Crypto Update: ETH upgrade delayed as prices slide further
Cryptocurrency analyst, Saxo Bank Group
Summary: Both Bitcoin and Ethereum prices slid further over the past week with ETH in particular focus on the delay of a hardfork originally scheduled for January 17.
Ethereum upgrade delayed
Ethereum was set to undergo a network upgrade otherwise known as a hardfork at mid-morning UTC Thursday; the hardfork, however, is now delayed with no new date set. The reason for the delay is due to a security flaw discovered in one of the proposed features. The flaw was published on January 15, just two days before the scheduled update. Now the market is waiting for the Ethereum developer meeting on Friday to find out the new date for the upgrade. This upgrade was hailed as one of the least controversial even though it includes a reduction in inflation from three to two ether per block. A shorter delay should help support price in the near term.
Physically-settled bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt, which recently secured over $180 million in funding, announced that it will acquire certain assets of the Rosenthal Collins Group, an independent futures commission merchant. The acquisition will help increase Bakkt’s effectiveness in account management and collateral handling. The launch of the futures exchange will increase access for traditional institutions, resulting in a possible increase in demand for bitcoins on the market. The tentative launch date for the exchange that was set for January 24 has been delayed indefinitely due to the firm's reliance on government agencies for approval and the US government shutdown. At best, Bakkt could launch in the first quarter of 2019.
Bitmain to replace CEO
CEO and blockchain entrepreneur Jihan Wu is set to step to down from the world’s largest cryptocurrency mining manufacturer, Bitmain. The transition is said to have started in December, although Wu and the other co-CEO will remain on the board as co-chairs. The new CEO will be director of product engineering Haichao Wang. This highlights the effort of Bitmain to refocus its business after a round of layoffs and closures at its overseas branches in Israel, Amsterdam and the US. Bitmain has been swirled in controversy, with its malinvestment in Bitcoin Cash and accusations that it defrauded pre-IPO investors. Now it appears that the Bitmain IPO is postponed indefinitely.
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