by Jamie Holmes
Bitcoin continued to make gains last week, breaking the psychological $700 resistance level while altcoins, such as Ethereum and Ripple, experienced large losses, the sharpest such drop in more than 12 months for altcoins. However, the more established altcoins have started to reverse these losses at the start of the week beginning October 31 and the large sell-off was attributed to the hype surrounding Zcash, which should die down over the coming weeks and see some altcoins continue their upward trend.
Bitcoin’s price was buoyed by the release of Bitcoin Core 0.13.1 which sets the tone for a ‘SegWit’ activation due early November, which would see the Bitcoin network scale in an attempt to match potential demand. While the SegWit update offered optimism on the technical front, on the political front, Iceland’s Pirate Party, strong proponents of Bitcoin, failed to gain a majority in the election on October 29. The alliance formed between the anti-establishment Pirate Party and left-leaning politicians was just five seats short of a majority, but members still hailed it as a victory, given that at least 15 percent of voters agreed with their progressive stance.
Elsewhere in Europe, the Swiss Federal Railway announced that by November 11, bitcoin will be available for purchase at over 700 stations, an interesting development indicating adoption is heating up. Individuals will be able to buy approximately $50 to $200 worth at a time.
This week’s review compiled from contributions by Alexander Lielacher, Christoph Bergmann, James Ryan Moreau, Jamie Holmes, Joseph Young, Michael Scott, and Nigel Dollentas.
After a long time of waiting, it finally happens; the release of Bitcoin Core 0.13.1 prepares the activation of Segregated Witness. Since October 27, the new release has been available for download. But the new transaction format will not get activated until late November. At first glance SegWit is nothing more than a small formality; signatures are not stored in the transaction but in an extra packet. But if you look further, it provides some major advantages for the Bitcoin network.
After a second, consecutive higher close above the most recent fractal resistance at $628.99 on October 23, BTCManager’s Weekly Cryptocurrency Market Outlook emphasized this strong bullish signal and indicated that $700 psychological level would be tested. Now that bitcoin has managed to break the $700 level, we remain firm on our anticipation of the market to tend toward a key fractal resistance at $782.02.
After all the critique raining on Zcash and after those crazy price swings you could consider the project dead in the water. But that would be a premature decision. Later, when the dust has settled, the first forks have emerged, and the price has found a floor, the cryptocurrency might become what it is meant to be; an interesting technology to protect the privacy of the users.
Bitfinex announced that on October 27, that some of the largest BFX token holders have agreed to exchange over 20 million BFX tokens for a stake in the Bitfinex exchange. This shows a return in customer confidence in the company, despite only being a little over two months since one of biggest security breaches of a bitcoin exchange.
Leading bitcoin merchant payment processor BitPay announced that it has launched a new bitcoin wallet, called Copay, which leverages Intel security technologies to provide ultra-secure storage. BitPay has integrated Intel’s Intel® Software Guard Extensions and Intel® Identity Protection Technology with protected transaction display into the Copay bitcoin wallet to provide secure private key generation, safe transaction signing and added protection for the user’s private keys.
The cryptocurrency and blockchain space has grown considerably in the past few years, with heavy investment flowing from both capital investment to a new form of investment called the initial coin offering, or ICO. However, Airbitz, a single sign-on security platform for blockchain apps, is allowing fans of the technology, or anyone for that matter, to invest in a crowdfunding campaign using Bitcoin.
A disruption of major proportions featuring a decentralized model is rocketing forward at full speed. Leading the charge is DECENT, a Swiss-based firm that endeavors to reshape the content distribution sector through a new blockchain-centric delivery platform. The ultimate goal is to offer a fresh approach to the sharing of information and ideas on the Internet today. In its full iteration, DECENT will employ blockchain technology to create a new universe of censorship-free, fully integrated independent publishing.
In an interview with BTCManager, Samson Mow noted the hardship of exchanges upon the execution of hard forks, as it leads to various major updates and overhauls of platform infrastructure. Although an increasing number of Ethereum supporters and users expressed their concerns for developers, Mow explains that exchanges are forced to carry the burden of network instability.
Blockcerts, an open infrastructure for academic credentials on the Bitcoin blockchain, announced its launch October 24, which is the result of 12 months of effort to update academic and professional accreditations in line with 21st-century technology. Blockcerts is decentralizing the credentialing system and was brought to life as a research project by the MIT Media Lab, led by Philipp Schmidt and Juliana Nazare.