One of the key technical challenges for Bitcoin is the issue of congestion within the blockchain that drives the entire digital currency. Slowing transactions and confirmations as a result, it is an issue that much of the cryptocurrency industry is looking at, with several proposed solutions under development. One of those, from Blockstream, is the Lightening Network, that takes the approach of separating transactions away from the main blockchain. They recently announced the first successful micro transaction using the system, and this could be a significant moment in the ongoing development of the digital currency.
Recent comments made by Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder and billionaire entrepreneur, suggest his belief that “blockchain could produce an economic revolution”. At an event in London, he stated this revolution could have a global impact, affecting numerous countries worldwide.
Several organizations showed off blockchain prototypes at a Sibos event in Geneva recently. There was plenty of discussion regarding the technology. Russia’s National Settlement Depository(NSD) and South Africa’s Central Securities Depositories (CSDs) came away from the event having signed a letter of intent to begin initiatives using distributed ledger protocols.
One of the biggest fears of the digital currency industry is legislation. The concern of strict controls and heavy handed bureaucracy being imposed not just on the businesses involved in the digital currency industry itself, but of use of digital currencies themselves, has long been a contentious issue around the world. With the introduction of new legislation that refines the registration requirements of digital currency exchanges, as well as defining digital currencies as ‘money’ when applied to money laundering laws, the British Crown dependency Jersey has taken a path that offers protection for users without the restrictions of some alternatives.
Blockchain, the technology underpinning the digital currency revolution, has attracted much attention in its own right due to its astonishing adaptability. Across a wide range of industries and systems, blockchain is being researched and developed to add more efficiency, security and operational improvements. Now the largest mining company in the world is also adopting blockchain. Using the Ethereum blockchain, BHP Billiton are looking to improve efficiency and accuracy in their supply chain, along with adding an easier to use system for partners to track material movements throughout the system.