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Ethereum Classic and August 1st “Bitcoin Cash”

Published July 28, 2017

Cryptocurrencies are open source and anyone with an internet connection is capable of creating a fork. Many forks of Ethereum exist today, however only one has any market value (Ethereum Classic). The success of a fork of any cryptoasset: Ethereum, Bitcoin or otherwise is reliant on the uptake of the new version of the software by miners and nodes (securing the network) and users (using the network). It is therefore extremely difficult to successfully fork a blockchain as it requires miners, nodes and users to move away from existing their system. For such a fork to be successful, it needs to satisfy a strong demand that the existing version of the code doesn’t.

In the case of Ethereum, the fork of July 2016 – which resulted in Ethereum Classic (ETC) – satisfied a demand for a version of Ethereum which was not “rolled back” to retrieve funds from an exploit in the software weeks earlier. ETC appealed to blockchain idealists who believed that every transaction should be immutable regardless of any community consensus to undo those malicious transactions. There were many other reasons as to why ETC remained popular, many of which related to the opportunity to generate personal wealth – often thinly veiled with the aforementioned idealism.

The same is now happening to Bitcoin. Whilst the initial fork fears were abated last week, a new fork of Bitcoin is due to launch on August 1st called “Bitcoin Cash” (BCC). This new coin appeals to those who believe Bitcoin should be scaled by increasing the block size (currently limited to 1mb, and increasing to 8mb in the BCC proposal). These users do not want to see the “off-chain scaling” solutions that BTC enables, and instead want to scale transactions by updating the Bitcoin protocol itself. BCC has now gained enough media attention, and has enough of a demand that it is likely to hold value once it launches on August 1st. It will no doubt continue to exist in some capacity for the foreseeable future. Despite this sounding damaging to the ecosystem, Bitcoin holders have two reasons to be very happy:

1. Bitcoin’s future will no longer be split between two groups. Those who want bigger blocks can now move to BCC, without interfering with the progression of Bitcoin.

2. Bitcoin holders will – once the fork occurs – have access to the same number of BCC coins as they have in Bitcoin today. If you have 0.5BTC, then you will have 0.5BCC post-fork.

Bitcoin’s volatility has clearly had an impact on the price of Ethereum over recent months. But with the scaling debate out of the way (at least for the time being), uncertainty over the future of Bitcoin will subside and we may see a crypto market bullrun in the lead up to 2018 – particularly with planned Ethereum network upgrades due in the months ahead.

The BCC futures market on has a price of 0.112BTC (roughly $310). Expect enormous volatility in the price of BCC in the coming days.

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Welcome to Crypto & V1.3 Release Notes

Published June 15, 2017

Thanks to a sky rocketing price, Ethereum has grabbed the attention of many hundreds of thousands of new investors. Those same investors are no doubt looking at the last 48 hours in disbelief – possibly renewing some initial scepticism about the future of crypto. The 24 hour changes on are – quite frankly – a bloody mess. But hardened cryptoasset investors will be drooling at the sight.

We have been here before. We’ll be here again. And the fundamentals of Ethereum and others remain unchanged.

For those looking for some speculation as to what happened in the last 48 hours:

V1.3 Release notes:

  • Graphing updated to allow for more granularity
  • Timeframe preferences are now available at the top right; no longer forced to only “Today’s” changes
  • Users can now reset cookies from the preferences menu – deletes all cookies and resets to standard ETH/USD weighted average price
  • 5-minutely data will now be available for up to 1 month (collecting from now)

I will be adding some useful information to help new users purchase and secure Ethereum in the coming weeks.

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A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

Published May 11, 2017

Bitcoin, Ethereum and a dozen or more altcoins have all had dramatic price increases in recent weeks. Volatility is as high as ever, but the general direction for a huge number of these coins has been upwards. This increase in market capitalization across multiple cryptocurrencies hasn’t been seen before, and could be indicative of a large stream of “new money” funnelling into the ecosystem. In the past few weeks, there have been a series of positive news stories and developments in the blockchain industry as a whole including:

  • SEC gives Bitcoin ETF a possible second shot
  • Japan legalises Bitcoin; causing massive demand in the country
  • Ethereum ENS launches, attracting $10M in auction bids
  • Japan’s largest bank partners with the consortium blockchain, Ripple (XRP)
  • Russia plans to legitimize Bitcoin; with the country’s largest retailer Ulmart, announcing they will accept the cryptocurrency
  • Australia to treat Bitcoin “like money” from June 1st 2017, dramatically improving its position with regards to taxation
  • Litecoin successfully activates Segregated Witness (a scaling fix which can be applied to Bitcoin)
  • announces its plans to become a smart-contract driven decentralized exchange (full details not yet known, but anticipated to be operating on the Ethereum blockchain)

Investors have always been nervous of cryptocurrency competition, often speculating that one’s rise may lead to another’s decimation. What has transpired in 2017 so far is that an increase in cryptocurrency adoption as whole has tremendous effects on the price of each coin, and that a price rise of one does not come at the expense of another. This year is showing itself to be the year of the blockchain ecosystem (Bitcoin, Ethereum and altcoins), and I only anticipate that this will get stronger as interoperability between chains takes hold in 2018.

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Ether Classic Added

Published April 25, 2017

Ether Classic was formed after the Ethereum blockchain hard forked in the summer of 2016. The hard fork was the result of a policy decision to rollback the DAO attack in which $60M of investor funds were stolen. Due to this decision not having the full backing of the community, a separate branch of Ether forked away, now known as Ethereum Classic (ETC).

Ethereum Classic is a separate blockchain to Ethereum, and the two should not be confused as they are now wildly different. Ethereum has the backing of the Ethereum Foundation, its development team and the roadmap outlined in Ethereum’s crowdsale – which includes the introduction of Proof of Stake, Sharding and so on. Ethereum Classic does not share these attributes, however there is much speculation over ETC’s future value as a digital asset, with Barry Silbert – owner of Grayscale Investments LLC – forming the Ethereum (ETC) Investment Trust.

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