Daily Byte: Friday, November 16, 2018November 16, 2018
All is quiet – so far – on the Bitcoin Cash front, nVidia’s bet on crypto goes sour, SEC puts Voorhees under the microscope, and Microsoft gets in the game.
Here is some of what’s happening, for Friday, November 16, 2018:
Bitcoin Cash Split Completed, No Signs of Sabotage Yet
The Bitcoin Cash blockchain split at 18:02 UTC yesterday, and yet, the prophesized “hash war” has yet to materialize. On November 6, Craig Wright, the proponent of the new Bitcoin SV chain, suggested by tweet that SV miners could potentially attack and “kill” off a rival chain, leading the community to speculate on the ramifications of a full “hash war.”
So far, the two claimants to the mantle of bitcoin cash are behaving. This does not mean, however, that hostility is off the table. As the two chains – while separate networks – are forks from the same master chain, Bitcoin SV could theoretically launch a 51 percent attack against its sister chain, Bitcoin ABC, if it should ever gain dominance.
Bitcoin SV – which claims to represent “Satoshi Vision” or the original model Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto was thought to have imagined for his coin – has made it clear that it intends to emerge as the primary Bitcoin Cash implementation. “Unlike other competing BCH implementations which seek to make unnecessary changes to Bitcoin, Bitcoin SV’s roadmap is to restore the original Satoshi protocol, keep it stable, enable it to massively scale, and allow major businesses to confidently build on top of BCH,” a nChain press release reads.
As of the writing of this report, Bitcoin ABC is 32 blocks ahead of Bitcoin SV.
Bitcoin SV, an implementation designed to make Bitcoin Cash more palatable for corporate users, increased the block size from 32 megabytes to a maximum of 128 megabytes. Bitcoin ABC, which seeks to emulate Ethereum’s and EOS’ scripting ability, add supports for EDCCs (aka smart contracts) and for oracles.
For more on the split, read our full article.
ShapeShift CEO Faces SEC Scrutiny
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating Salt Lending Holdings, Inc., a cryptocurrency-collateral lending platform affiliated with crypto exchange ShapeShift AG CEO Erik Voorhees.
In question are if Salt Lending Holdings’ token sale should have been registered as a securities offering, how the token sale’s proceeds were used, how the tokens were issued, and if Voorhees violated a 2014 SEC settlement that banned him from participating in token sales and ICOs. ShapeShift has been accused of allowing suspected criminals to effectively launder monies by converting bitcoin to Monero, which is virtually untraceable.
Voorhees entered a SEC settlement in 2014 following accusations that he conducted an illegal public offering for an internet gambling company. He agreed to pay $50,000 in fines and to neither raise funds in private markets nor serve as an officer in a firm that fundraises in this manner.
Voorhees is no stranger to controversy. He has said that exchanges like his do not have to adhere to know-your-customer and anti-money laundering protections (KYC/AML), despite this being the standard for most national securities regulators. “I don’t think people should have their identity recorded to catch an occasional criminal,” Voorhees said in a May interview, per WSJ.
While the SEC refused to comment, the SEC complaint was confirmed by a Salt Lending Holdings executive that noted that Voorhees was an “early contributor” to the company, but no longer serves in any formal role.
nVidia Sees Shares Price Fall with Wilting Cryptocurrency Mining Demand
Staying with WSJ, chip manufacturer nVidia forecasted fourth-quarter sales Thursday below Wall Street expectations. The California-based company is placing the blame on unsold chips following a cryptocurrency mining downturn.
Recent reports have indicated that GPU-powered proof-of-work mining is no longer profitable due to lagging crypto prices, the cost of electricity, and the dominance of ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) in the market.
While the company reported that third-quarter profits rose 47 percent and revenue rose 21 percent, this came in short of expectations. Nvidia stock prices dropped 18 percent to $165 after hours from a close of $202.39.
Microsoft Launches Development Kit for Blockchain
American software giant Microsoft jumps into the blockchain-as-a-platform market with the launch of its Azure-powered blockchain development kit. Microsoft is entering a crowded marketplace where IBM, Google, and Amazon have already released similar development kits.
Microsoft has indicated that the kit will provide SMS and voice interfaces for tracking solutions, integration with Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and Android and iOS support. Microsoft is also suggesting that its offering will be compatible with different blockchain encryption methods, such as Ethereum and Bitcoin.
Be fast, be clever, be wise. Most importantly, be here Monday for your Daily Byte.
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