Welcome to your weekly newsletter, delivering top stories, must-reads,  expert analyses and guest contributions from leading figures in the blockchain space... Enter the ether below and let your friends know where they can subscribe.

Whereas most technologies tend to automate workers on the periphery doing menial tasks, blockchains automate away the center. Instead of putting the taxi driver out of a job, blockchain puts Uber out of a job and lets the taxi drivers work with the customer directly. - Vitalik Buterin, Founder Ethereum

Both Bitcoin and ETH have drifted slightly higher over the past week, but have been trading in a very tight range on low volume, with little in the way of convincing signals (eg divergence, momentum, leverage etc).

BTC needs to retake $3.6K (Bitfinex price feeds) in order to open up the $3.8k price target, but until then the $3.4-$3.6 range is still in play. Sidewards is the game for now, although the 10 day moving average that has capped price so well over the past two weeks has proved to be to much for BTC to retake this morning, potentially leading to a small short term bearish bias.

ETH is in a similar holding pattern. After successfully defending the H&S neckline of $103 last week, price has traded in a tight $103-114 range. Decision time is approaching - either $103 horizontal fails and opens up the $80 target, or the medium term channel resistance that has capped price so well for months now fails and ETH starts to look a little bullish. However, until the $114-118 resistance band is broken, it will be difficult to make a strong bullish case.

Left Chart - BTC/USD. Indicators: RSI, OBV, BFX Longs & Shorts.
Right Chart - ETH/USD. Indicators: RSI, OBV, BFX Longs & Shorts. Twitter

The Top News 📌

  • Canadian based exchange, QuadrigaCX, is unable to access $190m worth of funds as sole owner of private keys passed away. Source.
  • Stable-coins seem to be taking centre-stage as of late with no signs of stopping. In another example of side-stepping US sanctions, Iran develops gold-pegged stablecoin PayMon. Source.

The Must Reads 💭

  • Bernhard Mueller investigates some of the core factors that will increase adoption of Ethereum through the evolution of trustless E-commerce. Source.
  • Shahan Khatchadourian thoroughly investigates and compares blockchains and databases, concluding that they are not the same thing... yet. Source.

The Nitty Gritty ⚙️

  • Ethereum developers delay the implementation of ProgPow, a piece of code the evens the playing field for miners. Source.
  • The first test-net specifically designed for the upcoming ETH2 (Serenity) upgrade was officially launched. Read about the Görli testnet. Source.

What?

The Görli blockchain officially launched its testnet at the GörliCon conference in Berlin last week.

“[Görli is] the first proof-of-authority cross-client testnet, synching Parity Ethereum, Geth, Nethermind, Pantheon, and EthereumJS.”

Why?

The Görli Blockchain serves as the testing ground for the first three phases of development for Ethereum 2.0 (Serenity). Most notably, this includes Prysm, software developed by Prysmatic Labs, that is a fundamental stepping stone towards solving the scalability issues with the Ethereum network.

“The vision of the Görli testnet is to enable developers for building applications on a reliable, high available testing network without restricting them in the tools they can use.” - Görli

What Now?

Prysm is set to launch on the testnet around mid February / March with Phase Zero of testing is set to include a beacon chain and proof-of-stake algorithm that will serve as the core driver of Ethereum 2.0. Whilst we cannot easily predict how much testing will need go be done on Görli over the coming months, we can be sure that we will slowly start to see implementations role out across the Ethereum Mainnet.

What we think...

Anything that brings us closer to Ethereum 2.0 is great news. The community has long been awaiting concrete developments in the way of solving Ethereum's scalability issues. With the launch of Görli and the subsequent testing of core upgrades coming from Prysm, we should now start to see some tangible progress in this area.

Source.

  • New Listings. Ethfinex added 3 new Dai pairs to Ethfinex, and Ethfinex Trustless, making for an easier, more liquid trading experience. The 3 new pairs are OMG/DAI, ZRX/DAI and MKR/DAI.
  • The importance of Branding. Design Director, Rikke Rassmusen recently represented Ethfinex at the Blockchain Convergence Summit in South Korea. Read Rikke's blog post below for an eye-opening deep dive on Ethfinex's brand journey and how we set-about creating a fluid, liquid and multi-faceted visual identity. Read More.

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