On August 1, bitcoin experienced a hard fork that created a new version of the cryptocurrency called bitcoin cash. While many community members were concerned about what a hard fork of bitcoin could mean for the digital currency’s value and its ecosystem, it seems that none of the potential doomsday scenarios happened. On the contrary, bitcoin rallied in the days following the fork as investors were relieved about the seemingly smooth fork that created the new altcoin bitcoin cash.
The price of bitcoin displayed impressive gains for the week, rallying from around $2,700 on July 31 to hit a new all-time high of $3,339.66 on August 6. Bitcoin cash had a bumpy start to its existence but then rallied to reach its all-time high of $1470 on the Bittrex exchange (BCC-USDT) before crashing down to $200 on August 6. Bitcoin cash has taken the fourth spot in the largest cryptocurrencies in terms of market share and will likely stay one of the major currencies in the coming months. Once, bitcoin holders have sold off all their “free” bitcoin cash, it will be interesting to see how this new altcoin will develop and whether it will experience significant adoption by users and blockchain startups.
The surge in BTC-USD can be attributed to holders selling their “free” bitcoin cash tokens in exchange for bitcoin plus restored confidence in the bright future of bitcoin as an investment asset class.
This week’s review is compiled from contributions by Alex Lielacher, Jamie Holmes, Joseph Young, Michael Scott, and Nuno Menezes.
Chandler Guo, a major Chinese investor in bitcoin, ether and cryptocurrency mining, recently criticized Bitcoin Cash, led by China-based mining pool operator ViaBTC, which successfully forked away from the Bitcoin blockchain on August 1. Mainstream media outlets have added to confusion amongst the general public with inaccurate representations of the Bitcoin Cash markets.
In a Twitter video, Guo explained that Bitcoin Cash cannot be considered as bitcoin and that by nature, it is an alternative cryptocurrency (altcoin). According to local sources including CnLedger, the vast majority of businesses within the Chinese bitcoin industry also perceive Bitcoin Cash as an altcoin.
OKCoin, Huobi, BTCChina, Yunbi and CHBTC, five Chinese exchanges that control over 83 percent of the Chinese bitcoin exchange market share, have unanimously described Bitcoin Cash as an altcoin and a new blockchain asset. Even ViaBTC was reluctant towards characterizing Bitcoin Cash as bitcoin and instead described it as “a new technical solution of bitcoin by big blockers.”
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), the largest U.S. options exchange with an annual trading volume of 1.27 billion contracts, is preparing to integrate and launch bitcoin future contracts and options for the public market.
As a part of the integration, CBOE has entered into a multi-year exclusive global licensing agreement with Gemini digital currency exchange, which was founded and operated by the Winklevoss twins, to obtain accurate price quotes and bitcoin data from the Gemini Trust.
Future contracts and options trading on the CBOE will allow millions of accredited investors to invest in bitcoin and speculate its price trend. It is expected that millions of new investors, as well as institutional investors, will be exposed to an entirely new asset class in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies with the CBOE deal.
Floyd Mayweather, widely considered to be one of the greatest boxers of all time, recently joined a growing number of investors worldwide in drinking the proverbial “ICO Kool-Aid.”
Recently, in a post on Instagram that garnered wide media attention, 'Money Mayweather' announced that he’ll be promoting an initial coin offering (ICO) through Stox, a blockchain-based prediction company, on the heels of his fight with Conor McGregor on August 26.
In his post, Mayweather ranted that he’s going to make a "s--- ton of money" from his campaign. This underscores a growing concern in some circles about the irrational hype of ICO, creating a bubble that eventually has no other choice than to pop.
On August 3, TechBureau announced the release of COMSA, which is described as, ‘a complete Initial Coin Offering (ICO) fundraising platform built on the NEM protocol meant for the streamlining of cryptocurrency funding.’
The COMSA platform hopes to address uncertainties that go with Initial Coin Offerings by linking ICO funds to Zen, a digital form of the Japanese Yen to do away with cryptocurrency volatility. The all-in-one platform will allow token offerings, sale and distribution and the listing of tokens on the exchange within the platform, that is TechBureau’s own exchange Zaif.
It seems that about $143,000 from the WannaCry ransomware attack is on the move. That is, according to Elliptic, a company that works with law enforcement to track down illegal activities conducted with cryptocurrency. On August 3, CNBC reported that hackers responsible for the attack had withdrawn bitcoins stashed in several wallets containing around 52.2 BTC. The balance of all of the wallets that used to contain the stolen stash from the ransomware attack is now zero.
Elliptic co-founder, Tom Robinson told the online news agency that this withdrawal was almost certainly an attempt to convert the bitcoin paid by the victims of the WannaCry attack into a different digital currency with complete anonymous features. This is an obvious bold move to avoid being tracked by the authorities.
Lucas Llach, Vice President of the Central Bank of Argentina, stated that the organization and the Argentinian government support the use cases of bitcoin and are not afraid of the digital currency.
Zeppelin Studious CTO Manuel Araoz provided a rough translation of the initial statement of Llach: “Vice-president of Central Bank of Argentina Lucas Llach said ‘we're not afraid of Bitcoin and like some of its uses.’”
Llach also emphasized in his statement that the Central Bank of Argentina and the country’s government support bitcoin’s ability to process international transactions securely and efficiently, without the necessity and presence of intermediaries and third-party service providers such as banks and financial network operators.