This Week in Crypto: Never-Ending Bitcoin Cash Drama & a[nother] Blockchain Phone
The Bitcoin price grabbed the headlines this week, once again plunging to a new yearly low and placing the crypto market on the brink of sinking below the $100 billion level for the first time in 2018. However, there was much more than price action afoot, and, per the usual, much of it involved drama in the Bitcoin Cash camp.
Lawsuit Takes Aim at Bitcoin Cash Backers
Another week, another lawsuit.
This week saw the launch of a groundbreaking lawsuit against the proprietors of Bitmain and Bitcoin.com, Jihan Wu and Roger Ver, both in personal name and business name, as well as the Kraken exchange. A lesser-known blockchain company which entered the space about a year ago believes that Roger Ver and the others named in the suit actively worked to centralize the Bitcoin Cash network during the hard fork that happened at the end of last month, and as such are responsible for damages done to their business. The company, UnitedCorp, primarily services miners with efficiency equipment. A follow-up story from CCN’s P. H. Madore is expected.
Obviously, on the other side of the fork, sentiments have been less than enthusiastic:
After being sore losers, Calvin & Craig are now trying to manipulate the cryptocurrency community with threats and lawsuits. Guys, you probably picked the worst target in the world for that. There won’t be enough popcorn available to watch this go down. https://t.co/jpRh1ZQ6QL
— Olivier Janssens (@olivierjanss) December 8, 2018
Bitcoin SV Rising and Terabyting
Bitcoin SV briefly overtook Bitcoin Cash in terms of price and thus market capitalization during the week, though it quickly faltered as the market did several times overall. Such rubber band movement is often seen in markets when people are waiting to dump. Too much good can be followed by a truckload of bad, but the price of Bitcoin SV seems to have stabilized about $10 behind Bitcoin Cash ABC by the end of the workweek. Crypto trades 24/7, though, and at time of current writing Bitcoin SV was 60 cents ahead (again taking a marginal lead.)
In other Bitcoin SV news, which if early indicators are any sign, there will be plenty of as we move forward, Craig Wright seems to firmly believe that blocks will regularly clock in at 1TB. He confirmed this belief with a mining profitability prediction much later in the week on Twitter.
All this while Bitcoin SV is one of the least profitable-to-mine of the Bitcoin forks.
In the next 2 years, BSV miners will earn because of fees, as a commodity ledger.
Not market speculation.
12,000 USD a block in fees plus
Then 10x that
In time, a block will be 500k USD in fees alone
— Dr Craig S Wright (@ProfFaustus) December 7, 2018
Bitcoin Cash Developer Strikes to the Heart of Fork Debate
One of our more popular and not-to-miss articles of the past week was our coverage of Bitcoin Cash developer _unwriter’s proclamations as regards the health of the Bitcoin ABC community and ecosystem. This reporter wrote:
“The anonymous contributor comes across as sincere and dedicated to his single-minded cause. He begins the article by stating that he has never met any developers in person and thereby never been influenced by anyone. He simply wants to “build what Bitcoin needs” and be judged “on what he builds.”
_unwriter’s sentiments seem to have come presciently just before the Bitcoin SV price overtook that of Bitcoin ABC, and at least one major lawsuit was launched.
Beijing Says No to Security Tokens
Beijing authorities have roundly declared that security tokens and their offering in the capital city of the country with 1 billion plus people is not going to be tolerated. CCN’s Conor Maloney wrote:
“While Chinese authorities are retaining their hard stance on crypto-fundraising, other governments are more open to STO fundraising, leading to many blockchain forms to abandon the somewhat disgraced ICO method for its legally compliant relative. With major companies like Indiegogo hosting STOs, the method is perhaps destined for more longevity than the ICO approach, which was fraught with disaster through scams, failed projects, and bad press.”
Facebook Wants in on Blockchain
Speculation arose this week that Facebook is probably working on the future’s most used blockchain application. Frequent Bitcoin commentator and professional financial analyst Anthony Pompliano was quoted as saying, “I bet Facebook builds the most used product in crypto.”
CCN journalist David Hundeyin wrote:
“In the interim, Facebook has continued recruiting blockchain developers to join its growing blockchain team. Facebook blockchain division head David Marcus recently resigned from his position on the board of directors at Coinbase, citing a new conflict of interest, fueling speculation that the company is indeed planning to launch a cryptocurrency project, which would be unprecedented in terms of the potential scale offered by access to Facebook’s 2 billion+ users. Others, however, believe that Facebook is merely joining the Silicon Valley bandwagon and does not really have any kind of well defined or workable crypto implementation blueprint to build on.”
HTC Launches FINNEY Competitor
The era of blockchain mobile is upon us. Last week, CCN dispatched our assistant editor Josiah Wilmoth to Spain for the launch of the FINNEY phone, and this week HTC unveiled its competitor phone, the Exodus.
From our reporting:
“From a visual standpoint, the Exodus 1 is at first glance much sleeker than the FINNEY, though — unlike the Sirin Labs device — it does not appear to feature a true cold storage wallet. Instead, the Exodus 1 stores private keys in a secure enclave called Zion, which isolates them from the remainder of the operating system. While perhaps less secure than cold storage, it is a significant step up from the software wallets — whether custodial or non-custodial — where most mobile users currently store their cryptocurrency funds.”
Arise Bank CEO Arrested
CCN dug a bit more into the story of Jared Rice, the CEO of Arise Bank who was earlier this year charged with fraud for bilking investors in his Arise series of blockchain products and spending the money on his own lavish lifestyle and personal problems, and found that he had a history of fraud as well as domestic violence.
Bitcoin Trader Accosted in Gruesome Crime
A Bitcoin trader in South Africa found out the lengths that greed will drive people after he was drugged, kidnapped, and beaten severely. From CCN’s Jimmy Aki:
“He is reported to have gone into the undisclosed residence at about 1 pm to conduct the presentation to an audience of six individuals. According to him, one of these people snuck up on him from behind and stuffed a cloth in his face — presumed to be soaked with a sleeping drug that made him unconscious. Later, having recovered from the influence of the drug, he woke up in a completely different residence. Here, he was surrounded by five people — two women and three men.”
Negative Prices Breed Negativity
A few anti-Bitcoin voices emerged with some degree of clarity as the market continued to struggle over the course of the week. Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister of Israel, called it a Ponzi scheme. A former blockchain analyst has grown disillusioned with blockchain technology, while a finance professor said Bitcoin has entered a death spiral.
On the Ethereum front, billionaire investor Joseph Lubin said the price is not of great concern because adoption is growing.
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