Russian Ambitions, Ethereum Classic Ascending, and The Dark Side of Bitcoin. Cryptospace News, July 25 – 31

Bitcoin price going down once again, Ethereum Classic media bomb exploding, GreenAddress purchased by BlockStream, yet another news from Coinbase, and somewhat optimistic statements heard from Russia’s technological market – all in ForkLog’s weekly overview.

Bitcoin Price

Cryptocurrency number one, contrary to the expectations that its price will inevitably grow after the halving, continued slightly plunging for the second week in a row.

This week, Bitcoin was traded mostly between $650 and $660, falling down to $643 on Tuesday. Maximum value in the rally was seen last Sunday at $664. On Thursday, the price drew nearer to that point having reached $660.

Saturday night, Bitcoin dropped down hitting the bottom at $630. It could not go any higher than $637 on Sunday.

However, according to trading expert Martin Tillier, there are grounds for stable growth of Bitcoin price in short-term.

Ethereum Classic

Ethereum Classic has become the main newsmaker of the week. According to its description, the project’s purpose is to retain the original Ethereum known for its uncensored nature, immutability, and decentralization. The media bomb exploded exactly a week ago when ETC was added to Poloniex.

Exchanges like Kraken, Bitfinex, and Bittrex, as well as some mining pools, expressed their support for the project. On the other hand, Coinbase refused to support ETC, while BTC-e directly called the project a scam. Charles Hoskinson, one of Ethereum co-founders, supported the project nevertheless. On Tuesday, ETC price has gained 320%. At Poloniex, it has occupied the first place in terms of trade volume, surpassing ETH. The cryptocurrency’s market cap is assessed at $150 million, while ETH’s dropped to $975 million.

Blockstream Buys GreenAddress

Blockstream has announced it purchases bitcoin wallet GreenAddress. Apart from the product itself, the startup will use the services from GreenAddress devs and CEO. Blockstream highlights that the deal shall not be considered a start of yet another string of acquisitions in bitcoin/blockchain industry.

GreenAddress has announced some new functions, including multiplatform library for developers, higher security level and confidentiality, and sidechains support. The latter means that users will be able to use not just bitcoin, but other digital assets as well.

More About Wallets

The EU directive on prevention of using financial systems for terrorism funding announced earlier this month, as it turned out, implies a central database containing information in cryptocurrency users. As far as the EU officials had planned it, the database will include personal data of cryptocurrency users, as well as addresses of wallets they use.

Users of such platforms will be asked to disclose their ID ‘voluntarily’, while service providers will be obliged to inform on any suspicious transactions.

Coinbase

Apart from the decline to support Ethereum Classic mentioned earlier, Coinbase has also announced it enters the Australian market. Currently, however, the Australians may only buy Bitcoins or ETH with plastic cards issued by local banks.

However, another statement from Coinbase that as of August 5 their fees will nearly quadruple suggests that the company’s ambitious plans to expand may face serious problems. The new fee structure covers most of the countries with Coinbase presence and implies an increase from current 1%-1.49% to 3.99% and even higher.

ZCash Launch Postponed

The launch of ZCash, a cryptocurrency promising 100% anonymity to users, has been postponed due to the need for more thorough audit of the code, mostly the part of it covering the anonymity of parties and concealing of the transaction’s amount. Initially, the launch was scheduled on September 5, but now it is delayed until September 26. The latter date, however, may still be revised.

Finance & Technology

One of Korea’s four biggest financial institutions KB Kookmin Bank has announced an alliance incorporating cryptocurrency startups Circle and Coinplug seeking to promote some financial solutions using the blockchain technology, as well as creation of a service for mobile device certification. The memorandum of understanding was signed this week in Seoul.

The Reserve Bank of India becomes increasingly interested in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. It has created a working group to study the matters more closely, and recommended other banks of the country to follow its lead.

Gibraltar Stock Exchange has announced a new financial tool BitcoinETI backed by assets, which allows investing exclusively in cryptocurrency. All deals struck with it will be registered in Clearstre and Euroclear registers.

Bitcoin startup SatoshiPay and Visa Europe’s department of innovations have presented their joint project concerning the integration of the Germany-based company’s techologies in Visa’s payments infrastructure. This will allow for automatic micropayments from Visa accounts to SatoshiPay wallets.

Russia Wants to Be a Leader

Russia’s authorities are planning to propel Russia to the top of technologically advanced nations. For that purpose, they created National Technological Initiative focused on a longterm strategy of technological advancement. According to the initiative’s whitepaper, Russia’s expenses related to science and technology shall comprise 4% of its GDP by 2035, while revenues of technology-related companies from Russia shall comprise at least 1% of the worldwide turnover. Russia is set to join Top-5 of countries with the most highly rated professionals in research and development. The NTI believes, the number of local blockchain companies and institutions will dramatically increase in near future.

Meanwhile, yet another meeting of Tatfondbank’s board featured a decision on creating a fintech accelerator in cooperation with Life.SREDA. The incubator will focus on developing fintech projects, blockchain technology, and partner banking.

Their interest may be somewhat explained by the speculations from Alexander Boldachev, a philosopher and a futurologist, who stated that in the future the document turnover will be superseded with blockchain-based conventional linking of events instead of certificates thereto, as it happens nowadays.

Bitcoin and the Dark Side

Steve Manos of Florida was robbed by two people who, as he believed, were to sell him 40 bitcoins. He allegedly met them at LocalBitcoins. Manos told that he had transactions with those two before, but this time, having shown them $28k he was threatened with a knife into giving away the cash. One of the attackers is now detained.

Sadly, we live in times when the armed robbery is but a smart part of a more troubled picture. Thus, last week a young man massacred people in a Munich mall. Later media reports suggested that he bought the weapon online with bitcoins. However, according to Suddeutsche Zeitung, the gun was initially a theatrical prop. Most media, however, neglected that fact, thus unintentionally or deliberately launching yet another wave of accusations addressed to cryptocurrency.

Meanwhile, also in Florida, local man was found not guilty in illegal sale of cryptocurrency. Michel Espinosa, the defendant, was accused of illegal sale of bitcoins to the tune of $1,500 to an undercover detective stating he would use the money to buy numbers of stolen credit cards. The judge ruled, however, that bitcoins are not money as they had not been issued by any state or bank.

Finally, in the US, a firegun designed with blockchain technology was presented. This would allow the police to track down every instance of using the fire in real time. The prototype punningly dubbed Glockchain was developed by Ideo coLAB in association with Liberty Mutual, Citi Ventures, Fidelity, and Nasdaq. The work on the prototype kicked off last year at the MIT, using the famous Glock 17 as the basic model.

DECENT Announces an ICO

Today’s overview ends with a reminder that DECENT, a decentralized content platform, has announced the forthcoming crowdsale of DCT tokens. The Software Sale, as they call it, launches on September 10.

DECENT Software Sale offers to become a part of blockchain-controlled media future. The platform’s founders state that by joining the crowdsale, users may not only help the project focused on creating an independent and secure content sharing system, but also becomes a part of a digital revolution.