This Week in Bitcoin: The Bitcoin Fork Tsunami Gives Way to a Ripple
Traditionally, nothing happens in the period between Christmas and New Year. It’s a lull devoid of anything newsworthy whatsoever. Except in the world of bitcoin. Miners never stop mining and exchanges never stop exchanging because bitcoin never sleeps – and it certainly doesn’t call in a week-long vacation just cos it’s the holidays. As a consequence, neither did we. While other media sites posted pre-written reviews of the year, we delivered the freshest news as it broke this week in bitcoin.
Also read: Trump’s New Tax Bill Means Changes Ahead for U.S. Bitcoiners
Bitcoin Ends 2017 as It Began
When dawn broke on January 1st, 2017, there was no inkling of the momentous and historic year that bitcoin was about to embark on. It wasn’t until March that things started getting real crazy, and that breakneck pace was maintained for the remainder of the year. In these final moments of 2017, bitcoin has decided to go out as it came in: quietly and without much fanfare. Prices have been in something of a slump for a few weeks now, leaving the mainstream media with little to get themselves worked up over.
That doesn’t mean that 2017 has ended with a whimper though. Hell naw. Away from price considerations, a lot has happened this week in bitcoin, from new tax legislation to the arrival of a pesky centralized coin determined to launch one final attempt at The Flippening before the year is done. We’ll dispatch ripple back to the bank vaults whence it came shortly, but let’s start with the rest of the week’s news.
One Whole Bitcoin or One Gorillion Shitcoins?
What has more value – a whole bitcoin or a big bag of alts? The answer surely lies in the former, but with most new entrants to the cryptocurrency markets priced out of owning one whole BTC, cheap alts are catching the eye of investors. The long-term value of these coins is debatable and indeed dubious, but for now at least they’re enjoying a bounce – sometimes an extremely big bounce in the case of this month’s winners, as we reported.
Some of those winners rapidly lost their new price points as quickly as they’d been acquired, it should be noted, but that’s what happens when you panic buy altcoins that have been shilled by McAfee. Live and learn. One of the more intriguing stories to emerge this week was that some cryptocurrency exchanges have been closing their doors to new customers. Bitcoin’s so hot right now there’s no more room at the inn.
20 Years Ago, This Happened
It’s common to embark on retrospectives as the year draws to a close, but this week in bitcoin we traveled back 20 years to revisit a book called The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age by James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg. We wrote:
Freeing money means freeing people. They explain, “Each transaction will involve the transfer of encrypted multi-hundred-digit prime number sequences…the new digital gold standard or its barter equivalents will be almost impossible to counterfeit…All receipts will be verifiably unique,” which is so exactly spot-on it can take a reader’s breath.
Fork off With Your Coin Splits
Thursday was all about forks, and the growing weariness towards these hastily contrived and often badly thought out bitcoin spin-offs. Bitcoin diamond, bitcoin god, and Segwit2x have all been given the thumbs down by the cryptocurrency community, though bitcoin private, a relaunched Zclassic, looks more interesting. Eric Wall had a lot to say about it in his weekly trading column. Speaking of trading, this week’s most popular post was Seven Deadly Trading Mistakes Every Rookie Makes. Be honest: you’ve committed at least one of these, even if it hurts too much to talk about it.
As the weekend drew in, we published a thought-provoking piece on the difficulties of cashing out from crypto to fiat. Seems you might have to wait a while to get your hands on that high performance sports car your Telegram trading buddies have all been touting. Friday’s other essential read was on amendments to the US tax bill, which will compel cryptocurrency holders to tread carefully from now on – if they weren’t already.
It Started With a Tsunami and Ended With a Ripple
2017 was all about bitcoin, except for those occasional weeks when it wasn’t. Remember when ethereum started getting ideas above its station, back in spring? Or how about that time when bitcoin cash looked set to land its own flippening in early November? The last of this year’s challenges to bitcoin came from litecoin…or at least so we thought. Then, out of nowhere, ripple – the great sleeper of the cryptocurrency markets – went on a mazy run, culminating in it usurping ethereum to claim second spot this week.
You had a lot to say about ripple’s insurgency in the comments section, and like many here at news.Bitcoin.com were less than enamored with this centralized currency with its insane pre-mine. Five-figure bitcoin doesn’t seem that crazy, all things considered, but $2 ripple? Now that’s a head-turner. We’ve no wish to sign off on the ultimate review of 2017 by speaking of inferior cryptocurrencies, so let’s return to where we started: by toasting what has been a remarkable year for bitcoin.
With the crypto community and the world at large now fully aware that decentralized currencies are here to stay, 2018 is shaping up to be the most eagerly anticipated year since the birth of bitcoin. Whatever it holds, we’ll be there to report on the latest drama, scaling solutions, and privacy developments as they unfold. Have a great New Year and we’ll see you on the other side for more of the same.
Do you feel optimistic about the fate of bitcoin and the cryptocurrency markets in 2018? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Need to know the price of bitcoin? Check this chart.