This week bitcoin markets broke new key zones and pushed the price of BTC higher. This has been followed by many altcoins following in unison such as the second highest valued digital asset market Ethereum. The demand for digital currencies continues to stem from hotspots like China, Japan, the U.S., Europe, the middle east, and many more regions around the world. Exchanges worldwide and Localbitcoins volumes are taking in exponentially large trade inflows compared to six months ago due to bitcoin’s significant 600% increase in six months. Cryptocurrencies are seemingly at the tipping point of mass acceptance this year, and the hype hasn't let up once in 2017.
Coinmama’s Weekly Roundup
Vietnam Prepares to Legalize Bitcoin
Cryptocurrencies and most notably bitcoin have grown increasingly popular in Vietnam. According to the regional news outlet VNA, the country’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is working with the central bank to draft digital currency guidelines. This includes the Central Bank of Vietnam, the Ministry of Public Safety, and members of the Ministry of Finance. Further officials from the country are preparing tax legislation as well, so the government has a proper tax code for bitcoin. The new regulatory guidelines for recognizing bitcoin may happen around 2018 while the tax reform is expected to be finished in 2019.
The Segregated Witness Protocol Activates on the Main Bitcoin Chain
This past week on August 23 Segregated Witness (Segwit) went live on the network at block height 481822. The protocol was pushed by 90 percent of the network hashrate (miners) after almost two years of the code sitting on the shelf. The code after a given point of time is expected to relieve network congestion by relocating transaction witness data to another space. People hope this will lessen the current transaction fee market and make throughput faster for bitcoiners sending transactions over the network. The community was very excited Segwit activated, and people are now focusing on the next scaling upgrade.
Lightning Network Gets Closer to Reality
This week after Segwit was activated on block height 481822 the lead developer of Lightning Labs, Laolu “Roasbeef” Osuntokun, announced the 0.3 alpha version the Lightning Network Daemon (LND). The development team is thrilled Segwit is live and believes the protocol will help push the Lightning Network to the next level. The 0.3 version marks a major release for Lighting Labs and comes with many new features Osuntokun explains. “With this release, LND is now has gained a considerable feature set,” the Github description details. In addition to the new features, one added bonus people are excited about us the ability to swap bitcoin (BTC) for litecoin (LTC) over the LND network channels.
Bank of America Captures More Blockchain Patents
This week it was revealed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that the large corporate U.S. financial institution Bank of America filed for nine new blockchain patents. The bank has been very headstrong towards distributed ledger technology by doing lots of research and development and applying for over 30 blockchain-based patents. The company is capturing quite a bit of industry secrets from behind the scenes and has partnered with Microsoft to research distributed ledger tech in the trade finance sector. The pilot aims to facilitate bank-to-bank (B2B) like transactions between two parties with no third party interference.
The Mining Pool Bitfury Processes a Segwit Block Larger Than 1MB
On August 25 bitcoiners got an unexpected surprise as the mining pool Bitfury mined a Segwit block larger than 1MB. Block 481947 was approximately 1.32MB in size and was the first large Segwit style block mined on the Bitcoin network. Bitrefill developer, Justin Camarena, created the Segwit transactions to enter the block, and announced his excitement over Twitter that day. Camarena explains that if more bitcoin-based businesses moved funds using Segwit “we’d get the ball rolling.” Essentially the ‘ball rolling’ would be lessening the current transaction fee market and make throughput faster for bitcoiners as explained above.
Overall the bitcoin community seems very optimistic this week across social media and bitcoin-centric forums. Lots of people are excited about Segregated Witness and the upcoming possibilities with the Lightning Network. However, in three months, the second part of the New York Agreement otherwise known as Segwit2x will take place in November. This entails forking the network to increase the block size by 2MB, but this part of the NYA compromise doesn't seem to off to a good start. Core developers although happy with the activation of Segwit, want nothing to do with a 2MB hard fork. Coinmama will be following these events closely and keeping a keen ear on the crypto-circuit. We are very passionate about this industry, and we want to keep our readers informed every step of the way!
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.