SEC hires contractors to run nodes for all major blockchains View in browser

 “A group of volunteers on the internet built a new, global currency where no one is in charge and everyone can use it.” ~  Anthony Pompliano, Co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital asset management firm

Market State

The cryptocurrency market is above $300 billion. Bitcoin has been steadily growing from $9500 to $11800 over the week.  Bitcoin’s dominance is getting closer to 70%. Many believe that the trade war between US and China gave Bitcoin a boost. The US will impose 10% tariffs starting from the 1st of September on the $300 billion worth of Chinese imports. Chinese market has dropped due to the trade tension between the US and China. Many think that this has direct influence on the price of Bitcoin as Chinese investors are moving into Bitcoin as it is providing them a safe haven.

Ether is up by 13% to $238. Ethereum celebrated its 5th anniversary of pre-sale last week. ConsenSys, a blockchain software technology company focused primarily on Ethereum looked at the history of Ethereum, and found that the Ethereum network has processed over 500 million transactions since its inception. This year alone more than 130 million transactions have been processed. In 2019, 16 million Ethereum addresses have been created which indicates Ethereum’s popularity. 

Bitcoin Cash has showed quite a growth last week. It rose by 9% to $342. BCH has also celebrated its second birthday last week. On the first of August 2017, the most famous Bitcoin network split took place that created Bitcoin Cash. BCH was created by the miners and developers who thought the Bitcoin Core developers had abandoned the idea of peer-to-peer electronic cash. While Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash had the same goal to increase the scalability of the network, they choose different methods to implement it. Bitcoin Cash increased the block size while Bitcoin kept the block size as is and implemented something called SegWit.

Litecoin has underwent a scheduled mining reward halvening this Monday. Litecoin mining reward has dropped from 25 LTC to 12.5 LTC per block. This means significantly fewer Litecoins will be added to the market from now on making it scarcer. Litecoin is up by 6% to $95 since last week. Many have been expecting the price would go significantly up due to the halvening. The halvening didn’t change the price of Litecoin much. Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin said “I don't think the halving event will have much impact on Litecoin price, it's already priced in since one month.”

Check the latest Bitcoin Price
Quiz of the week

How many Bitcoins are mined daily?

  1. 3600
  2. 1800
  3. 900

Scroll down to see the answer at the end of the newsletter.

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Austria’s Official Passport Maker Launches a Crypto Wallet

Youniqx Identity AG, a subsidiary of the Austrian State Printing House has launched a cryptocurrency storage device called, Chainlock Card. The Vienna-based State Printing House has been active in identity documents such as Austrian passport for over 200 years. The device is water and heat resistant. The public and private keys are generated in high security zone without human interaction, which are then placed on the card, not even YOUNIQX staff can view the key pairs. The hardware wallet is 100% offline and supports Bitcoin and Ether. Private key is sealed on the back of the card and is only revealed to the user. Users can make transactions by removing the seal and revealing the private key. The wallet can be managed via a mobile app which is available on both iOS and Android. The Chainlock card is currently available worldwide via Coinfinity, priced at around $67 including VAT.

Walmart Seeks Patent for a Libra Like Digital Currency

American retail giant Walmart Inc. has filed a patent for its own fiat-pegged digital currency following the steps of Facebook Inc. The company stated it wants to patent a method for creating a coin that runs and records transactions on a blockchain. It wants to overlay the transaction information with customer purchase history and savings. According to the filing, the blockchain-based digital currency may be pegged to the US dollar and may be available for use only at selected retailers or partners. The digital currency can provide a fee-free, or cheap way to store funds that can be spent at retailers and, if needed, easily converted to cash. Such accounts could even earn interest. Walmart is one of the most active players in the blockchain space, having filed at least 54 blockchain-related patents to date. It is already using blockchain for tracking products like fresh greens and pharmaceuticals.

SEC Hires Contractors To Run Nodes For All Major Blockchains

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking for contractors who will run nodes for all of the major blockchains such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash on its behalf. The agency claimed that running a node will help them monitor blockchain data, improve compliance, and create better-informed policies. The SEC requires a contractor to be able to add new blockchains within 3-month notice. Blockchain data is available for free on blockchain explorers. Many crypto enthusiasts are wondering why SEC would devote its resources to running nodes. Some see it as a positive indicator of SEC acceptance for the cryptocurrency industry. Since Bitcoin is a decentralized, open and permissionless network, running a node and accessing the data is available for everyone. The SEC cannot control decentralized networks, so all they can do is witness the actions on the blockchain.

85% of Bitcoin's Total Supply Has Now Been Mined

Last week 17850000th Bitcoin was mined. That is 85% of all the 21 million Bitcoin that will ever be created. As a result less than 3.15 million Bitcoin is left to be mined for the next 121 years. However not all of the Bitcoins are actually available for use. Over the past 10 years Bitcoin owners have lost their private keys and, therefore, lost access to their wallets. According to the blockchain research firm Chainalysis, these lost coins comprise around 20% of the existing BTC supply. Lost coins can never be recovered and it reduces the amount of Bitcoin in circulation.  Currently, Bitcoin miners are receiving 12.5 newly created coins as a reward for each block mined. In May 2020, this amount will be halved to 6.25 Bitcoin per block. All this effectively makes Bitcoin scarcer which is likely to push Bitcoin price up. UK’s most read newspaper Sun also published an article on Bitcoin’s limited supply for its 33 million readers.

South Korea Introduces “Regulation Free” Blockchain Zone in Busan

The government of South Korea has given its approval for the second-largest city in South Korea a “regulation-free” blockchain zone for the years to come. The local Busan government officials had been requesting to have such a zone in order to promote tourism in the region. The region won’t be completely “regulation-free,” ICOs will be still forbidden. Busan is expecting investors to move 29.9 billion won ($25 million) into the region by 2021. The population of 3.4 million people will experience innovative blockchain services from finances to public transportation and tourism. The President of South Korea stated that regulatory innovation is not a matter of choice anymore, it is a question of survival as we are experiencing the fourth industrial revolution, characterized by fusions across industries and fields.

MoneyGram Officially Using XRP For Cross-Border Payments

The second-largest money transfer platform in the world, MoneyGram, announced that it is now using the Ripple’s xRapid solution to make cross-border payments. XRapid is a Ripple software solution for banks and financial institutions that uses XRP as a bridge currency to instantly settle funds from one currency to another. The first transactions through xRapid took place last week. In its Q2 report MoneyGram stated that “[xRapid] reduces operating costs and working capital needs to improve earnings and free cash flow.” MoneyGram has associates in more than 200 nations around the world. MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes stated that the company is currently focusing on improving backend settlement platform. Through xRapid product, MoneyGram will have the ability to instantly settle funds from U.S. dollars to destination currencies on a 24/7 basis, which has the potential to revolutionize our operations.

Quiz answer

How many Bitcoins are mined daily?

The correct answer is “B”.

At the moment each new block adds 12.5 Bitcoins into circulation. A new block is added to the Bitcoin blockchain every 10 minutes on average. That means 6 blocks are mined per hour. On average 144 blocks (24 hours * 6 blocks/hour) are mined each day. This gives us 1800 Bitcoins are mined everyday on average.

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