Segregated witness, a long-awaited upgrade to the Bitcoin protocol, will finally activate. And Parity’s Ethereum wallet software has been hacked. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 29:
- A long-proposed upgrade that would increase the transaction capacity of the Bitcoin network, SegWit would has been triggered by miners supporting the BIP 91 code proposal, itself a part of the larger Segwit2x scaling initiative. BIP 91 (titled: “Reduced threshold Segwit MASF”) passed the necessary threshold (80% of mining power over a 336-block signalling period), as a significant majority of bitcoin’s computing power made good on a promise to support the proposal. The activation will take another 336 blocks. One developer, Peter Todd, already warned that even with BIP91 activation there’s a “high chance it’ll lead to multiple reorganizations”.
- A vulnerability in Parity’s Ethereum wallet software has been exploited by thieves to rob victims on a massive scale. The vulnerability occurs in version 1.5 or later of its wallet software. So far, 150,000 ethers, worth $30 million, have been reported by the company as stolen, data confirmed by Etherscan.io. The ether was grabbed from the wallets of at least three projects that had recently completed so-called “initial coin offerings” (ICOs). As reported by the Parity, the issue is the result of a bug in a specific multi-signature contract known as wallet.sol. Data suggests the issue was largely mitigated, however, as 377,000 ethers that were potentially vulnerable to the issue were recovered by white hat hackers.
- John McAfee, the colorful founder of his namesake antivirus software company, as well as a former fugitive and passionate cryptocurrency backer, says bitcoin is headed toward the $500,000 mark within three years. The cybersecurity legend even is even betting his manhood on it, stating publicly on Twitter: “if not, I will eat my d**k on national television”. McAfee also stated he supported Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu, “his friend and the smartest man he knows”, in fighting the Bitcoin Core team. He also believes “the money will follow him (Jihan)”.
- A subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange Group is using blockchain to help unlisted small businesses tap resources previously only available to larger, public companies. Developed by London Stock Exchange subsidiary Borsa Italiana, the blockchain platform, built with IBM Blockchain, is being designed to digitize both securities ownership and the capital structure of small- to medium-sized businesses (SMEs). Currently undergoing an initial test phase with a small group of Borsa Italiana clients, the platform, powered by Hyperledger Fabric 1.0, is expected to eventually simplify the issuance of shares, streamlining SME access to capital.
- Compared to the previous week the price of Bitcoin has increased by more than 25 percent, with the exchange rate currently at about $2,670 per BTC. The price of Ethereum increased by almost 19 percent over the same period, taking Ether down to a rate of $218 per ETH. Ethereum Classic gained about four percent, with the price increasing to $16.63 per ETC. Zcash gained 25 percent. One ZEC is now trading at roughly $208 per coin.