This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:
Self-proclaimed bitcoin creator Craig Wright is filing numerous blockchain-related patents
Craig Wright, the Australian businessman who has, in the past, claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, was recently on the news due to an investigative report published by Reuters. The report claims Craig Wright is filling dozens of blockchain-related patents, while being backed by online gambling billionaire Calvin Ayre, a Canadian national living in Antigua who has been indicted in the United States on charges of running online gambling operations that are illegal in several states. The report reads: “Wright’s expertise combined with Ayre’s support makes a potentially formidable force in shaping the future of bitcoin and blockchain”. According to the report, Craig Wright aims to file nearly 400 patents related to blockchain applications in a variety of industries.
The report also states Wright planned to talk to the government of Antigua in order to make bitcoin its official currency: the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto would argue bitcoin is “a new backbone and commercial foundation for the internet”. However, it also says no confirmable information suggests this idea was pitched.
BTCC CEO estimates bitcoin price to be between $5,000 and $11,000 by 2020
On Twitter, BTCC CEO Bobby Lee estimated one bitcoin will be worth between $5,000 and $11,000 by 2020, assuming the cryptocurrency has a $5-10 million daily inflow. The number, according to the entrepreneur, isn’t very high, as he posted a tweet later on comparing it to gold’s daily flow of $340 million. The estimate comes after BTCC announced it would freeze bitcoin and litecoin withdrawals for one month, as reported by DeepDotWeb.
— Bobby Lee (@bobbyclee) February 26, 2017
Coinbase has suspended its services in Hawaii due to “impractical” regulations
Coinbase, a popular bitcoin and ethereum exchange and wallet, recently announced it had to suspend its services in Hawaii, due to regulations the company believes will render its operations impractical. Essentially the Hawaii Division of Financial Institutions (DFI) determined licensees who hold virtual currencies on behalf of customers need to “maintain fiat currency reserves equal to the aggregate face value of all digital currency funds held on behalf of customers”. According the exchange, it would be impractical, costly, and inefficient to establish such a reserve of fiat currency. Coinbase customers in Hawaii are told to sell or transfer their digital currencies, or close their account.
A small Chinese exchange named Bter has resumed bitcoin withdrawals
According to the CoinTelegraph, a small Chinese cryptocurrency exchanged called Bter has resumed bitcoin withdrawals, in what has been described as a good start. The move may in the future reduce the trading volume the peer-to-peer trading platform LocalBitcoins felt last week after Chinese bitcoin traders started using the platform after several exchanges froze cryptocurrency withdrawals, responding to regulations imposed by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).
Bitfinex stopped offering its services to customers in Washington
Hong Kong-based bitcoin exchange Bitfinex has stopped servicing its customers in Washington, reportedly due to the requirement of a money transmitters license the company decided not to pursue, after several months of discussions with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), who sees virtual currencies as “a medium of exchange not authorized or adopted by a government.”. Users were reportedly given one day to withdraw their funds, as the state won’t allow the company to operate without the transmitters license. Bitfinex’s terms of service have now been updated to include the following: “Washington state residents are prohibited from depositing to, withdrawing from, or trading on the Site.”
Bitcoin at $1267.50, as total market cap blows past $20 billion
Bitcoin is still booming. Last week, it hit a new all-time high, and the total market cap came close to $19 billion. At the time of press, according to data from CoinMarketCap, bitcoin’s total market cap has blown past $20 billion, and one coin is worth $1267.5, according to the same source. This means that now one bitcoin is worth more than one ounce of gold, as according to precious metals retailer APMEX one ounce of gold is worth $1237.
Dash is now the 3rd biggest cryptocurrency
Dash, after an upgrade to its 12.1 Sentinel architecture, has recently delighted investors and partners, by becoming the third biggest cryptocurrency by market cap, as its value keeps on growing. At the time of press, one single coin is worth $47.26, and the currency’s market cap is of $337 million, above Ripple’s $237 million and Monero’s $195 million. The cryptocurrency’s team recently announced a partnership with Wall of Coins, which means users will soon be able to trade the currency at major national banks, according to their website. A mixture of exchange integrations has also helped the price of Dash surge.