This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:
SegWit2x, a bitcoin scaling proposal, has been signaled by over 80% of the bitcoin network
Back in May, the Digital Currency Group (DCG), one of the industry’s largest investment firms led by Barry Silbert, revealed a new bitcoin scaling proposal. Essentially, a group of 58 companies, representing 83.3 percent of the network’s hashing power and over 20 million bitcoin wallets, agreed to activate Segregated Witness (SegWit) and execute a 2 MB hard fork six months thereafter. The proposal, later on, became known as SegWit2x.
This week, after a Chinese roundtable forum affirmed its support for SegWit2x, the proposal reached the 80% threshold it needed for activation. Until June 30 we’re still in a testing phase and, as such, so far the code isn’t actually being run by mining pools, as these are merely adding text to their blocks in order to show support.
At the time of press, according to data from Coin.Dance, 81.3% of mined blocks today have signaled for the proposal. If SegWit2x keeps being above the threshold, activation will follow. The proposal has however been criticized, as the companies in the agreement did not consult Bitcoin developers who claim to need more time to develop and test the code in order to prevent replay attacks such as those seen in the Ethereum/Ethereum Classic chain split.
— Barry Silbert (@barrysilbert) June 20, 2017
Ethereum briefly dropped to $0.10 on GDAX, Coinbase’s exchange, due to a large sell order
This week GDAX, Coinbase’s exchange, saw Ethereum prices plunge from over $300 to a low of $0.10 after a “multimillion” sell order was placed on the ETH/USD order book, according to the company’s Vice-President Adam White. The order meant orders from $317.81 to $224.48 were filled, which in turn led to roughly 800 stop-loss orders being liquidated, plunging the currency’s price on the exchange.
Later on in an update, Adam White also revealed that GDAX will credit customer accounts whose stop-loss orders were executed during the flash crash, allowing customers to recover the value they had before the crash. The accounts will be credited using company funds.
Bitcoin company Blockchain raised $40 million in a Google Ventures-led funding round
Blockchain, a London-based bitcoin wallet startup, recently raised $40 million in a funding round led by Lakestar and Google’s investment arm GV. The Digital Currency Group, Nokota Management, and other existing Blockchain investors also participated in the funding. This funding round takes the company’s total amount raised to $70 million, and according to reports this was the largest funding a UK startup managed to get since Brexit. The company’s CEO, Peter Smith, said:
- As the market leader, you can expect us to make big, bold bets in research and development as well as further our expansion efforts globally. You can also expect new products aimed at allowing anyone to transact, save, or hedge digital assets with greater speed, efficiency and control.
Bitcoin is set to become a legal currency in India
According to CNBC India, the Indian government ruled in favor of regulating digital currencies such as bitcoin, after asking the public what the country should do about these currencies through its mygov.in portal. The government, according to Indian exchange Zebpay, is currently in the process of creating a task force that is tasked with creating regulatory frameworks. Bitcoin is gaining traction in India, as the country’s volume on peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins shows and, as such, some deem it wise for the government to regulate digital currencies.
— zebpay (@zebpay) June 20, 2017
New York’s Financial Regulator subjects bitcoin startups to “periodic examinations”
The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) recently published an annual report in which it details its take on the digital currency industry. The DFS revealed that it believes blockchain technologies need to keep on being overseen, and notably reported that it has begun inspecting digital currency startups operating in the state. The report reads:
- “DFS has begun examinations of these virtual currency companies, which, like other regulated financial services entities, are subject to periodic examinations by DFS.”
Back in 2015, the DFS issued a regulatory license for digital currency companies in the state, known as BitLicense, that had companies agree to examinations being conducted, according to CoinDesk, at least once every two years. Notably, so far only five businesses have gotten the license: Circe, Coinbase, Ripple, Gemini, and itBit (now known as Paxos).
Bitcoin at $2,692.2, with a total market cap of $44.17 billion
Bitcoin didn’t plunge nor did it surge this week, although the cryptocurrency’s value has been somewhat volatile, despite the amount of positive news we’ve had this week. At the time of press, one bitcoin is currently worth $2,692.2 according to data from CoinMarketCap, and the cryptocurrency’s total market cap is of $44.17 billion. Bitcoin’s dominance is currently at 39.4%.
Ethereum’s price fell due to a transaction backlog
This week, slow transaction times and a transaction backlog plagued the Ethereum network, so much so several exchanges, including CEX.IO and Bitfinex, decided to suspend withdrawals because of the delay. According to reports, the Status ICO clogged up the network, as a large number of high gas fee transactions were allegedly failing, while still bucking normal transactions from getting in, according to a redditor. Moreover, some users believe a mining pool, F2Pool, has manipulated transactions during the ICO.
At the time of press, Ethereum’s Ether token is worth $333.12, and the cryptocurrency’s total market cap is of $30.89 billion.
ETH withdrawals and deposits temporarily disabled due to issues on ETH network. Transactions will be turned back on once resolved.
— CEX.IO (@cex_io) June 21, 2017
We are suspending all ETH withdrawal until the network backlog subsides and we are able to reliably post transactions to blockchain.
— Bitfinex.com (@bitfinex) June 21, 2017
Litecoin reached a new all-time high of $53.25
Last week, DeepDotWeb reported that Litecoin was to be added to both Bitstamp and Bitsquare. These exchanges helped the cryptocurrency’s value surge from $40.45 per token, to a new all-time high of $53.25 this week. The cryptocurrency’s price fell shortly after, and at the time of press, one token is currently worth $45.63 after dropping its all-time high. Litecoin’s total market cap is of $2 billion.