A news digest of what happened in the crypto world this past month, November 2018:
Bitcoin Cash Fork Disturbs Crypto Markets
- A contentious Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork rocked the cryptocurrency market on November 15, sending BCH price tumbling by over 70% from monthly highs. This significantly impacted the price of Bitcoin (BTC) as well, which fell by over 35%, though it has had worse price corrections than this in its short history. The price declines have impacted the crypto mining industry, with some firms shuttering their doors.
- Many financial institutions and experts remain optimistic about the long-term potential of cryptocurrencies. Both NYSE and Nasdaq are moving forward with crypto projects in 2019. Fundstrat’s Tom Lee still predicts BTC will end the year at $15,000, while Pantera Capital’s Dan Morehead has likened Bitcoin to the internet, suggesting it will revolutionize world commerce in the coming decade.
Crypto Milestones and IBM Initiatives
- Despite price fluctuations, this month saw some wins for cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin (BTC) is on track to overtake Mastercard in terms of daily transaction volume. Ripple (XRP) has also overtaken Ethereum (ETH) as the #2 cryptocurrency by market cap and has held on to that position. The chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also said in a speech this month that central banks around the world should consider issuing their own virtual currency.
- IBM continued its streak of blockchain innovations by launching two accelerator programs for blockchain enterprises in conjunction with Columbia University. In addition, IBM, partnering with CLS, went live with its new blockchain payment netting service this month.
Government Adoption Unfazed by Security Breaches
- Crypto hackers are becoming more brazen, hacking the Twitter accounts this month of both Target and Google to peddle a cryptocurrency scam. Twitter promptly froze those accounts while security was restored. Researchers at a cybersecurity firm also observed that a type of mining malware has been released that is continually “evolving” to avoid detection, suggesting a new level of sophistication by hackers.
- Government interest in protecting and utilizing blockchain continues unabated. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) expanded its investigation of crypto fraud, according to a report, as investment advisors call for more guidelines from the regulator. Leading crypto firms are aiding law enforcement by announcing, on November 27, the creation of the Association for Digital Asset Markets (ADAM), which will craft a “code of conduct” for the industry. Ohio became the first state to allow taxes by its citizens to be paid in Bitcoin, signaling a greater push by the state to become a leading blockchain supporter. The federal government is also considering blockchain for a variety of applications, including for homeland security and food safety.