Stay calm? Developers are not afraid of a fork

In the midst of the most turbulent phase of a two-year scaling debate, the words do not necessarily find their way back to a Bitcoin developer.

In the end, there is a large number of miners running Bitcoin Unlimited software. The alternative (and controversial) Bitcoin software gave rise to fresh “discussions” about a potential network hard fork (which would lead to two competing coins). The community seems to be unsettled by this possibility, some traders have already clarified their positions, others are afraid of a post-fork attack on the old chain.

But not everyone believes it will happen to the Bitcoin code

Bitcoin Cores Eric Lobrozo, for example, takes a sceptical and calm stance. According to him, the Bitcoin code community has already seen it all. The idea behind this is that Bitcoin XT and Bitcoin Classic are other controversial software alternatives. They wanted to provide Bitcoin with new rules, emerged and disappeared again over the last few years. Read the review by onlinebetrug.

Supporters see Bitcoin Unlimited as the future of Bitcoin. A fork would make it the dominant coin, but critics see it as fragile – a feature we’ve already seen from two bugs that have swept some nodes off the network.

Lombrozo sees these steps as a return to old alternatives that are always trying to change the rules of the main bitcoin network.

“Almost two years of hostile fork attempts. The same game every time,” explained Lombrozo CoinDesk.

In his opinion, this is “not really” different from its predecessors:

“The idea that you can change Bitcoin by letting one group of shareholders loose on another is basically hopeless, as is the idea that you can force a controversial change in consensus with power. Bitcoin requires a more discreet policy.”

Bitcoin Unlimited’s senior scientist Peter Rizun has a different view of the situation. He believes that Bitcoin will see an increase in the block size parameter, which will make Bitcoin strong again in competition with other alternative crypto currencies. “In my opinion, there is a 75% chance that we will upgrade to larger blocks in 2017,” he said.

But Rizun seems to agree with Lombrozo that there will be no split: “I think the fear of a blockchain split is completely exaggerated – nobody wants it to happen, it won’t happen.

Altcoin’ threat to the Bitcoin code

Other developers prefer a different booth. “I think there is a high probability that there will be a Bitcoin Unlimited fork,” the anonymous Bitcoin code core developer BTCDrak told CoinDesk. Some developers have already taken precautions. These included code designed to protect light wallets because they don’t have the same security as a full node if you keep feeding them false information:

So far, members on both sides have said they want to see a fork soon so the situation can pass, perhaps because there is a lot of participation at the moment.

And indeed, some Bitcoin Unlimited supporters seem to be in a hurry to see a change.

“Well, I don’t want to set a date. We are still in spring 2017, if we don’t get that fixed in 2017, the long-term damage will be irreparable,” said Bitcoin Unlimited President Andrew Clifford.

Clifford quoted a threat from alternative crypto currencies such as Ethereum and Monero. According to him, they should overtake Bitcoin in terms of its development if the block size parameters were not changed soon.

EU adopts stricter rules for crypto currencies

Online trading centres within the EU are to be regulated more strictly in future as part of the recently adopted reform of the directive against money laundering and terrorist financing. The users of such trading centres and the addresses of their wallets will also have to be stored centrally in future.

But the reform goes far beyond that Bitcoin formula

Last Thursday, the European Parliament adopted the fifth reform of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Directive. Not only the operators of Bitcoin formula trading platforms for virtual currencies will have to be licensed and registered in the future. They must also record and control the identity of their Bitcoin formula customers within the framework of the “usual due diligence obligations” of banks and financial institutions. In order to achieve this, the identity of customers and their wallet addresses will have to be stored in a central database in future. This is intended to abolish the anonymity of crypto currencies, which does not exist with Bitcoin and many other virtual currencies anyway. In addition, the “potential for misuse for criminal purposes” is to be restricted, which, according to the EU, is associated with the use of crypto currencies.

Like all banks, online trading venues will in future have to keep all transaction documents for up to ten years after the end of the business relationship with the customer. In the case of long-term customer relationships, the retention obligation will be extended accordingly. The new directive remains rather vague when it comes to which criminal offences may be stored by the EU’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), which is part of customs. Crimes with a maximum penalty of more than one year are already considered predicate offences to money laundering. This could even include minor offences such as defamation, which the EU analysis unit may in future store and evaluate on a long-term basis.

