This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments.
Mt Gox CEO claims he doesn’t want to profit from the exchange’s bankruptcy
Mark Karpeles, the CEO of now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt Gox, recently revealed through a Reddit AMA that he doesn’t want to profit from the exchange’s bankruptcy. Karpeles was set to receive roughly 160,000 BTC, worth over $1 billion from the process as Mt Gox’s creditors are set to be paid in fiat currency, according to the value BTC had at the time the company went bankrupt – roughly $480 per BTC. Karpeles claims he is working on moving the process into civil rehabilitation, so creditors can get paid back in Bitcoin.
During the Reddit AMA, he said:
- “I don’t want this. I don’t want this billion dollars. From day one I never expected to receive anything from this bankruptcy,” Karpeles said. “The fact that today this is a possibility is an aberration and I believe it is my responsibility to make sure it doesn’t happen.”
Mining hardware giant Bitmain unveiled a new Ether ASIC miner
Bitmain, a cryptocurrency mining hardware giant based in China, recently unveiled its new Antminer E3, an ASIC miner that can mine Ethereum and other Ethash cryptocurrencies, confirming suspicions such a machine was on the way.. The ASIC miner’s first batch will ship by mid-July, and has an $800 price tag on it. It’s set to consume 800w of electricity, while mining at 180MH/s. The machine’s efficiency, according to analysts, is set to reduce demand for GPUs.
Notably, a poll conducted by Ethereum developer Vlad Zamfir found that 57 percent of voters would support a hard fork for Ethereum to resist ASIC miners.
Would you support a hard fork that obsceletes ETH ASICs? (Just wondering, this is not a proposal)
— Vlad Zamfir (@VladZamfir) March 28, 2018
Vitalik Buterin proposes capping Ethereum’s maximum supply at 120 million
On April fool’s day, Ethereum founder Vitlaik Buterin proposed capping Ether’s supply at 120,204,432 tokens, twice the amount originally sold in 2014. The proposal addresses the cryptocurrency’s unclear monetary policy, but most didn’t initially understand whether Buterin was joking or not. Later on, he revealed that he initially just wanted to see people argue about the proposal, but then added that he believes it is “worth considering.” He noted that while his words were written as a joke, the arguments he presented are real arguments that should be discussed.
I do now believe that fixed supply is worth considering. Arguments:
* With ASICs, PoW issuance fails at making coin distribution more egalitarian
* With PoS, PoW issuance not needed for security
* With rewards coming from rent+other burned fees, can have rewards without issuance
— Vitalik "Not giving away ETH" Buterin (@VitalikButerin) April 2, 2018
Bitcoin Cash set to hard fork on May 15, block size to grow to 32 MB
Amaury Séchet, the lead developer of full-node client Bitcoin ABC, recently announced that the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network is set to hard fork on May 15, to allow for a bigger block size of 32 MB. The goal is to allow the cryptocurrency to scale to a “PayPal-like volume of payments.” Other adjustments are set to be included in the upgrade, seemingly including operational code that will introduce “Ethereum-like characteristics,” by potentially allowing basic smart contracts to be created on BCH’s network.
The fork will take place at 12:00:00 UTC, and will be determined by Median Time Passed (MTP) instead of a set block height. Bitcoin ABC’s developers stated in their announcement that Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin X are also updating their software, and urged those who run a full node to upgrade to the 0.17.0 update.
Australia introduced new regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) recently released new regulations cryptocurrency exchanges will have to follow. These include registering and reporting to the regulator. Failure to comply will be seen as a criminal offense, and civil penalty consequences await cryptocurrency exchanges that don’t register with AUSTRAC. The regulator’s website adds that exchanges are set to “meet AML/CFTC obligations, including:
- Adopting and maintaining an AML/CTF program to identify, mitigate and manage money laundering and terrorism financing risks
- Identifying and verifying the identities of their customers
- Reporting to AUSTRAC suspicious matters, and transactions involving physical currency of $10,000 or more
- Keeping certain records for seven years.”
Thailand’s Finance Ministry revealed tax rates for cryptocurrency investments
According to financial publication Nikkei, Thailand’s Finance Minister recently revealed the country’s tax framework for cryptocurrencies. Per the document, cryptocurrency trades will be taxed with a 7 percent value added tax, while returns on crypto investments will be taxed with a 15 percent capital gains tax. Commenting on the document, one of the country’s former finance minister revealed he believes these regulations need to not be too harsh, or Thai crypto startups may flee to Singapore.
Bitcoin at $6,635 as bulls fail to take over
Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, kept on dropping this week along with the rest of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. At press time, one Bitcoin is trading at $6,635, and its market cap is of $112 billion. Bitcoin’s dominance is currently at 45.1%. While the bearish trend my seem to have no end in sight, Wall Street analyst Tom Lee has stated that he expects it to end by April 17, the day US tax returns are due.