anyway, uncertainty still prevails for the future of bitcoin.
Hackers Steal Ethereum
In other news Ether also traded lower but for different reasons, The Ethereum coin traded at a low $193 in the wee hours of tuesday. Hackers stole more than $8.4 million worth of coins from a company called Veritaserum and things aren’t that good for them either. This news in the immediate aftermath of the July 19 news in which more than $32 million was stolen from Ethereum centric wallets. The fall in Ether might be an indication of these obvious problems users are facing while dealing in Ethereum based tokens.
BTC-e Scammer Arrested
But enough pessimistic bad news from Cypto. We all know it recorrects itself and learns from its mistakes really well. In the good news, a famous criminal mastermind involved in a $4 billion bitcoin fraudulent exchange BTC-e was arrested in Greece by Interpol. He is said to be involved in the hack of bitcoin exchange Mt Gox of Japan that had subsequently failed back in 2014. He is said to be involved in money laundering for big criminal rings including hackers and drug peddlers. The arrest was part of the probe into the Russian intervention in US elections last year and it seems that fraudulent and stolen bitcoins were used for those transactions. Well, Russian hackers might not be that happy right now with these developments.
Howard Marks – Makes his mark, again
In other news, crazy Marks is back. Howard Marks, the billionaire bitcoin investor was once again at it with his crazy statements. Writing in the investor letter Wednesday, he has been advising investors to stay away from high flying altcoins like Bitcoins, Ethereum and Litecoins. Its no surprise that he is doing this as he once called it a bubble.
The altcoins went close to becoming a bubble but recovered really well last week. Now he is calling it a “Pyramid scheme”. A pyramid scheme for those who don’t know is a fraudulent business model that is not entirely illegal in which each new customer has to make a number of more customers in order to make a profit. How are bitcoins a pyramid and for that matter the rest of the pack? Well he had no concrete argument to back the statement.
He said all these coins are worth something because of people’s interest and what they are willing to pay for it. Ummmm, doesn’t that apply to paper currency as well. It is not like the paper currency has lots of worth associated with it. If the banking system collapses and the governments can’t bail them out, we won’t be able to do anything with these paper bits except burn them to keep ourselves warm in the nuclear winter! Ha! Nice going Marks! What a way to convince people!
Bank of America has also warned against optimism in the altcoin due to its inflated price. Really? Hark, who’s talking? Are all the king and his men teaming up to destroy the future currency of the world? Perhaps or they’re just skulking I guess.
Richard Branson’s Blockchain Retreat
Richard Branson on the other hand is not impervious to the growth and promise of bitcoins. He is organizing an exclusive bitcoins and blockchain retreat on his famous private Necker island. He seems really interested in it. Wonder what he is trying to achieve in all this secrecy? I think he wants to invest in existing altcoins.
Litecoin, Wallets and AMEX
Regarding Litecoin news, the number of ATMs accepting the silver bitcoin have doubled during June alone. Despite lagging behind three other major players, Litecoin is becoming the leader in altcoin supporting banking. Free and fast transactions are what make the Litecoin easy to operate.
A bitcoin wallet named Abra bitcoin has integrated American Express cards as funding options on its wallet. While bitcoin exchanges and ATMs are already getting popular around the world, this integration will also help bitcoin get more mainstream in the currency market.
So that’s it. The weekly crypto news all in a nutshell. There were some good news and some bad news. Which one do you think will result in increased public attention and interest?
– Liam Atkins, Managing Director, CryptoxBureau.