Bitcoin Core works on a new scaling upgrade

Having SegWit activated, the Bitcoin Core team is now working on a new Bitcoin scaling solution
13 October 2017   1372

SegWit, a process by which the block size limit on a blockchain is increased by removing signature data from Bitcoin transaction, has successfully locked-in the Bitcoin network. Still, it seems like Bitcoin's Core developer team isn't done scaling the cryptocurrency's protocol.

Thus, while a lot of users are looking for more aggressive scaling via the controversial Segwit2x proposal, Bitcoin Core team is working on other technology called "Schnorr signatures".  It offers another signature scheme option alongside Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA). One benefit is that it supports "signature aggregation" on the Bitcoin blockchain. Hence, the change aims to consolidate activity that already takes place on the network with each transaction. Under the ECDSA scheme, each piece of a Bitcoin transaction is signed individually, while with Schnorr signatures, all of this data can be signed once.

As a blockstream engineer, Jonas Nick, claims to coindesk.com, this method of mashing signature data together should be considered "low-hanging fruit for helping bitcoin scale". First, by decreasing the number of signatures, it increases the amount of transaction data that can fit into each block. Second, by merging signatures, the technology could enhance privacy by making it harder to determine where transactions are coming from. Third, it's believed the change could curb "spam attacks", where one entity sends a bunch of small bitcoin transactions that take up extra space in the blockchain, potentially making nodes more difficult to run.

Bitcoin price chart on coinmarketcap.com
Bitcoin price chart on coinmarketcap.com

Meanwhile, Bitcoin price is growing: at the time of writing, the first cryptocurrency price is about $5490.12 (to the moon!), its market capitalization is $91,244,625,004. 

VanEck & SolidX to Withdraw BTC ETF Application

Bitwise and Wilshire Phoenix' Bitcoin applications are still pending
18 September 2019   180

The bid for Bitcoin ETF launch by VanEck and SolidX, considered the most likely candidate for approval, was withdrawn amid continuing uncertainty from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

VanEck and SolidX planned to place their Bitcoin ETFs on the Chicago Options Exchange (Cboe). However, as follows from the notification published on Tuesday, on September 13, the latter withdrew the application for a change in the rules, which, if approved, would allow launching the corresponding tool.

Previously, SEC postponed the solution several times at the request of VanEck and SolidX. The last time this happened in August was when the decision on Bitcoin ETFs from Bitwise Asset Management and Wilshire Phoenix was also postponed.

The final deadlines for decision making on Bitwise and VanEck / SolidX applications were on October 13 and 18, respectively. Wilshire Phoenix's decision is due on September 29th.

It should be noted that over the past few years, various companies have sought approval from the SEC to launch exchange-traded funds, but each time the regulator refused. Most often, the reasons for the negative decision were explained by the risks of market manipulations and insufficiently developed market control tools.