Ethereum Classic attacked. Coinbase has suspended trading in Ethereum Classic following at least 13 double spends. These appear to be the result of a so-called 51% attack, which deliberately disrupts the consensus algorithm. According to Coinbase’s blog, more than $1 million was double-spent. ETC is the 18th-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. It is not to be confused with ETH, the second- or third-largest depending on how it’s doing against XRP. The two Ethereum chains separated following a hard fork in 2016.
Most central banks looking to crypto. According to the Bank for International Settlements – the Zurich-based central banks for central banks – 70% of national monetary authorities are investigating the formation of fiat cryptocurrencies. Central bank digital currencies are a still-theoretical construction, more famous for the number of times that they’ve been considered and either tabled or outright dismissed, and the number of times – zero – that they’ve been adopted. “A survey of central banks shows that a majority are collaboratively looking at the implications of a central bank digital currency,” the BIS report states. “Although many have reached the stage of considering practical issues, central banks appear to be proceeding cautiously and few reports plans to issue a digital currency in the short or medium term.”
Crypto enthusiast elected Swiss president. Finance Minister Ulrich “Ueli” Maurer has been elected president of Switzerland, which is widely considered a positive development for Crypto Valley. Bitcoin.com reports that the 68-year-old accountant deserves much of the credit for the confederation’s knowledgeably constructed regulatory framework governing digital assets and, as a result, its status as a destination for blockchain entrepreneurs. While the role of the president is largely ceremonial – the Swiss are notoriously suspicious of centralized authority – Maurer could find himself the tiebreaking vote in public policy debates, many of which are likely to involve cryptocurrency in some form.
McKinsey: Occam’s razor shreds blockchain. “Blockchain has yet to become the game-changer some expected,” according to a recent post on McKinsey & Company’s website. The problem, the consultancy believes, is that the best solution to a problem is generally the simplest and that existing technology can often solve what digital ledgers are being repurposed to. That observation, often referred to as Occam’s razor, is why adoption has been so slow. William of Occam was a 14th-century English monk and logician. Later admirers referred to his “razor” as a metaphor for how he would shave away unnecessary assumptions which led to unnecessary complexity.
Married to the blockchain? Reno, Nevada, hosted almost 1,000 blockchain-recorded marriages in 2018, according to public records obtained by the local Associated Press-affiliated newspaper. The town’s well-earned reputation as a place where a marriage can be sealed or severed with all the ceremony of a drive-thru order at Burger King renders it a unique use case tokenized record-keeping. Reno’s Washoe County is also looking at distributed ledger technology to digitize public records and recover them after a disaster. The Reno Gazette-Journal further discovered that remote Elko County, which borders on Idaho and Utah, is testing distributed ledger technology to record birth certificates.
Has the next Facebook arrived – on Bitcoin Cash? Last April, a new social network called Memo.cash emerged on the BCH chain. It’s still alive and growing because, at least in some circles, the security breaches, lack of privacy and socio-political misbehavior characteristic of such popular sites as Facebook are more troubling than the volatility of the crypto market. Of course, just being in the right place at the right time isn’t enough for a successful launch. Another BCH-native social platform, Blockpress, has long since gone dark. Memo itself has a long way to go before it can claim the kind of ubiquity necessary for a mainstream social media site. It still counts its profiles in the hundreds, not the billions.
LOOKING FORWARD: Two American states are moving forward to clarify their positions on cryptocurrency. Colorado recently passed the Colorado Digital Token Act to provide cryptocurrencies with exemptions from existing state securities laws, Bitcoin Exchange Guide reports.Meanwhile, Texas might soon consider stablecoins to be, for all intents and purposes, physical money. The Texas Department of Banking released new guidance on crypto regulation that parses the difference between “centralized” and “decentralized” assets, with stablecoins being a type of the centralised variety. Now if Texas can figure out the difference between currencies, securities, and utilities, it might catch up with Malta.