Charlie Shrem wants to use Ethereum to buy up Michigan’s waste industry, and the SEC might finally reach a verdict on a Bitcoin ETF. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 1:
- Charlie Shrem once branded himself “Bitcoin’s first felon.” In December of 2014, Shrem was sentenced to two years in prison for knowingly processing funds associated with Silk Road, a darknet marketplace for illegal drugs. Now, following his release from a Pennsylvania prison in July, the 27-year-old has a plan to use Bitcoin rival Ethereum as a platform for a crowdfunded investment fund called Mainstreet. Its first goal: to buy out a full 25 percent of Michigan’s mom-and-pop waste management industry over several years.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday designated March 11 as the date by which it would either approve or disapprove the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust ETF, which would be the first to exclusively track the digital currency. A decision would represent the end of a multiyear campaign to bring a Bitcoin ETF to market. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who run Winklevoss Capital, first announced plans for one in 2013; the pair also run both WinkDex, a Bitcoin price index, and Gemini, a Bitcoin custodian and exchange.
- Officials from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) met with representatives of major Bitcoin exchanges this week to urge their compliance with “relevant laws and regulations”, according to statements from the central bank. Overall, the public statements aimed to serve as a reminder to citizens who may be considering the digital currency as an investment, and both quoted a government circular released in 2013 saying that Bitcoin is a virtual good and doesn’t have legal tender status.
- A secretive project that would aim to make Ethereum more suitable for corporate users is taking shape, according to multiple sources familiar with the project. Rumored to be called Enterprise Ethereum, the exact nature of the effort remains veiled behind an unusual degree of privacy – especially so for participants who are better known for their work in more transparent open-source communities. Based on comments from sources, the group – which has the appearance of a broad consortium – intends to remain quiet until it is ready for a forthcoming public launch.
- Compared to the last week of 2016 the price of Bitcoin has decreased by a little over one percent, with the exchange rate currently at $893 per BTC. The price of Ethereum gained almost fifteen percent, taking Ether up to a rate of $9.92 per ETH. Ethereum Classic even gained 70 percent, with the price increasing to $1.43 per ETC. Zcash’ price decreased, losing 8 percent. One ZEC is now trading at roughly $46 per coin.