Crypto Tidbits: Bitcoin Branded a Scam, Ethereum Upgrade Completed, Telegram’s ICO in Crisis

Avatar Nick Chong 3 weeks ago

Another week, another round of Crypto Tidbits. The first week of January was a quiet one for the Bitcoin and broader digital asset market, with BTC gaining a mere 0.7% over the past seven days, according to Coin360.com.  Altcoins have posted similar slight gains, though assets like Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin, and VeChain have managed to outperform, seeing approximately 7% gains on the week.

While the market was quiet, the underlying industry was as busy as ever, with there being a number of stories published over the past seven days that could have a larger impact on the cryptocurrency space. They are as follows.

Related Reading: Crypto Tidbits: Youtube’s Bitcoin Ban, Ethereum Co-Founder Sells Stash, China’s Digital Currency Nears

Bitcoin & Crypto Tidbits

  • Ethereum Completes Muir Glacier Upgrade: This week, a small Ethereum blockchain upgrade named Muir Glacier took place, resulting in a non-contentious hard fork less than a month after the Istanbul upgrade. This blockchain hard fork activated at block number 9,200,000 on January the 2nd, implementing a proposal that delays a so-called difficulty bomb, which is a protocol increasing mining difficulty on the network, thus slowing down ETH transactions. It appears that all Bitcoin and crypto exchanges and other industry service providers have successfully upgraded to Muir Glacier.
  • Bitcoin Hash Rate Surges to Fresh High: As noted by digital asset manager Charles Edwards, Blockchain.com, a crypto information and wallet service, found that Bitcoin’s hash rate — the measure of computational power processing BTC transactions — hit a new all-time high on the 1st day of 2020. The all-time high, 119 exahashes per second, or 119 with 18 zeroes after it. This comes shortly after TradeBlock, a cryptocurrency research firm, remarked that Bitcoin has seen a record year in terms of transactions sent and transaction volume denominated in USD.

  • Google Restores Ethereum Interface MetaMask’s App: Late last month, MetaMask, an Ethereum interface application for browsers and smartphones, revealed that its Android iteration was taken down by Google, which cited its financial services policy disallowing apps that facilitated crypto asset mining. The thing is, MetaMask doesn’t offer mining, so it shot back at Google, appealing the odd ban. Now, over a week after the debacle began, MetaMask has revealed that it’s app has been restored to Google’s Play Store, making the company purportedly “more resilient” and “stronger.”
  • Bitmain Ready to Purge More Staff: According to a report from Chinese media company Wushuo Blockchain, Bitmain at the end of 2019 commenced a “staff optimization plan.” This news, which came from “several people familiar with the matter,” said that the optimization will affect up to 50% of Bitmain’s current staffers. It currently isn’t clear how many staff Bitmain has, though the report suggested that the Bitcoin firm has “more than 1,000 people.” As to why this is taking place, the Wushuo report cites the “pressure of the Bitcoin halving,” which will effectively halve the revenue of miners. This news event has been corroborated by Dovey Wan, a prominent cryptocurrency investor with much of her efforts in China.
  • Bitcoin Branded A Scam For the Umpteenth Time: According to a recent report from Yahoo Finance,  LendingTree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze told the outlet in an interview that he thinks Bitcoin is a “pyramid scheme,” citing his sentiment that you can “only make money [with BTC] based on people who enter after you.” He added that Bitcoin “has no real utility in the world. They’ve been trying to create a utility for it for ten years now. It’s a solution in search of a problem and it still hasn’t found a problem to solve.”
  • Telegram’s ICO Under Fire From SEC Again: Popular messaging application Telegram held an initial coin offering called GRAM that raised $1.7 billion. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has pushed back against the project, recently asking the firm to share its banking and financial details. Telegram is pushing back, arguing that its tokens were sold solely to accredited investors, and therefore not required to share information with the regulatory agency.
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