In absence of the previous weekly news roundup, we will be rounding up some noteworthy news of the past two weeks. The past two weeks have been unusually eventful for the bitcoin and cryptocurrency space.
Zcash Launch and Frenzy
The new Bitcoin-derived cryptocurrency Zcash (ZEC) launched amidst much hype and the frenzy continued after its launch on 28th October, when it surged to a price of 3,300 Bitcoins (more than $2 million). It fell to a value below 1 BTC on 30th October as the frenzy faded, rose temporarily, fell again and remains below 1 BTC at time of writing this.
The company behind Zcash claims that, in comparison to Bitcoin, Zcash offers more anonymity, increased fungibility and faster transaction verification.
Bitmain Announces World’s Second Most Powerful Data Center
News emerged on a Chinese Bitcoin news’ website on 2nd November that Bitmain is building a giant data center for Bitcoin mining. This was soon followed by Bitmain’s tweets and then a press release that clarified that Bitmain only owns a small share of the 135 megawatt facility and various other investors, who own majority of the facility, can choose to use their share of the data center for any purpose, not only bitcoin mining or mining.
The data center is scheduled to be completed by end of this year. Upon completion, the data center will be second in the list of the world’s most powerful data centers.
BTCC Launches Bitcoin to USD Exchange
Shanghai-based Bitcoin exchange BTCC, formerly known as BTC China, announced on 1st November that they are launching a new USD exchange, one that is operated by a Hong Kong-based legal entity.
BTCC is among the world’s longest running Bitcoin exchanges. By now supporting USD exchange, BTCC can offer tough competition to Hong Kong-based Bitcoin exchange BitFinex, which suffered a major hack and theft of Bitcoins in August.
BTCC’s new service is not yet available to US customers because BTCC is still awaiting approval from FinCEN or New York DFS.
Indian Gov ‘Hardforks’ the Indian Rupee
On 8th November the Indian government announced an overnight demonetization of Rupee notes of the highest (1000 Indian Rupee) and second-highest (500 Indian Rupee) denomination. This move is aimed at stopping counterfeit notes and black money.
In the same announcement, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed that new 500 and 2000 Indian Rupee notes will be introduced.
This sudden move by the Indian government to demonetize a considerable portion of the cash that Indian citizens possess is expected to increase awareness and use of cashless payment methods, like Bitcoin, in India.
Bitcoin and Gold Prices Surge after the US Presidential Election Result
The uncertainty in global markets after the shocking win of Donald Trump led to a surge in not only the price of Gold but also that of Bitcoin. The Bitcoin price rose by 3% on Wednesday morning to $726 from $708 the day before.
Prices of other digital currencies (or altcoins) did not make a similar jump. On the contrary, prices of altcoins with the second (Ethereum) and third (Ripple) highest market cap, were down from the day before.
This shows how investors also see Bitcoin as a safe haven at times of market volatility.---------------------
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