Bitcoin’s mining difficulty is at a record high, Singapore’s central bank digital currency could find commercial use and Chinese firms are going in on Filecoin. Here’s the story:
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Record Level Mining Difficulty
Bitcoin’s mining difficulty, an automatic adjusting feature, is at a record high. This adjustment reflects increasing computer power on the network and, potentially, investment in new mining machines, despite bitcoin ranging between $9,100 and $9,500 since early July. The increased difficulty comes two months after Bitcoin’s quadrennial halving, which has complicated the economy of Bitcoin miners and machinery that secure the network.
Eight of the top 10 Filecoin testnet miners are Chinese investors or companies, according to the blockchain explorer, while more companies are selling cloud mining contracts and physical hardware for the distributed file sharing system. “The Filecoin craze in China may be largely related to the long-standing popularity of crypto mining in the country in general, which is home to around 65% of the computing power on Bitcoin by estimation,” CoinDesk’s Wolfie Zhao writes.
Developer Chris Belcher is trying to bring privacy to Bitcoin. He’s building out an idea first proposed in 2013, CoinSwap, and has been awarded two grants for his effort. “CoinSwap could be said to allow bitcoins to teleport undetectably to anywhere else on the blockchain,” Bitcoin Wiki writes. Bitcoin’s cryptographic underpinning allows anyone to look at a history of any transaction – skewering any sense of real privacy. CoinSwaps and other privacy-minded advancements are trying to bring the anonymous aspects of cash to the blockchain.
A federal judge said Telegram’s court battle did not set a precedent for a similar case involving Kik’s battle with the SEC. “I think that there is no binding precedent one way or another,” Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said. The SEC is pursuing action against Kik related to its $100 million ICO. The SEC won a preliminary injunction against Telegram this year, ordering the company to halt the issuance of its gram tokens, and the firm later discontinued the TON project.
CBDC Going Live
The next phase for a blockchain-based central bank digital currency project in Singapore “will be in implementing live commercial solutions to solve real world challenges,” after the experiment completed its development cycle. Designed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and state investor Temasek, Ubin, as the project is known, has been running as a multi-currency payments platform and has leveraged work on a blockchain and digital currency at U.S. investment bank JPMorgan.
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