Whoa Nelly! Bitcoin continues to surge as the price of 1 BTC goes over the $2150 mark. Japan, China and South Korea made up 45% of the volume in the last 24 hours. India has been a big source of new BTC users as well with reports of 2500 people investing in the cryptocurrency each day. If these reports are true, this could be a big reason why BTC is over $2000 right now. All of this new demand has no doubt caused growing pains with one of the biggest European exchanges, Bitstamp has reported that it is struggling to keep up with demand. Another reason could be rumors that miners have finally agreed to activate SegWit. If these rumors continue, look to see possible higher prices for BTC in the short to medium term.
Ethereum has continued to hit new highs today also, with the current price for 1 ETH currently sitting at $178. Many factors could be contributing to this sudden rise, some of which are most likely the recent ICOs of tokens built on the Ethereum platform. One of these likely candidates is Aragon. With the recent release of their ICO, Aragon raised 25 million dollars in just under 15 minutes. Aragon claims to be a non technical user friendly framework that lets you run your company on Ethereum. Another project that has picked up steam the last few weeks is a domain name space project knows as ENS. Bidding seems to be high for these names with at least 1 going for 2.6 million. This could be a game changer for Ethereum with regards to getting away from addresses that look like 0x123f681646d4a755815f9cb19e1acc8565a0c2ac and turning them into addresses that look like mywallet.eth. This could go a long way to solve a bigger issue with cryptocurrency in general, which is familiarity and usability. These are just a couple of the new projects rapidly flooding out of the Ethereum framework.
Lastly, the ICO for Tezos has been pushed back from May 22nd to some time in June. The exact date in June is still unclear as regulatory uncertainty in Switzerland has emerged because of backlog and high demand for such things. Tezos has gained much attention after billionaire investor Tim Draper publicly announced he would be participating in the ICO. Tezos could be seen as a competitor to Ethereum but with a formal verification mechanism for smart contracts; something Ethereum lacks. Many believe that if Ethereum had formal verification with the launch of the DAO, there would have never been that bug (recursive call attack) in the code that allowed an attacker to divert millions in ETH into another address.
Folks, if you have not taken the time to go back up your wallets now is the time to do so. Whether that means finally taking the time to go write down your 12 word seed again to make sure you have it on paper and air-gapped, or creating a backup or JSON file, then now is the time to do so. Or it could mean taking some of your funds and putting them on a paper wallet to ensure more security. Just remember if you are sending to a new address and you are not quite sure if you have everything correct, just send a small amount to see if it shows up at the right place first. In my opinion, it’s worth the extra transaction fee to make sure you get it right. I say all of this because as these currencies and tokens reach new highs, it is creating a bigger and bigger honeypot. Hackers will have more and more incentive to find your keys as this space grows. Expect the development of more mobile malware capable of taking screen shots, keylogging, and the like. So I repeat, if your wallets aren’t backed up at this time STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND GO BACK THEM UP. Stay safe out there.