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Cryptocurrency Roundup (June 10, 2016)

The world of cryptocurrencies never suffers from inertia. Here are some of the top recent developments.

Digital currency markets have been surging

Most coinholders have noticed the rise in Bitcoin’s price over the past 30 days and the overall growth in cryptocurrency markets. Coindesk reports that analysts are still unsure of the causes. Initial speculation focused on fears of Chinese Yuan devaluation, prompting people to dump Yuan in exchange for Bitcoin, but some think the price rise reflects broader confidence. Many traders are placing long-term bets. Ethereum and Bitcoin have emerged as competitors in the market: one’s gain has been another’s loss in the last month.

The halving approaches

On July 10, the reward for mining a block will drop from 25 BTC (approximately $12,000) to 12.5 BTC (approximately $6,000). This could be contributing the price movement in several ways. The halving generates more news, which puts Bitcoin in the spotlight. It also stokes a (real) sense of scarcity in the currency.

It is shaking up the mining industry. Recently reports have surfaced that the company behind the Avalon ASIC chip is being acquired. KncMiner has also declared bankruptcy, citing the upcoming halving.

Segregated witness testing continues

The block-size debate hasn’t had a high-profile conclusion, but testing continues on the Segregated Witness update, which would effectively increase blocksize capacity (and number of transactions per second the blockchain can process) by about 80%. Developers recently met in Zurich to discuss implementation.

The DAO launched amidst controversy

The DAO launched at the end of May but initial market reaction to trading the DAO tokens was tepid, and its value hasn’t climbed beyond the value of the Ether that was invested. The launch occurred amidst a storm of controversy about The DAO’s governance model.

On May 27, a group of researchers published a paper outlining seven ways the current governance structure of The DAO is deficient. The paper called for a moratorium on The DAO until these were addressed.

They weren’t the only ones. Backfeed also published a critique of The DAO’s governance model and promised a governance proposal.

When The DAO launched, there were two proposals up for consideration, including Slock.it’s Universal Sharing Network. Now, the two official proposals relate to a Moratorium on The DAO itself and a proposal to hire Slock.it as a security consultant to address issues with The DAO. There are many others currently being discussed.

It has become about more than The DAO though. This project may hold the future of Ethereum on its back. As Stephen Tual told Coindesk, “We all want Ethereum to be a success and we all know a failed DAO would be bad.”

To the reader: You may have noticed that our article-publishing frequency has recently dropped. We are temporarily focusing on a couple updates and upcoming content areas. We will resume regular publishing soon. Thank you for your patience.

Smith + Crown Team

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