Cryptocurrency Highlights Of The Week

Ethereum will fork for the fourth time, and Bitcoin miners can now signal support for the segregated witness fork. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 46:

  • Ethereum will be implementing its fourth hard-fork (called “Spurious Dragon”), and the second one to address the attacks that plagued the network this summer, on November 22, 2016. The target block number is 2,675,000. The previous fork repriced certain network functions, making it harder for the attacker to slow down the network. The new fork will remove empty accounts the attacker created to bloat the blockchain. The fork will also add replay protection, and further tune the opcode pricing.

  • As of this week Bitcoin miners can signal support for Bitcoin’s segregated witness fork. 30 percent of nodes worldwide are already running the required code, and these nodes represent almost 25 percent of the total network hashrate. Segregated witness will activate once it gains support of 95 percent of the total network hashrate somewhere during the next year. If it fails to get sufficient support the code is set to expire in November 2017. Progress can be tracked here.

  • Industry startup Colu has unveiled a demo of how Lightning could be made compatible with colored coins (a technology that enables small amounts of Bitcoin to represent other assets). Mashing this concept together with Lightning could mean more of these transfers at a higher speed. Colu co-founder and Mark Smargon was quoted stating: “The biggest argument against colored coins is it doesn’t give you scale right now. Bitcoin transactions are very slow to verify, expensive to approve and there is a bottleneck of the low amount of transactions per second.”

  • PwC has launched Vulcan Digital Asset Services to enable digital assets to be used for everyday banking, commerce and other personal currency and asset related services. Vulcan has been built by PwC in conjunction with enterprise blockchain solutions provider Bloq, blockchain integration, reporting, compliance and analytics provider Libra, and digital identity start-up Netki. Vulcan’s services include digital asset wallets, international payment processing, and investment and trading services, and will soon offer point-of-sale and merchant services and the ability to create and support native digital currencies and rewards based systems.

  • The price of Bitcoin rallied by more than six percent this week to a current rate of about $751 per BTC. The price of Ethereum lost almost two percent, taking Ether down to a rate of $9.71 per ETH. Ethereum Classic also decreased, with the price decreasing more than six percent to $0.86 per ETC. Zcash failed to stop its continuous decline, losing another 56 percent of its value. One ZEC is now trading at $65 per coin.