Bitcoin Core is increasing its social media presence and Europol confirms there is no evidence for Bitcoin being used to fund terrorism. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 4:
- Bitcoin Core is finally making an attempt to improve its public relations. Core developers have always used an IRC channel, GitHub and a mailing list to communicate, but never succeeded at reaching a broad audience through these channels. Other channels, such as Reddit and the website bitcoin.org, have mostly been used by Bitcoin community members. Bitcoin Core has now distanced itself from these channels, stating that “their views do not represent Bitcoin Core”. Core also launched a community Slack group and a new Twitter feed to improve its social media presence. Whether it will actually make communications by Bitcoin Core more effective remains to be seen, but it seems to be a step in the right direction.
- Digiconomist is also adding a channel to its social media presence. From now on, it is possible to stay up-to-date on the latest blog posts via Reddit. The newly created subreddit that will accommodate this can be found here: /r/Digiconomist.
- The European Union’s law enforcement agency Europol has provided a new disappointment for politicians looking to blame Bitcoin for being used to fund Islamic State operations. According to a new report there is no confirmed evidence for this: “Despite third party reporting suggesting the use of anonymous currencies like Bitcoin by terrorists to finance their activities, this has not been confirmed by law enforcement.” Earlier reports had already suggested the same, one of which was from the UK government in March 2015 that said “there was little evidence to indicate use by established money laundering specialists or that digital currencies played a role in terrorist financing”. Illegal oil smuggling and kidnapping/extortion remain the primary source of revenue for the terrorist group.
- Chinese miners aren’t yet switching to Bitcoin Classic, but do support an increase of the block size limit to 2MB. This consensus opinion has emerged from a meeting in Beijing held last week with many Chinese BTC companies. More specifically, the Chinese agreed (if true) on the following plan:
When blocks are full, and at that time, if Core has not yet upgraded to 2MB, and if Classic is not enough widely supported, we will do what Satoshi has pointed out https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1347.msg15366#msg15366 We will add a code patch to increase the cap from 1MB to 2MB to solve the pressing problem. This means, as we think, has a big potential to reach consensus, and urge Core to accommodate.
The Chinese are mainly concerned that Segregated Witness is too complicated to be implemented on a short-term horizon, which could lead to a lack of quality if rushed. For this reason, “ it is vital to prevent core from hastily delivering Segwit.” The upgrade would come with the precondition that 90 percent of Bitcoin’s network hash power has to agree.
- The sky is the limit for Ethereum, that added another 30 percent to its value this week. The price even peaked above $2.70 per ETH, taking the alternative digital currency’s market capitalization above $200 million for the first time. At the moment, ETH is trading around $2.45. For Bitcoin, the week didn’t bring a very good result. The most popular digital currency lost more than three percent of its value, or roughly $12 per coin, to a current exchange rate of about $378 per BTC.