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Bitcoin news roundup, November 19, 2017

This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:

New developments:

SegWit adoption set to increase as Blockchain wallet, Bitfinex add support

SegWit activated on the Bitcoin network back in August and so far, various companies haven’t yet upgraded their systems to adopt it. Recently, Bitcoin’s biggest wallet provider, Blockchain, announced through a blog post that it will add full Bitcoin Cash (BCH) support, and then work on SegWit. The wallet provider reportedly has over 19 million users, and was criticized for adding BCH support before SegWit.

Bitfinex, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, will also reportedly add support for SegWit within a week, according to a tweet from Chris Ellis, a Bitfinex community Liaison employee. The exchange hasn’t yet announced anything on social media or its blog, and hasn’t rolled out the upgrade earlier because it had “some other upgrades to do first.”

Square’s Cash app added Bitcoin buy/sell options to some users

Square’s Cash app, a popular Venmo competitor that allows people to easily send and receive money, recently gave some users the option to buy and sell Bitcoin – not send and receive -from within the app. The move didn’t come with any official announcement, and most users rejoiced on social media. Speaking to CNBC, the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) stated that the move was a way to meet customer demand for the cryptocurrency, and that as an innovator Square’s role is to allow customers to what they want to.

Parity considers hark fork to unfreeze 513,774 Ether

Last week, DeepDotWeb reported on a bug on Parity Technologies’ multi-sig wallets that led to millions worth of Ether (513,774 ETH, about $171 million at press time) being permanently locked, following the accidental exploitation. An inexperienced developer reportedly triggered the bug and gained control over the Parity Library contract, and then attempted to delete the contract’s code that gave him ownership – whose logic is used in all Parity-based multi-sig wallets – to fix the issue. As a result, over 500 multi-sig wallets are now frozen, inaccessible to even their owners.

In a new update, Parity revealed that it’s working on a “broadly accepted solution that will unblock the funds.” On the update, Parity revealed its team discussed EIP156, an Ethereum Improvement Proposal that’s meant to help users recover funds that got “stuck” in the past. The solution would be implemented through a hard fork, which a lot of people believe could lead to another blockchain split.

Jutta Steiner, the founder of Parity Technologies apologized for the less-than-ideal situation:

  • “We deeply regret the impact this situation is causing among our users and within the community. We do ask that people get in touch with us if they have any uncertainties and to not believe the speculation circulating the media. We are endeavouring to find a solution as soon as possible and we would like to thank everyone for the support we’ve experienced so far.”

BitMEX to sell users’ Bitcoin Cash and credit them with Bitcoin

Hong Kong-based Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange (BitMEX) recently announced that it won’t be giving its customers their Bitcoin Cash balances, but will instead sell their tokens and distribute the proceeds in Bitcoin. According to the exchange, as Bitcoin Cash was created through a “contentious hard fork” it won’t allow users to access their coins. It did, however, notably add Bitcoin Cash futures to its platform, allowing users to bet on the cryptocurrency’s future value.

BitMEX’s selloff is expected to have a large impact on Bitcoin Cash’s value, as the exchange consistently has daily volumes above $1 billion. Although the selloff could depress the cryptocurrency’s price in the short-term, BitMEX emphasized it will be selling off the cryptocurrency as it still has “value and popular demand” months after the fork, proving its value and viability.

World affairs:

Bitcoin surpasses $14,000 in Zimbabwe as tanks roll through the streets

Bitcoin is known to flourish in uncertain times and as a full-blown military coup started sweeping Zimbabwe and the country’s president, Robert Mugabe, was nowhere to be found, the cryptocurrency’s price started surging. Footage of tanks rolling the streets started appearing, and given the nation’s economic problems, Bitcoin started becoming a solution for the people of Zimbabwe – even more than what it was after the country had to adopt the U.S. dollar as its fiat currency due to hyperinflation. The country’s only exchange, Golix, has handled a 170 BTC trading volume in the last 30 days, a huge increase over the rest of the year, and at press time one Bitcoin is trading at $14,400 at the exchange, while the 24-hour high reached $15,750.

India’s Supreme Court pushes the government on Bitcoin regulations

According to reports, the Indian Supreme Court has asked the government to respond to calls to regulate the number one cryptocurrency, as three justices issued a notice to the Finance, Law and Justice, and Information Technologies Ministries, as well as the country’s central bank, demanding an answer to a petition that tried to clarify whether Bitcoin was, or wasn’t, legal in the country. The petition emphasized that Bitcoin exchanges in India have been adding over 2,500 users per day, and that about 500,000 people in the country now hold Bitcoin. The petition states that due to the adoption, Bitcoin usage “may affect the market value of other commodities.”

The lack of regulations in the country led, in the past, India’s top Bitcoin exchanges to establish a self-regulatory body, while authorities have established an inter-disciplinary committee to study and develop frameworks for cryptocurrencies in the country.

Financial:

Bitcoin at $7,699.73, after hitting a new all-time high above $8,000

Bitcoin surged this week, as the number one cryptocurrency once again reached new heights this year, this time above the $8,000 mark, following the Square’s Cash app addition of Bitcoin buy and sell options, reported above. At press time, one Bitcoin is trading at $7,699.73 and the cryptocurrency’s market cap is of $128 billion, while the cryptocurrency ecosystem’s market cap is of $231 billion, meaning Bitcoin’s dominance index is currently at 55.5%.

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