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Bitcoin: Why No Moonshot Yet?

David SeamanPublished on Jun 30, 2016

Bitcoin exchange Bitso among winners of first Innotribe Startup Challenge for Latin America

econotimes.com / Thursday, June 30, 2016 11:04 AM UTC

The names of the three most promising fintech companies who have won the first Innotribe Startup Challenge for Latin America have been announced. The event was held in Mexico City on Wednesday 29 June, in partnership with SWIFT’s Latin America Regional Conference (LARC).

The winners include Mexico-based lending as a service (LaaS) platform providing a suite of student loan services Quotanda, Chile-based Destacame that aims to improve access to credit and other financial services for individuals and SMEs currently excluded from the financial system, and Mexico-based digital currency exchange Bitso.

Founded in 2014, Bitso main objective is to bring the benefits of bitcoin technology to Mexico and Latin America, prioritizing security, transparency and best operating practices while opening new paths to develop innovative products. It connects Mexico’s traditional banking infrastructure to the new digital era of bitcoin and blockchain for international cross border payments. In April, Bitso incorporated Ether trading into its platform.

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Does BIP 75 Really Threaten Bitcoin’s Fungibility?

nasdaq.com / Kyle Torpey / June 30, 2016

On Wednesday, the Bitcoin community went into a tizzy over BIP 75 (BIP stands for Bitcoin Improvement Proposal ), which is, in short, a layer-2 protocol for improving the user friendliness of Bitcoin payments.

The community, especially on Reddit, is concerned that the option to identify oneself to the sender or receiver of a payment may lead down the road toward know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) restrictions on the Bitcoin protocol. The hysteria around this proposal appears to have emerged from a post made by Bitcoin Core contributor Peter Todd to the Bitcoin development mailing list .

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Citi: Bitcoin is an Opportunity for Banks, Not a Threat

coindesk.com / Pete Rizzo / June 30, 2016

A new research report by banking giant Citi asserts that it does not view bitcoin and other digital currencies as a disruptive threat to banks, credit card networks or traditional remittance providers, but rather as a potential complement to existing services.

Published today, the 56-page report argues bitcoin and digital currencies are better equipped to open up new markets and reach new consumers, and that today’s centralized payment systems are already efficient enough for today’s commerce.

Still, Citi does see opportunity in using a public blockchain.

The report reads:

“The power behind an open network like bitcoin is the possibility of incorporating it with other technologies to bring about true innovation, such as applications that support the Internet of Things (eg machine-to-machine payments).”

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Getting Closer To A Bitcoin ETF? Winklevoss Trust Chooses New Exchange

forbes.com / Laura Shin / JUN 29, 2016

In their three-year-long quest to offer a Bitcoin ETF, twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss made several amendments to their regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday.

After initially deciding to list the proposed Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust (which would go by the ticker symbol COIN) on Nasdaq, they’ve switched to BATS Global Markets, which has become a popular choice for newly launched ETFs and is known for a having technologically advanced exchange.

The amended filing also named the Winklevoss’s Gemini Trust Company as the custodian for the bitcoin held by the Trust, and set the value for the Trust’s bitcoin at the 4pm Eastern Time spot price each day on the Gemini exchange.

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If EU Collapses, May Bitcoin Become Europe’s Common Currency?

cointelegraph.com / Joël Valenzuela / 2016-06-30

Earlier this month, a majority of citizens in the United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union. This departure, known as “Brexit,” caused a temporary global market collapse, and prompted US billionaire George Soros to warn that a collapse of the European Union is “practically irreversible” at this point.

During the polling leading up to the Brexit vote, gold and Bitcoin both tracked polling to leave the EU. Luca Dordolo, Italian BTM operator, sees Bitcoin as becoming considered, like gold, a hedge against weak markets.

“What’s happening to gold rates in these Brexit days, stock markets disrupted and gold rises, the same happens to Bitcoin. So in the public imagination, Bitcoin is considered as gold, a good where we find refuge when markets fall down. This is only a prologue in respect to what could happen.”

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Bitcoin Price Watch; Here Are This Evening’s Plays

newsbtc.com / Samuel Rae / June 30, 2016 

Here are the levels in focus for this evening’s session out of the US and Asia in the bitcoin price

The day is drawing to a close, and its time to put out the second of our twice daily bitcoin price watch pieces. As far as trading days go, this one started out relatively flat, and the action we saw throughout the evening on Wednesday suggested we weren’t going to see anything special come the European open. How wrong this interpretation was. Action throughout today’s session, perhaps buoyed by some positive sentiment across global news media, has seen price boost to fresh weekly highs, and gain back some of the strength it lost earlier on in the week.

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IBM and Crédit Mutuel Arkéa Bank Pilot Blockchain Identity

livebitcoinnews.com / Jamie Redman / June 30, 2016

As reported by Live Bitcoin News earlier this week the multinational corporation IBM (NYSE: IBM) has been big on blockchain research and development lately. Now the company has announced they successfully completed an identity system blockchain pilot with the Crédit Mutuel Arkéa a group of cooperative and mutual banks located in France.

