Cryptocurrency Highlights Of The Week

Bitcoin’s network will stick with Core, and Ethereum is competing with Bitcoin for being implemented in electronic voting systems. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 6:

  • A majority of Bitcoin’s network hashrate has decided to stick with Bitcoin Core, and thus will not be switching to Classic, XT or any other implementation. This decision was announced in a letter released by a group called “Bitcoin Roundtable”, as it explicitly states “we will not run such code on production systems nor mine any block from that hard-fork. We urge everyone to act rationally and hold off on making any decision to run a contentious hard-fork (Classic/XT or any other)”. The group includes multiple businesses, exchanges, wallets and mining pools. F2Pool, BitFury, AntPool, BTCC are among the mining pools that signed the letter, which therefore represents more than 75% of Bitcoin’s total network hashrate. The letter must be a shock for Bitcoin Classic, as it lists BitFury and AntPool as mining pools that are supporting it. Classic’s only remaining chance at success would come from miners turning against their pool administrators, but this seems unlikely.

  • Rather than scaling up blockchain technology, it is possible to start with a big distributed database and then add blockchain characteristics. This is the rationale that led to BigChainDB, “a scalable blockchain database that can process one million writes per second”. Ascribe GmbH announced the release of BigChainDB at the The BlockChain Conference in San Francisco this week. According to Ascribe, the technology is complementary to decentralized processing platforms like Ethereum. The complete Whitepaper can be found here: BigchainDB: A Scalable Blockchain Database.

  • After launching its blockchain-powered trading platform Linq, Nasdaq is now hoping to enable blockchain-based e-voting for shareholders of companies listed on Nasdaq’s Tallinn Stock Exchange. The goal of the e-voting is to make participating in the corporate governance of companies “more conveniently and securely than ever before”. A pilot is scheduled for later this year. If successful, the process of electronic voting may be applied in other use cases such a regular elections.

  • The Bitcoin blockchain certainly isn’t the only one being considered for electronic voting. Ethereum appears to be starting to take some of Bitcoin’s potential use cases, as Ukraine prefers the Smart Contracts on Ethereum’s blockchain over Colored Coins on Bitcoin’s blockchain for election purposes. Ethereum blockchain technology will be used for a new prototype election system called E-Vox, and is intended to add both transparency as well as real-time results to the election process. The reason for preferring Smart Contracts is that Colored Coins are simply too limited to be able to meet all of Ukraine’s demands on what constitutes a valid vote.

  • Ethereum rallied again this week, more than doubling its price at its peak. The popular altcoin is managing to hold on to most of its gains, hence is still trading almost 90 percent higher than a week ago. The current exchange rate for one ETH is about $4.60 per coin. One the other hand Bitcoin has also managed to find its way up again. The price of the most popular digital currency gained more than four percent this week, taking the exchange rate to roughly $390 per BTC.
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