Bitcoin Weekly Recap 12-11-2015
New Info May Hold Clue to Satoshi Nakamoto’s Real Identity
Recent reporting suggests that those interested in discovering the true identity of Bitcoin’s creator may be closer than ever before to learning the truth to cryptocurrency’s oldest and most closely-guarded secret. For years, digital currency enthusiasts and various government officials have wondered about the identity of the man behind the Satoshi Nakamoto mask of anonymity. Wired and Gizmodo are now reporting that Australian businessman Craig S. Wright may be the mysterious innovator who helped spark the cryptocurrency revolution.
Of course, these suppositions are based upon anonymous reports and documents provided by people who were allegedly close to Wright, and include information reportedly hacked from his email account. Moreover, Wired has noted that it could not confirm the veracity of any of the information used in its report, and even went so far as to leave open the possibility that the documents could in fact be part of an elaborate hoax.
Wright’s Home Raided by Australian Police
In the wake of two online reports suggesting that he is the real man behind the Satoshi Nakamoto Bitcoin pseudonym, Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright had his suburban Gordon home raided by police. That raid come just hours after those reports were published, leading some to conclude that there was a connection between the two events. Spokesmen for the police, however, asserted that no such connection exists, and that the raids are the result of search warrants executed on behalf of the Australian Taxation Office.
New German Survey Shows Little Confidence in Bitcoin among CEOs
A new survey out of Germany indicates that CEOs and other executives in the nation’s financial industry seem to have little confidence in Bitcoin’s long-term viability. The German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media produced the research, and queried more than a hundred financial company CEOs and board members.
Of those surveyed, 95% expected the currency to achieve only niche application status over the next decade, with another 3% suggesting that it will disappear altogether. Only 3% anticipate Bitcoin achieving widespread acceptance as a payment option. Those results stand in stark contrast to an earlier survey from the group that revealed that more than a third of German consumers expressed a willingness to buy Bitcoins - a number that expands to 53% among younger respondents (age 14-29). Taken together, the two surveys reveal an astonishing disconnect between financial industry leaders and the consumers they exist to serve.
Debate Thriving at Hong Kong’s Scaling Bitcoin Conference
As the Hong Kong meeting of the Scaling Bitcoin conference began, industry enthusiasts were hopeful that the event would produce serious dialogue that might lead to a move toward consensus on some of the most pressing Bitcoin and blockchain challenges. The fact that the event was being held in Hong Kong was an indication of the importance given to ensuring participation from as broad a spectrum of the community as possible. One thing is for certain: the effort has not failed to produce the desired debate.
For the Western-oriented development community and increasingly China-based mining industry, the gathering has provided an important opportunity for dialogue. However, reports indicate that language barriers have complicated much of the dialogue between the groups, and some of the representatives on the mining panel expressed their dismay about Western concerns that Chinese miners could pose a potential threat to the network. At the same time, those same miners also indicated that they were willing to have the core developers take the lead on providing network solutions, and were less interested in the voting rights system promised with BIP 100.
Gavin Andresen Calls for Segregated Witness Implementation
With much of the current debate around Bitcoin focused on increasing the cryptocurrency’s scalability, former core developer Gavin Andresen has come out in support of implementation of a solution called Segregated Witness. Andresen’s recommendation came after the new scalability proposal was presented at the Hong Kong Scaling Bitcoin event as away to increase the number of transactions that can be held in each blockchain block. The Witness solution could offer a dramatic reduction of the size of the overall blockchain, and provide greater benefits from future soft forks.
Bitcoin Foundation Reportedly Running Short of Money
According to the Bitcoin Foundation’s chairman Brock Pierce, the organization’s finances are so depleted that it is perilously close to running out of cash reserves. That announcement was delivered to the board at the end of October, and made public with the release of the meeting’s minutes earlier this week. The foundation has seen its revenue-generating efforts fall short of expectations, forcing it to cut costs in an effort to remain solvent.
In addition to lagging revenue from sponsored events, and problems related to excessive financial commitments made during the last board’s tenure, Bitcoin Foundation may have seen some of its own Bitcoin holdings disappear as well. The organization’s executive director, Bruce Fenton, had pledged at that October meeting to donate $10,000 of his own money if other members of the board were willing to commit to raising an equal amount by the end of November. That’s just one indication of how desperate the financial situation really is, since the foundation enjoyed a $150,000 monthly budget just seven months ago.