This Week in Crypto – 50 UK Crypto Firms Under Investigation, GM Files Blockchain Patent, Second Major Downturn

Bitcoin Mining Takes a Second Major Downturn

All the news is full of Bitcoin, and now it is showing itself in the world of mining that has thus far fended off any effects of the BTC price dropping.

In summary, Bitcoin adjusts the complexity of mining to keep a level of a block being mined every 10 minutes. When the BTC price goes up, the complexity increases and the result being the hash rate increases. When the hash rate drops, this means the BTC price is falling.

Now, this is the case, and the hash rate has been in decline since mid-October as the falling BTC prices have taken effect. This can be that old mining machines are being removed from the loop or more importantly, miners are turning off their rigs because there is no profit.

Estimates put a cost at $4500 to mine one full Bitcoin, and since the latter part of November, the BTC price has been well under this. The decline in the hash rate did start to fall a good month before this time.

Now it appears there could be a mining exodus because the mining difficulty fell by 15% following one of the regular adjustments (every two weeks). This is the most significant decrease in six years, and analysts are saying it has started the slow descent down a death spiral, and as an aside, the value of BTC actually stems from the cost of mining.

Two Heavyweights, Mayweather, and DJ Khaled Lose Court Case

It was mentioned a while ago of the embroilment of Floyd Mayweather Jnr and DJ Khaled in being paid to endorse ICO offerings that turned out to be nothing more than a smokescreen.

After months of courtroom drama it has now come to light the two stars were name dropped in a crypto related SEC ruling. The pair were connected to the debit card ‘Centra’ ICO and never disclosed it was pay-to-play.

Since all this manifested, Centra has been deemed as a scam, but the pair were not chastised for this, it was their paid for services that they never disclosed to the public which has gained the most attention.

As a result, it has been said Mayweather was paid $100,000 for making some supportive social media posts and $200,000 from other ICO’s. DJ Khaled, on the other hand, had a $50,000 check make its way in his direction from Centra.

Hefty fines have been imposed on the celebrity two, but it was Mayweather who was hit the hardest and in comparison DJ Khaled get away lightly.
The jury is out how the SEC will act on other ICO offerings in the future, but one thing is for sure, they will be keeping a close eye on them.

50 UK Crypto Firms Under Investigation

The FCA which is the UK’s financial watchdog has targeted 50 crypto firms with the increase of national regulation. Many of these firms are suspected of operating with no direct permission from specific financial service subsectors.

The way BTC rose to almost $20,000, it garnered a lot of attention from both sides, be it investors or investigators.
The reason there are so many investigations is with BTC losing around 80% of its value, the number of complaints to the FCA has risen in respect to this.

On top of this, the FCA says it has opened seven whistleblower reports in this year alone that are related to cryptocurrencies. In the years running up to the current time, there had been none.

This amount of regulation does seem a little extreme, but there is one positive that can be taken from this for the good of the public. Dodgy crypto firms can be weeded out, and any suspect schemes can be terminated before the unsuspecting public can be duped. This should allow more trust to come into the industry.

It is sure that cryptocurrencies will remain a part of the future life, but how this will pan out and which coin reigns supreme might differ to what everyone can see at the moment. It is only when a real service comes from a cryptocurrency, and the hurdles are cleared, there can be mass adoption, and digital cash becomes a possibility.

bitcoin market

Crypto Businesses Continue to Rise Despite Bear Markets

One of Wall Street’s most prominent crypto advocates Mike Novogratz has said: “It sucks to build businesses in a bear market.” It has been a bearish market throughout most of the year for most almost all cryptocurrencies, and none more so than Galaxy Digital whose shares plummeted 37% since its first listing on Canada’s TSX Venture Exchange right at the beginning of August.

Significant losses have been encountered by the firm, but outside of this, there is plenty of activity in other areas.

Cryptocurrencies are at their all-time lows, and there are major hurdles that need to be gotten over before there is any significant growth that will be seen. However, some businesses continue to grow, and crypto exchanges being one such platform.

Cryptocurrency prices hasn’t been low enough to dampen their interest. And, it can be seen that there are still plenty of transactions from which the exchanges will benefit, so to a certain degree, they will be protected against these price drops.

One other area that is steadily growing is in the blockchain arena where numerous projects are hiring staff at a rapid pace. Glassdoor.com has said that there has never been so much demand for bitcoin and blockchain roles as ever before.

GM Files Blockchain Patent

There is no question of the possibilities of the blockchain, and as such GM (General Motors) has filed a patent for a blockchain solution to manage the data from autonomous vehicles. This patent application was published on November 29.

The first application was way back in May 2017 where a system was outlined that would deliver both “robust & secure” data distribution between multiple vehicles and various other entities such as public facilities, regional authorities, and municipalities.
Autonomous vehicles need a very high degree of integrity for “temporal event data.” The applications state a blockchain system is desirable for both semi-autonomous and non-autonomous cars also.

In this system, GM’s blockchain will enable a distributed consensus of trust where all applications can be verified by participants of the blockchain exchange with no privacy concerns emerging.

In the middle of this year, General Motors joined Ford, Renault, and BMW as new members of MOBI (Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative), this joint venture includes 30+ participants which includes IOTA, IBM, Hyperledger and Bosch.

As an aside to this VW and IOTA showed a proof-of-concept for autonomous vehicles that could use IOTA’s Internet-of-Things “Tangle” architecture instead of relying on the more traditional blockchain.

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