Microsoft has deployed an Ethereum toolkit, and Russia is getting aggressive on Bitcoin. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 44:
- In September it was reported that Russia was about to toughen its hostile stance against Bitcoin with a new law that would criminalize actions involving the digital currency. Russia’s Ministry of Finance has now proposed even heavier sentences than previously expected, with offenders facing up to four years in prison. The Ministry’s proposal is in stark contrast with the country’s Central Bank stance on Bitcoin, which is open to allow and regulate transactions with the popular cryptocurrency.
- NASDAQ has announced which companies will be the first to use its blockchain-enabled platform for Linq. Chain.com, ChangeTip, PeerNova, Synack, Tango and Vera are all part of this initial group, for which Linq will facilitate the transfer of privately-owned shares. The service was first announced in May this year, and is intended to boost trading in private companies, as well as save on the high costs currently involved in the process of trading in these companies.
- Ethereum received a big boost by Microsoft as the tech giant partnered with Ethereum collective ConsenSys to make Ethereum blockchain tools available to Microsoft Azure Enterprise Users. According to the Azure website, 57 percent of Fortune 500 companies are already using Azure. These companies will now get the ability to “deploy private and semi-private or consortium blockchain networks, as well as public Ethereum nodes with a single click”.
- If you happen to become the victim of Bitcoin demanding ransomware then the FBI has a remarkable piece of advice for you: pay up and be done with it. This statement is the result of ransomware “becoming too good” according to an FBI representative. In earlier cases hackers made mistakes, and were traceable as a result, but this has taken a turn for the worse. With statements such as these, ransomware is also unlikely to become any less popular any time soon.
- The sky is the limit for the price of Bitcoin as it rallied for yet another week. The price increased by a staggering 11 percent compared to the previous week, taking the price of a single BTC to about $311. Following the announcement by Microsoft Ethereum also rallied this week, easily outperforming Bitcoin with a price increase of almost 60 percent. One ETH is now trading at roughly $0.91.