Welcome to our 18th crypto roundup and the 3rd for 2017, brought to you by HEAT crypto.
Bitcoin in Turmoil
Let's talk about this elephant in the room - Bitcoin hasn't looked this vulnerable for a long time. The price may not immediately reflect this, although a drop of over $200 in a couple of days should give everyone a pause to think.
The very highly short version of the story is this: one side of the community wants to scale Bitcoin through second-layer applications like lightning, after passing Segregated Witnesses (SegWit) on the Bitcoin blockchain, while retaining the 1MB block size limit. The other side wants to give the miners control over the block size, which can be set dynamically by the miners.
The debate should be technical, but has devolved into political a long time ago. Now, it seems like the differences are becoming irreconcilable. This means Bitcoin is gearing towards a hard fork - Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Unlimited which will likely have, in the future, different consensus rules. Therefore for all practical purposes, they will not really inter-operate. Depending on which one becomes the more dominant chain, one will be relegated to the status of an altcoin.
We won't take positions on this political debate here. However, we'll leave it at this - scaling is an incredibly complex challenge for distributed systems like blockchain. That's something we understand very intimately here at HEAT. Our entire architecture is being built to provide the kinds of scalability suitable to the hype around blockchains throughout the world today. Check out our project here. It will take time, sure, but most good things in life do.
Can Crypto Break Free from Bitcoin?
Continuing on our previous section's theme, the crypto markets have gone haywire with the new Bitcoin hard fork risks. The market volatility has increased, and some other currencies, notably Dash and Monero, are seeing a huge pump in prices.
However, one trend is clear - Bitcoin is losing its crypto-dominance, slowly but surely. It's in a downtrend, with other crytpos rising to meet the challenge. Take a look at Bitcoin's dominance trend:
Other crypto tokens like Ethereum have seen a huge price rise. Ethereum, at the time of this writing, is a $4 billion market crypto, huge even by traditional standards. Here's ETH price trends for 2017, year to date:
There is a new theme of 'flippening' being promoted in the Ethereum communities, where the belief is that Ethereum will supplant Bitcoin as the dominant crypto. It is definitely possible, but Ethereum will also face the challenges that Bitcoin is facing, and its centralized governance may or may not hold up to that level of attack and scrutiny. Only time will tell.
ICOs Show No Sign of Slowing Down
The number of ICOs coming out of the ecosystem show no sign of slowing down, even in the face of many challenges faced by the projects. However, investors are getting selective about projects, and not throwing their money at every possible project that wants to raise money. We'll continue to analyze these trends in our coming newsletters.