This past week has seen progress in two aspects of Bitcoin: privacy and payments. Attitudes toward blockchain technology are also showing progress as two surveys reveal. And yet, regulation does not necessarily seem to be keeping pace.
Here are some of the stories that we’ve been following at Bitcoin Magazine.
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Advances in Bitcoin Technology
This week, two of our top stories explored recent advancements in Bitcoin development. First, we examined a new protocol that is working toward improving privacy of Bitcoin transactions. Dandelion, a protocol developed by postdoc Giulia Fanti and other researchers from Carnegie Mellon, MIT and the University of Illinois, would effectively neutralize the peer-to-peer analysis that plays a significant role in compromising user identity.
Solving the problem of allowing users to make trustless transactions between lightning addresses and on-chain addresses in either direction, “Submarine Swaps” are now live (though still in early stages of operations). The technology could be a game changer for both Bitcoin lightning and mainnet users, as it would remove the transaction barriers between them.
Two separate studies have found that interest in blockchain technology is on the rise. A PwC global survey discovered that of the corporations surveyed, the number of companies that are using or exploring using blockchain technology is growing, and that there is also an increase in trust among the companies that have heard of the technology.
Meanwhile, the next generation of blockchain entrepreneurs, developers and users is also showing an interest in learning more. A recent survey, commissioned by Coinbase in partnership with Qriously, sampled 675 U.S. students, and it found that students across all majors have an interest in blockchain technology.
Hurdles in Cryptocurrency Regulation
Canada’s decision to put off any decisions regarding the regulation of cryptocurrencies and blockchain companies until after the next round of federal elections has been met with mixed reactions. Some see it as a sign that the government is backing away from the strict set of recommendations that were put forward in June of this year. Others are concerned that putting off regulatory clarifications will hamper industry growth in the country.
In Venezuela, the government has ordered all domestic banks to disclose the IP addresses, financial details, transaction amounts and locations of all citizens who access their banking services from outside the country. This move has Bitcoiners concerned that the government is trying to interfere with their ability to use cryptocurrencies for remittances, with particular implications for people using LocalBitcoins to trade their bitcoins for fiat.