The price of Bitcoin exceeded the $5,000 mark for the first time in history on Asian digital currency exchanges on September 2. This new all-time high was subsequently followed by a steep correction down to the $4,500 mark on the same day. Nonetheless, the moment for Bitcoin has never been stronger than now.
The crypto correction continued on September 4 following the Chinese authorities statement on the legality of initial coin offerings, with BTC-USD retreating from the all-time high to as low as $4058.50 on the Bitstamp exchange.
We also saw Bitcoin Core 0.15 revealed last week, where Greg Maxwell outlined the improvements and changes, as well as answering more general questions. Maxwell stated about the release, “I think the most important is the across-board 50 percent speedup which is able to get sync time back to where it was in February 2017. Hopefully it means that additional load created as people start using SegWit, will be less damaging to the system.”
Since activation, the SegWit upgrade is filtering through the system, with the 144 block moving average breaching one percent; this percentage is expected to increase as major players follow through.
Despite renewed uncertainty surrounding another possible Bitcoin hard fork in November when SegWit2X is scheduled to be implemented, the Bitcoin buyers have been greatly outweighing the sellers in the past few weeks.
Bitcoin’s momentum also pushed altcoins to new highs as witnessed by litecoin (LTC) reaching its new all-time high on September 3 when it surpassed the $80 mark. LTC-USD has since retreated to $72.
The price of Ethereum’s ether (ETH) also rallied and moved close to its previous all-time high as the interest in crypto as an asset class continues to grow. The altcoin could further benefit from the crackdown on ICOs in China.
This week’s review is compiled from contributions by Alex Lielacher, Liam Kelly, Jamie Holmes, and Joseph Young.
The world’s leading bitcoin advocacy group, the Bitcoin Foundation, announced that it had retained legal counsel to seek advice on how to fight back against stifling federal and state level regulations that are hindering the progress of Bitcoin and other digital currencies as an innovative new financial technology.
According to a press release by the Washington-based nonprofit organization that seeks to “standardize, protect and promote the use of bitcoin cryptographic money for the benefit of users worldwide,” Executive Director, Llew Claasen, stated that the priority will be to, “engage into a more open and diverse dialogue with the U.S. Congress,” regarding the introduction of a new bill that aims to bring digital currencies within the scope of money laundering enforcement.
Danny Sessoms, host of an Austin-based cryptocurrency radio broadcast, announced on August 27 that he would be accepting cryptocurrency to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. Sessoms has typically partnered with Unsung.org to deliver food to the homeless, but this time he charged his RV with relief stocks and drove to Port Aransas, Texas. He bought hygiene packs, dry towels and other supplies at regional Walmarts using the donations he received since making the announcement.
Less than two days later, a listener to The Crypto Show and AnthemGold Founder investor, stated publicly that he would, “match up to 10 BTC donated to help…[and]…This will go straight to the people in need”. Shortly thereafter, Bill Kline followed up his own promise by giving over $42,000 in bitcoin directly to the radio program.
The relief efforts continued to mount as Kline also reported that Sessoms has reached nearly $60,000 since August 30.
Kakao, which led a $3.3 billion merger with IT giant Daum to form Daum Kakao in 2014, is South Korea’s largest messaging and fintech platform. Kakaotalk, Kakao’s flagship messaging application, has a market penetration rate of over 90 percent, with sources including Forbes reporting that nearly 100 percent of households in the country use Kakaotalk as their main communication method.
During the first week of August, Daum Kakao launched its first fintech platform called Kakao Pay with the vision of replacing existing banking services with a purely virtual financial platform. Within less than a month since its launch, Kakao Pay has secured an active userbase of over three million users.
Already, Kakao Stock, Daum Kakao’s stock trading and portfolio management app, has integrated bitcoin. In the upcoming months, the company will consider the possibility of integrating bitcoin into Kakao Pay, which will further increase bitcoin’s mainstream adoption in South Korea. In consideration of Kakaotalk and Kakao Pay’s influence over the South Korean social media and fintech industries, the company’s integration of the cryptocurrency will expose existing users that are relatively new to the market to bitcoin.
On August 25, VNA reported that Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has charged the country’s relevant ministries to reassess its status in regards to cryptocurrencies. This signifies a legislative turn of heart that could soon legally recognize cryptocurrencies in Vietnam.
In particular, The State Bank of Vietnam, the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Ministry of Finance, will work closely to reexamine the current legality of cryptocurrency in Vietnam. The Prime Minister has also asked the Ministry of Justice, led by Le Thanh Long, to supervise discussions between the ministries.
The statement from the PM also marks the beginning of an extensive bureaucratic process that seeks to streamline the induction of cryptocurrencies in the country. To begin with, the first assessment and proposed solutions will have to be completed before August of 2018.
Midea, a major Chinese electrical appliance manufacturer with an estimated annual revenue of $22.1 billion, is attempting to revive 21 Inc’s previous vision of integrating bitcoin miners into household appliances.
With over 125,000 employees, Midea remains as one of the largest appliance manufacturers in China. The company has significant reach into the Chinese manufacturing and appliance markets, as it controls the majority of market share in both industries.
Earlier in 2017, through the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of the People’s Republic of China, Midea released a patent on its technology and method of integrating bitcoin miners into existing appliances. Similar to 21 Inc’s previous business model, Midea is currently aiming to implement bitcoin wallet accounts onto conventional electronics and devices, and credit users running bitcoin mining equipment via household appliances in real-time.
It has been around one week since the launch of LocalMonero.co and buyers and sellers of the privacy-focused cryptocurrency have already traded monero in many countries around the world. Launched by Monero enthusiasts out of Hong Kong, they based the peer-to-peer marketplace on the popular LocalBitcoins.com.
Consequently, monero (XMR) is now easier to buy and sell, as the site allows users to exchange cash for the cryptocurrency or via online banking. Similarly, those who mine or trade monero can sell their crypto holdings. With very limited coverage on Bitcoin ATMs and strict KYC procedures for exchanges that host XMR pairs, such as Kraken and Bittrex, LocalMonero is a welcome step for making it easier to purchase or sell the cryptocurrency as well as remaining anonymous while doing so.