Week in review: Bitmain executive changes, Constantinople & Cryptopia
The Constantinople "Hard fork" by Ethereum: an event expected within the crypto universe and likely the most important of the year. Ethereum Constantinople is the name of the new update of the network. Surely you heard or read about some of the Bitcoin forks: in this way were born Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold. These forks usually create a parallel currency and with different value from the original. But why not with Ethereum?
It happens that in this case the fork has the total support of the entire Ethereum community. When there is no disagreement, the changes in the protocol they have everyone aboard the same boat. This means that no one is left with one old version of Ethereum. Because of this it is considered an update before a fork proper. At least that's how Vitalik wants to communicate it.
In a nutshell, this update optimizes the execution and verification of smart contracts and off-chain channels that work outside the block chain, something similar Bitcoin Lightning Network, reduces the reward of the blocks and increases the Mining difficulty.
Technically, this is a big step towards the change of the Proof of Work method to Proof of Stake, which would eliminate mining in Ethereum completely.
It is undoubtedly a key moment for Ethereum, the most popular crypto after Bitcoin and the main platform for smart contracts. Bitmain changes leader and leaves another branch Bitmain, the giant of cryptocurrency mining, closes its offices in Amsterdam. This news comes after massive layoffs and the closure of its offices in Israel, what we had already talked about in another episode. According to South China Morning Post, a recognized middle of China, the project leaders Jihan Wu and Ketuan Zhan would be stepping aside and appointing a new CEO for the company.
This massive restructuring began just during the Bitcoin Cash fork, as this cryptocurrency is part of a strong faction backed by the founder of Bitmain. The current "bear market" of Bitcoin did not help a recovery either fast of the company. Bitmain recently launched its IPO to offer publicly shares in the company. These sudden movements worry the investors that came betting strong to that Bitmain remains the great power in crypto mining all over the world.
They hacked Cryptopia! Cryptopia, the cryptocurrency exchange based in New Zealand, known for listing a huge amount of cryptocurrencies, stopped their operations after receiving an attack. This became the first massive hack of this type so far in 2019. The exchange announced the news on Twitter, indicating that the site "suffered a violation of safety that resulted in significant losses ", but still the executives did not give information about the value of the losses, the tokens and the affected currencies or the measures for reimburse users.
The Cryptopia website uploaded an announcement which says: "Cryptopia is currently in non-scheduled maintenance mode. We will be back soon." Meanwhile, the Whale Twitter account Alert published that more than 3 and a half million of dollars in ether and other tokens were transferred from the Cryptopia wallets towards an address unknown on January 13, but at the moment it's not clear if those funds were moved by the perpetrator or by the same exchange.