The front page of the Financial Times on Friday reported on Bitcoin’s big sell-off – down 30% it reported. Although as is the nature of this volatile currency, by the time FT was on the news-stands it had already recovered somewhat. It just goes to show what a rollercoaster year it has been for Bitcoin, from obscurity to front page news. Whatever will 2018 hold for crypto and blockchain?

Popular messaging application Telegram has also recently announced their plans to release their own blockchain platform and cryptocurrency. In an exclusive with blockchain news site Cointelegraph, Telegram revealed that the platform will be known as TON in its abbreviated form and they are contemplating “The Open Network” and “Telegram Open Network” as two name possibilities. Their currency will be known as “Gram”.

In our recent blog post ‘Russian press and Bitcoin’ we mentioned implementations for blockchain in Russia. This week, Russia completed its first blockchain initiative at governmental level. The country’s oldest and biggest bank Skerbank, which is also run by the state, are working with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service to use blockchain to store and transfer documents. Blockchain’s key characteristic as an immutable system for record keeping makes the technology well suited for use cases like this. It will be interesting to observe other governments take on similar blockchain use cases in the upcoming year.

Further east in Asia, the Korean Blockchain Open Forum and the Japanese Blockchain Collaborative Consortium have joined forces to assist each other in the blockchain research effort, having signed an official agreement at the Blockchain TechBiZ Conference on Thursday.

The year is fast coming to a close now and it’s been a great year for blockchain and Bitcoin. As we move in 2018, we are hopeful that these developments will only continue to grow.

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