Chinese exchanges have updated their lending policies after “informal guidance” from the PBoC, and an alpha version of the Lightning Network has been released. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 2:
- China’s major Bitcoin exchanges halted, or otherwise updated, their lending-based Bitcoin trading services today. First reported by China-based Bitcoin traders and market observers this morning, BTCC, Huobi and OKCoin appear to have quietly adjusted their terms, though only BTCC had moved to issue a formal comment confirming the changes. Bobby Lee, CEO of BTCC, acknowledged that changes to the exchange’s service were being made in response to interactions with the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank.
- The Lightning Network Daemon (lnd) has released vo.1-alpha, calling it a milestone as Lightning’s most feature-complete implementation, ready for public testing, the Lightning Network Community blog announced. The implementation is able to open and close channels with peers, maintain a fully authenticated and validated channel graph, fully handle all cooperative and non-cooperative channel states, conduct pathfinding within the network, passively forward incoming payments, and send outgoing onion-encrypted payments through the network.
- The Bank of Russia is not going to take measures to prohibit the use of Bitcoins, recently said deputy chairman Olga Skorobogatov at the Gaidar Forum, a unique intellectual platform and a meeting point for theorists and practitioners, the world leading scientists and politicians and influential representatives of global financial and business elites. According to the Russian media Skorobogatov said that because Bitcoin is a private currency, it has become clear that the topic is not as simple as it comes across in many media. There are no plans to ban Bitcoin any longer but rather try to legislate it more effectively.
- Julian Assange added a bit more to his history-making today by being the first known person to use Bitcoin’s public blockchain as proof of life. In a video, WikiLeaks’ founder, instead of holding up a newspaper, as is common, read out a Bitcoin block hash, during a Reddit AMA (Ask-Me-Anything) session on 10 January, according to reports.
- Compared to the last week the price of Bitcoin has decreased by more than seven percent, with the exchange rate currently at $829 per BTC. The price of Ethereum decreased by a little over two percent, taking Ether down to a rate of $9.71 per ETH. Ethereum Classic lost more than 15 percent of its value, with the price decreasing to $1.21 per ETC. Zcash’ price decreased, losing 6 percent. One ZEC is now trading at roughly $43 per coin.