Recent reports indicate that several major Bitcoin mining operations have started to signal support for the BIP 91 option that would implement the SegWit2x scaling solution and perhaps avoid the BIP 148 User-Activated Soft Fork currently scheduled for August 1. BitFury, AntPool, and BitClub are among the miners now expressing support for BIP 91 by adding the necessary signal code to newly-generated Bitcoin blocks.
Late last week, GDAX announced its contingency plans to protect its customers’ Bitcoin holdings from risks that could arise due to the anticipated Bitcoin User Activate Soft Fork (UASF) on August 1, 2017. Now, OKCoin’s digital asset trading platform OKEx has detailed its own strategy for safeguarding its users’ funds as UASF draws nearer.
Since Early last year, the government of Venezuela has been engaged in an ongoing crackdown against Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Officials have arrested Bitcoin miners, confiscated equipment, and intimated websites that deal with cryptocurrency. If Jorge Dommar has his way, however, the government’s hostility to digital currency would end.
The GDAX digital currency exchange has announced its plans for addressing the anticipated implementation of the BIP 148 User Activated Soft Fork, or UASF, on August 1st. In a blog post published on Thursday, GDAX general manager Adam White explained why the exchange may be forced to temporarily halt all trading and withdrawals to protect its customer’s funds.
Swiss regulators have given Zurich-based Falcon Private Bank approval to provide its clients with Bitcoin asset management offerings. On Wednesday, the bank began offering customers the ability to trade Bitcoin using their cash deposits. Falcon has partnered with Swiss cryptocurrency broker Bitcoin Suisse, which will provide the bank with access to the digital currency.
Nikolay Storonsky’s startup banking firm Revolut Ltd is receiving investor funding totaling $66 million. The two-year-old company has attracted capital from several investors, including Ribbit Capital, index Ventures, and Balderton Capital. Revolut has announced that it intends to use the funds for expansion of operations, and has plans to add digital currency trading for its customers.
In a report released at the end of June, The European Commission suggested that organized criminal elements and terrorists rarely use digital currencies for their illicit schemes. The report’s authors concluded that those groups may have a desire to use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to fuel their activities, but that they often lack the technical expertise needed to make use of the technology.
As the Internal Revenue Service continues its efforts to force Coinbase to turn over its customers’ transaction records and account details, a Department of Justice lawyer indicated on Thursday that the agency may narrow its information request. According to a report in The Recorder, attorney Amy Matchison suggested that the IRS would not be seeking those customers’ account security setting details or passwords.
South Korean digital currency exchange Bithumb has announced plans to compensate its users for any damages suffered because of compromised customer data records. The company has confirmed that roughly 30,000 customers had their data stolen when an exchange employee’s personal home computer was hacked. According to the online news site, BraveNewCoin, the company claims that the hack didn’t involve the Bithumb main server:
In recent months, South Korea’s digital currency trading activity has been among the most robust in the world. Many policy experts have been uncomfortable with the lack of industry regulation, however, with some worrying that any sudden downturn in the cryptocurrency markets could negatively impact the country’s broader economy. This week, Democratic Party of Korea Representative Park Yong-jin announced that he intends to introduce a new bill to enact a framework for regulating digital currencies like Bitcoin.
While many analysts have been expecting Bitcoin’s recent price doldrums to continue for some time, one market analyst is projecting growth that could see the world’s most well-known digital currency rise another 50% above its current price. Goldman Sachs analyst Sheba Jafari offered that assessment in a recent note that was reported on by CNBC and other news outlets.
The Nikkei Asian Review has reported that the Japanese government is moving forward with plans to begin testing blockchain technology for its public procurement process. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will be conducting the trials to assess the technology’s usefulness for streamlining the tendering process though improved interagency data-sharing. The test is reportedly part of a broader government effort to improve e-government efficiency and security, and is expected to conclude in March 2018.
If you live in New York and want to send your preschoolers to one of the city’s two Montessori luxury preschools, don’t expect to put those tuition costs on your credit card. The schools don’t accept that form of payment. However, Montessori Schools co-founder Marco Ciocca wants you to know that the Montessori schools in Flatiron and Soho will be more than happy to accept your Bitcoin. In fact, they now accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin as payment options.
It wasn’t that long ago that cryptocurrency enthusiasts in Russia faced the very real possibility that their government might ban Bitcoin and even jail anyone who owned or used digital currency. Those types of threats are now all but forgotten, as acceptance of digital currency technology is growing by leaps and bounds. That increasing interest in cryptocurrency was perhaps best highlighted by a single Bitcoin merchant transaction at an unidentified Burger King restaurant in Moscow on June 27, 2017.
Less than two months after the WannaCry virus was unleashed in a massive ransomware attack that affected more than two-hundred thousand computers around the globe, a new round of similar attacks began Tuesday morning. This time, the ransomware attacks first gained widespread notice in the Ukraine, where government departments, the nation’s central bank, and private firms saw their computer systems crippled by a virus that was initially identified as “Petya.” Screen shots on various social media outlets suggest that the attackers have demanded that ransom be paid in Bitcoin.
Despite the GDAX exchange’s announced decision to honor all trades that occurred during the Wednesday flash crash, many of the exchange customers who lost money during that event will apparently see the value of their holdings restored. GDAX vice president Adam White made the announcement in a Friday blog post, and explained how the company intends to ease those customers’ pain.
According to reports on the Chinese government’s official web portal, gov.cn, the Chan Cheng District in Foshan City is ground-zero for a blockchain trial designed to test the technology’s usefulness for streamlining public services. The District, located in Guangdong province, will be testing an innovative platform that the Chinese are calling Intelligent Multifunctional Identity (IMI). The system will reportedly provide a more efficient way for residents to authenticate their identities and official information without filling out forms each time they need a new government service.
In a blog post published on Thursday, Blockchain CEO Peter Smith announced that the startup raised $40 million in its most recent round of funding. That Series B total is significantly higher than the company’s 2014 Series A result of $30.5 million, and was described by Smith as “the most substantial investment in the fintech space since Brexit” and “the largest Series B raised by any digital currency company to date.”
A flash crash on the Coinbase-owned GDAX cryptocurrency exchange caused the price of Ethereum to plummet Wednesday afternoon, temporarily erasing almost all of the coin’s value. The digital currency’s price fell to about 10 cents before it began to recover, during a wild bout of automated trading that resulted in substantial losses for many investors. GDAX VP Adam White addressed the trading activity in a blog post yesterday:
As Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology continue to experience increased consumer and investor interest, mainstream media outlets have focused their attention on the industry as well. News giant Reuters has apparently also taken note of that increased attention, and will now report on stories about the blockchain and digital currency in one of two new coverage sections launched by the company on Monday.