Week 9 - 2020 News Recap
Fed Might Slash Interest Rates in the Midst of Corona Fears, Bitcoin Investors Are Placing Their Hopes on BTC Halving
To stabilize the economy and prices of assets in the US stock markets, the Federal Reserve is said to be slashing interest rates as stocks are rounding up in the midst of fears related to Coronavirus. It is not clear whether investors eyeing the stock market will turn to Bitcoin in the midst of a crisis. In case the Federal Reserve would cut interest rates for the 11-year old cryptocurrency, Bitcoin could get a relief when it comes to the value of BTC in the market. In the meantime, interest rates have dropped for US Treasury bonds, as well as UK bonds, showcasing increased demand in bonds. Greg Cipolaro, co-founder of a cryptocurrency analysis firm called Digital Asset Research, claims that in times like this, investors are usually showing interest in collectible assets such as Bitcoin, gold and artworks
As of the latest change in market trends, Bitcoin fell to the lowest weekly performance since mid-November, additionally sinking by nearly -3% to touch the lowest value on the monthly scale. Most analysts and traders are noting that Bitcoin often doesn’t follow the momentum of stocks and traditional markets, at times adjusting to market trends seen in traditional financial markets and equally opposing these trends. In the meanwhile, Bitcoin investors are hoping to capitalize on the next halving upcoming in May, which is when the mining rewards for BTC will reduce by 50% to regulate the limited supply of Bitcoin and prevent inflation
Pro-Bitcoinist Jack Dorsey Might Lose His Position as Twitter’s CEO
Elliott Management Corp has taken a major stake in the ownership of Twitter. Owned by billionaire Paul Singer, there might be some changes implemented in the core of the board of directors at Twitter social network. As the rumors suggest and as reported by Bloomberg, Singer may remove Jack Dorsey, one of the strongest Bitcoin advocates and proponents, who might lose his position as the CEO of Twitter. Jack Dorsey is known among the circles of cryptocurrency users and enthusiasts, contributing to the overall mainstream use and acceptance of Bitcoin. Dorsey is also the CEO of the payment firm Square and has recently added a pro-Bitcoin feature on Twitter, having a crypto icon appear on the page when #bitcoin is typed.
Dorsey brought Bitcoin to Square payments as well, enabling Bitcoin services through Square Cash App. Bitcoin services in the app by Square made up for almost half of Q4 revenues for the company in 2019. As sources claim, the board at Elliott Management Corp has already nominated four candidates for the position of Twitter’s CEO.
Ethereum’s DAO Dominating the Hackathon
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are once again showcasing an increased momentum with the latest hackathon organized by Ethereum, ETHDenver. DAOs participated in the matter of event management, coordination, and more. In addition, one of Ethereum’s DAOs won the first prize worth 3,000$ of DAI for their project Coz. Coz is made for non-profit organizations, with the goal of facilitating more efficient distribution of aid to non-profits.
Judging by the interviews conducted during the ETHDenver event, it became obvious that this year’s DAOs that appeared on the hackathon had nothing to do with DAOs that caused the split to Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC) due to the faulty that caused stealth of users’ funds reserved for smart contract projects on Ethereum network. DAOs are now focused on decentralized coordination and challenges related to this sector, equally focusing on DeFi.
Microsoft Edge Browser Updated to Match Security Requirements Against Illicit Cryptocurrency Miners
Cryptojackers have become ever more present and more persistent in their malicious attacks and releasing malware and adware targeting unsuspecting users to draw the power for mining cryptocurrency. On February 27th, tech giant Microsoft announced that their team has taken action in preventing malicious attacks such as cryptojacking by updating the security of their browser Edge. The new feature should prevent users from unintentionally downloading malicious mining software that uses their CPU power to mine cryptocurrency without their knowledge or consent. The added feature is off by default in the latest version of Microsoft’s Edge but can be easily switched on manually through the settings panel for Privacy and Services features.
As Microsoft noted prior to releasing the latest update, the majority of users who picked up cryptojacking malware and adware, have downloaded free software from illegitimate websites and sources. However, with cryprtojackers finding their way to steal mining power from unsuspecting internet users, these types of malicious software can be unintentionally picked up from seemingly legitimate sources. During the last year, in 2019, eight Windows-branded apps available on Microsoft store were discovered to have malware similar to Coinhive, commonly used for mining Monero (XMR). Microsoft was alerted by Symantec and has since removed the malware-infected applications from Microsoft store.
In addition, cryptojacking makes up for over 30% of cyberattacks. Microsoft said regarding the latest update to Edge that they are working on enabling users to take control over their downloading activities and management of devices and online experiences, by downloading software they actually want and need and which is not imposed on them in secrecy and through illicit activities.
Ripple’s David Schwartz Says Third-party Cryptocurrency Can Be Launched on XRP Ledger
In a video released on February 27th, 2020, CTO of Ripple company, David Schwartz made an important announcement, stating that the team behind Ripple and XRP are working on features for XRP Ledger that should allow users to mint asset-backed tokens. The newly announced features should maximize the overall functionality and application of XRP Ledger and introduce new assets to XRP ecosystem, broadening the use of the ledger. Although David Schwartz didn’t reveal what the added features are exactly about in detail, he did mention that stablecoins and minting of stablecoins could be an obvious application of the new features.
Schwartz added that the new features won’t be solely focused on stablecoins, but generally on the class of assets pegged to any external value that would support the asset. Ripple’s CTO added that these assets would have guaranteed liquidity granted by XRP. On his YouTube channel, Schwartz already provided an outline for acquired liquidity on XRP Ledger, prior to announcing the new features that would enable support and liquidity for assets hosted on the Ledger.