Happy New Year! Bitcoin has entered the 2020s after an incredible decade full of growth, pitfalls and more growth. Last year alone Bitcoin broke many new records, and this week we will take a look at some of those achievements.
The new year also seems promising for Bitcoin. Among other things we have the upcoming block reward halving to look forward to. As the supply of new bitcoins drops to half it can have heavy effects on the markets, much like earlier in history.
Among other news we have YouTube’s censorship policy, which has damaged countless cryptocurrency-related content providers without proper explanation. While some accounts have been reinstated, the problem still seems to persist and has caused much speculation.
Furthermore we have increased bitcoin hodling, Chinese mining and an Ethereum developer facing trial after his blockchain lecture in North Korea.
Last week’s news can be found here.
Bitcoin broke records
While bitcoin’s price development has been calmer than many previous years, the system itself was far from stagnant. In 2019 Bitcoin broke at least three significant records.
The Bitcoin network was used to make more transactions than ever before. In May Bitcoin also broke its monthly record with 12 million transactions in one month. The earlier record was from December 2017 with 11 million transactions.
Aside transactions also the amount of transferred value has risen to an all-time high. Bitcoin is used every day to transfer an average value worth between one to two billion dollars. The daily record was broken at the end of July, when Bitcoin was used to transfer over 4 billion dollars of value in a single daily.
The Bitcoin network’s computing power has also reached new records. Marking a clear rise around the middle of the year, the computing power has now risen above an average of 100 million terahash per second.
Bitcoin hodling has increased
Nearly 70% of all existing bitcoins have remained unmoved during the past six months. This seems to indicate the amount of bitcoin hodlers, meaning long-term bitcoin investors, is growing.
”Last time this happened was around the halving of 2016,” says Alistair Milne of Altana Digital Currency Fund.
The block reward halving refers to an event dropping the amount of new bitcoins to half. This significantly decreases the supply of bitcoins, which has historically led to bitcoin’s price rising.
The amount of hodlers has remained high throughout the year. According to Mati Greenspan, founder of Quantum Economics, less than half of all cryptocurrencies have moved in the past 12 months.
YouTube removed crypto videos
Last week YouTube removed an enormous amount of cryptocurrency-related instructional videos. According to the service it was a mistake and not an intentional attack on crypto video producers.
“With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it. We also offer uploaders the ability to appeal removals and we will re-review the content,” YouTube responded in a statement.
YouTube claims to have reinstated all removed videos, but at least some tubers tell a different story. Chris Dunn, who runs an investment education channel with 200 000 subscribers, thinks the situation has only gone worse.
“Today, YouTube not only took down the videos that they reinstated yesterday, but they took down at least one other video that they’d never taken down before,” Dunn said.
”Nothing has changed. YouTube said this was a mistake yesterday too. I’m not sure why they are saying this,” reported tuber Ivan on Tech.
Poloniex user data may be exposed
Poloniex, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has sent a message asking all its customers to change passwords. Poloniex sent the request due to a leaked list of email addresses and passwords on Twitter.
”While almost all of the leaked email addresses listed do not belong to Poloniex accounts, we are forcing a password reset on any email addresses that do have an account with us,” Poloniex said.
It is uncertain how the leaked information has found its way on Twitter. Poloniex has also refrained from revealing how many of the leaked addresses are related to Poloniex users.
Bitcoin miners restricted in China
Authorities have started taking measures against bitcoin miners in China. Bitcoin miners in the Sichuan province report demands to lower their mining power during the region’s dry season, lasting roughly from October to April.
Bitcoin mining companies are officially prohibited in Sichuan. However, during wet seasons mining is tolerated since local hydroelectric power stations produce more energy than is needed.
Authorities have also taken harder measures against companies providing electricity for miners. At least two power plants have been fined roughly $140 000 dollars after providing energy for bitcoin mining without a proper license.
A majority of all bitcoin mining takes place in China. The country is currently responsible for roughly 66% of the world’s mining power.
Ethereum developer awaits trial
Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith will get to await his upcoming trial with his family. Griffith was released from jail after his parents paid a bail sum of one million dollars.
Griffith is accused of handing over technology to a hostile state after lecturing in a blockchain and cryptocurrency-related conference in North Korea. According to the prosecutor Griffith engaged in distributing information which North Korea could potentially abuse. The country is suspected of having operated state-sponsored attacks against crypto exchanges and private entities.
Griffith’s defense insists he is innocent and all he spoke in the conference was generally available information. If Griffith is found guilty he may face a sentence up to several years.