Blockchain and Bitcoin round-up: 9 January 2018
Our last round-up, (20 December) capped the end of the year nicely, but just like the price of cryptocurrency and rise of blockchain, the crypto-world is ever changing. Here’s 2018’s first Bitcoin and Blockchain round-up. Features Cardano Foundation, IOHK, Emurgo, Bitcoin mining, Microsoft and John McAfee.
Starting with Cardano Foundation, IOHK and Emurgo, the three partners behind blockchain Cardano and ADA, Cardano’s cryptocurrency, is now tradeable on BitMEX, the cryptocurrency leveraged trading platform.
According to the partners, the ADA listing on BitMEX is in the form of a fixed date contract and allows traders to speculate on the changing value of the Cardano / Bitcoin (ADA/XBT) exchange rate. Traders do not need to have ADA to trade the contract as it only requires Bitcoin as margin. Cardano says the technology underpinning its ADA token was designed by academics and cryptographers over the last two years, drawing on the “best features” of existing cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ripple and Ethereum.
From exchange to the environment, while China has been central in the development and rise of Bitcoin in recent years, Beijing has spent the last six months cracking down on the industry, with the shutting down of local exchanges and the banning of initial coin offerings (ICOs). Now, Bitcoin mining could be coming to an end for China after leaked documents suggest the Chinese government plans an “orderly exit” for Bitcoin mining operations.
The Leading Group of Internet Financial Risks Remediation – China’s internet finance regulator – says miners need to leave because they have consumed “huge amounts of resources and stoked speculation of ‘virtual currencies”. The document issued asks local authorities to use measures linked to electricity price, land use, tax, and environmental protection, to guide Bitcoin miners to quit the business. While the news may shock smaller operations, many mining giants have already branched out to new facilities in countries like Iceland, Canada and the US. It is, nonetheless, a significant move towards ending Bitcoin mining and will likely impact the exchange.
Avoiding the bubble, Microsoft also chimed in and has decided to stop accepting Bitcoins stating that it is an “unstable currency”. With Bitcoin becoming a roller coaster, breaking records and ever-shifting; it was terrible for sellers and merchants like Microsoft who face problems in fixing the rate of the currency.
Microsoft support says the move is temporary and cited the unstable state of the Bitcoin currency. Microsoft started accepting Bitcoin back in 2014 and previously in 2016 stopped accepting them on the Windows Store, it is likely the same scenario here. For now, Microsoft has advised customers to use other payment methods like credit or debit card.
Finally, someone who is no stranger to cryptocurrency is security expert John McAfee, who has admitted that he has used cryptocurrency to pay for prostitutes, drugs and pornography.
One not to shy away from the facts, he told all through Twitter along with a follow-up tweet which said: “So much hubbub about my admission to paying hookers with crypto. If you want more reason to hate I will also admit to buying weed and other illegal drugs, porn, and nearly every other questionable product or service that you can imagine – all with crypto when possible. Hate well.” Despite his past, MacAfee is still considered a tech pioneer and is currently a product designer for a US-headquartered cryptocurrency firm called MGTCapital Investments.