Digital Currency Weekly Recap 7-17-2016
Steem Market Capitalization Soars Past $260 Million
When Steemit launched its social media platform monetization system less than two weeks ago, there was the usual buzz and excitement in digital currency circles. The concept of using Steem currency to pay bloggers for using the platform generated increased levels of attention for the company and its digital currency. Apparently, that was not all that the move generated, as recent reports indicate that the cryptocurrency’s market capitalization has enjoyed a massive increase as well – growing from the pre-payout cap of $13 million to more than $260 million this week. How impressive is that growth? Ask Ripple and Litecoin, which have now seen Steem race past them to take its place as one of the most valuable digital currencies in existence. At the present moment, only Bitcoin and Ether are worth more.
The Steemit platform has also reportedly enjoyed dramatic growth in its level of activity, with a tripling of new users, posts, transactions, and votes. Steemit’s blockchain has also been busy, as it now facilitates daily transactions that total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. As the company’s CEO, Ned Scott, recently noted, ““People are recognizing the vast potential of a community-operated social networking platform. The Steemit team has created an online hub where users can monetize their time and their energies and share in the profits like never before.”
Ether Rallies as Hard Fork Looms
This week saw cryptocurrency Ether rise in value to more than $12 a coin, as the Ethereum community prepared for an impending hard fork that is designed to undo the recent theft of tens of millions of dollars from the company’s much-hyped DAO. By the end of the week, the currency had fallen to $11.50 – a price that still represented a weekly increase of more than 13%. Meanwhile, reports this week indicated that the hard fork plan had been essentially set, and that testing of the code was virtually complete. The hard fork is underway at this point, and all available information at this time indicates that the process should all be complete by July 20th, 2016.
Coinapult and Punto Pago to Bring 300 Bitcoin Kiosks to Columbia
Coinapult, the Panamanian company that includes Erik Voorhees among its founders, recently revealed that it has partnered with kiosk provider Punto Pago in an effort to bring a total of 300 Bitcoin kiosks to the people of Columbia. The new kiosks are automated systems that allow Columbians to purchase Bitcoins using their Columbian pesos, and operate in much the same way as a standard Bitcoin ATM. Prices and other information will be provided in the native currency. The machines will be selectively placed throughout the country, and should provide an opportunity for increasing digital currency awareness.
Belgium Warns Consumers About Alleged MLM OneCoin
The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) in Belgium recently issued a published warning to its citizens about the OneCoin exchange and cryptocurrency. The warning served as a declaration that the FSMA does not recognize, authorize, or promote the digital currency. The declaration was reportedly prompted by internet claims that suggested that FSMA has expressed no opinion on OneCoin and that the currency was neither illegal or problematic. Apparently, the watchdog agency decided that the Facebook posting that made those claims was intended to leave the impression that the coin was operating in accordance with FSMA-enforced statutes and regulations. The agency maintains that none of the laws it enforces are applicable to any of OneCoin’s operations.
OneCoin has been the subject of a great deal of attention since its launch, with Coin Telegraph reporting that the company’s owner has lied about her qualifications. In addition, a number of European nations have put the coin on watch lists, issued warnings about it, and even gone so far as to declare it a Ponzi scheme. There have also been reports that the company actually recruits people with promises of sizable payouts if they in turn recruit others. Those activities, and questions about the people behind the coin, have led some to declare OneCoin to be little more than a multi-level marketing scheme.