The digital asset bitcoin is steadily becoming a well-known hedge against the crumbling economies worldwide. This past week has been quite eventful as news from China has shaken up markets and bitcoin celebrated its eighth anniversary of the first transaction. On January 12th a few days after the bitcoin protocol was released to the public Satoshi Nakamoto sent the first blockchain recorded transaction to Hal Finney. The bitcoin network has come a long way since these early days and continues to disrupt the traditional financial system regularly.
Coinmama’s Week in Review
The Peoples Bank of China Inspects the Top Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges
China’s central bank performed a week-long inspection with Chinese exchanges Huobi, OKcoin, and BTCC last week. The news shook up the trading markets with the price dropping 20 percent following the announcement. BTCC explained to the public there was nothing to worry about and people should use “rationale” when reading certain headlines. Not much significantly changed after the inspection but there was policy changes to the exchanges margin lending practices. BTCC and Huobi ceased offering margin lending and OKcoin changed their limits.
Germany’s Public Broadcasting Network Features Bitcoin
Last week one of Germany’s biggest public access channels aired an episode concerning the bitcoin network. The news reporter gave the television audience and in-depth description of what bitcoin is and visited members of the industry. The television channel Das Erste visited Genesis Mining’s Iceland facility and also traveled to the Cryptoanarchy Institute in Paralelní Polis. The mainstream media station located in Germany shed a positive light on cryptocurrency and even referred to the decentralized asset as “digital gold.”
Israel Defines Bitcoin as Property
Israel's government has decided to set regulatory rules concerning capital gains with bitcoin and defining the digital asset as a property. The Israel Tax Authority (ITA) released a public notice detailing that bitcoin would be an asset rather than treated like a currency. The Israel tax agency explains, “bitcoins will be considered in accordance with the Income Tax Ordinance as assets and their sale will be taxed as a sale of 'property' and income from their sale will be classified as capital.” The newly defined virtual currency policy by the ITA is a turning point in regards to legality within the country.
The ‘Big Four’ Firm Deloitte is Creating a Blockchain Lab in New York
Just recently the accounting corporation has announced the creation of a new blockchain research facility in New York. The lab will be located near Wall Street and the lab will consist of roughly 20 blockchain experts aiming to consult Deloitte’s customer base. Deloitte principal Eric Piscini detailed that blockchain will transform the financial sector and the lab will be very focused on “implementing solutions.” Deloitte has been heavily vested in blockchain technology for quite some time and continues to bolster this technology.
The Lightning Network Alpha Release is Here
Developers from Lightning Labs have released an early test version of the Lightning Network for developer experimentation. The recently launched daemon will allow testers to perform instantaneous transactions via the bitcoin testnet. Lightning’s v0.1-alpha release is open source and its code can be found on Github. Developers state, “We look forward to engaging new developers as they tinker with ‘lnd’ to create novel Layer-2 applications on top of the Lightning Network.” Furthermore, bitcoin community members are already testing the alpha version of the Lightning protocol.
Japanese Bitcoin Volumes Are Exploding
According to reports Japan has outperformed the U.S. in bitcoin trading volume. Bitcoin trade volume in Japan is now right behind China as the second-largest bitcoin trading region. Furthermore, employees of the largest bitcoin exchanges in Japan say they are experiencing record volumes and a significant amount of new registrants. The country is experiencing an explosion of new adoption and bitcoin popularity continues to grow exponentially within the country. There's a good chance Japan could go head to head with the volumes in China and become a stiff competitor.
The second week of 2017 has kept bitcoin enthusiast on their toes with many new headlines and bitcoin’s price value has bounced back into an upward trend. News continues to be positive and many speculate the bitcoin price will continue to rise over the course of the year. Some firms believe the price will rise to higher levels when bitcoin ETF’s are established but currently, the two ETFs are being delayed until March by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Coinmama will be sure to keep our readers informed of the latest headline within the bitcoin and cryptocurrency space.
Stay tuned next week as Coinmama reviews the hottest most trending movements within the cryptocurrency circuit.