The last month saw much attention turning towards Bitcoin Cash’s meteoric rise from a relatively irrelevant Bitcoin sibling, trading at around 0.085 / BTC to rally by a factor of six to an all time high of 0.53 / BTC, before retracing back by 70% to 0.16 / BTC at press time. The megalithic bull run coincided with the announcement that the Bitcoin2x fork planned for November 16 would be suspended — with the Bitcoin2x developers citing disruption to community cohesion as the reason for the cancellation.
The value proposition debate between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash has centred around each network’s ability to scale the number of transactions they can simultaneously process, the speed at which transactions are verified, and the security risks from centralization that may result from their respective approaches in doing so. The security provided by the distributed nature of blockchains remains Bitcoin’s best differentiator and value proposition compared to mainstream payment vehicles, and any upgrades that might threaten Bitcoin’s decentralized nature — reducing the number of nodes, or moving payment information off the blockchain onto secondary layers – will be fraught with controversy.
The runaway international trend of ethereum-based token sales has come to New Zealand, with Circles Project’s token offering going live earlier this week. A token sale involves a startup offering digital assets or ‘tokens’ that have a utility application as a voucher within a decentralized, blockchain-based application. Token sales have become popular within the crypto industry because they allow startups to raise development capital, and acquire a user base before their product’s launch.
The price of Bitcoin has been regaining its footing after China’s clampdown on ICOs and exchanges. This is not the first time China has tried to stifle cryptocurrencies for fear that they can be effective means for citizens to keep their capital safe in unfavorable economic conditions, out of reach of authorities. China may attempt to nationalize the local crypto industry, and could issue digital Chinese Yuan tokens to act as the new reserve currency on newer, more-highly regulated exchanges—platforms where tokens created via state-sanctioned platforms using the new denomination could be traded. The regulations could drive innovation for Chinese fiat gateways running through decentralized exchanges, which may become the only means for investors to swap their tokens. The ruling may also push users into more anonymous cryptocurrencies that do not leave a digital footprint.
Steve Wasserman: “Vments will meet incumbent financial services demand for digital innovation in an environment that threatens their relevance.”
Digital currency and online data management are at the frontier of transformational change in banking and financial services, as innovations in the blockchain space are changing the rules in the competitive financial landscape. DCEBrief spoke with Steve Wasserman — the founder of two highly successful startups that both made it into Inc’s list of the 500 fastest growing companies. His latest venture VmentsTM offers digital products and services designed to better serve the needs of banks and other financial entities in the blockchain era.
Early this morning a Chinese working committee representing seven government administrations including the People’s Bank of China, and the regulatory, banking and insurance commissions ruled that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) constitute an illegal means of capital acquisition. Organizations and individuals are now expected to cease all ICO related activity, and banks and financial institutions are instructed to cease all business with organizations that do.