Bitcoin was the first payment network that allowed transactions to occur without a centralized authority. It opened people's minds and forever changed the way we look at money and the systems that support it. In the ten years since its inception, hundreds of new cryptocurrencies have been created to innovate nearly every industry, from real estate to cross-border payments. Despite the saturation of the market, Bitcoin still reigns.
That is unless a new cryptocurrency has its way. A group of professors from seven universities including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and the University of California have joined forces to create a rival digital currency to Bitcoin called Unit-e.
The next Bitcoin?
The group behind the new digital currency, Distributed Technology Research, is funded largely by blockchain fund Pantera as well as private individuals. Its members include the best and brightest from the fields of economics, computer science, and cryptography. The all-star team is hoping to solve Bitcoin’s biggest problems.
“The mainstream public is aware that these networks don’t scale,’’ Joey Krug, co-chief investment officer at Pantera Capital, who is also a member of the DTR council, said to Bloomberg. “We are on the cusp of something where if this doesn’t scale relatively soon, it may be relegated to ideas that were nice but didn’t work in practice: more like 3D printing than the internet.’’
Today, according to Bloomberg, Bitcoin can only process an average of between 3.3 and 7 transactions per second. Critics and supporters alike have often worried that because of these constraints Bitcoin isn’t scalable enough to be used as an everyday payment method. Unit-e on the other hand aims to process as many as 10,000 transactions per second. If successful, it would beat out even Visa, a centralized network, which handles around 1,700 transactions per second.
Unit-e does not have an easy road ahead of them, but if it can succeed at doing what Segwit, Zcash, and many others couldn't, it may just be the next leading cryptocurrency.
If you have been keeping tabs on the movements of the South East Asian crypto industry, you will know that Thailand is currently becoming one of the region’s major players. Read more.
A bill allowing corporations to issue blockchain-based tokens that represent stocks was introduced in Wyoming on Jan. 16, according to the official state legislature site. Read more.
House Resolution 528, which aims “to provide a safe harbor from licensing and registration for certain non-controlling blockchain developers and providers of blockchain services,” would allow companies which use or trade cryptocurrencies but do not hold users’ coins to be exempt from money transmission laws if passed. Read more.
Some of the brightest minds in America are pooling their brain power to create a cryptocurrency that’s designed to do what Bitcoin has proved incapable of: processing thousands of transactions a second. Read more.
Crypto exchange BitMEX is closing trading accounts of clients in the United States and Quebec amid a global regulatory crackdown on unlicensed crypto exchanges, according to a South China Morning Post (SCMP) report. SCMP noted that this development came after BitMEX alerted users in North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Sudan, Crimea, and Sevastopol that they were also banned from holding positions or trading. Read more.
Israel’s largest cargo shipping company Zim has opened its blockchain platform for electronic bills of lading (eB/Ls) to all clients in selected trades. Global shipping news outlet TradeWinds reported the news today, Jan. 14. Read more.
IBM has announced two separate projects that aim to track supply chains for the metals industry using the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain platform.
One is designed to track cobalt traveling from a mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo to a Ford Motor Company plant, while the other seeks to monitor the shipping of metals from a mine in Mexico. Read more.
Bitcoin ETFs made headlines throughout 2018, as multiple applications were submitted and denied in the US. In November, the SEC provided long-awaited clarity but it wasn’t the answer ETF supporters were hoping for. At Consensus Invest, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton told viewers that he wants to see better market surveillance and custody for cryptocurrencies before being "comfortable" with a bitcoin ETF. Read more.
Through a partnership with Texas-based HR firm Simply Efficient HR, Bitwage now offers client businesses a way to offer salaries in Bitcoin and Ether to regular payroll employees. Read more.