Citigroup has created its own test cryptocurrency named Citicoin and the Bitcoin blockchain forked today. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 27:
- Bitcoin’s blockchain unintendedly forked today when the protocol started enforcing the new BIP66 rule. The problems started when a small non-upgraded miner mined an older version block that was subsequently accepted by roughly half of the network. This started a new chain on an invalid block. The majority of the network is now back on the right chain, but wallets using Bitcoin Core 0.9.4 and below should be upgraded and aren’t safe to use. The same goes for (web) wallets for which the version cannot be confirmed.
- Citigroup has revealed it has developed three blockchains and a test cryptocurrency with the name “Citicoin”. Ken Moore, head of Citi Innovation Labs, said they have been looking at distributed ledger technology for “the last few years”. With Citicoin, Citi is looking for an alternative to Bitcoin, of which the economics are considered inherently flawed. The group is mainly interested in how blockchain technology can allow cross-border payments to be done in seconds and in a very transparent way.
- Classified advertising website Backpage has been cut off by MasterCard and Visa, pretty much forcing it to turn to Bitcoin as the only remaining method of payment. Backpage is the “second largest classified ad listing service on the Internet in the United States after Craigslist”. Unlike Craigslist Backpage offers an adult entertainment services section. The reason for the financial institutions to stop supporting Backpage relates to this section, as it “promotes prostitution and facilitates online sex trafficking” according to Illinois law enforcement.
- If you have seen the documentary “Digital Amnesia” then you have seen how the Digital Age not only provides opportunity, but also vulnerability to the longevity of digital information and our collective memory. This is why start-up Blocktech’s Alexandria project received some attention this week, as it is aimed at fixing this vulnerability by using the blockchain to build a “decentralized, indelible peer-to-peer library”.
- The Greek crisis is far from over, and neither is the rise of Bitcoin seemingly related to the former. The digital currency ended another week in the green, closing $8 per coin (over three percent) higher compared to the previous week. One Bitcoin can now be bought for about $257.