2017 has already been an eventful and momentous year for Bitcoin. Here is the news you need to know this week:
1. Bitcoin prices have reached an all-time high.
The value of bitcoin has exploded recently, seeing more than a 60 percent increase in three months. The digital currency, which is trading today at $1,220 according to CoinDesk, has improved thanks to increasing support and adaptation. This is the longest stretch of trading above $1,000 in bitcoin’s history and many analysts believe that the currency has established a price floor at this level. The price of bitcoin does tend to fluctuate more than a typical currency, but the price trend indicates that consumer and investor sentiment is improving for the cryptocurrency.
Read more from CoinDesk.
2. Investors await approval of Bitcoin ETF.
On March 11, the SEC will decide the fate of the bitcoin ETF, COIN, created by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. COIN is an exchange-traded fund that tracks the price of bitcoin. The ETF could allow retail investors a cheaper way to invest in a currency that draws over $1,000 (see above) for just one bitcoin. The approval of the fund would be a huge step forward for the digital currency and the potential upside has already been priced into the current bitcoin value. Analysts have mixed feelings about the likelihood of the SEC’s approval, but even the recognition of the fund is evidence of Bitcoin’s legitimacy.
3. Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Draws FinTech Giants.
Ethereum is a public and permissionless blockchain, meaning anyone can use it at any time. The distributed ledger technology is used for financial transactions on both a large and small scale for both public and private purposes. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) is a group of over 30 organizations that want to standardize the use of Ethereum’s codebase and to improve its usability in the enterprise setting. What does this mean for Bitcoin? A standardization of the Ethereum blockchain and the improvement of the codebase provided by the members of the EEA will increase the efficiency, security, and general usability of Bitcoin transactions. In other words, this movement will make Bitcoin a more appealing option for businesses of every size. Some of the firms involved in the EEA include Microsoft, Intel, J.P. Morgan, Banco Santander, UBS, Accenture, and BNY Mellon.
Read more from Bitcoin Magazine.
4. Bitcoin Troubles in China.
In an attempt to control and contain Bitcoin in China, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has pressured digital currency exchanges to cease offering no-fee trades and also to freeze withdrawals until China can update its compliance systems surrounding Bitcoin. For a brief period, the Bitcoin market saw a drop in trading, but it soon picked up on less-formal exchanges. China’s attempts to reign in and monitor the digital currency have not been entirely effective. The relationship between bitcoin and the People’s Republic of China has not been harmonious as of late. It is unclear how China will handle the situation as the digital currency gains ground in the global marketplace.
Read more from Bloomberg.