Welcome to the Gold Stock Bull weekly cryptocurrency review. There were plenty of major happenings in the crypto world this week, so let’s dive in…
This week it was announced by the Unicode Consortium, that the 10.0 version of the Unicode Standard will include a Bitcoin symbol.
According to an article in The Verge online magazine, the timely addition won’t appear as a traditional bubble-like emoji, but rather a regular Unicode character, the currency’s B-like symbol. It said, “Unicode 10.0 is dropping today, though the long delay for Bitcoin’s arrival — it’s been around for almost a decade now — could be due to the process for proposing new emoji and icons to the Unicode Standard.”
Bitcoin Startup Blockchain Raises a $40 Million Series B Funding Round
Bitcoin wallet software provider Blockchain has raised $40m in Series B funding from high-profile investors including Digital Currency Group, GV, Lakestar, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mosaic Venture Partners, Nokota Management, Prudence Holdings and Virgin. Even Billionaire investor Richard Branson participated in the round.
The funding comes off the heels of tremendous growth in the price of Bitcoin. It is the largest Series B raised so far in this year.
According to company documents, Blockchain plans to use the investment to focus in on Europe’s financial technology industry. Blockchain offers a bitcoin wallet service and hasn’t released a new product in some time.
Bitcoin to Be Officially Legal in India
Photo from Cointelegraph
According to an article in Cointelegraph, CNBC India has revealed that the Indian government committee has ruled in favor of regulating Bitcoin. The online magazine also recently reported that the Inter-Disciplinary Committee within India’s Ministry of Finance was actively investigating the legal status of Bitcoin and considering the possibility of regulating the market.
Over the past several years, the big three Indian Bitcoin exchanges including Zebpay, Coinsecure and Unocoin operated as self-regulated trading platforms with strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering systems in place.
In opposition to the negative attitudes of several politicians, the Indian government plans to regulate the market and provide an even playing field for Bitcoin exchanges, which allocated a significant amount of resources to standardize the market and industry.
The legalization of Bitcoin in India is expected to further increase trading volumes across exchanges globally.
Ether Prices Plunged to $13 in GDAX Exchange Flash Crash
Coinbase-owned GDAX Exchange
This week the price of ether plummeted to $13 on cryptocurrency exchange GDAX, causing a slight panic among investors. The rebound happened quickly after the steep decline, which happened at roughly 20:30 UTC. The crash had an outsized effect, for a small time, on the market for Ether. Overall, the value of Ether fell to this price after trading at as much as $365.79 earlier in the session, according to GDAX data.
To clear up confusion, Coinbase, the US-based operator of the exchange, disabled trading of the ETH/USD pair and block withdrawals of ether.
The Ethereum network has been struggling to cope with the demands of its rising use due to the increase in ICO activity. According to Coindesk, the network recently hit an all-time record in transactions in one day, on June 20th with over 300,000.
Ether and Bitcoin Price Action in Past Week
Both Ether and Bitcoin finished up on the week, despite high volatility and lots more excitement. Ethereum has had recent issues, albeit good problems to have, with ICO activity slowing down the network.
Bitcoin on the other hand, has been stuck in a trading range between $2,400 and $3,000 in anticipation of an upcoming fork. Debates continue to rage on about BIP 148 and UASF (User Activated Soft Fork). According to http://www.uasf.co/:
“UASF stands for User Activated Soft Fork. It’s a mechanism where the activation time of a soft fork occurs on a specified date enforced by full nodes, a concept sometimes referred to as the economic majority. A UASF requires a lot of industry support and coordination, which is good practice for eventual hard forks which requires even more industry coordination.”
Scaling the Bitcoin network has been a long and tedious process that has been going on for a couple years now, and will take even more time to flesh out the details since so many stake-holders are involved
Status Raises $64 Million with ICO, as Would-be Buyers Left in the Dust
Status, an Ethereum-based messaging app, held an initial coin offering (ICO) on June 20th, drawing in more than $50m worth of the cryptocurrency ether. However, just like several recent ICOs, demand far outpaced the supply. There were many complaints from would-be investors as the team behind Status raised 182,000 ETH – an amount worth roughly $65 Million in ether at the then current market prices.
The sale ran into issues when users began sending transactions to the announced smart contract address before it began. The backlog accelerated as more users tried to purchase tokens, which triggered reports of failed transactions. However, this isn’t the only ICO to have issues with the Ethereum network slowing down.
Many services such as MyEtherWallet saw a big uptick in activity, since they operate an easy to use web-based Ethereum wallet.
Civic Raised $33 million ICO for Decentralized Identity Platform
Decentralized identity startup Civic has already raised all of its $33 million ICO target after the sale was bombarded with investors over a three day period.
The ICO kicked-off on Tuesday, when organizers opted to ration available tokens to ensure what CEO Vinny Lingham described as a “very wide distribution.”
Just as with the Satus ICO, the Ethereum network grinder to almost a complete halt. The congestion was so bad that the ICO had to be paused several times, as transactions struggled to get through in the time window provided to each investor via Civic’s queuing system.
The ICO continued into Thursday when it was closed at round 2:15pm PDT with a message to potential investors waiting in line, thanking them for their support.
Upcoming ICO Activity
Hedge Fund Numerai announced the release of its Blockchain Token, but without an ICO. In a model
announced this week, Numerai has released 1.2 million ‘numeraire’ tokens. It will be a a cryptocurrency allocated to the distributed network of 19,000 data scientists that contribute work and help improve the calculations it uses to make real bets on the stock market.
Meanwhile, messing app Kik wants to succeed where Facebook failed with its upcoming ICO offering. If the ICO happens, it would be the first mainstream social network to feature cryptocurrency as a core component of its services.
The Kik CEO and co-founder Ted Livingston initiated a 2.5-year experiment, called Kik Points, to learn if his social media followers would transact where so many others proved unwilling. He said, “If we can make this work, we can build one of the largest, most adopted cryptocurrencies in the world, just by integrating this into Kik, and putting Kik Points on the blockchain.”
Gold Stock Bull first alerted subscribers to the potential of bitcoin when it was around $100 and ethereum when it was around $10. The price of bitcoin has since gone up by a factor of 27X for a return of 2,600%! The price of ethereum has rocketed 40X higher this year alone, for a gain of nearly 4,000%! We believe there is still plenty of upside ahead.
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