Bitcoin Network Loses Nodes and Difficulty, Militants Use Crypto In Struggle to Secede, NYU Professor Goes Off The Rails, and More: Last Week In Crypto
Bitcoin Price Recovery Alongside Network Changes
The Bitcoin price came back from the brink this week, reaching nearly $4,000 by Sunday. Analysts were at times throughout the week worried that it would lose support around $3,400 and then drop beneath $3,000, but this hasn’t happened.
At the same time, however, two important Bitcoin network metrics saw reduced performance over the week. For one thing, mining difficulty – which signifies the number of miners on the network – dropped by 7% during the week. David Hundeyin explained:
In the light of the bitcoin blockchain’s reduced hashrate caused by withdrawing miners, the network is designed to automatically adjust the difficulty level in order to avoid a situation where there is a huge transaction confirmation backlog and high confirmation fees. The 7 percent drop in difficulty is likely to be the start of a similar difficulty readjustment pattern as bitcoin below $6,000 increasingly becomes a prolonged reality.
The number of reachable Bitcoin nodes also dropped, meaning that a number of people have shut off their full nodes. This number is harder to discern, as not all full nodes are mining nodes, but certainly the miners no longer mining are represented in this figure. As CCN writer David Hundeyin wrote:
A falling number of reachable nodes could theoretically lead to increased centralization of the network if fewer and fewer entities control the remaining full nodes. Overtime if unchecked, this could at least on paper lead to 51 percent attacks and the nightmare scenario of double spends which would destroy the credibility of bitcoin. While this is obviously very far from happening and realistically not very likely, it does illustrate the impact of the continued bear market on the bitcoin blockchain.
Survey Shows 3% of Americans Ready for Blockchain Banking
A survey conducted by an ICO-funded blockchain banking solution found that 3% of American Internet users are ready to use blockchain banking. Over a third of those surveyed would be willing to try blockchain banking solutions if they felt they were ready, which they did not at the time of the survey (early December). More than 60% of those polled (over 3,000 people) were not interested in blockchain banking at all, not seeing any value in it.
Elsewhere, a poll by the Bank of England showed users preferred cryptocurrencies in remittances.
Six New Bitcoin ATMs Installed Every Day in 2018
CCN’s Alan Wass noticed that an average of six new Bitcoin ATMs were installed every day in 2018:
One of the most startling figures to come from the Data Light statistics is that six cryptocurrency ATM machines were installed per day on average in 2018. One of the main ingredients of wider crypto integration and adoption is the availability of crypto for the masses, and that is exactly what the increase in ATMs shows.
Ambazonian Secessionists Give Exclusive Interview to CCN
CCN’s David Hundeyin obtained an exclusive interview with Cameroonian militants who are attempting to establish their own country called Ambazonia. Chris Anu, the militant movement’s Secretary of State for Communications and IT, said:
Cryptocurrency is freedom! It takes away control from centralized power and gives the power to the people and the private sector. It is independent of the control of a centralized government structure. Cryptocurrency is the next logical step in the evolution of fiat currency!
NYU Professor Nouriel Roubini Throws Twitter Tantrum
Nouriel Roubin, an economics professor at New York University, decided to go on a multi-tweet rampage on the subject of cryptocurrencies, of which he is a major critic. The professor frequently blocks anyone who disagrees with him on Twitter, including CCN writer Samantha Chang, who authored some coverage of the tweet-storm.
Global Regulatory Push
Multiple jurisdictions had news on the regulatory front this week. Also, former presidential candidate Ron Paul finally embraced Bitcoin and said the US should switch to it from debt-backed fiat.
- US lawmakers expressed contempt for SEC chair over crypto regulations.
- Israel asked for public input on crypto regulations.
- British Revenue & Customs published tax guidelines for cryptocurrency users and traders.
- The Australian tax office published another warning in regards to declaring cryptocurrencies on tax forms.
Brian Armstrong Commits Most of His Wealth to Charity
Coinbase CEO and crypto billionaire Brian Armstrong has publicly announced that the majority of his wealth will be donated to charity over the course of his lifetime. Armstrong said:
This year, I started my first philanthropic effort, GiveCrypto.org, which makes direct cash transfers to people living in poverty. I’m excited about the potential for this organization to help people, but I’m still early on my journey of discovering how to have the most impact via philanthropy.
Bithumb Accused of Faking Volume
CCN received and reported on a detailed study regarding South Korean Bitcoin exchange Bithumb, which is alleged to have faked volume consistently over the course of 2018. Faking volume is an increasingly common allegation as regards crypto exchanges, but in the case of Bithumb, the researchers went to great lengths to justify their claims.
Upbit Denies Fraud Allegations
Fraud charges have been filed against South Korean excahnge Upbit, but they are denying all allegations. As CCN’s Mark Emem wrote:
According to the Financial Services Commission of South Korea, Upbit’s senior executives used a bot to manipulate the data processing system which consequently inflated the trading volumes. Additionally, it has also been alleged that underperforming coins on the cryptocurrency exchange were targeted and this was with the goal of assisting the platform and the issuer to save face by making it appear more popular and enjoying high demand than was really the case.
90% of All Monero Has Been Mined
Over 90% of the fixed supply of Monero has been mined, meaning that only 10% of the mining reward remains. Monero has a “long-tail emissions” policy in which every block after the mining has finished will yield a smaller amount of XMR than the mining rewards did. CCN’s Yashu Gola reported:
Per data available at MoneroBlocks.info, a Monero blockchain explorer, the privacy-enabled cryptocurrency have emitted close 16.6 million XMR. As the emission forms parity with the total supply, the Monero project will switch to a new supply program, dubbed as tail emission. The project’s earlier announcements indicate that miners will obtain a consistent mining reward of 0.6 XMR per block that would likely maintain the overall security and integrity of Monero blockchain.
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