Ethereum Sharding and Anonymity under Attack: This week in Crypto

Price Watch:

Bitcoin is up 5% again this week to $9,990. The price was all over the place this week dropping to $9,200 and losing support at that level before briefly dipping below the $9,000 level. The price made a quick recovery to the $9,300 level on Thursday before surging up to $9,900.

Technical analysts now watch closely as Bitcoin seeks again to retest the critical $10,000 level. Heavyweight analysts remain bullish, especially in the short term.

Ethereum is up 16% this week meaning Ethereum has made double-digit gains for 3 out of the last 4 weeks. After successfully retesting the critical $800 level this week Ethereum’s gains were able to pull the cryptocurrency market cap over $450 billion once again.

These key technical factors combined with new projects/uses, praise by technology leaders, very strong projections, and project improvements have led to the price surge.

Another key factor will be the SEC ruling on whether or not Ethereum is a security, set to come out next week. Many expect Ethereum will not be deemed a security, and this is at least partially reflected in the price.

The entire crypto market gained 8% this week after a strong gain of 10% last week and double-digit gains in the two preceding weeks.

Regulation:

Japan pressures exchanges to de-list “anonymous” cryptocurrencies: Sources close to the FSA (Financial Services Agency), Japan’s regulatory agency, have reported this week that the FSA is “taking all available steps” to pressure domestic trading platforms to drop support for altcoins that promote anonymity.

Some say the move was motivated by CoinCheck’s record-breaking hack which Japan hopes to prevent in the future.

Federal Reserve: Bitcoin is like”Regular Currency” – In a blog post published this week to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ blog the Federal Reserve attempted to compare cryptocurrencies to regular currencies and prove they are more “boring” than people think.

Indian Law Protects Cryptocurrency Investors – The RBI (Reserve Bank of India) continues to face legal challenges this week over its ban on buying cryptocurrencies.

Iran bans Telegram: Iran’s judiciary banned Telegram on Monday accusing the popular messenger app of allowing armed opposition groups to fuel unrest. Domestic ISP’s have been forced to comply and will face prosecution for disobeying the order.

Startups:

Coinbase valued at $8 billion in the equity package presented as part of the exchanges acquisition of earn.com. This $8 billion marks a huge increase from it’s $1.6 billion valuations last August when the exchange concluded it’s Series D round.

The change in valuation is likely due to it’s new, institutional investor facing, product line.

Comcast Ventures bullish on blockchain: The managing director of the fund, providing an analysis of the current market said the pullback was to figure out the “real applications” of blockchain technology and that investors are likely to see a huge surge in the short term.

Despite their optimism, the exchange is still waiting for blockchain’s “killer app”.

Scaling:

Mastercard files scalable blockchain patent: Mastercard International has applied for a patent for fast-tracking data processing on blockchain systems to increase transaction volume. The move comes as a surprise to some considering Mastercard has referred to cryptocurrencies in the past as “anonymous crap”.

Ethereum announces sharding: Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin has announced that Sharding, a much-awaited scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain protocol, is coming.

Sharding is said to be an important part of the 100-fold increase in scalability experts claim is needed to support large-scale decentralized applications.

Miscellaneous:

Buffet still hates crypto: Warren Buffet, speaking to Yahoo Finance from Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting again compared buying bitcoin to “gambling”.

Buffet’s main issue with cryptocurrencies is they are not “value-producing assets”. Only time will tell who is right.

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