Iran now has its first Bitcoin exchange and a majority of mining pools in Bitcoin’s network are supporting BIP100. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 35:
- The preferred solution to Bitcoin’s ongoing block size debate appears to be Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 100. The proposal is backed by the majority of Bitcoin’s network hashrate, including mining pools F2Pool, BTCChina, BitFury, KnCMiner, 21 Inc. The mentioned pools already have a combined majority of 60 percent of the total network hashrate. The proposal itself does not specify a path for the growth of Bitcoin’s block size limit (although it does cap the maximum size at 32MB), but instead hands control to the miners in deciding what the limit should be. It is therefore not surprising that the proposal manages to win most miner’s support.
- The Bitcoin.com domain was heavily criticized this week as a result of its new design. Some comments from the community include that the new design “makes it look like a cheap scam” and that “it looks like cancer”. Furthermore, the design looks “horribly broken” on mobile platforms despite being responsive. The domain’s owner, Roger Ver, also responded stating that he had paid “about $100K” for the site’s development. This amount seems absurd knowing the costs for developing this website did not even come close to just $1K. Unsurprisingly, the most popular comment to Ver’s statement is that he got “ripped off”.
- Iran has gotten its first Bitcoin exchange. BTXCapital has opened this week in an attempt to service the country’s 46 million internet users. It makes Iran a “massive” and previously untapped market, making people wonder why it took so long for an exchange to service it in the first place. It must, however, be added that Bitcoin remains in a regulatory grey area in the country. Bitcoin might even be illegal under Article 2 of Iran’s ‘Money and Banking Act’ according to a previous statement by Naser Hakimi, IT Director of Iran’s Central Bank in 2014.
- Litecoin’s block rewards decreased by half this week, which is an event that is set to take place every 840,000 blocks. For Litecoin it marks the first reward halving since inception in 2011. So far the halving does not seem to have had an impact on Litecoin’s total network hashrate, despite the fact that the total available income for miners has automatically also been cut by half. There were also little changes to Litecoin’s total network hashrate distribution, although it must be added that the hashrate is already heavily centralized. Just three pools control more than 75 percent of Litecoin’s network. The next halving is estimated to take place in 2019.
- The price of Bitcoin remained stable throughout the week at roughly $228 per coin. Litecoin experienced a more volatile week, losing almost 19 percent of its value. Litecoin’s first halving certainly seems to be the cause of this, as the price dipped on August 25. The exchange rate for Litecoin is currently at about $2.86 per coin.