Cryptocurrency Attention Continues as Countries Prepare to Legalize Bitcoin and Protocol Upgrades Approach

25th July 2017

In our last report, bitcoin and many altcoins like ethereum dropped in value. Many attributed the downtrend to the upcoming Bitcoin network changes that may take place shortly. However, over the past week, the compromise scaling plan called ‘Segwit2x’ otherwise known as the ‘New York Agreement’ has progressed quite well. This means the bitcoin community may see the Segwit protocol added to the network by the end of August. As Coinmama pointed out last week, there are three possible implementations that may be adopted. At the moment the Segwit2x plan has a great majority of the support but a user-activated hard fork may happen regardless with a blockchain split called ‘Bitcoin Cash.”

This Week’s Headlines

BIP91 (Segwit) Gets Closer to Activation in the Midst of Bitcoin Cash

On July 22 at block height 477120 the proposal BIP91 locked into the Bitcoin network for implementation. This means by mid-August Segwit should be activated on the mainnet and go live by the end of the month. According to the New York Agreement ~3 months later there should be a hard fork to increase the block size to 2MB. So far this plan has a large majority of supporters and hashrate for the time being. Over 90 percent of the network’s miners have participated in enacting this plan. However there still may be a user-activated hard fork called ‘Bitcoin Cash’ which will split the network on August 1. Bitcoin Cash will remove Segwit from its protocol and raise the block size limit to 8MB. Bitcoin users should still be aware of this change in seven days as the protocol was thought to be just a contingency plan now seems like it will happen despite Segwit2x’s progress.

India’s Supreme Court Discusses Bitcoin Taxation

As we’ve been reporting over the past few months, India is really close to legalizing bitcoin as a form of payment much like Japan did this past April. This week members of India’s Supreme Court and the country’s central bank the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked the Indian government on assistance for taxation guidelines. According to local media, the court has granted four weeks to Indian lawmakers deliberating a regulatory strategy for the decentralized currency. Government official have told press, “We are considering the introduction of a regulatory regime for virtual or crypto currencies, such as bitcoin, that would enable the levy of the Goods and Services Tax on their sale.”

South Korea Closing in on Legalizing Bitcoin

South Korea is another country that’s in lockstep with India’s legalization of bitcoin. Lawmakers in South Korea have been pondering and drafting plans to legalize and regulate all virtual currencies. Now the country is issuing fintech permits to companies offering international payment transfer services including bitcoin companies. Once the licensure is completed startups can then use their services to transfer funds internationally, and this includes virtual currencies like ethereum and bitcoin. “Domestic banks need to find ways to provide remittance services for simple and inexpensive fees, and to establish new profit models through partnerships with fintech,” explains Kang Mi-Jung, an executive at the Hana Institute of Finance.

Photobomber Say’s “Buy Bitcoin” Behind Federal Chairwoman Janet Yellen

During a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, a person behind the Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen held up a sign that said “buy bitcoin” on national television. The photobomber also was featured in news media reports like the financial publication CNBC. The image and video went viral, and the guy’s notebook was famous and the crypto-community also called the man a hero. Further, the guy made a lot of money as he shared his bitcoin address with the public. In total, he snagged roughly 6 BTC, or US$13,000 at current prices.

Goldman Sachs Approved for Cryptocurrency Patent

The financial institution Goldman Sachs revealed that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has approved their cryptocurrency settlement system called SETLcoin. Sachs will be one of the first financial incumbents to obtain this type of patent for cryptocurrency solutions and blockchain technology software. “The described technology concerns one or more methods, systems, apparatuses and mediums storing processor-executable process steps to substantively instantly settle securities, based on cryptographic currency technology, without the risks associated with traditional settlement technologies,” the description of the SETLcoin patent explains.

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Initiates Technical Steering Committee

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is made up of startups and fortune 500 companies like Microsoft that are focused on the Ethereum protocol. This week the group started a technical steering committee and seven member working groups. “The EEA has made the largest commitment to member-driven working groups in the industry focusing on innovative Blockchain technologies and applications to solve real-world problems. Many of the Blockchain industry’s best and brightest have agreed to contribute their leadership and energy as a chair for an EEA work group,” explains EEA executive Jeremy Millar. When it comes to building applications utilizing blockchain technology the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance believes the Ethereum blockchain will be at the forefront of innovation.

Venezuelan Candidate Wants the Country to Adopt Bitcoin

One of the candidates for the Constitutional General Assembly in Venezuela, Jorge Dommar, created a video in which he says Venezuela should really embrace cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Venezuela has been plagued with suffering from one of the worst economies worldwide and the country’s national currency the Bolivar is practically worthless. Dommar says the adoption of bitcoin would be highly beneficial to the country and could help citizens create a new wealth paradigm.

Overall it’s been another eventful week for cryptocurrency enthusiasts as there never really is a dull day. There’s a lot going on over the course of the next few months and Coinmama will be sure to keep our readers informed.

Coinmama’s weekly review is always on a mission to find the very best topics of interest being discussed within the digital currency space. Follow us here every week to keep up-to-date with current events concerning Bitcoin, Ethereum, and blockchain technology innovation.

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