Cryptocurrency Highlights Of The Week

Coinbase Exchange is rebranding to GDAX, and The DAO is now the most successful crowdsale in history. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 20:

  • Coinbase is launching both Ether and Litecoin trading on its exchange platform, which is also being rebranded to GDAX at the same time. GDAX stands for Global Digital Asset Exchange, and highlights the intend to add support for more cryptocurrencies in the future. Coinbase Vice President of Business Development Adam White, however, stated that this “doesn’t mean we’re going to add 15 new currencies over the coming weeks, but we’re paying attention”. By adding Ether support, GDAX joins a growing list of exchanges that have recently added Ether support like Gemini and Bitfinex. It should be noted that itself will not be rebranding, and that the new name only applies to Coinbase Exchange.

  • The company behind the popular Bitcoin wallet is open sourcing the Thunder network, a simplified implementation of a Lightning network. By processing transactions off-chain, and settling them on The Bitcoin blockchain, this network could process 100,000 transactions per second. But despite open sourcing the software, it will take some time before the Thunder network can actually work with a wallet. This is because the Thunder network and other Lightning network implementations require features such as CheckSequenceVerify and Segregated Witness to be fully implemented in Bitcoin Core in order for them to work.

  • Boosted by the skyrocketing price of Ether the Ethereum project The DAO managed to pass the $150 million mark in funds raised. As a result, The DAO is now the most successful crowdsale in history, and also holds more than 14 percent of all Ether currently in existence. On its way to the top, The DAO also easily passed the Ethereum platform it is built on, which is on the fifth spot on the list of highest funded crowdfunding projects with an amount of $18.4 million in funds raised. The crowdsale will last for several more days until May 28, 2016.

  • Russia’s “Bitcoin ban” is off the table, or at least for now, following comments from the country’s Justice Ministry. According to law firm partner Nikita Soshnikov the bill was “poorly drafted” and that “The [Finance] Ministry has not provided [the] appropriate justification for criminalization of cryptocurrencies and its public danger (as an essential criterion for criminalization). The draft is broadly worded, therefore, wide range of activities regarding e-currencies can potentially fall within proposed ‘money surrogates’ definition.” It is uncertain what this will mean for the future of the bill, and whether it will end up being submitted at all.

  • After multiple failures to make it past the 3,000 CNY ($458) resistance level Bitcoin lost almost three percent of its value this week, falling back to an exchange rate of about $443 per BTC. Ethereum had a significantly better week, as it gained almost 40 percent taking its exchange rate to roughly $14 per ETH. This also means that the total market capitalization of Ether is well over $1 billion again, close to one sixth of Bitcoin’s total market capitalization of almost 6.9 billion.
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