This week on Planet Bitcoin - 27 November 2015

Friday 27 November 2015

TL;DR Don't look now, but China might be at it again

Most of this week has shown the same pattern we’ve grown all too used to, albeit up in the $300s now, rather than $100 lower. Things are quiet, almost stagnant, and then there’s a brief flurry of activity before the next period of tedium. In the early part of the week, bitcoin took a downward turn from its former level around $335, dropping around $20 over the course of a day. From there it rallied somewhat, before starting a long, steady decline over the next four days. The downward ‘slope’ was so shallow - barely $15 over half a week - that it hardly warrants the term for bitcoin, used to much higher volatility. But come Thursday, that picture changed.

 Chart

Bitcoin saw a steep rise, from just under $320 up to $355 in just a day. Bitfinex has seen the highest volumes, but attention was naturally on the Chinese exchanges, where most of these movements tend to originate.

Profit-takers rapidly moved in at that point, bringing the price back down to $345. Volumes are certainly more healthy than they have been for a while, though still nowhere near the huge amounts that traded in the last climb up to $500.

Now, all eyes are on what happens next: another rapid leap upwards above $400 and even towards $500 again, or a slow drift back to where we started, in the $330s, and possibly lower?

Around the bitworld

Otherwise, there isn’t a huge amount going on - certainly no piece of positive news that would justify such a rise. The idea that Islamic State might be parking funds in bitcoin hasn’t harmed the market, and neither has a recent Guardian article (amongst others) that claims bitcoin companies are repositioning themselves as providers of ordinary financial services of different kinds, dropping the ‘bit’ from their titles and pivoting to get away from a technology the writer claims is struggling.

Lastly, former core bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen has indicated he might take over the role of head developer for XT, since Mike Hearn has moved on and will do the minimum amount of maintenance necessary to keep it going.


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