At the time of writing, one Bitcoin is $2250 per BTC and Ethereum is roughly around $175 per ETH. Both markets seem to be consolidating and moving rather stable as traders are trying to figure out the market's next move. Moreover, both cryptocurrencies prices appear to be somewhat tethered as they are both following similar patterns during the price swings. Furthermore, both communities had a pretty eventful week as Coindesk’s Consensus 2017 was filled with significant announcements from both camps.
Coinmama’s Weekly Roundup
A Possible Bitcoin Scaling Compromise
On May 23 the Digital Currency Group (DCG) announced a scaling compromise and letter of intent backed by 56 Bitcoin-centric businesses and 83.28% of the network’s hash power. “We agree to immediately support the following parallel upgrades to the bitcoin protocol, which will be deployed simultaneously and based on the original Segwit-2Mb proposal,” details DCG’s post via the Medium blog. Companies who signed the agreement include BTCC, Bitcoin.com, Bitpay, Jaxx, Bitmain, Gavin Andresen, and many others. Additionally, the announcement states that these organizations constitute for “5.1 billion USD monthly on chain transaction volume and 20.5 million bitcoin wallets within the economy.”
Japan May See 100,000 Merchants Accept Bitcoin Soon
Last week the company Bitpoint Japan Co announced their recent partnership with Peach Aviation which means the airline will now accept bitcoin for flights. Following the announcement, the firm revealed they are working on bitcoin integration for “hundreds of thousands of Japanese retail outlets.” In addition to these announcements, Bitpoint has also stated they are working on installing bitcoin ATMs throughout the region as well so residents can purchase the cryptocurrency more easily.
Russia Could Legalize Bitcoin in the Near Future
According to reports the Russian financial institution, Sberbank, wants virtual currencies to be considered a legal form of payment for circulation. The head of Sberbank, German Gref, believes if Russia does not adopt cryptocurrencies the country will fall behind in both technological and financial markets. ‘Attempts to introduce bans will only lead to the loss of existing competitors,’ explains Gref. Russian leaders and central bankers within the region are starting to show a more friendlier attitude towards bitcoin in contrast to their statements just a few years ago. Currently, there is a pretty gray area in regards to the legality of bitcoin in Russia, but it seems this may change in the near future. Furthermore, the central bank of Russia is proposing to classify bitcoin as a digital good in order to apply the necessary tax requirements for residents.
Korea Bitcoin Trade Volumes Grow Exponentially
Last week while bitcoin exchanges located in the Western Hemisphere came awfully close to reaching $3K per BTC, Korean markets were trading bitcoins at $4000+ per BTC. The country is now the fifth largest by bitcoin trade volume and demand in the area has been overwhelming according to traders. Even after the price drop on May 25 the top three Korean bitcoin trading platforms are still $500 higher than the global average at the time of writing. South Korea’s central bank and political leaders seem to be pretty open to cryptocurrency solutions and fintech in general within the country.
One of the Largest Financial Institutions in the U.S. Shows a Passion for Bitcoin
During Coindesk’s Consensus 2017 conference the CEO of Fidelity Investments Abigail Johnson told the crowd how her bank is getting involved with cryptocurrency. Customers of the bank will soon be able to view their bitcoin investments through the company’s online banking system. Furthermore, Johnson said Fidelity Investments has also been mining the digital currency for research using 21 Inc’s bitcoin computers. "This transformation could complement lots of other innovative areas that we see emerging – including the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence. These platforms shouldn't develop in a vacuum," explained Johnson during her speech.
Smart Contracts Coming to Bitcoin
Another exciting announcement stemming from Consensus 2017 came from the Rootstock (RSK) project which aims to tether smart contracts to the Bitcoin blockchain. RSK Labs detailed the company has raised $3.5 million and has launched the company’s flagship smart contract testnet called ‘Ginger.’ "More than 40 companies are currently testing Ginger, including banks, corporations, and startups from all around the world. But once we open the code to the world, we expect hundreds of companies – and partners – to start testing the platform, which, until now, was closed," Gabriel Kurman, co-founder of RSK detailed.
Even though there was a significant price correction, both Bitcoin and Ethereum markets are still performing quite well. Bitcoin is capturing a large $35 billion dollar market cap while Ethereum commands $16.5 billion. It’s clear that there is a lot of new money and investors coming to the cryptocurrency space and for now the future looks brighter than ever before.
Coinmama’s weekly review is always on a mission to hunt for the latest topics 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.