Cryptocurrency Highlights Of The Week

A date has been set for the Ethereum hard-fork, and Mark Karpeles has been released on bail. Here are the cryptocurrency hightlights of week 28:

  • A date for the Ethereum hard-fork implementation to dismantle The DAO and turn it into a refund contract have finally been set. Both the Geth and Parity clients have the date of the hard-fork set at block number 1,920,000. This block is expected to be mined on July 20, 2016. This is the day before the attacker DAO becomes able to split. Once implemented, DAO token holders will be able to reclaim 1 ether for every 100 tokens held. It is still uncertain if the hard-fork will gain sufficient support. A community vote held by among ether holders showed around 85% support, but only 5.5% off all ether participated and a significant portion off all ether was actually blocked from voting at all. It’s thus now up to the network to decide on the fate of the investors in The DAO, by either running the software with the implemented hard-fork or alternative software that doesn’t include this code.
  • Former Mt.Gox CEO Mark Karpeles has been released on bail 10 months after being charged with embezzlement. It has been reported that Karpeles embezzled a total amount of around $3 million from the bankrupted exchange, which also lost hundreds of millions of dollars worth of customers’ Bitcoin. It is also reported Karpeles had to pay around $100 thousand to be released, and that he is still prohibited from leaving Japan. The collapse of Mt.Gox already more than two years ago sparked a global effort to regulate Bitcoin (platforms) which continues to this day. One of the most recent examples of this is the European proposal to bring virtual currency exchanges on the supervision of the European Union’s Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which was adopted by the EU just one week ago.
  • The Bitcoin block reward halving has had a limited impact on Bitcoin’s total network computation power. The network is currently running at about 1.48 exahashes per second, which is roughly seven percent below the total hashrate at the time of the halving. As a result, block times have not experienced any significant delays, as they were still mined every 10 minutes on average (normally blocks are mined slightly faster due to constantly increasing hashrates). It can thus be concluded that Bitcoin’s price increase over the past months was sufficient to offset the income loss for miners as a result of the reward halving.
  • Social media platform Steemit became the subject of a cyber attack, as 260 user accounts were compromised and around $85 thousand of Steem Dollars were lost. Steemit had recently gained a lot a popularity, strongly supported by making $1.3 million in digital currency available for its users. In the week before the hack Steem even managed to become the third largest cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin and Ethereum, seeing its value go up tenfold to give the digital currency a total market capitalization of more then $300 million. Digital currency Steem itself wasn’t affected by the hack.