This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:
Various companies are announcing their position on the SegWit2x hard fork
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Last week, DeepDotWeb covered Bitcoin.org’s plans to denounce SegWit2x supporting companies, who could be putting users at risk. Bitcoin.org’s list has been published, and it includes several well-known companies such as Blockchain.info, Xapo, Jaxx, Coinbase, and Circle. Now, several organizations, including some of those on the list, have started announcing their position on the upcoming hard fork.
One of the first companies to announce its position was Coinbase, who stated that it operates by the principle that its customers should benefit as much as possible from events such as these, and as such would support both blockchains, although it didn’t elaborate on how each will be named.
While Chilean bitcoin exchange SurBTC stated that it would not support the hard fork, but could eventually list both assets on it, bitcoin wallet Xapo stated that it would support the chain with the most difficulty, which led to a lot of criticism from influential figures in the industry, including Monero creator Riccardo Spagni, who sarcastically stated:
I’m starting a new Bitcoin company called Xapo. If this gets enough retweets then I expect @wences to rename his little startup to Xp1.
— Riccardo Spagni (@fluffypony) October 10, 2017
If you’re looking for a guide on the upcoming hard forks, Bitcoin Magazine wrote a great one.
Hong-Kong based exchange Gatecoin to remove ICO tokens deemed “securities”
Hong-Kong based cryptocurrency exchange Gatecoin recently announced it plans to delist tokens deemed securities, according to a blog post that cites a warning from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) that states companies trading or minting cryptocurrencies need to abide by its regulations, if the tokens represent shares, equity, or ownerships rights in the issuing organization.
The exchange is currently determining which tokens it currently lists feature security-like characteristics, and whether the firms issuing them have taken steps to comply with the SFC. Once Gatecoin does this, it will give clients a week to exchange their holdings on tokens that are going to be delisted for Bitcoin or Ether. According to a Gatecoin spokesperson who responded to ETHNews, tokens who qualify but are SFC-compliant will need to provide the exchange with certain licenses. He added that Gatecoin will relist tokens once compliance is verified. Additionally, if clients fail to trade their tokens, Gatecoin will do so on their behalf.
Jamie Dimon says he’s done talking bitcoin, but quickly breaks his promise
Last month, JP Morgan’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, stated that bitcoin was a “fraud,” and that anyone trading the cryptocurrency would be fired because it was both against the rules, and because it was “stupid.” His comments were met with a lot of controversy, so much so that a market abuse compliant was filed against him, and that various other Wall Street titans publicly disagreed with him. This week, he reportedly stated that he isn’t going to talk about bitcoin again, but quickly broke his promise.
Just one day after saying he wouldn’t talk about bitcoin anymore, Jamie Dimon went against bitcoin again, reiterating that blockchain technology is useful, but that to him non-fiat currencies have “no value.” He notably stated that he doesn’t care what bitcoin is trading at, or who is trading it, when confronted with the cryptocurrency’s new all-time high. Dimon added that those “stupid enough to buy it” will pay the price for it one day, as “governments are going to crush it.”
Russia to legalize cryptocurrencies after Putin turns down potential ban on exchanges
This week, Russia’s central bank was reportedly planning on banning cryptocurrency-related websites, in order to protect its citizens and businesses from the volatility they could face if they were to invest. Then, President Putin called a meeting with top Russian regulators to discuss cryptocurrencies and, in it, the decision to officially regulate them was reached. According to Reuters, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov stated that a draft will be ready by the end of the year. Reportedly, Siluanov stated:
- “The president has spoken of the problems related to crypto-currencies. These are difficulties regarding … money laundering and cases that are related to identification issues. That’s why we have agreed that the state should regulate the issuing of crypto-currencies, their mining and turnover. The state should take all this under control.”
Reuters’ report also suggests that Siluanov’s deputy, Alexei Moiseev, stated that Russia’s Federal Tax Service could be involved, as the country will want to collect taxes from cryptocurrency miners.
Swedish government holding a week-long auction of seized bitcoin
According to CoinDesk, a government agency in Sweden dedicated to debt collection, Kronofodgen (Enforcement Authority), will be selling roughly 0.6 BTC, worth over $3,000, through an auction that will last until next Thursday. The debt, according to reports, was assessed against a local company, although the source of the funds isn’t clear. The agency’s operations developer, Johannes Paulson, stated:
- “Assets are not just the car on the driveway or the money [in a] bank account. We live in a digital world, and now we are looking for assets in computers and hard drives as well as in telephones and web services.”
New bill proposes cryptocurrency regulations in Ukraine
A draft of a bill that would completely legalize cryptocurrency transactions in Ukraine has been summited to the country’s parliament. The bill has been drafted by a group of deputies in cooperation with the Ukrainian Blockchain Association, trading platforms, and miners, in order to define bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as legal property that can be exchanged for goods and services. The bill points to the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) as a regulator to the cryptocurrency market, and to the country’s central bank to develop operating procedures. Moreover, it proposes that cryptocurrency owners have the right to pick how they wish to use their cryptocurrencies, according to Bitcoin.com. Local publication Ain.ua news wrote:
- “The document is small and most likely will require further work. Nevertheless, it proposes legislative definitions for the main terms of this market, as well as some rules on which in Ukraine it will be possible to lawfully mine [cryptocurrencies]. The main thing [is that] cryptocurrency is not considered a means of payment, but a property, which can be changed to other goods or services.”
Bitcoin hit a new all-time high of $5,829.80, despite its upcoming hard forks
Bitcoin is about to experience two hard forks, that of Bitcoin Gold (BTG) on October 25, and that of the New York Agreement, SegWit2x (BT2/B2X/S2X) in mid-November. The currency may be about to face a roller-coaster ride when these events occur but, nevertheless, the cryptocurrency has been surging this week, so much so it hit a new all-time high of $5,829.80 before falling to $5,708.84 at press time. The cryptocurrency’s market cap is now at $94.89 billion, and its dominance is at 54.2%.