This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:
A bitcoin scaling agreement has been reached
According to an announcement published by the Digital Currency Group, a bitcoin scaling agreement has finally been reached. The agreement was met by a total of 56 companies that represent 83.28% of the network’s hash power, including several prominent organizations such as Circle. F2Pool, Coinbase, BTCC, Blockchain, Bitcoin.com, Xapo, and Purse. The agreement involves enabling the Segregated Witness (SegWit) proposal, and activating a 2 MB hard fork within six months.
The agreement comes at a crucial time, as the number of unconfirmed bitcoin transactions is at an all-time high. At the time of press, there are over 190,000 unconfirmed bitcoin transactions, according to Blockchain.info.
Kraken and Coinbase have been suffering outages due to a significant increase in traffic
Bitcoin’s value surged this week and as it did, so did demand for the cryptocurrency. As such, two of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, Kraken and Coinbase, had a hard time dealing with the large amount of traffic they were now getting. Both companies suffered outages during the week, specifically on May 25, and used Twitter to inform their users of what was going on.
Update on site performance: pic.twitter.com/QgVT05Gzh6
— Coinbase (@coinbase) May 25, 2017
For clients who are seeing slow or unresponsive site and API performance, we are working to resolve this issue. https://t.co/mmP4cVUg4d
— Kraken Exchange (@krakenfx) May 25, 2017
A PayPal director claims bitcoin could reach $1 million within a decade
While speaking at the Consensus 2017 conference in New York, CEO of bitcoin wallet Xapo and member of PayPal’s board of directors Wences Casares, stated that it would be a big mistake to buy more bitcoin than one can afford to lose, and that it would also be a big mistake not to own any bitcoin at all. According to reports, Casares advised his audience to invest in bitcoin, by putting 1% of its net worth in it and then forgetting about it for 10 years. Moreover, Casares stated that within this time period, one bitcoin will be worth as much as $1 million.
— SusanPoole (@BitCoinSusan) May 23, 2017
Bitcoin price predictions have been getting progressively more bullish as time goes by. Back in April, Blockchain CEO Peter Smith and Jeremy Liew, a Snapchat investor, predicted that one bitcoin would be worth $500,000 by 2030. Last year when one coin was worth around $750, Danish bank Saxo predicted it would go past $2,000 in 2017 – a prediction that came true.
Fidelity partners with Coinbase, mines bitcoin, and accepts it at its cafeteria
At the Consensus conference in New York, Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson admitted that she “loves virtual currencies” such as bitcoin, and that the company has partnered with Coinbase so that clients can see their holdings in bitcoin while using the company’s website. Moreover, Fidelity’s CEO also admitted that her company is currently mining bitcoin using computers built by 21 Inc.
Moreover, it was also announced that the company’s employees can even pay for their lunch using bitcoin at Fidelity’s cafeteria, even though Ms. Johnson has said that less than 100 employees used the cryptocurrency to buy food. She was quoted as saying: “I guess we have a lot of holders”.
Bitcoin and Ethereum have been trading above th global average in South Korea
According to several news outlets, both bitcoin and ethereum have been trading above the global average in South Korea. According to Bitcoinist one bitcoin was worth as much as $4,000 in the country, while one ether went past $300 in value. The price surge wasn’t fueled by a lack of accessibility, as the country has multiple exchanges and bitcoin ATMs in it, but by political turmoil as tensions between South and North Korea have been rising. Other factors, such as FinTech friendly authorities as well as an increasing userbase may have contributed to the cryptocurrency’s price in the country.
The Indian government is asking the public what to do about virtual currencies
In India, the discussion as to whether or not digital currencies should be legal has been going on for a while. In the past, a politician has attempted to ban bitcoin from the country questioning whether it was a pyramid scheme, and in response Indian exchange Zebpay restated that bitcoin is legal in the country. Afterwards, the community created a petition to legalize digital currencies on change.org that got over 14,000, almost reaching its 15,000 vote goal.
As reported by DeepDotWeb, the Indian government started leaning towards granting virtual currencies legal status in the country. Now, the country’s Ministry of Finance, through the mygov.in portal, is asking the public whether the country should ban, regulate or observe digital currencies. Most comments so far are positive and toward the legalization of digital currencies, although some believe these should be banned.
Bitcoin came close to a $2,800 all-time high, and then started plunging
This week, bitcoin came close to hitting an all-time high of $2,800 after the scaling agreement was reached at the Consensus 2017 conference. After the news of the decision spread the whole market became bullish, so much so that there were 7 cryptocurrencies above a $1 billion market cap. Shortly after, however, the value of most cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin started to plunge, and at the time of press most currencies are down anywhere between 20-40% in the last 24 hours. Bitcoin’s market cap is now at $31 billion, and one bitcoin is worth $1,942, according to CoinMarketCap.
Nevertheless, most still believe this is merely a passing trend, and that bitcoin will rise to new heights. According an analyst at CNBC, bitcoin may be witnessing a 47% price correction, but will then continue its upward trend.
The digital currency market cap went over $90 billion this week, but due to the crash it is currently at $60 billion. Bitcoin’s dominance fell to an all-time low of roughly 46% but has now recovered to 52.2%.
Ethereum claimed back its spot as the No.2 cryptocurrency
Ripple had in the past taken Ethereum’s place as the No.2 cryptocurrency, but has been losing value ever since and has now dropped from a $14 billion to a $7 billion market cap. Ripple is down nearly 40% in the last 24 hours, meaning one token is currently worth $0.1879. Ethereum, on the other hand, is maintaining a $12 billion market cap, even though it also plunged 32%. One ether is currently worth $130.47.