Bitcoin News - January 2018

In January hundreds of people started putting the Lightning software live already, despite the warnings from developers that it isn’t finished. People are incredibly eager for Bitcoin to scale. A very noticeable change in January was the amount of large companies announcing their plans regarding cryptocurrency services. There were also some impactful decisions from the South Korean government on cryptocurrency trading and we got an overview of all the hard work done in 2017 and the exciting upgrades coming to Bitcoin in 2018.

What the monthly news is about:
Each day, usually around the same time, I pick out the most popular/relevant/interesting stories in r/bitcoin and save them, after which I release them in one batch after the month ended. This gives you a quick (but not necessarily the best) overview of what happened in bitcoin over the past month.

A recap of Bitcoin in January 2018

01: Jameson Lopp clarifies when the Lightning Network will be rolled out & The 144k bitcoins that the FBI seized from Ross Ulbricht in 2013 went from $28.5M to $1.9B in value

02: A Lightning Network megathread & An explanation of Channel Factories and how they work & Localbitcoins is now SegWit compatible & A very late report of Peter Thiel’s fund buying hundreds of millions of dollars in bitcoin & implements SegWit & Goldman Sachs is planning to launch crypto trading in mid-2018

03: Bitcoin turns 9 years old & An overview of Bitcoin tech improvements in 2018

04: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that he will look into integrating cryptocurrencies in Facebook services & Bitcoin hardware wallets are unaffected by the recent ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ CPU attacks & Bitcoin is listed as a currency on the CNBC website and on Yahoo Finance

05: Andreas Antonopoulos recalls the day he got his major bitcoin donations & All Bitcoin Visa debit cards are cancelled & Rootstock is launched as a sidechain of smart contracts for Bitcoin

06: An updated version of the Lightning Network megathread & A critical vulnerability is found in Electrum

07: An unverified story about Microsoft changing their bitcoin payment acceptance
08: Another update from the Pineapple Bitcoin charity fund & A reminder that most bitcoin buyers these days don’t buy for the reasons bitcoin was invented, but to get rich

09: Microsoft restores bitcoin payments & A US bank CEO regrets calling Bitcoin a fraud

10: An explainer on the Lighting Network from a networking point of view & Hal Finney foresaw the need for Bitcoin to scale in multiple layers in 2010 & More donations to scientific research by the Bitcoin ‘Pineapple Fund’

11: SegWit wallet support gets added to the Bitcoin Core software & Some fake news about South Korea banning Bitcoin trading gets debunked

12: Coinbase turns out to be the main reason for high bitcoin fees, due to poor operational practices & The South Korean government is shocked at the backlash over the cryptocurrency trading ban proposal

13: 80% of all bitcoins have been mined & The Lightning Network on the testnet has 675 nodes with 2200 open channels & The Bitcoin Core 2017 development activity visualisation

14: Larger blocks don’t necessarily lead to more transactions

15: A shower thought to create a Bitcoin Clock across from the US Debt Clock in the United States

16: One of those days where people can’t get over the bitcoin price

17: Japan’s largest bank will be launching its own cryptocurrency exchange & BTCPay is released, an open-source bitcoin payment processing service

18: The mainnet Lightning Network consists of 29 nodes despite risks & Some South Korean officials engaged in insider trading before cryptocurrency ban announcements & Ledger raises $75M in funding

19: People are getting very excited about the rapidly growing early version of the Lightning Network & Gregory Maxwell steps down as CTO of Blockstream to focus on Bitcoin protocol development

20: Block #505225 is mined as the largest block yet at 2.177MB

21: After engaging in insider trading, South Korean officials now have to declare their cryptocurrency investments by law & Brazil now has more bitcoin investors than its stock market and treasuries combined

22: The “Reckless” Lightning Network grows to 100 lightning nodes & LocalBitcoins is now SegWit compatible

23: Eclair’s Lightning Network wallet is available for testing & South Korea legalises cryptocurrency trading and bans anonymous bank accounts & The Bitflyer exchange is launching in Europe & Comic-style guides to explain Bitcoin from beginner to expert

24: Some traditional rating agency gave Bitcoin a bad rating and receives a lot of backlash

25: Robinhood adds no-fee cryptocurrency trading (US-only) to its stock trading app & A pros and cons breakdown and explainer of the Lightning Network & Square’s Cash app now supports buying, selling and sending bitcoin

26: A clarification around Bitcoin futures contracts expiring

27: Bitcointalk’s famous user Loaded moves his 40k BTC to a SegWit address for a $1 fee

28: More people are moving their btc to SegWit addresses now that transactions cost just a few cents & Visa and Mastercard now charge additional fees for buying cryptocurrency

29: An overview of 24 pending Softfork and P2P improvements to Bitcoin & 1M people sign up to Robinhood in 4 days & Japan’s largest consumer electronics chain is running a trial to accept bitcoin

30: News comes out that Bitfinex and Tether got summoned to court in December 2017 & Facebook bans all cryptocurrency and ICO advertising & The Pineapple Fund donates $1M worth of bitcoin to The Free Software Foundation

31: Pieter Wuille’s talk on Schnorr signatures for Bitcoin & South Korea’s Finance minister confirms the government has no intention to ban cryptocurrency exchanges & The CEO of Twitter & Square announces buying and selling of Bitcoin in the Square Cash app & The Line chat app plans to open a cryptocurrency exchange for its 200M users