Welcome to our weekly Bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of Bitcoin each week. This week in Bitcoin features the 25 most exciting Bitcoin startups, which is a great list to get acquainted with. Also, it appears Wall Street is taking a liking to Bitcoin with a few news headlines that deserve a double take.
Get this news and more in our roundup below!
A special thanks to Business Insider for listing Blockchain in the list of the 25 most exciting Bitcoin startups. Business Insider spent the past several weeks speaking to CEOs, journalists, investors, and others in the Bitcoin scene in search of some of the most exciting startups and projects out there.
The biggest U.S. stock exchange operators are taking steps to embrace Bitcoin, spurring speculation the digital currency is coming up from underground. Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. revealed that New York-based Noble Markets, a platform for trading bitcoin, has agreed to license Nasdaq’s X-stream technology.
Bitcoin and Wall Street have been like two hostile cultures, each warily eyeing the other. But attitudes are changing as the sides get to know each other, and nowhere are the emissaries of those worlds working together more directly than at Silicon Valley’s premiere start-up shop, the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT) has received approval to list on the securities marketplace OTC Markets Group, meaning shares could begin trading as soon as next week. In preparation for the debut, the private investment vehicle owned by Digital Currency Group (DCG) has announced the launch of Grayscale Investments, which will sponsor the BIT, taking on responsibilities as necessary to register and run the fund.
Most will have missed Chancellor George Osborne’s reference to digital currencies during his final budget speech of this parliament. But among the tranche of budget documents released by the Treasury was one entitled: Digital Currencies: response to the call for evidence’. It marked the first time measures to support digital currencies have been included in a budget.[Paul Snow Rides 21 Miles on a Unicycle to Texas Bitcoin Conference](http://cointelegraph.com/news/113804/paul-snow-rides-21-miles-on-a-unicycle-to-texas-bitcoin-conference)
The second annual Texas Bitcoin Conference opened its doors in Austin on March 27 and will run through March 29, 2015. CoinTelegraph had the chance to speak with Paul Snow, the organizer and founder of the event and President of the Texas Bitcoin Association.
BITT’s co-founder and CFO Gabriel Abed further recognizes their company’s potential role in redefining the Caribbean banking sector. “We serve the international market,” he says, “but are focused and centered on the Caribbean offering the core services of mobile digital wallets, international remittances and e-commerce merchant solutions utilizing new software called bitcoin and blockchain.”
Estonian Bank LHV has made further links with the digital currency space, having partnered with UK exchange Coinfloor to handle user deposits. LHV has been increasingly active in the Bitcoin space.
Bitcoin airtime merchant, Bitrefill, has partnered with New York-based Bitcoin exchange Celery to enable bitcoin remittances of phone minutes to more than 100 countries – without the sender ever having to touch the digital currency. “The integration uses all of the benefits of Bitcoin but hides the complexities from the user, just uses Bitcoin as settlement rails,” said Celery CEO IIya Subkhankulov.
Bitwage is partnering with Xapo to create the world’s first international bitcoin payroll debit card. This is a big step forward for bitcoin practicality in the workplace, and in everyday life. Bitwage launched last year, coming about because of “…a missing link in the current financial circle – Payroll. If Bitcoin is to be popular, payroll is eventually going to be part of it.”
Bitnet announced that it had joined forces with Cardinal Commerce, a global provider in the remote payments industry. Now, all of the companies in the Cardinal Commerce platform will have the option of implementing bitcoin acceptance. These include international retail giants such as Lenovo, Toshiba, GameStop, Tiffany & Co., and Urban Outfitters.
Users of blog commenting service Disqus can now tip each other in bitcoin following the company’s integration with San Francisco-based micropayments startup ChangeTip. The news of the integration came after Victoria van Eyk, VP community developer at ChangeTip, sent a tip to a commenter on one of CoinDesk’s articles.
DevCore is a series of workshops set to host around the world for all developers interested in deepening their technical expertise to support the future development of Bitcoin Core. Blockchain was a hackathon sponsor where we had developers Kevin Houk and Tim Lee giving a presentation on how to build on top of the Blockchain API.
This week, our API Profile features Genesis Coin, an ATM provider with 45 ATMs currently deployed in locations from Mexico to Macau. The company’s CEO, Evan Rose, joined us to talk about Genesis Coin ATMs and how Bitcoin ATMs in general are helping to serve a specific need.
2011 marked the first year of the Contactless & Mobile Awards. It has since grown to be a celebration of innovation encompassing a variety of categories. This year is particularly exciting for the digital currency community thanks to Bitpay and their recently released point-of-sale app, Bitcoin Checkout.