Bitcoin Magazine’s Week in Review: Markets, Miners and Conferences
While Bitmain creates new ASIC Antminers to mine any cryptocurrency running Equihash proof of work, the affected cryptocurrencies look at measures to prevent it. New York has a lot of news happening this week, with the New York Stock Exchange's parent company looking to get into bitcoin trading and Blockchain Week kicking off with the CDX Summit. South Korea continues to be a leader in blockchain technology, rolling out new partnerships with neighboring countries, and building out more blockchain technology.
Featured stories by Colin Harper, Nick Marinoff and Aaron van Wirdum.
Stay on top of the best stories in the bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. Subscribe to our newsletter here.
Bitmain announced, via Twitter, the release of its new Antminer Z9 mini, an ASIC miner capable of mining any cryptocurrency running the Equihash proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm. This includes, most notably, Zcash, which is a decentralized and open-source cryptocurrency designed to offer users complete privacy in transactions. Zcash has always used the Equihash PoW mining algorithm to prevent the progress of Zcash ASIC miners and has predominantly been mined by general-purpose GPU chips.
The development of ASIC hardware is causing some cryptocurrencies to change their proof-of-work mining algorithm. Bitcoin Gold has a hard fork coming to defeat it and Monero has already modified their mining algorithm to counter ASIC hardware.
According to analytics firm GlobalData, South Korea has become a leader in the blockchain community. Businesses like Korea Telecom are already working to determine how the blockchain can be used to lessen production expenses and generate new types of revenue. Representatives of the South Korean telephone giant have already joined with Sprint and Japan’s SoftBank to launch a “blockchain-powered data roaming service” in the coming weeks. Executives say the company has big plans to use the blockchain to power “finance, IoT, smart energy and healthcare businesses.”
South Korea is also attracting businesses from neighboring countries like Japan, whose social messaging platform Line is set to launch a blockchain subsidiary known as Unblock within South Korea’s borders. The purpose of the subsidiary will be to further study the blockchain and determine how it can best be applied to the company’s remaining divisions. As the nation leads the blockchain revolution, neighboring regions are also taking the bait and looking into how blockchain technology can best be utilized to further cement operational security and efficiency.
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), wants to establish its own cryptocurrency exchange. According to New York Times (NYT) sources, ICE has been in talks with legacy banks and financial institutions to facilitate swap contracts for potential bitcoin trading. These contracts would essentially allow banks to buy contracts for bitcoin, giving the exchange sure anchors of liquidity. Once an exchange user buys one of these contracts, cash changes hands and the corresponding bitcoin would appear in their wallet the next day. The report reveals that the exchange, which would be built with “large investors” in mind, would permit direct bitcoin trading, not futures contracts as we’ve seen with the CBOE and CME.
The latest installment of the Chief Digital Officer Global Forum (CDX) summit series will be held in New York on May 11, 2018. Established in 2013, the summit has set up shop in Chicago, San Francisco, Singapore and, most recently, Las Vegas, with focuses on emerging innovations in mobile, IoT and digital advertising technologies.
This latest installment will concentrate on advancements in blockchain technology and its application to traditional industries. To this end, the CDX Blockchain Brand Innovation Summit has an extensive list of speakers and panelists both from within and without the blockchain space, featuring representatives from the likes of Hulu, CNBC, IBM and BTC Media.
The Breaking Bitcoin conference, first organized last summer in Paris, is returning for its second edition under the name “Building on Bitcoin,” this time in Lisbon, July 3–4, 2018. While the event in the French capital was centered around security, the one in the Portuguese capital will focus on second-layer technologies and other creative uses of the Bitcoin protocol.
Building on Bitcoin will focus on second-layer technologies in a broad sense. The best known and most popular of these is probably the Lightning Network, of which the first implementations entered their beta stage over the past couple of months. But other areas of research and development include different types of sidechains like Liquid, RSK or drivechains; privacy technologies like TumbleBit; smart contract solutions like MAST; and more.