Bitcoin Weekly Recap 11-4-2016
SegWit, China, The Dow, and the $700 Bitcoin
As Bitcoin’s price has increased by roughly $100 in the last three weeks, analysts have cited a variety of factors that may be contributing to the spike. China has been experiencing its fair share of economic concerns in recent months, and there are signs that many Chinese are fleeing the yuan and seeking refuge in the world’s most well-known digital currency. U.S. stock markets have been on shaky ground recently as well, and some believe that investors may be adding more diversity to their portfolios by buying Bitcoin.
Finally, the release of Segregated Witness (SegWit) in Bitcoin’s latest core update has prompted a surge in node adoption of the new technology. In some quarters, SegWit is being hailed as the potential solution to the Bitcoin scaling debate, so its release could be prompting a fresh wave of optimistic enthusiasm for the cryptocurrency’s future. Regardless of the cause or causes for the spike in price, some observers are already suggesting that Bitcoin could once again top the $1000 mark before 2017.
Swill Railway Ticket Machines to Sell Bitcoin
Customers of Switzerland’s SBB national railway service will soon be able to exchange their Swiss francs for Bitcoin at a novel location: the ticket machines in the nation’s railway stations. Apparently, the SBB has been attempting to gauge Swiss customers’ interest in the digital currency, and concluded that there was enough demand to justify the creation of a trial project. The new project will not, however, enable those consumers to purchase rail tickets using Bitcoin. Instead, the exchange service – made possible through a partnership with Swiss financial services firm SweePay – will simply offer the nation’s consumers an opportunity to easily obtain Bitcoin.
The idea is certainly sound, given that SBB already has the infrastructure in place to provide Swiss citizens with this type of service. The rail service operated more than 1,000 ticket machines around the country. And, as the railway service has noted, their machines and network are well-equipped to do more than just sell tickets. Swiss consumers have had few available avenues for obtaining Bitcoin prior to this innovative solution. Bitcoin sales will be possible beginning November 11, 2016, with transactions limited to 500 Swiss Francs at a time.
As Venezuelan Bolivar Crashes, Bitcoin Increasingly Popular
We’ve reported before about the ongoing collapse of the Venezuelan economy, as that country’s recent flirtation with socialism has left the nation teetering on the edge of financial oblivion. Recent reports indicate that the declining value of the country’s national currency, the Bolivar, has sparked a new trend: weighing money rather than counting it. That’s happened before of course – most notably in Weimar Republic Germany in the early 1920s – and it is typically a sure sign of hyperinflation. With the currency now all but worthless, a growing number of Venezuelans are continuing to seek refuge for their money by purchasing Bitcoin.
At this point, the numbers are relatively small when compared to Bitcoin’s overall market activity, but the exchange of Bolivars for Bitcoin is a growing phenomenon that can be expected to continue as Venezuela’s government continues to resist the types of reforms that might actually change the nation’s economic trajectory. While the government might be willing to allow the ship of state to sink in the waters of socialist failure, many Venezuelan citizens seem less than eager to go down with the boat.
Zee News Senior Editor: Bitcoin Value Could Reach $10,000
If you’re going to hype something, you might as well go all-out. In a recent feature segment on India’s news network Zee News, Senior Editor Sudhir Chaudhary offered some glowing commentary on the usefulness and current state of Bitcoin, even as he suggested that the currency could rise in value to as much as $10,000. The segment, which was broadcast in response to the government’s seizure of a Bitcoin exchange, noted that India’s existing banking and monetary system were inherently unreliable – claiming that the banks lacked the funds to pay out if even a small percentage of India’s consumers decided to suddenly withdraw their deposited money. Chaudhary praised Bitcoin for its potential ability to provide consumers with greater control over their own money, even as he offered what is perhaps the rosiest estimation of Bitcoin’s future price potential most of us have seen in some time.