Dubai is launching its own cryptocurrency, and Goldman Sachs is considering to enter the Bitcoin trading markets. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 40:
- Dubai’s government is to launch a cryptocurrency following a partnership between Emcredit, a subsidiary of Dubai’s Department for the Economy (also known as Dubai Economy) and a UK based blockchain start-up called Object Tech Grp. The new “encrypted digital currency,” called emCash, will be based on the latest blockchain technology, Dubai’s economy department says in a statement, and will be usable through emPay, a wallet launched by Emcredit to support contactless payments.
- Goldman Sachs is weighing a new trading operation dedicated to bitcoin and other digital currencies, the first blue-chip Wall Street firm preparing to deal directly in this burgeoning yet controversial market, according to people familiar with the matter. Goldman’s effort is in its early stages and may not proceed, the people said. The firm’s interest, though, could boost bitcoin’s standing among investors and fuel the debate around digital currencies, which were initially viewed as havens for illicit activity but are pushing further into the mainstream investment world.
- Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex has listed SegWit2x chain split tokens to allow traders to speculate on the future outcome of the proposed November hard fork that will likely split the bitcoin network into two competing blockchains. According to the announcement, traders will be able to create chain split tokens– dubbed BT1 for the original chain and BT2 for the SegWit2x chain — by depositing BTC into the token manager. BT1 and BT2 tokens trade against both BTC and USD pairs, and the exchange may add financing if there is sufficient liquidity. This allows traders to bet on which chain will emerge victorious following the fork, as well as whether the chain split will occur at all.
- The war over the Bitcoin brand is on. The web portal Bitcoin.org announced it was “denouncing” the Segwit2x hard fork and companies involved with the project. The site plans to publish a banner on every page of the website explaining the “risks of using services” that are associated with the November 2MB fork and development team. At the same time, Bitcoin.com said it “will proudly list S2X, and we will list it as the default version of Bitcoin and will use the ticker BTC”. Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex published it will “designate the Segwit2x fork as B2X, for now. The incumbent implementation (based on the existing Bitcoin consensus protocol) will continue to trade as BTC even if the B2X chain has more hashing power.”
- Compared to the previous week the price of Bitcoin was stable, with the exchange rate currently at about $4,335 per BTC. The price of Ethereum increased by more than two percent over the same period, taking Ether up to a rate of $309 per ETH. Ethereum Classic lost about seven percent, with the price decreasing to $12.13 per ETC. Zcash lost 10 percent. One ZEC is now trading at roughly $250 per coin.