Bitcoin in the News
Bitcoin is on a rather awesome climb again whilst the halving of the mining reward draws closer. There have also been some other recent interesting developments in the field of blockchain. In this article I will go through the recent events that have been shaping Bitcoin’s price in the very recent past. We are currently witnessing some rather interesting times. Financially, economically and also in the field of technology. On top of the halving of the reward that is predicted to happen around 26th of July there’s also another event of financial significance that is rapidly drawing closer – Brexit. I’m sure you’ve already heard, as you know, all of the news outlets keep banging on about it. Yes, Great Britain is having a referendum on the 23rd of June where people will decide whether they want to remain or leave the European Union.
This is significant in the eyes of Bitcoin investors because whenever a fiat currency goes down or a country suffers an economic crash, Bitcoin thrives. This happens because when people lose confidence in a fiat currency or a country’s stability, they are more likely to turn to alternative currencies to keep their assets safe. A good example is the economic crash of Cyprus a few years back. The government forced a tax on people’s savings resulting in a lot of people investing their money into Bitcoin and Bitcoin ATM’s started popping up all over the island. Instead of banning it like some countries have Cyprus has actually embraced it and is also offering courses on digital currencies in the University of Nicosia. But I will not go into further depth about this. In this article I want to have a closer look at what has been happening in the past week.
Most of the focus currently is on Bitcoin’s price. Speculations whether this is a short term bubble or whether the price will continue rising in the long term. The price has hit a two year high last week and doesn’t really seem to be showing signs of giving up. In my opinion we won’t see a drop until the halving takes place. After that, who knows, anything is possible. Coindesk provides quite an insightful summary about where the price is headed in the near future. Cointelegraph compares it to the previous bubble back at the end of 2013 and suggests we could be seeing prices climbing back to the $1000 mark again. In which case – hold on to your coins, peeps! As I am writing this the current price is $735. The next significant level of support is at $750 and it is coming up soon. The FOMC announcement on the 15th of June also seems to have made the price rise a bit.
As the reason the price is going up currently is due to the halving of the mining reward that is coming up really soon. If you’re a nerd, you probably know what this is. If Bitcoin is something new to you the halving is this – there’s 21 million Bitcoins that can be in circulation, ever. So to keep the supply at a reasonable rate the mining reward is cut by half after a certain amount of coins mined. The mining reward started out as 50 BTC, then fell to 25 in 2013 and that will halve again to 12.5 around the end of July. Hence the “halving”. The halving happens every 210 000 blocks. If you want to know more about the halving, Coindesk provides quite an insightful article about it here.
On top of this The White House has also expressed its interest into the technology that Bitcoin bring with it. They hosted the White House Fintech Summit at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Bitcoin industry leaders have been participating in the events, one of whom is Matthew Roszak, chairman of the industry trade association the Chamber of Digital Commerce, stated that the federal government and regulators are sending a positive market signal, one that has even exceeded his expectations. Of about 100 people that attended the closed event, it is estimated that about 20% were from the blockchain industry. Detailed report on this from Coindesk.
Microsoft Launches Project Bletchley
It always really excites me when I hear about big game changing companies starting new projects using blockchain technology. When Bitcoin and blockchain-tech finally go mainstream, then we will start to see some miraculous innovative changes that it really can bring us. So, what is this project Bletchley about? On Wednesday the 15th of June Microsoft unveiled a new project that’s goal is to achieve businesses to build consortiums that will make it easier to benefit from the technology behind blockchain. This is Microsoft’s way of trying to bring blockchain platforms into their business to build solutions that will address real world problems in the business field. The idea to all of this is to try and solve problems whilst the platform itself is kept open. This new project will bring many new uses and opportunities and hence will win the interest of many enterprises. Especially in the field of finance.
Bletchley is Microsoft’s “vision for an open, modular blockchain fabric powered by Azure.”
If this is something of interest to you I recommend reading the whitepaper on Project Bletchley.
It truly kind of is a big deal so yes, everyone is banging on about it.
More on this topic on ZDNet, Coindesk and PCWorld.
PwC interested in the Potential of Blockchain
Microsoft isn’t the only giant that announced its work using blockchain technology last week. PwC – one of the leading professional services provider in the world reported that they too are launching a project on blockchain. PwC’s interest into blockchain has started a project that is going to study whether there’s the potential to use it in the wholesale insurance industry. The aim is to investigate primary business use cases and develop a roadmap for blockchain developments in the future. They expect to complete the study and proof-of-concept in July this year. Read Coindesk’s newsarticle on this here.
The Second Bitcoin Summit Held on Necker Island
The bearded entrepreneur extraordinaire Sir Richard Branson has held the exclusive Bitcoin Summit for the second year in a row. Sir Richard Branson is a known Bitcoin enthusiast and is keen on finding and funding great new ideas on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. I’ve previously briefly written about his interest in the field. This year’s summit featured a more diverse guest list compared to the last year’s startup and more tech-focused one. It included people from the government, financial services, academia, venture capital, communications, ngo-s and even music industries. The event is like a true dream luxury getaway for great minds – extensive brainstorming and steamy debate on Bitcoin and blockchain were eschewed by bonding over lemur feeding, kite surfing, tennis and fine dining. This event truly is a dream for a crypto enthusiast, or anyone to be honest. If you want to feel a tad more jealous you can read a detailed report on the event by Laura Shin on Forbes.
So in all a very eventful week in the world of Bitcoin. Of course there are many more important topics that I’ve missed. Let me know if you would like to see more of these reviews of the week in the world of cryptos.
Article written 17th of June