The past week was rather quiet and lacking significant developments in the crypto world. In spite of that, there are a couple of events that deserve our attention and, for this reason, find reflection in the current article.
To begin with, the US major crypto exchange Coinbase announced that it is extending its support to include Ripple. This means that from 28 February on users can make the full array of transactions with XRP on the Coinbase website, coinbase.com, as well as on the official Android and iOS applications. The service is already available to most people, except for residents of the United Kingdom and of the American state New York. Dealing in Ripple on Coinbase should be made available to people in the UK and New York at a later date.
Shortly after the announcement was made, the blockchain research company Diar made a report on the matter. Its bottom line was that XRP does not meet one of the listing criteria of Coinbase: namely, that the team behind the corresponding coin should have a minority ownership stake. It is widely known that Ripple stores around 60% of its currency in an escrow account. There is a release schedule in place, which aims at controlling the crypto supply. The company has not yet reacted to the report.
Coinbase extending its offering to include XRP is a long-awaited development in the community. Rumors about it started emerging as early as 2017, and at that point, the price of the coin was really sensitive to this prospective development. One thing is for sure: the step taken by Coinbase is surely a long-term positive not only for Ripple, but for the entire cryptocurrency market.
Last Friday, it became known that Ethereum is looking to hire a new hard fork coordinator following the resignation of one of the main developers in the team, Afri Schoedon. The latter left last week after making positive remarks about another blockchain, which resulted in markedly negative social media coverage.
The hard fork coordinator would be responsible for the submission of Ethereum improvement proposals; making the decisions on these EIP-s; testing, implementing and determining on the date of the hard fork. The responsible person in this role will be the one to come up with and bring the suggestions for the major software upgrades, rather than being a dictator in this regard. For this reason, it was agreed that the coordinator role could be split between several individuals.
After having successfully implemented a couple of hard forks last Thursday, the Ethereum team is currently working on the next major upgrade, dubbed Istanbul. A prospective upgrade to a new mining algorithm, named ProgPoW, is also in the cards. On the second matter, the Ethereum Foundation community relations manager Hudson Jameson, explained that experiments would be carried out comparing the performance of a number of mining devices on ProgPoW. Another audit is expected to determine whether specialized mining hardware can be made and deployed to utilize the proposed mining algorithm.
Hudson pointed out that, according to statistics from an active “hashvote”, 55% of the Ethereum miners favor ProgPow. Hashvotes are designed to strictly target miners in the Ethereum ecosystem only, who by leveraging an additional data field during their work can show if they support a specific proposal. It should be noted, however, that these results may represent a somewhat biased interpretation of the miners’ opinion and that a broad discussion on the proposal implementation is still in progress.