On Sunday, October 15, the price of bitcoin hit a new all-time high of over $5,850 as bitcoin buyers are unfazed by the risks stemming from the upcoming hard fork.
Bitcoin rallied by over 27 percent in the last seven days, demonstrating its resilience against opinions about the digital currency’s potential bubble status as well as the regulatory restrictions on cryptocurrency trading and issuance in China and other jurisdictions. Not even fresh comments by bitcoin bashing JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon could do anything to disrupt bitcoin surge to new highs this week.
With the new all-time high, bitcoin has also reached a new peak in market capitalization of over $95 billion and, thereby, surpassing the value of investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
The rise in bitcoin’s value has also cemented its position as the number one digital currency in the market, and its dominance is at over 54 percent at the time of writing. Due to bitcoin’s clear first mover advantage and growing global brand awareness, it is unlikely for “the flippening” to happen anytime soon.
Altcoins such as ether (ETH), litecoin (LTC), and monero (XMR) also received a boost. The remainder of the altcoin market moved largely sideways and did not benefit from bitcoin’s sudden surge.
This week’s review is compiled from contributions by Christoph Bergmann, Joseph Young, and Samuel Town.
The Russian Central Bank has recently indicated that it is currently considering launching a national cryptocurrency following First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov’s support for introducing a “Crypto-ruble.”
Olga Skorobogatova, deputy chief of the Bank of Russia, has recently made statements at a press conference for the Finopolis Forum of Innovative Financial Technologies in favor of creating a Russian national cryptocurrency. In the announcement, Skorobogatova indicated that “the creation of a national cryptocurrency stimulates the growth of non-cash payments and electronic payments, including, possibly, cross-border payments.”
Skorobogatova’s statements echo her earlier comments at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June this year, in which she remarked that Russia desires to “jointly test blockchain for cooperating with EU countries on the projects we’re going to start this year.”
As the first exchange to address SegWit2x, Bitfinex explained how it would deal with the upcoming hard fork; legacy Bitcoin will keep the ticker symbol BTC while the SegWit2x coin will get the symbol B2X. At the same time, Bitfinex launched the trading futures for the two bitcoins which might be a product of the fork.
Bitfinex feels obliged to maintain the trading 24/7. The exchange can’t afford to halt trading and wait until it is clear which chain is the winner of the fork. So it will list the fork as a new asset. The existent bitcoin – Bitfinex calls it “incumbent” – will furthermore be listed with the ticker symbol BTC, while the new Bitcoin – SegWit2x – will get the symbol B2X. This will even be the case when B2X has more hash power.
Bitfinex says this will be done for pure pragmatical reasons. Politics don’t play any role in this decision. This might be true, or it might not be true. But it doesn’t eliminate the massive and far-reaching political implications of the decision; by giving SegWit the BTC symbol, Bitfinex will treat SegWit2x, the coin which has the support of more than 90 percent of the miners, as an altcoin.
Air France KLM, the holding company of one of the largest airlines in the world, is set to test blockchain technology and decentralized applications to automate its aviation supply chain.
At a webinar participated by Microsoft and software company Ramco Aviation, Air France KLM business unit director of innovation James Kornberg revealed the company’s plans to investigate the potential of blockchain technology and the use cases of the decentralized technology in sustaining aviation supply chains.
Kornberg emphasized the use cases of blockchain technology must be realistic enough for the company to pursue the phases of implementation and commercialization. He noted that in the upcoming months, the Air France innovation department would focus on testing the four advantages of blockchain technology in resilience, traceability, integrity, and disintermediation.
Earlier this week, in an analytical column entitled “How SegWit2x Replay Protection Works,” Bitcoin developer and Paxos principal architect revealed the motive behind the development team of SegWit2x to integrate opt-in replay protection rather than strong two-way replay protection as the Bitcoin Cash development did in July.
In his analysis, Song noted that replay protection prevents attackers from creating duplicate transactions on a new blockchain network that is created upon the occurrence of a hard fork. For instance, if the fork to a 2MB block size occurs without replay protection, hackers will be able to take public transactions between two wallets processed on the Bitcoin blockchain and create identical transactions on the SegWit2x blockchain.
Song explained: “Opt-in replay protection means that transactions from chain X need to do something special to be invalid on chain Y. That is, by default, transactions are exposed to replay attacks, but if you manipulate your transaction in a certain way, the transaction won’t be valid on chain Y. Opt-in replay protection is more like a door you have to remember to lock, because otherwise the transaction may escape chain X and get into chain Y.”
Ahead of its November hard fork, developers behind SegWit2x led by former Bitcoin Core developer Jeff Garzik have implemented opt-in replay protection instead of strong two-way replay protection, which Bitcoin Cash executed prior to its fork.