Cryptocurrency Highlights Of The Week

Blockstream engineers complete the first lightning transaction and Nasdaq is trying to patent a blockchain-based backup system. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 40:

  • Blockstream engineers Paul “Rusty” Russell and Dr. Christian Decker completed their first lightning transaction on Bitcoin’s testnet this week. The test transaction was made using the latest version of the Blockstream’s lightning prototype software, lightningd 0.5 and consisted of a digital purchase from a web-store. In the test, the developers used an ASCII cat picture as a demo product. The developer can be seen manipulating a combination of bitcoind and lightningd, the Bitcoin daemon and Lightning daemon respectively, to instantly purchase a cat picture that developer Rusty Russell has up for sale.

  • Day one of the ongoing Scaling Bitcoin conference in Milan opened with discussions focused on the economic concept of fungibility, or the idea that no one bitcoin should be able to be deemed less valuable or less legitimate as a result of its past use or ownership. Blockstream CEO Adam Back remarked Back remarked: “Some of the exchanges and wallets are using tracing services, and [if there is a connection to illicit activity] up to four hops deep away from you, they will freeze your account.” Back contests that a lack of fungibility, if allowed to continue, could ultimately “leak” into the system, affecting bitcoin’s “permissionlessness”, or the ability of any parties to join and use the technology without censorship. “It is critical and you need fungibility for bitcoin to function. If you receive coins and you can’t spend them, you start to doubt whether you can receive money,” Back said.

  • Nasdaq is looking to patent a method by which a blockchain could be used to secure records of exchange transactions. Essentially, the application details an exchange system comprising digital wallets, an order book and matching engine, with a “closed blockchain” utilized as a record of transactions that is updated in real-time. As the application details: “A match is identified between data transaction requests and hashes associated with the digital wallets associated with the respective data transaction requests are generated. The counterparties receive the hashes of the other party along with information on the match and each party causes blockchain transactions to be added to the blockchain of the blockchain computing system.”

  • Factom, Inc, the blockchain technology company that secures data via decentralisation, has raised a $4.2m Series A round of equity funding led by Tim Draper of Draper Associates. Factom Apollo and Factom Iris premium products are built on Factom’s open source core software and offer a lightweight, and scalable approach using the blockchain to secure records and identity. The Series A round of financing enables Factom to further develop its core technology and suite of products, said a statement.

  • The price of Bitcoin increased by almost one percent this week to a current rate of about $619 per BTC. The price of Ethereum was under significant pressure due to ongoing DDoS attacks, causing the price of Ether to drop by more than seven percent, resulting in a rate of $12.16 per ETH. Ethereum Classic lost almost two percent as well, taking the price to $1.18 per ETC. Monero continued to lose after the darknet markets Oasis and Alphabay seemed to have run off with users’ funds, causing Monero to lose another eight percent of its value. XMR is now trading at a rate of $6.81 per coin.
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