Central Bank Cryptos, Vitalik Trolls and Hard Forks: This week in Crypto

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Make sure you check out last weeks post here, now let’s go over what happened in crypto this week. 

Price Watch:

  • Bitcoin is up 3%  this week gaining back some of the 20% it lost last week. The price was largely sideways this week retesting $7,000 and $7,350 before coming back down to $6,980 and failing to hold the $7,000 level. The price was as low $6,500 this week. as Despite this sideways movement, Bitcoins dominance has been steadily climbing from it’s low in January. Analysts are optimistic citing the end of tax season in the US and increasing institutional adoption.
  • Ethereum is up 3% this week after several weeks of double-digit drops from it’s high of almost $1,500. The currency has been consistently sideways despite its increased adoption. Ethereum has continued its trend of closely correlated movements with Bitcoin that was discussed last week.
  • The entire crypto market stayed flat this week despite hitting a high of $280 billion this week and dropping below $250 billion. The bulls have pointed to this as a breakout consolidation pattern.

Exchanges and Payments:

  • Coinbase has announced it will support the withdrawal of Bitcoin Forks this week. While the most prominent of the forks, Bitcoin Cash, has been fully supported for months, the exchange plans to add other forks such as Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin Diamond. While the company made it clear that these coins will not (yet) be tradable this opens up the possibility in the future. This comes after an announcement of its intention to support ERC20 Tokens in some of its subsidiaries.
  • Coinbase also announced the creation of Coinbase Ventures, a new venture capital fund. The fund will start with $15 million and will continue to grow. Coinbase has made it very clear that the fund will invest exclusively in companies behind crypto assets and not crypto assets themselves. The goal is to “line up tokens that we would put on our exchange” says Coinbase COO Asiff Hirji.
  • Banking Partnerships: South Korea’s second-largest bank announced a partnership with Ethereum based banking and payments platform OmiseGo. This comes in stark contrast to Kookmin, Korea’s largest bank which has repeatedly denied financial services to cryptocurrency startups after coming under regulatory scrutiny earlier this year. The announcement comes in the same week that a dozen people were arrested in the country in connection with an illegal mining operation.
  • Robinhood launched commission free crypto trading this week. While the launch is limited to just four states and restricted to Bitcoin and Ethereum the launch is part of a much broader “gradual rollout”. Robinhood’s launch is expected to have broad implications for both Coinbase and GDAX luring away rare millennial investment dollars.

Adoption:

  • 14% of Young Japanese Male Professionals Own Cryptocurrency says a study out of the new R25 Research Institute. This is the latest in a long line of research reports on cryptos growing dominance in Asia.
  • SEC coming around on ETFs: The SEC has initiated formal proceedings to determine whether or not a Bitcoin ETF will be allowed. The move comes after CBOE president Chris Concannon wrote a letter to the SEC asking them to reconsider a decision on how proposals would be considered. The move has broad implications as if ETFs are introduced, Gemini’s importance to crypto markets will likely be reduced. The move is also likely to make institutional investors reconsider their positions on crypto.

Governments:

  • India’s central bank has banned cryptocurrency purchases this week. While the bank has repeatedly cautioned customers on the dangers of cryptocurrencies, this marks the first official enforced policy. The banks previous policies had already resulted in a 90% drop in Indian trading volume.
  • Japan reveals it considers trying cryptocurrencies “important” in a statement during a q&a last week. The statement comes in one of the worlds largest economies. Some have wondered whether or not Japan will introduce a digital currency in 2018.
  • Iran has proposed blocking Telegram in light of its recent ICO. Politicians have raised concerns about money laundering in the country. This comes as the country has announced it will be creating its own cryptocurrency to get around sanctions.

Other news:

  • Monero developers hard fork, miners don’tMonero activated its semi-annual hard fork on Friday to the much-unexpected argument from the crypto community. The upgrade resulted in the creation of a new cryptocurrency XMC (Monero Classic). The group has even claimed 80% of Monero hashing power has chosen to stay with XMC over the new fork.
  • Bitcoin Cash has announced a hard fork taking place sometime this may. The fork includes a quadrupling of the block size to 32mb and Op code changes that allow for “Ethereum-like characteristics”. The fork hopes to achieve “Paypal-like” scalability.
  • Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik has gone on a Trolling Spree this week. First, he responded to a tweet comparing Ethereum and Tron alleging that Tron plagiarized its whitepaper. He then took aim at universally hated Craig Wright calling him a “fraud” on video. Wright has been the target of other crusades against him in recent weeks including a $10 billion lawsuit from his Bitcoin “co-creator”. He went on to submit a “meta-joke” proposal on April fools day to limit Ether supply. This lead to hundreds of comments discussing whether or not the proposal was a joke.

Featured image from Flickr.

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