Bitcoin This Week: New Bitcoin Core Version Released, Bitcoin’s Slump Due to Futures Expiry And More
Bitcoin Core Version 0.16.1 Released
Four months on from the last Bitcoin Core release, sees the announcement of another minor release, Version 0.16.1, which promises bug fixes, better translations and generally improved performance. An important development is that wallets created in either this new version or its immediate predecessor, will no longer be compatible with older versions. It's hoped that the latest version will reduce block bloat and promote adoption of Segwit Bech32.
Detailed instructions on how to upgrade can be found on [bitcoincore.org|http://bitcoincore.org], with the team behind the upgrade welcoming bug reports and questions, as always, on GitHub.
CIA Not Saying If It Knows The True Identity of Satoshi Nakamoto
A decade since Bitcoin announced itself to the world, we are no closer to knowing the true identity of its founder, the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto. Theories abound, with everyone from academics to the Chinese government linked to the shadowy figure.
This week, Motherboard’s Daniel Oberhaus, in an effort to finally establish Nakamoto’s identity, submitted a Freedom of Information request to the CIA. Surely, Oberhaus reasoned, America’s intelligence chief’s must know who is behind the world’s best known cryptocurrency. Well, if they know, they are not saying. Oberhaus received a typically terse response from the spymasters: the agency can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the requested information. We perhaps should not be surprised by this, after all, they have been keeping America’s secrets for almost a century. Better luck next time, Motherboard.
Bitcoin’s Slump Due to Futures Expiry
Bitcoin’s rocky 2018 continued this week as the currency continued to fall further towards $6000. It is a far cry from the $20,000 plus the crypto exchanged for at the start of the year. Everyone has their own theories on the continued slump. Wall Street analyst Tom Lee told Bloomberg this week that he believes the Bitcoin correction we are currently seeing is due to the expiration of Bitcoin futures.
Six futures contracts have reached their expiry dates since trading was permitted back in December, and the price of Bitcoin has, as Lee calls it, undergone “gut-wrenching” collapses in tandem with the end of these. The latest contract expiration occured on the 13th of June, and may be one reason Bitcoin has fallen over 20% in the last ten days. Followers of Bitcoin are used to price fluctuations, but the recent decline has been particularly painful. There is some comfort in knowing that Mr Lee has made drastic predictions about the price of Bitcoin in the past only to be proved wrong.
Italian Authorities Seize Bitcoins From Bankrupt Exchange
Bitgrail’s sad story looks like it is drawing to a close, with the news that Italian authorities have seized the wallets of the beleaguered exchange. This is part of pre-bankruptcy proceedings and follows on from the theft of $170 million worth of Nano in February last, in a widely reported hack. Bitgrail announced the seizure on the 15th of June, which firmly ends any hopes that the exchange would reopen.
This is another blow to Nano following on from the hack. Bitgrail meanwhile still has questions to answer, with Nano hinting that it suspected foul play at the exchange, and refusing to accept Bitgrail’s explanation for the hack. Bitgrail may be nearly gone, but the fallout from the February hack still casts a dark shadow over the crypto community.
Bitcoin Finds A New Support Mark
Bitcoin started the week trading at just shy of $6800 and by Tuesday was at $6900. But that was as good as it got, as Wednesday saw the price plummet to below $6300. There was some respite for Bitcoin Hodlers on Thursday with the modest upward trend continuing as the market recovered to $6700 briefly. However, the good news didn’t last long and another dip to $6400 followed on Friday. The weekend saw some steadying of the ship at $6500 which is where the currency hovered by close of Sunday.
We’ve already heard one theory about the volatility in the price of Bitcoin over the past few days in our news report. But there was a sense at the end of the week that Bitcoin may finally have settled on a correction price and will regroup from here. Wednesday’s sudden slump may well have been caused by a sell off to capitalize on the end of futures contracts, and is further evidence, if needed, that with Bitcoin, the actions of a small number of powerful whales can create huge waves in the market.