The week’s top crypto news stories

Bitcoin News of the Week – All the important news at a glance

Bitcoin hits all-time high; Scepticism about Bitcoin in Germany; Federal Cabinet passes law for blockchain securities; IOTA 2.0 update approaches and Trump reportedly considers pardoning Silk Road founder.

Bitcoin hits new all-time high

Bitcoin has reached a new record high. Virtually overnight, the digital store of value broke through the wall at US$20,000 on Wednesday, reaching an interim high of US$23,600. An enormous leap, considering that the price was still below 17,600 US dollars a week ago. In concrete terms, the bitcoin price was able to gain over 18 percent on a 24-hour basis and even over 37 percent on a monthly basis. The price increase Anon System is no coincidence. Large investors such as MicroStrategy, Square or MassMutual are gradually making inroads into the crypto sector and making the previous private investors look old. Thus, it is mainly large stock exchange groups or asset management companies that want to participate in the market. But hedge funds like the Ruffer Investment Company (700 million USD in Bitcoin) are also jumping on the Bitcoin bandwagon. Billions are added daily, bringing the Bitcoin market capitalisation to over 420 billion US dollars.

Scepticism about Bitcoin in Germany

Despite the all-time high, many people in Germany are sceptical about Bitcoin and Co. As the latest representative survey by the German digital association Bitkom shows, only two percent of the over-16s said they had invested in cryptocurrencies. 18 percent could in principle imagine investing in the area. The remaining participants expressed scepticism about digital assets. Specifically, 66 percent of the respondents considered digital means of payment to be too complicated. 55 percent said that cryptocurrencies were more suitable for speculators. 47 percent of 16 to 29-year-olds see Bitcoin and Co. as safe alternatives to the traditional monetary system. The survey shows that especially the younger generation is enthusiastic about the topic of cryptocurrencies. However, if Bitcoin’s upswing continues, it is quite conceivable that investors in conventional assets will also open up even more to digital assets.

Federal cabinet passes law for blockchain securities

However, scepticism towards Bitcoin and Co. in Germany could diminish after the Federal Cabinet passed a law on 16 December to issue electronic securities. This marks an important milestone in the German government’s blockchain strategy, which could give Germany an important locational advantage. Consequently, digitally securitised securities could have the same status as their analogue, certificated counterpart. The chances that the Electronic Securities Act will also be passed by the Bundestag early next year are basically to be regarded as high. The law relates to the issuance of electronic debt securities. According to it, there will be two different types of registers. In addition to the well-known central securities depositories, the crypto securities register will now be added. According to the law, the register is to be kept “on a forgery-proof recording system in which data is logged in chronological order and stored in a manner protected against unauthorised deletion and subsequent modification”. A claim that is tailor-made for blockchain technology.

IOTA 2.0 update gets closer

The next milestone for cryptocurrencies is approaching. The IOTA Foundation announced on 14 December that the Chrysalis 1.5 public testnet is live. The update is an interim stage of IOTA 2.0, which is scheduled for release in 2021. The full implementation of IOTA 2.0 is said to be the biggest upgrade the MIOTA network has ever seen. It is even a complete rewrite of the protocol. The current plan is to put Chrysalis 1.5 through its paces with a series of alpha tests. If everything goes smoothly, the mainnet of Chrysalis will launch in the first two quarters of 2021, after which it will be possible to use Smart Contract on the Tangle network. This opens up various application scenarios that could also make Decentalised Finance (DeFi) possible on the Tangle network. In addition, the IOTA Foundation recently parted ways with David Sønstebø, one of the founding members. Strongly differing interests between Sønstebø and the board of directors were the reasons.