by Jamie Holmes
A spectacular rally was gifted to Bitcoin holders leading up to Christmas, with BTC-USD posting a fresh high at $920.00 on the Bitstamp exchange. Bitcoin is now gyrating around the $900 psychological level, but we expect the market to establish a high around $1000 by the end of January 2017.
With the rise in the price of Bitcoin, several well-known individuals involved in the Bitcoin space have experienced hacks, with new methods relying on using the victim’s mobile number. We look at the story of one Bitcoin veteran who was hacked and try to provide some advice for users to protect their funds.
Also, another key focus for the previous week was failing Italian banking sector, forcing the Italians to take on, even more, public debt, which stood at 132.6 percent of GDP in 2013. In an emergency session on December 23, the Italian government provided the relief needed for Monti dei Pashci, the oldest surviving bank in the world, illustrating the pitfalls of the fractional reserve fiat system.
This week’s review is compiled from contributions by Christoph Bergmann, Farzana Begum, Jamie Holmes, Joseph Young, Lori Brown and Michael Scott.
The Italian government has presented a crisis intervention or “bank rescue” for the world's oldest surviving bank, Monte Paschi, which continues to scramble for cash to recapitalize. A proposed solution is to increase the public debt by as much as 20 billion euros. As the news broke, this brought about a shockwave across European bitcoin exchanges, with individuals rushing to buy the cryptocurrency as a safe haven against a crumbling banking system.
With the geth 1.5 release, Ethereum integrates an alpha version Swarm in its main client; a distributed storage platform that is part of Ethereum’s vision of Web 3.0. The long-term goal of Ethereum goes far beyond creating a currency. Instead, the developers aim to build a decentralized Internet known as Web 3.0.
On December 20, an exquisitely well-documented article entitled 'Hackers Have Stolen Millions Of Dollars In Bitcoin-Using Only Phone Numbers' appeared in the business publication, Forbes. The work of noted Bitcoin, blockchain and fintech columnist Laura Shin, this article continues to send aftershocks through the global bitcoin community, sparking questions about the current security protocols used to secure cryptocurrencies.
We stated in our most recent cryptocurrency report that Bitcoin broke a key fractal resistance last week, moving above the $778.85 level, and looks to establish fresh highs above $800. Since BTC-USD broke above the key fractal level at $778.85, we should see bitcoin tend towards the Fibonacci extension level at $991.35 over the long run. Therefore, we maintain a bullish bias on BTC-USD.
OB1, the commercial company behind OpenBazaar, announced on December 20 the release of version 1.1.10, featuring a partnership with instantaneous altcoin exchange ShapeShift. The deal immediately provides users the opportunity to purchase items on OpenBazaar with altcoins like Monero and ZCash that provide increased privacy to users.
One alternative cloud storage provider is Storj, which is decentralized and has released an updated version of their white paper, now offering users a network that has many benefits over data center-based cloud storage; as well as providing an opportunity for those that have additional data storage space to supply within the system and earn cryptocurrency. With steady growth in the value of their token and being one of the easiest projects to get involved with, Storj will be one to watch in 2017.
Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, two of the founding members of blockchain consortium R3, quit the organization earlier and have turned their efforts toward New York-based Axoni, a blockchain startup leading trials to facilitate payments using distributed ledger technology. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and multi-billion dollar interdealer broker ICAP are leading a $20 million investment round for Axoni. Reuters revealed that more financial institutions would be joining in the funding round.