An End to 51% Attacks and Who Controls Bitcoin?

This week we reported about a suggested solution to 51% attacks, a hacked exchange that was blamed for tanking the market and a cannabis-themed cryptocurrency bringing peace to the world. We also learned, in this week’s most commented-on article, who really controls Bitcoin and why it won’t become a global currency, according to the CEO of Ripple.

Hack Takes a Toll on Crypto Markets

The big news on Monday was another hacked South Korean crypto exchange. While the figures stolen were much smaller than past events and the trading venue involved much lesser known, the incident was widely blamed for the drops across the markets due to its timing.

The alleged hacker stole $19.5 million in NPXS, $13.8 million of Aston X, $5.8 million in tokens of Dent, over $1.1 million of Tron, and at least five other tokens, all from Coinrail exchange users. Other subjects covered include a hospital where you can pay with tokens and a “blockchain” based cultural center established by a gangster.

POT Prevents Nuclear Armageddon

The main topic on Tuesday was Potcoin getting global exposure on the back of the nuclear summit in Singapore. The cryptocurrency has been sponsoring the trips of Dennis Rodman to North Korea for a while now and as two of the basketball star’s friends, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, met to discuss peace, POT was able to get into the limelight of this histrionic event.

Additional stories covered in Tuesday’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief included Coinbase’s plans for adding support for Ethereum Classic (ETC) and the intentions of Binance to enable euro transactions later this year.

Explosive Vote in Crypto Valley

On Wednesday, we reported that authorities in the Swiss city of Zug will ask local residents to participate in a non-binding “blockchain-based” vote later this month. The experiment will be held between June 25 and July 1, when residents will be able to vote via their smartphones. They will be asked if they are in favor of fireworks during a festival, and whether they think digital IDs should be used to borrow books from the library, pay parking fees, and more.

In other serious news from the country, representatives of Switzerland’s financial, technological, academic and legal sectors have formed the Capital Markets and Technology Association (CMTA) to facilitate the use of blockchain in financial markets.

Thomson Reuters Expands Crypto Tracking

On Thursday, it was reported that Thomson Reuters had expanded the market data for the top 100 cryptocurrencies in its sentiment data offerings. The service is provided in cooperation with Marketpsych Data LLC, a leader in quantitative behavioral science.

The new Marketpsych Indices package uses machine learning and natural language processing to measure emotional and topical items across news and social media sites that may drive market participant behavior in cryptocurrency markets. It monitors more than 2,000 global news and 800 social media platforms in real-time.

An End to 51% Attacks?

An important story, which has implications for all Proof of Work coins, was covered on Friday. In a new whitepaper, the Zencash team proposes changing Satoshi Consensus, also known as the longest chain rule, to a method that makes it “both technically infeasible and economically disastrous to attempt double spending.” ZEN aims to achieve this by introducing a penalty “in the form of a block acceptance delay in the amount of time the block has been hidden from the public network.” The team now hopes that other PoW coins will adopt this proposal with a view to mitigating further 51% attacks.

Crypto Behind Bars

An interesting story published on Saturday talked about a new cryptocurrency designed to be used by prison inmates. Prisoners will be able to use the crypto through kiosks that will be installed in the prisons as part of the project. This will allow them to spend their coins in the prison commissary, cover court costs and fees, pay other inmates, and receive money from friends and family. Each user will have a digital wallet to store their funds. Transactions will be made in real time and at minimal fees, Cellblocks claimed.

Bitcoin Controlled by China?

The most commented-on article during the week covered the claims by Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, that BTC has no hope of being a world currency and is controlled by China. “A number of prominent people”, he said, “even Steve Wozniak, has said that he sees a world where Bitcoin is the primary currency. I think that’s absurd. I don’t think that any major economy will allow that to happen. By the way, it doesn’t make sense.”

Garlinghouse added: “I’ll tell you another story that is underreported, but worth paying attention to. Bitcoin is really controlled by China. There are four miners in China that control over 50% of Bitcoin. How do we know that China won’t intervene? How many countries want to use a Chinese-controlled currency? It’s just not going to happen.” Has the Ripple CEO given an impartial analysis? Add your say to the discussion.

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