The project the firm says is an operational permissioned blockchain protocol that provides a user a digital identity that will enable KYC and AML regulatory policies. IBM says the pilot with Crédit Mutuel Arkéa shows distributed ledger technology potential and its “disruptive capabilities” beyond “common transaction-oriented use cases.” Because the pilot was so successful Crédit Mutuel Arkéa group and IBM are planning to federate the project “creating a single but cross-businesses KYC platform to inform all of the bank processes.” Frédéric Laurent, COO Innovation & Operations, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa said in the announcement:

“Blockchain is a transformative agent in our operational application, as proven by this project— the first of its kind in France. This pilot offers a complete view of customers’ documents across our distributed network.— The project helped us to understand and master blockchain for other client uses. Now, we are ready to incorporate this technology in our ecosystem.”

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BTCC Introduces Titanium Collectible Containing Full Bitcoin Block

prweb.com / JUNE 30, 2016

BTCC today announced the release of a new series of titanium collectibles that each contain an entire bitcoin block. The Bitcoin Block is the world’s first physical bitcoin product to contain the full uncirculated block reward.

The Bitcoin Block is also the first collectible physical bitcoin product to come with a complimentary engraving service — Forever™. Forever™ is a proprietary BTCC service that permanently engraves customers’ personal messages onto the bitcoin blockchain. With this Bitcoin Block collectable, the Forever™ message will also be laser etched on the back of the titanium block, matching the Forever™ message on the blockchain.

“July 2016 marks a significant milestone in cryptocurrency history — 75 percent of all the 21 million bitcoins that will be issued will have been mined,” said BTCC’s chief executive officer Bobby Lee. “We’re celebrating eight years of bitcoin’s existence with the Bitcoin Block — a truly hefty collectible that pays tribute to the second bitcoin block halving and boldly conveys that bitcoin is here to stay.”

The Bitcoin Block is a square block, 80 millimeters wide and 10 millimeters thick. Each block is made of pure titanium, and weighs in at 10 ounces (283 grams). As of press time, the Bitcoin Block is worth more than its weight in gold.

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How Governments Subsidize Bitcoin’s Usefulness and the Bitcoin Price

bitcoinmagazine.com / Kyle Torpey / Jun 30, 2016

Bitcoin Core contributor, Peter Todd, was recently interviewed on Bitcoin Uncensored by co-hosts Chris DeRose and Joshua Unseth.Ethereum, The DAO, private blockchains and many other topics were discussed but DeRose turned the conversation toward an often-discussed concept (at least on Bitcoin Uncensored) near the end of the show: The idea that governments essentially subsidize the usefulness of Bitcoin and the bitcoin price through their various regulations.

Bitcoin Fulfills a Need in the Market

There are many types of applications that people want to build with blockchain technology but only a minor fraction of these projects have found any use in the real world. While there are plenty of techno-geeks who think it’s cool to play around with various cryptocurrencies and blockchain-related projects, Bitcoin seems to be the only blockchain system that has seen use outside of those who are tech-savvy.

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Everything you need to know about the bitcoin ‘halving’ event

qz.com / Ian Kar / June 30, 2016

Bitcoin has been on a wild ride.

Already over the past year, Craig Wright stepped forward as Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s anonymous founder, but later backed away from those claims; a civil war raged at the upper echelons of the bitcoin community over changes to the network’s code; a renowned bitcoin developer wrote a eulogy for the cryptocurrency; and another virtual currency, ethereum, exploded in popularity.

Against this backdrop, the price of bitcoin has nearly tripled.

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$16 Million Worth of Bitcoin Auctioned in Australia

cointelegraph.com / Olusegun Ogundeji / 2016-06-29

Financial services firm Ernst and Young has announced it has successfully auctioned off 24,518 Bitcoins at a closed international auction which ended on June 21. The auction was the first of its kind in Australia and the second ever globally.

Bidders were made to deposit $250,000 as well as meet other financial requirements to bid for the available 11 lots of 2,000 Bitcoins and one lot of 2,518 Bitcoins. Going by its current rate (1 BTC = $634), the auctioned 24,518 Bitcoins are worth about US$16 million.

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How China Took Center Stage in Bitcoin’s Civil War

nytimes.com / NATHANIEL POPPER / JUNE 29, 2016

A delegation of American executives flew to Beijing in April for a secret meeting at the Grand Hyatt hotel, just blocks from Tiananmen Square.

They went to meet with the new kingmakers in what has become one of the grandest and strangest experiments in money the world has seen: the virtual currency known as Bitcoin.

Against long odds, and despite an abstruse structure, in which supercomputers are said to mine the currency via mathematical formulas, Bitcoin has become a multibillion-dollar industry. It has attracted major investments from Silicon Valley and a significant following on Wall Street.

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Celebrating Three Years of Bitcoin Wednesday on July 6

themerkle.com / JP Buntinx / June 30, 2016

Monthly Bitcoin meetings are an excellent way to raise awareness about cryptocurrency. Over in Amsterdam, the Bitcoin Wednesday initiative is celebrating its third birthday on July 6th. There will be a reception, various workshops, and presentations. Tickets are very limited, and RSVPing is mandatory for those looking to attend.

