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Blockchain This Week – Bitcoin at 15K Amid US Elections Tracked on Blockchain

Bitcoin Price Soars To 15K

Whether it is the ambiguous US elections, the looming pandemic, the siege of the thousands of Bitcoins by the US law enforcement, or a collective result of all of these, Bitcoin price reached new heights this week. On the day of the US presidential election, Nov 3, the price uptick was more than two percent and breached US $14,000. However, within the next 24 hours, the price further jumped and soared above US $15,000. It is the first time since 2018 that the cryptocurrency rose above 15K. This meteoric rise of 9.2 percent is not showing any signs of slowdown, with the price at US $15,585 at the time of writing.

Part of Silk Road Marauders’ Bounty Captured

It began with 69,369 bitcoins worth close to US $1 billion moving out of a mysterious wallet allegedly linked with the notorious crypto marketplace for illicit drugs, Silk Road, on Nov 4. Initially, the heist was ascribed to hackers who were able to crack the password of the bitcoin wallet associated that had remained dormant since 2015. However, on Nov 5, it was revealed that the US Department of Justice is the one behind the seize. As per the court filings, the captured funds include close to 69,370.22491543 Bitcoin, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin SV, Bitcoin Cash, obtained from the account 1HQ3Go3ggs8pFnXuHVHRytPCq5fGG8Hbh. Prosecutors say an unnamed hacker stole the trove from Silk Road and moved them to a wallet where they sat until the Tuesday seizure. The hacker purportedly gave consent to the government seizure on Tuesday. The sheer value of the funds captured makes it the largest crypto seizure in history. Yet, approximately 444,000 Bitcoin from the Silk Road heist still remains unaccounted.

AP News Publishes the US Election Results on Blockchain

In one of the firsts in this year’s US presidential elections, Associated Press (AP), the venerable news outlet that has called every US election since 1848, has posted the election results on the Ethereum and EOS Blockchains. According to the AP website, the news agency is using Everipedia’s oracle software to ensure accurate and genuine entries are made into Blockchain. Additionally, the website also lists the APIs and smart contracts that third parties can use to fetch the election results immutably recorded on Blockchain.

Ethereum 2.0’s Imminent Launch

It now looks like Ethereum 2.0’s commercial launch is on the horizon. According to the statement from Ethereum Foundation released on Wednesday, the launch would happen sometime around Dec 1. The announcement details the anticipated genesis process. The deposit contract that will be used to collect the stakes required for the PoS consensus mechanism is live now. The prospective stakers can deposit their 32 Ethers to the contract. The contract is expected to collect 16384 deposits of 32 Ethers each at least seven days before the launch in order to proceed with the launch. If the stipulations are not met, the rollout might be further delayed. Meanwhile, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has laid the foundation by sending 100 transactions of 32 Ether each

CBDCs Across the Globe

ECB and Digital Euro

Christine Lagarde, the President of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the former Chief of International Monetary Fund, solicited the public views on a potential digital Euro. In a Twitter post on Nov 1, Ms Lagarde asked for public consultation from consumers and Europeans on whether they would be happy to use the digital version of Euro just in the way they use a Euro coin or a Euro banknote. Accordingly, she announced the launch of an ECB survey to collect public opinion regarding the CBDC.

China’s Digital Yuan

Yi Gang, the governor of China’s central bank, revealed earlier this week during the Hong Kong Fintech week that 4 million transactions in CBDC, totaling over 2 billion yuan (US $299 million), have been processed so far. It signals the strong acceptance of the digital yuan in China. The governor further added that the pilots are progressing smoothly in the four cities where the digital currency was issued.

Australia’s Progress in CBDC Research

On Nov 2, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced that it would be partnering with the Commonwealth Bank, the National Australia Bank, Perpetual, and Consensys on a project dedicated to exploring the potential use and implications of a wholesale CBDC. The project will include the development of a proof of concept on Ethereum Blockchain. It would involve issuing the digital currency for wholesale marketplace participants and learning the implications. According to Assistant Governor Michele Bullock, the RBA aims to understand the efficiency, risk management, and innovation aspects of a CBDC through this project.

UN Recommends Blockchain To Fight Crimes

The African country, Kenya, reportedly loses up to a third of its budget due to rampant corruption every year. Failure to track the incidents of graft has purported caused the country to lose over US $6 billion each year. Dave Robinson, the regional anti-corruption advisor at the United Nations’ Office of Drugs and Crime, advises to leverage new technologies such as Blockchain to combat Kenya’s widespread corruption and other crimes. According to the UN agency, the technology allows full traceability of transactions while building the roadmap to identify illicit activities. Hence, it can prove to be a formidable tool to prevent corruption and protect public registries from fraud and tampering.

NFT Fever Continues

Atari

On one hand, the popular video game developers Atari has partnered with Worldwide Asset Exchange (WAX) to launch the Atari digital collectibles on WAX Blockchain starting Nov 4. These NFTs bring life to the era of classic video games with added graphics and 3D elements. 

On the other hand, the price of the newly launched Atari token fell by around 70 percent to US $0.04 within 36 hours since its trading commenced. The sharp decline in the price is attributed to the technical difficulties experienced during the token sale that was held on Bitcoin.com until two days before the trading started.

Soccer Tokens

The Brazilian soccer club Vasco Da Gama is working with Mercado Bitcoin Digital Assets to create digital tokens that will represent a portion of transfer fees for the 12 players graduating from their academy. The objective is to proffer the fans an opportunity to own these tokens and earn returns for the money they invest in the players. 

Formula E Racing Tokens

The Blockchain-based gaming company, Animoca Brands, revealed a license agreement with the electric car racing championship, Formula E. As per the agreement, Animoca will develop a Blockchain-based motorsports game that will use Animoca’s digital tokens as game currency. This token will also be used in an upcoming MotoGP game.

And Finally, A Costly Mistake

A user of the Ethereum Blockchain accidentally spent approximately US $9,300 (23 Ether) to send US $120 (0.296 Ether). As per the user, they erroneously typed the amount in the Gas Price field instead of Gas Limit, a mistake that happened because MetaMask, the Ethereum wallet they were using for the transaction, did not auto-populate the Gas Limit value. Now the user is pleading with the involved miners to return the money.

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