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Bitcoin News Roundup 12.11.17

This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:

New developments:

Bitcoin Gold will launch on November 12, following replay protection implementation

The team behind the controversial Bitcoin Gold project recently announced that it will release a software client for the cryptocurrency on November 12, after being able to implement various new features to the cryptocurrency, in an attempt to make it go past being an ASIC mining resistant ecosystem. Bitcoin Gold is a controversial cryptocurrency, whose developers gave themselves a premining period of approximately 100,000 coins, that was born from a hard fork on the Bitcoin network on October 24.

Although the cryptocurrency is only now being launched, the team behind it claims to have added replay protection, and to have refined its per-block difficulty adjustment algorithm to better respond to dynamic hashing power changes. It also added unique “G” and “A” prefixes to its address format.

A bug in Party’s wallet froze nearly $280 million worth of Ether

Parity Technologies recently revealed in a security alert that, due to a security bug, about $280 million worth of Ether are now frozen. On Github, user devops199 revealed that he or she inadvertently exploited the bug In the Parity Wallet library contract, turning it into an ordinary multi-signature wallet, and becoming its owner. After noticing what he had done, the user tried to delete the code that gave him wallet ownership and, as all Parity multi-sig wallets rely on that code for internal logic, he permanently froze the funds stored in those wallets.

A solution is still being worked on, although most believe the only way to go is a hard fork that may cause a network split. Last year, Ethereum’s network split in two following a hard fork that recovered funds stolen from the DAO hack, resulting in the creation of Ethereum Classic.

The SegWit2x hard fork has been called off

In the SegWit2x mailing list, BitGO CEO and co-founder Mike Belshe recently announced that the hard fork wouldn’t be happening. SegWit2x, which was considered to be the solution to a three-year-long scaling debate, was called off due to the lack of community consensus. In the announcement, signed by various SegWit2x proponents, Belshe stated that although he found a block size increase important, the community and Bitcoin’s growth were seen as priorities. The statement reads:

  • “Our goal has always been a smooth upgrade for Bitcoin.  Although we strongly believe in the need for a larger blocksize, there is something we believe is even more important: keeping the community together. Unfortunately, it is clear that we have not built sufficient consensus for a clean blocksize upgrade at this time. Continuing on the current path could divide the community and be a setback to Bitcoin’s growth. This was never the goal of Segwit2x.”

Following the announcement, Bitcoin’s price surged to a new all-time high above $7,800, before quickly dropping below the $7,000 mark. The announcement ended with a message of unity, thanking those who contributed constructively to SegWit2x, “whether in favor or against.”

“Buy Bitcoin” is now more popular than “buy gold,” according to Google

According to Google Trends data, the search term “buy Bitcoin” just became more popular than “buy gold.” The search query takeover came partly due to the cryptocurrency’s new all-time high this month, and from gold’s decline. According to Bloomberg, concerns over Brexit and Catalonia’s push for independence didn’t increase demand for gold, and in the meantime the dollar strengthened, and global equities set new records. All of this made investors lose some of their interest in gold, so much so that BullionVault’s amount of gold changing hands in the last 12 months dropped by nearly a third, on average. Data further suggests countries like the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and Canada still have a larger interest in gold, while countries such as Chile, Venezuela, and most of Europe prefer Bitcoin.

World affairs:

A Bitcoin bashing Saudi Prince has been arrested for money laundering

On October 29, DeepDotWeb covered the thoughts billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed had on Bitcoin. The Prince had stated Bitcoin was like “Enron in the making,” referring to a U.S. energy company that filed for bankruptcy after accounting fraud was revealed within it. To Prince Alwaleed, Bitcoin was “going to implode.” Recently, according to reports, Prince Alwaleed was arrested for financial crimes including money laundering, bribery, and extortion. The arrest was ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the chair of an anti-corruption committee established by Saudi Arabia’s king. 10 other Princes and four ministers were arrested in the country’s crackdown. The Saudi government explained the crackdown stating that “some weak souls” put their own interests above those of the public, but some analysts believe it was a political move to help Salman secure his status as the crown Prince.

Iran is preparing infrastructure to begin accepting Bitcoin “as early as possible”

The Iran Front Page recently ran a piece suggesting that the country is preparing infrastructure to begin accepting Bitcoin and give it status as legal tender. Iran’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) was quoted as saying that a number of studies have been conducted in an effort to prepare infrastructure for Bitcoin use inside the country, adding that this was among the ministry’s core objectives:

  • “We (the ICT) as the main centre in Iran dealing with the country’s technology developments have taken very seriously the issue of preparing the infrastructure for the new currency.”

In the past, Iran was left out of SWIFT following sanctions imposed on Tehran that were only recently lifted after former U.S. president Barack Obama signed a nuclear deal with the country in 2016. That same deal was disavowed by current president Donald Trump. Naturally, the country is now looking at financial technology and cryptocurrencies as alternatives, so much so that ICT Minister Davaee notably added that arrangements with related organizations were being made so Bitcoin could be accepted “as early as possible:”

Financial:

Bitcoin falls to $6,385.31 as investors turn to altcoins

Following the announcement calling off the SegWit2x hard fork, mentioned above, Bitcoin hit a new all-time high above $7,800. However, as some investors realized this means they wouldn’t be getting an “airdrop” in B2X tokens proportional to the same amount they had in Bitcoin at the time of the hard fork, some started to turn away from the number one cryptocurrency and turned to altcoins, so much so that Bitcoin’s dominance fell from over 60% to 54.4% at press time. Bitcoin’s market cap is at $106 billion, while the cryptocurrency ecosystem’s market cap is at $195 billion. One Bitcoin is currently trading at $6,385.31.

Bitcoin Cash at $1,123.66 following a major rally

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) saw a huge surge in value this week as the cryptocurrency likely benefitted from the end of the SegWit2x hard fork. Following the announcement, Bitcoin Cash saw a significant increase in trading volume, and its value surged from about $650 per coin to $1,123.66 at press time. Bitcoin Cash’s market cap is of $18 billion.

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