EU fights anonymity on many Bitcoin trader fronts

In other respects, too, regulation is directed against anonymous Bitcoin trader transactions. The EU Parliament has lowered the threshold for anonymous payments via prepaid cards to 150 euros. Within Germany, the maximum is 100 euros anyway. This is what onlinebetrug recommends a Bitcoin trader. In the future, providers of prepaid cards will have to monitor the identity of their customers more closely. Some EU parliamentarians have even spoken out in favour of banning all anonymous transactions and regulating cash payments even more strictly. They assume that cash payments above a certain level must automatically have an illegal background. While the German government is opposed to this, several EU states already have strict limits on cash purchases.

There has also been criticism with regard to the lack of reform of central banking supervision. The ECB supervisory authority still has no powers at national level in the fight against money laundering. It also relies on information from national authorities which, as in the case of Malta and Latvia, have withheld their data for longer periods of time.

EU countries have 18 months from the entry into force of the new Directive to transpose the new rules into national law. Some provisions, on the other hand, have longer transitional periods.

Bitwala: What’s going on at the German Bitcoin Bank?


Bitwala has been a member of the European Fintech Alliance since 18 July. With this membership, the German start-up wants to improve the dialogue with Fintechs as well as with authorities. It has also been announced that Bitwala will be able to offer regulated bank accounts in a few weeks.

The interface between crypto currencies and the real world is one of the biggest hurdles for the adaptation of Bitcoin. Even if the inclined techie has no problem with mobile wallets, seeds and private keys, this is a big hurdle for cryptosiders. No wonder that projects like Monaco, TenX, Revolut or Bitwala want to enable card payments with Bitcoin and other crypto currencies.

At the beginning of the year there was a dramatic caesura: VISA terminated the cooperation with WaveCrest. WaveCrest was an issuing bank that enabled many of the crypto companies mentioned to use the VISA network. The end of the collaboration between VISA and WaveCrest was a stumbling block.

However, the scene did not sleep: a few weeks ago BTC-ECHO reported on further developments at TenX. Bitwala also worked on finding a replacement for WaveCrest. Together with a partner bank they would like to become a Bitcoin bank.

Bitcoin news about a Fintech company using blockchain

This Bitcoin news show that Bitwala no longer wants to be perceived as a pure blockchain company, as the worlds become blurred. When asked whether the line between blockchain start-ups and classic Fintech companies blurs, Jörg von Minckwitz, co-founder and CEO of Bitwala said:

“Yes, I think that blockchain start-ups have now arrived in the mainstream and the boundaries between blockchain and Fintech are becoming more and more blurred. For us it’s a consistently positive development, because it’s moving away from ‘We are doing this but on the blockchain’ to start-ups motivated by use cases. It will become increasingly important that certain parts of the blockchain technology are simply assumed and that the start-ups are no longer emphasized per se. Start-ups must then, like everything else, present what makes them better than their competitors. Just because the start-up uses blockchain in the back office is not enough. It is therefore a logical step for us to feel more and more a part of the Fintech world […] [I think] that blockchain companies increasingly have to learn from normal Fintechs to think from the user’s perspective”.

The entry into the European Fintech Alliance (EFA) also fits into this growing together between the Blockchain scene and the Fintech community. The EFA is a Europe-wide association of Fintech companies of different sizes, which also seeks contact with the European authorities.

BitWala wants to represent the Bitcoin news in the EFA

Accordingly, dialogue with Fintech companies is not the only motivation for Bitwala to join the Bitcoin news. One reason for joining is to be a mouthpiece for the cryptocommunity at the regulatory level. Bitcoin news is also necessary: Uncertainties about taxation, who owns the data on the blockchain, possible contradictions between the DSGVO and a public blockchain – the list of regulatory challenges is long. This leads to a repressive attitude on the part of central banks and government bodies, which nips cryptorelated technological innovation in the bud.

BitWala is no stranger to dialogue with the authorities. In their efforts to find a licensed bank, they have had to discuss a lot with representatives of the regulatory bodies. This also helped BitWala to understand the side of the authorities and to name the problems of understanding:

“Blockchain or token is simply something that never existed in this form. It is therefore very difficult for regulators to classify and decide what to compare with tokens in order to regulate them. Thank God the German regulator doesn’t want to over-regulate Blockchain, so everything takes a bit longer. Even the difference between the tokens themselves has not yet been clarified. We have tokens that are more similar to securities and tokens that are more similar to fiat currencies. The challenge for regulators is getting bigger.”

So far, 30,000 interested parties have registered for early access with Bitwalas Bitcoin-Bank. The company plans to launch these in a few weeks. Deposit protection up to 100,000 euros is guaranteed to account holders. With this Bitwala account a Bitcoin Wallet is to be connected, with which account owner with Bitcoin like with norm