Altcoins may come and go; hacks may challenge exchanges; mainstream financial advisors might not get it — but even in the face of a protocol bug, Bitcoin perseveres and develops. Here are this week’s top stories from Bitcoin Magazine.
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A Bug Fix and a New ASIC Miner
For well over a year, versions of Bitcoin Core — Bitcoin’s leading software implementation — contained a severe software bug. The bug was fixed with Bitcoin Core 0.16.3 (and 0.17.0rc4), released this week, and the status of the Bitcoin network now appears to be safe, with no harm done. The Bitcoin Core project has since released a full disclosure report, revealing that the bug was even worse than previously thought.
Our technical editor, Aaron Van Wirdum, takes a look at the good, the bad and the ugly details of the bug that didn’t take down Bitcoin.
Innosilicon claims to have a new ASIC miner for bitcoin — the T3 — in the works that will outperform any current hardware in speed, profitability and efficiency. Purportedly consuming only 44 watts of power per tera hash (44W/TH), the T3 could become the most energy-efficient miner on the market when it is released.
Poloniex has announced its intention to drop 8 altcoins from its trading platform: BitcoinDark (BTCD), Bitmark (BTM), Einsteinium, (EMC2), Gridcoin (GRC), NeosCoin (NEOS), PotCoin (POT), VeriCoin (VRC) and BitcoinPlus (XBC). A spokesperson from Circle, the parent company of Poloniex, told Bitcoin Magazine that the coins were delisted in keeping with guidelines spelled out in Circle’s Asset Framework.
Another altcoin, Verge, comes under the privacy microscope in this month’s ongoing series about privacy coins. Check out the reasons why it’s not really as private as we’d like it to be.
This Week in Hacks
The same week that a study was released, detailing the ongoing trouble that Japanese exchanges are experiencing with cryptocurrency thefts, another major exchange announced that is had been hacked. Japanese exchange Zaif was drained of 6.7 billion yen ($60 million USD) worth of company and user funds. The three virtual currencies stolen include bitcoin, monacoin and bitcoin cash. Of those, $37.8 million were in bitcoin funds (5,966 BTC).
Financial advisors should be willing and able to discuss bitcoin and cryptocurrencies with their clients in the same way that they discuss other alternative investments such as gold, hedge funds and real estate investment trusts. But many of them simply don’t. In this op ed, Eric C. Jansen, the founder, president and chief investment officer at AspenCross Wealth Management, looks at some of the reasons why this is the case and why it should change.
This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.
The newly elected co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, U.S. Representative Tom Emmer, has introduced a trio of blockchain-focused bills in support of the development and use of blockchain technology and digital assets. According to an official announcement, the bills focus on fostering government support for the blockchain space, clarifying money transmitter regulations and devising a tax scheme for hard forked assets.
A statement from Emmer reads in part:
“The United States should prioritize accelerating the development of blockchain technology and create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead on innovation and further growth.”
He went on to add that legislators need to do more by “embracing emerging technologies” and providing the regulatory framework needed for these technologies to succeed in the U.S.
Resolution Supporting Digital Currencies and Blockchain Technology
The first bill expresses support for blockchain technology and calls for a “light-touch regulatory approach” so it can flourish. The bill also highlights some of the benefits of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, such as how it enables value transfer between users and the provision of financial services to those underserved by the traditional financial sector.
Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act
The second bill focuses on cryptocurrency miners, and clarifies who needs to register as a money transmitter in the U.S. The bill designates miners and multisig-wallet providers as blockchain entities that don’t require a money transmitter license to operate in the United States as they don’t control consumer funds.
Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets Act
In the absence of regulatory guidelines, the third and final bill seeks to create a “safe harbor for the tax treatment of hard forks of convertible virtual currency.” The bill would shield taxpayers from being levied any fine by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) until such time as the IRS provides clear guidance on how such gains should be reported.
Emmer’s proposals are the first blockchain-related bills to call for regulatory clarity and greater legislative engagement with the industry, and they come on the heels of Emmer's being named co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, alongside fellow Representative Bill Foster. The Congressional Blockchain Caucus is a bipartisan group of pro-blockchain legislators “who believe in the future of blockchain technology, and understand that Congress has a role to play in its development.”
This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.