Blockchain Blog

Bitcoin News for the week of 3/16/15

Welcome to our weekly Bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of Bitcoin each week. This week had it’s ups and downs, or as we like to say in the community, it’s been just another week in Bitcoin. The good news is that major marketplace Rakuten is now accepting bitcoin, along with a few other companies. Bitcoin was also a big hit at SXSW this year. Get all this news and more below!

Rakuten to Accept Bitcoin on Global Marketplaces

Rakuten announced that it plans to enable customers to choose bitcoin as a payment option by integrating Bitnet’s payment processing platform on a number of its marketplaces. The Internet services giant will begin accepting the new payment method first on Rakuten.com in the US, to be followed by Rakuten.de in Germany and Rakuten.at in Austria.

Secure Messaging App Wiper Adds Bitcoin Support

Wiper, a chat application designed to provide users with control over their sent and received messages, recently rolled out support for bitcoin transactions between its users. The tool is simple, allowing individuals to send cryptocurrency to others inside the app’s main chat interface.

New App Lets You Earn Bitcoin while Breaking a Sweat

Austin-based technology firm Chaotic Moon Studios recently launched a next generation fitness application that lets users earn Bitcoin while exercising. The iOS app titled FitCoin, requires users to sync-in a fitness tracker for recording heart rate and length of the workout session. It then converts the collected statistics to a CPU time on a Bitcoin mining rig; therefore deciding how much Bitcoin a user should earn after a regular exercising session.

![Illustration by Cointelegraph.com ](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/03/south-korea-bitcoin.jpg)
Illustration by Cointelegraph.com
[South Korea: Bitcoin Growth Fueled by Startups and Community](http://cointelegraph.com/news/113751/south-korea-bitcoin-growth-fueled-by-startups-and-community)

In Korea, many people, both young and old, use the latest smartphones and tablets with NFC and camera technology. Wifi and cellular data is reliable and widely accessible. Common barriers to countries adopting bitcoin – such as market penetration of new technologies and smartphone usage – are lower in Korea, making this a promising place for bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Bitcoin Companies Join Payment Giants At Transact 15

The Transact conference is a yearly trade show that brings together the latest in payments and technology. Payments giants including American Express, PayPal, Visa, Bank of America, Chase, and many others gather at this yearly event to learn about new technologies and form partnerships. In its very essence, this is a traditional payments conference. And now Bitcoin gets to be part of the conversation.

Botswana Gets First Bitcoin ATM at CoinFest Africa

Botswana’s first Bitcoin ATM, a Skyhook model, has landed in the country. Originally owned by the Taurus Bitcoin Exchange, its relatively-long processing time was considered untenable in the saturated Canadian market. Its small size and extreme affordability, however, made it perfect for donating to send to Africa.

Bitcoin Billboard Wins Tel Aviv Hackathon

Over 50 programmers spent over 20 hours of hacking at the Decentralize This! hackathon in Tel Aviv, which has resulted in the creation of bitcoin’s own Million Dollar Homepage – among many other interesting projects.

5 Tips to Grasp the Bitcoin Scene in Any City

Whether you live in a sizeable city or just visit one occasionally, you may wonder about the local Bitcoin scene. There are five reliable metrics for teasing out the crypto action anywhere you are. There are a slew of websites that report local data in certain categories. If you’ve not yet dived into your city’s Bitcoin scene – or if you plan to visit a new city soon – get ready to put the following bookmarks in your browser.

Meet the Team: Interview with Youmna Chamcham, Product Design

Making Bitcoin easier to use is a core mission of ours here at Blockchain. For a lot of people, Bitcoin is still pretty intimidating, which is why we’re so excited to learn from Youmna today. Youmna works on our product team and comes to us from Lebanon. She has a very artistic background and has previously helped launch very successful social media and promotional campaigns.

Winklevoss twins believe bitcoin will ‘wipe out’ cash

“Cash is going to be killed,” Tyler Winklevoss told a crowd Monday at SXSW Interactive, the annual tech conference. “It will be nostalgia … You’ll tell your grandkids about the wallet, it was this thing made of leather.”

BitBeat: Bitcoin Rises at SXSW

Bitcoin’s growth in the real world may be up for debate. At South by Southwest, though, there is no debate: there, bitcoin is growing. The sprawling film/music/culture/tech festival that takes over Austin, Texas this year dedicated a full one-day conference to bitcoin, which on Monday brought some of the biggest names in the industry to the Lone Star state.

Gyft to Embrace ‘Radical’ Blockchain Concept in Gift Card Fraud Fight

Gyft CEO Vinny Lingham has announced plans for his mobile gift card company to use bitcoin to enable gift card providers to issue more secure, consumer-friendly digital products. Announced at the annual SXSW conference, the news was revealed during a conference panel that sought to address the real-world applications of bitcoin.

What’s the Difference? A Comparison Between Key Blockchain Wallet Terms and Features

Within the Blockchain Wallet, we have terms and key features that are new and could cause some confusion. This post is intended to help clarify some of these terms and features. If you aren’t sure about the difference between your secret phrase and your mnemonic (among others), please read on!

![Slide via Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research ](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/03/bitcoin-millennials-1024x593.jpg)
Slide via Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research
[33% of millennials don’t think they’ll need a bank five years from now](http://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-dont-think-they-will-need-a-bank-2015-3)

This infographic comes from Goldman Sachs The Future of Finance – The Socialization of Finance report series. Millennials, according to GS, have a lot of faith in the disruption of the financial system, so much so that 33% think they won’t need a bank in the near future.

Credit Suisse Publishes Paper on Bitcoin: Explores Integration with Traditional Financial System

Mainstream banks and financial institutions are warming up to Bitcoin and digital blockchain-based fintech, often with a surprisingly positive and open-minded attitude. In a recent research paper titled “One Bank Research Agenda,” the Bank of England said that Bitcoin could reshape the financial industry and called for further research to devise a system that could use distributed ledger technology without compromising a central bank’s ability to control its currency.

UK Plans to apply AML regulations to Bitcoin

Bitcoin exchanges in the United Kingdom may soon be regulated by the government, a report released in conjunction with the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s 2015 Budget revealed. The government also intends to apply anti-money laundering regulations to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, in a bid to the check the rise of digital currencies-assisted criminal activities while supporting innovation and growth in the revolutionary technology.

Bitcoin And Gold: When Worlds Collide

Very few people understand that once you deposit your money into a bank account, it is no longer your legal property. The deposits may be insured but there’s nothing to prevent the government from confiscating money held within the banking system.