Bitcoin startups are showing interest in Ethereum after recent successes, and Roger Ver is challenging Bernie Sanders. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 12:
- With the release of Ethereum Homestead and the recent surge in the price of Ether many Bitcoin startups are starting to turn their attention to the Ethereum project. Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin was even invited at Coinbase’s headquarter in San Francisco, where he outlined the project’s path forward. Coinbase didn’t announce any further Ethereum related initiatives (yet), but other notable Bitcoin startups that recently did announce Ethereum initiatives include cloud money platform Uphold, bitcoin mining firm BTCS and hardware device provider Ledger. Bitcoin security specialist BitGo even launched the “world’s first multi-sig Ethereum web wallet” EtherLi.
- After RSCoin, a permissioned blockchain currency controlled by central banks, was recently proposed by researchers at the University College London working together with the Bank of England, the Dutch central bank appears to be committed to developing its own internal blockchain prototype dubbed “DNBCoin“. There are no further details regarding the project, as the central bank considers it too early to say what possible applications may be. The central bank does state that blockchain technology “can affect the revenue models banking systems”.
- Bitcoin Angel Investor Roger Ver, nicknamed ‘Bitcoin Jesus’, has offered the democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders $100,000 worth of Bitcoin if he engages in 3-hour-long debate with Adam Kokesh anywhere within the United States between now and the end of 2016. The reason for putting up the challenge is Ver being included in a promotional video for Sanders. This video takes aim at wealthy individuals who have given up their U.S. citizenship in order to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Ver renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2014, as he believes paying taxes to any government is immoral as tax money is used for activities such as war.
- Venezuela has been in trouble for some time now after its economy collapsed due to the low oil price. Venezuela’s currency has been plunging on the black market as a result, prompting its citizens to seek refuge in digital currencies like Bitcoin. The number of people doing this is unknown, but their numbers must be significant as the government has launched an anti-Bitcoin campaign calling it “the ideal currency of the dark side of the internet” and “a kind of tax haven for drug dealers, rapists or any criminal”. Bitcoin is even blamed for Venezuela’s current economic situation as it is said to have “caused severe damage to the national economy, causing increased levels of inflation”. Despite the campaign, the people are unlikely to be persuaded to stay away from Bitcoin as long as their economy keeps crashing.
- There wasn’t much price action this week for the two biggest cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ether. The price of Bitcoin did increase a little compared to one week ago, moving up by more than one percent to a current exchange rate of about $417 per BTC. Remarkably, the price of Bitcoin has been at this level for over a month now. The price of Ether also moved up a little. Ethereum experienced a similar move on its total market value this week, taking the price of ETH to $10.95 per coin.