BITCOIN WEDNESDAY CONTINUES THE STREAK

It has proven to be relatively difficult to come across a Bitcoin meetup group that has an event every month. While there may be multiple groups out there who can claim that moniker in the US and Asia, things are a bit different in Europe. Bitcoin Wednesday is one of the few exceptions, as they will hold their 37th consecutive event on July 6.

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The 18 companies that control bitcoin in 2016

uk.businessinsider.com / Rob Price / June 30, 2016

Flashy startups like Coinbase, Circle, Blockchain, and BitPay are some of the most famous companies in bitcoin.

But arguably more important are the miners — individuals and organisations who form the core backbone of bitcoin, ensuring the digital currency’s integrity.

Bitcoin runs on a blockchain, a decentralised and public ledger of every transaction made on the network. By offering processing power towards this, users get a chance to win bitcoin — creating an arms race of miners scrambling to assemble ever-more sophisticated and powerful equipment to “mine” new bitcoin.

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Bitcoin Miners to Hardfork According to Circulating Rumors

cryptocoinsnews.com / Andrew Quentson / 30/06/2016

The blocksize debate has been brought to the forefront once more as a number of Bitcoin developers, including Gregory Maxwell, CTO of Blockstream and Mark Friedenbach, Core Tech Engineer at Blockstream, came out against the Hong Kong Consensus, arguably the most important document in Bitcoin’s history since the whitepaper.

According to what may be a leak of an alleged meeting between pools and miners representing more than 75% of hashpower, consensus has been reached to hardfork to 2mb if Bitcoin Core developers do not release a new Bitcoin Core client with a 2MB hardfork code by August the 1st 2016.

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Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 06/30/2016 – End-of-the-Quarter Profit-Taking?

newsbtc.com / Sarah Jenn / June 30, 2016 

Bitcoin price could be in for another round of volatile action at the end of this month and quarter.

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

  • Bitcoin price has consolidated after its strong rally and correction in the past month.
  • But with the end of the month AND quarter upon us, there’s a strong chance that traders would book profits off their recent positions.
  • At the moment, bitcoin price appears to be showing a bearish flag pattern, which is typically considered a selloff continuation signal.

Bitcoin price could be in for another round of volatile action at the end of this month and quarter.

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Will Bitcoin Make It Finally Make It Big? Digital Bank WB21 is Accepting Bitcoin Deposits

business.com / David Wither / June 29, 2016

Bitcoin is a currency that has always struggled to break into the mainstream.

It’s also a currency that is being mined at a faster and faster rate, with current virtual mining operations hitting 122 percent yields.

Banks are naturally resistant to it because it acts as competition.

For the first time, Bitcoin is making its way into the banking world via WB21, allowing people to have the chance to deposit and withdraw their Bitcoins via a legitimate online bank.

Why It Makes Sense

A bank accepting bitcoin sounds quite unusual; however, it makes total sense when you see it from a customer’s perspective. When you are holding bitcoins in your wallet and want to sell them, it usually takes days before you see money on your bank account. You need to go to an exchange platform that accepts your digital currency, set up an account, transfer your bitcoins and wait for the exchange to send a payment to your bank.

But even traditionalists can’t ignore the quick rise of Bitcoin. More and more businesses are accepting it as a form of currency; therefore, banks have a duty to their customers to accept them. The chances are it will take some time before it truly goes mainstream, however, it’s making gains.

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CEX.IO Bitcoin Exchange Reached 700,000 Users

blog.cex.io / by Helga Danova / Jun 30, 2016 

We are proud to share a great news with you, namely, reaching 700,000 user accounts on CEX.IO Bitcoin exchange!

Such a rapid growth is nothing more than an acknowledgment of your trust in our service, and we kindly thank you for staying with us.

We at CEX.IO do everything possible to provide the best Bitcoin experience for you by introducing new features, such as withdrawals to payment cards and launching trading of three ETH pairs, lowering fees, creating different variations of using our platform easily, fast, and smoothly.

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Resellers, get yourself a Bitcoin account and get to know blockchains

crn.com.au / Sholto Macpherson / Jun 30 2016

Don’t know what the hell I’m talking about? Bitcoin should need no introduction. If you haven’t heard of the world’s best-known cryptocurrency then spend some time with our old friend Mr Google and get up to speed. The news here isn’t Bitcoin itself. It’s the backend technology that makes Bitcoin work which has found itself on the PM’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.

The blockchain is a new kind of database. Although it was first invented to store financial transactions with Bitcoin, in principle it can store any kind of data. The magic about blockchains is that they are distributed ledgers, just like the internet is a distributed network. Every asset is recorded semi-publicly so that anyone with access to the ledger knows who has what (not the asset itself, but a numerical representation).

When a transaction takes place it is recorded through all copies of the distributed ledger. This can only occur when the asset holder uses their private key to decrypt the asset. The consequence is that there is no need for a clearing house or third party. In Bitcoin’s example, it removes the need for a central bank to issue currency and control its movement.

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