Litecoin miners can now signal support for their own Segregated Witness, while Bitcoin is facing a record capacity overload. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 5:
- A code update best known for its polarizing role in Bitcoin’s scaling debate has made its debut on another blockchain. As of this week, miners securing the alternative blockchain Litecoin can now begin signalling support for Segregated Witness. In the meanwhile, support for Segregated Witness on Bitcoin is declining, and has even been overtaken by miners signalling support for Bitcoin Unlimited (based on the last 1,000 blocks).
- An incredible sum of more than 900,000 bitcoins, worth almost a billion dollars, was stuck at one point on Friday night, waiting to move, due to limited transaction capacity. The backlog follows a spike in bitcoin’s price by almost $100 in the past four days which may have been due to new users, and thus more demand for transaction space. It is the biggest backlog yet in value and comes just days after a $250 million backlog. Luke-Jr, a developer of the Bitcoin Core client and a Blockstream contractor, publicly responded to the backlog by stating “just pay a $5 fee and it’ll go through every time.”
- Bitcoin regulation in Poland has taken a step forward with the news that the country’s Central Statistical Office (GUS) has recognized the trading and mining of virtual currencies as an official economic activity. As a result, companies active in the industry will now be able to register with the agency. Firms involved in virtual currency trade and production can apply to obtain an official PKD 64.19.Z registration when filing their entities with the official court register, the GUS said in a statement. The development marks a significant advance for industry players in Poland where, to date, the state has not issued any specific legislation that regulates bitcoin and other virtual currencies.
- Equibit Development Corporation, creator of the Equibit blockchain and blockchain applications for the global securities industry, opened its initial coin offering on February 1st, selling $250,000 worth in equibits on the sale’s first day. Chris Horlacher, EDC’s chief executive officer, said in a statement: “We’re off to an incredible start. Over 120,000 equibits have been sold so far. This shows the strong support we’re getting from the community and will only get stronger as events unfold over the next two months.” EDC has offered to sell one million equibits out of a total of 22 million equibits potentially available. The sale will run for 59 days to March 31 and is being held on a special sale page at EDC’s website.
- Compared to the previous week the price of Bitcoin has increased by almost thirteen percent, with the exchange rate currently at $1,040 per BTC. The price of Ethereum increased by more than eight percent, taking Ether up to a rate of $11.40 per ETH. Ethereum Classic gained almost eight percent as well, with the price increasing to $1.39 per ETC. Zcash’ price was more or less flat for the week. One ZEC is now trading at roughly $39 per coin.