Bitcoin news roundup April 2, 2017
This weekâs summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:
MasterCard survey shows European shoppers are wary of digital currencies
According to CoinDesk a survey conducted by MasterCard shows European consumers donât seem to be too fond of digital currencies when paying for things online. The survey reportedly polled nearly 43.000 people between the ages of 18 and 64, and revealed that a mere 2% of respondents claim to use digital currencies when paying for goods online. As far as interest went, only 11% of respondents expressed it regarding payments in digital currencies, as others preferred alternatives such as e-wallets and QR code scanning. According to MasterCard, the top country in which people are interested in digital currencies is Spain.
BitFury mines a SegWit block, as several companies claim not to support bitcoin unlimited
As reported by DeepDotWeb, the bitcoin scaling debate has been heating up in the past few weeks. This week, BitFury, a prominent bitcoin mining pool, has recently mined a block signaling support for the user-activated soft fork Segregated Witness (SegWit) with Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 148. According to Shaolin Fry, the author of BIP 148:
- âSegwit increases the blocksize, fixes transaction malleability, and makes scripting easier to upgrade as well as bringing many other benefits. It is hoped that miners will respond to this BIP by activating Segwit early, before this BIP takes effect. Otherwise this BIP will cause the mandatory activation of the existing segwit deployment before the end of midnight November 15th 2017.â
This week, other companies other than BitFury, specifically BitGo, and the Armory wallet, have publicly stated they do not support Bitcoin Unlimited (BU). Armory, for one, stated it does not agree with âBU’s primary principle that the block size should be decided by user and miner voteâ. BitGo, on the other hand, has claimed it doesnât consider BU to be supportable.
Bitcoin is now officially recognized in Japan
According to reports, Japanâs Cabinet has passed a set of bills in the past few months that were meant to officially recognize bitcoin in the country as of today. Although this is great news for bitcoin, there are still a lot of questions to be answered. According to Nikkei the bill poses a dilemma when it comes to accounting. There are currently no guidelines as to what digital currencies should be seen as and, as such, itâs hard to put bitcoin on spreadsheets, at least for now.
Bitcoin exchanges in the country will have to meet a number of requirements. These including having a minimum capital of 10 million yen (roughly 90.000 USD).
Indian bitcoin Exchange Zebpay restates bitcoin is legal in India
An Indian politician named Kirit Somaiya has, this past week, labeled bitcoin a hypothetical currency, questioning whether or not it was merely a pyramid scheme. Indian media was then all over his remark and, to a certain extent, started claiming bitcoin had been declared illegal in the country. Zebpay, a prominent Indian exchange, stepped in and tackled these reports. In a blog post, the company wrote:
- âNo, that is not true. Nothing has changed regarding bitcoinâs legal status in India this week. In our opinion, bitcoin is not illegal. Bitcoin is legal under all existing laws. Itâs business as usual at all Indian bitcoin exchanges including Zebpay.â
In the post, the company also reaffirmed bitcoin is not a ponzi scheme, just like the countryâs fiat currency isnât.
Moreover, there is a now a petition on change.org raised by the Indian bitcoin industry that asks the Indian government to announce bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as legal in the country. At the time of press, the petition has already been signed by nearly 9.000 people.
New exchange emerges in New Zealand after BitNZ shut down
New Zealandâs most prominent exchange, BitNZ, shut down because according to exchange they could no longer continue operations in the country, as banks refused to offer them banking services. According to a press release, however, a new exchange named BitPrime launched this week, and it claims to cater to âeveryday New Zealandersâ. The exchange works with LocalBitcoins, to ensure transactions by using the platform as a third-party escrow service that holds the bitcoins until a transaction is finished. Looking at the companyâs LocalBitcoins profile reveals it has already performed over 100 transactions with over 200 partners, totaling a trade volume of over 100 BTC.
Bitcoin at $1087,42, with a market cap of $17 billion
This year has been amazing for bitcoin, as the currencyâs value keeps the 4-digit mark, even though it still has its ups and downs. At the time of press, one bitcoin is worth $1087,42 according to CoinMarketCap.
Litecoinâs value nearly doubled, as market cap reaches $330 million
This week saw Litecoinâs price nearly double from roughly $4,19 to as much as $7,9 in some exchanges. The currency, created by Charlie Lee as the âsilverâ to bitcoinâs âgoldâ, now has a market cap of over $330 million. Although it isnât exactly clear why the currencyâs value surged, some believe itâs because it can now be exchanged by Coinbase users in New York, as reported by DeepDotWeb, while others believe itâs because of how SegWit-friendly the currency seems to be becoming. At the time of press, one unit was worth $6,6.