Happy Sunday, and welcome back to another Bitcoin News in Review, where we feature some of the top stories of the week here on CryptoCoins News. This week (9 November - 16 November), we saw a significant (and unexpected) rise in the bitcoin price, Mozilla took a huge stand for internet privacy, Counterparty cloned the Ethereum project (and got cloned back), and more. Keep scrolling for this week's biggest news.
Is this Gentlemen?
This week, the bitcoin price saw a high of ~$450 USD, and at the time of this writing, is currently at $382 USD. This was a fairly significant jump before the price dropped again. However, the current price is still higher than what it was last week. Our latest bitcoin price analysis expects the price to continue to rise to a target of near $500. Interestingly, former Global Macro Investor Group manager Raoul Pal thinks the price could eventually reach $100,000, or even $1,000,000. We'll let you decide how realistic that seems.
Mozilla Announces Polaris Privacy Initiative
Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, recently partnered with Tor to announce "Polaris", a new strategic initiative to strengthen internet privacy. Right now, Mozilla is working on two experiments as a part of Polaris that are focused on anti-censorship, anonymity, and cross-site tracking prevention. Mozilla also plans to host several Tor middle relays to strengthen the Tor network.
“We are honored to be working alongside Mozilla as well as the Center for Democracy & Technology to give Firefox users more options to protect their privacy,” the Tor Project said. “We believe that the Tor Browser is one of the best ways to protect privacy on the web and this partnership is a huge step in advancing people’s right to freedom of expression online.”
Some (such as the FBI and NSA) have argued that total online anonymity and privacy helps terrorists. However, does the potential for thwarting a terrorist really warrant compromising the privacy of millions of innocent internet users?
Counterparty Clones Ethereum Project
In what is being seen as a highly controversial move, Counterparty developers successfully ported the Ethereum project over to their own platform, essentially cloning Ethereum's decentralised application platform. According to Counterparty lead developer Adam Krellenstein,
“The Counterparty platform has always had a number of basic smart contracts hard‐coded into its software, but up till now, the addition of new features has required manual intervention from the Counterparty team. With this new development, users can write their own smart contracts, or use those from the Ethereum ecosystem, and run them on Bitcoin’s blockchain, by far the most established and secure of all.”
Several European Countries Rule Bitcoin Services as VAT Exempt
Good news for Bitcoin users in Finland. The Finnish Central Board of taxes recently declared that bitcoin exchanges in Finland were providing "banking services," and were, therefore, VAT exempt. Belgium has also declared that domestic digital currency transactions are VAT exempt. The UK's HMRC has exempted VAT on fees charged on bitcoin trading, but not on goods and services. However, some European countries such as Poland has not been as bitcoin-friendly. Poland currently charges a 23% tax on bitcoin trades. Bitcoin's legality and tax status are hotly debated and still in a grey area in some countries. How governments regulate (or at least, attempt to regulate) bitcoin is still an issue for bitcoin adoption.
"This is Gentlemen" image from unknown reddit user. Other images from Shutterstock.