Cryptocurrency Highlights Of The Week

Ethereum is added to Microsoft Visual Studio and Bitcoin Core developers release SegNet 4. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 13:

  • Segregated Witness has (most likely) entered its final testnet stage with the release of the fourth version of “SegNet”. This version also includes support for “CheckSequenceVerify” as featured in Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 112. CheckLockTimeVerify (CLTV) was already merged into Bitcoin Core previously, allowing users to make coins unspendable until a pre-defined block height. CheckSequenceVerify (CSV) adds flexibility to the previous, by allowing users to lock coins for a pre-defined number of blocks after a CSV transaction. This addition is required to allow for experimentation with lightning networks.

  • Ethereum was already part of Microsoft Azure’s Blockchain-as-a-Service platform, and is now added to Microsoft’s Visual Studio platform as well due to a collaboration with startup ConsenSys. Visual Studio developers will be able to use Ethereum’s smart contract programming language Solidity (a JavaScript-like programming language) to “rapidly build smart contract-based applications for the public Ethereum blockchain, as well as private and consortium blockchain deployments based on Ethereum”.

  • According to the Financial Times the Australian Craig Steven Wright is about to confirm that he is indeed the man behind Bitcoin’s founder Satoshi Nakamoto. Gizmodo and Wired both concluded this in December last year after independently researching him. Back then, much of the evidence presented turned out to be forged by Wright himself. After the stories were published, Wright’s only response was removing the falsified evidence. After months of silence, it is rumoured that Wright is now ready to reveal himself as Satoshi Nakamoto. It is also said that this will happen somewhere between April 7 to April 14. During this period, Wright will “publicly perform a cryptographic miracle which proves his identity once and for all”. It remains to be seen whether this means that Satoshi’s dormant stash of Bitcoin’s will be finally be touched.

  • R3 CEV decided to go on the offensive this week, with both CEO Tim Swanson and former Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn targeting Bitcoin Core development. According to Hearn, Bitcoin has a leader in the form of Blockstream’s co-founder Gregory Maxwell, who happens to be a “terrible decision maker”. Hearn also added that “Blockstream is the source of the refusal to bump the block size.” Swanson was even more aggressive, and stated that Bitcoin Core has become a legacy Rube Goldberg machine. The comments came at about the same time an article on Ethereum appeared in the New York Times, in which it is argued that its virtual currency Ether could rival Bitcoin.

  • Positive headlines helped the price of Ether to increase by more than five percent compared to last week, taking the exchange rate for ETH to $11.53 per coin. The price of Bitcoin once again remained pretty much flat, increasing slightly to a rate of about $420 per BTC.
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