Due to a vacation, there have been no weekly updates on Digiconomist. Let’s catch up on what happened recently. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 24:
- In yet another turn to the scaling debate, major mining firm Bitmain revealed yesterday a strategy outlining how it will respond should a controversial bitcoin code upgrade known as BIP 148 – a change the firm opposes – activate later this summer. In a blog post, the company outlined its “contingency plan” if users attempt to force a protocol change, thereby circumventing the network’s current structure in which those running its mining machines signal for upgrades. Most notably, the proposal would dedicate mining resources to hard forking the network to a rule set with a larger block size – an upgrade that would likely result in two bitcoin networks and two tradeable bitcoin assets.
- The working group behind the Segwit2x bitcoin scaling proposal has announced that the first version of its code is now ready for review and testing. As such, the release provides the market with a first look at the technology underlying one of the most broadly supported bids to enhance the network. Announced in May as an “agreement” that united miners and startups, Segwit2x is an alternative technology roadmap to one proposed by Bitcoin Core, the network’s open-source developer group.
- The explosive growth of “initial coin offerings,” a capital-raising tool that uses bitcoin and other crypto-currencies to fund projects that leverage technologies such as blockchain, has sparked concern among experts who warn that the lack of transparency around the issuance of such coins is a concern for both investors and regulators. The Securities and Exchange Commission is said to be taking a hard look at the increased use of such offerings, with the growth of so-called ICOs surging in recent months.
- In the meanwhile, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance keeps on growing. The group has added more than 86 new members over the past months, drawn from a wide range of industries. Among the new members are South Korean telecom Samsung, pharmaceuticals giant Merck, automaker Toyota, investor communications platform Broadridge, financial markets firm DTCC, and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which oversees licensed businesses in the state.
- Compared to the last update (May 17, 2017) the price of Bitcoin has increased by more than 30 percent, with the exchange rate currently at about $2667 per BTC. The price of Ethereum increased by more than 180 percent over the same period, taking Ether up to a rate of $375 per ETH. Ethereum Classic gained a similar percentage, with the price increasing to $21.28 per ETC. Zcash gained around 240 percent. One ZEC is now trading at roughly $371 per coin.