**Welcome to our weekly Bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of Bitcoin each week. **This week we got to hear Blockchain CEO Peter Smith speak at the Wired Money 2015 conference, along with many other industry experts. Also this week we have continued to see the price of bitcoin surge, with speculators discussing Greece and China possibly influencing the rise. In other headlines, Visa talks positively about Bitcoin in payments and NASDAQ continues to share encouraging updates. Read this news, and much more, in this week’s Bitcoin roundup.[Blockchain CEO Peter Smith on falling down the bitcoin rabbit hole](http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-07/08/blockchain-peter-smith-wired-money-2015)
When you get into Bitcoin, you fall down a rabbit hole, says Peter Smith, CEO of Blockchain, speaking at WIRED Money 2015. You start talking about Bitcoin all the time at social events to other obsessives and to your significant other. “What happens in a few years is that you have no significant others,” he jokes, which gives the obsessives more time to work on Bitcoin.
“Blockchain technology not only has an opportunity to transform financial services but also extend far beyond payments to new use-cases and applications across industries,” said Debby Hopkins, Chief Innovation Officer at Citi and chief executive of Citi Ventures, where some of the bank’s blockchain initiatives are taking place.
Large existing payments companies are “lowering the drawbridges” and working more openly with new players in the space, according to a Visa executive. Jonathan Vaux, executive director of new digital payments and strategy at Visa Europe, spoke at WIRED Money, held in London.
It would seem that Bitcoin is no longer in its burbling infancy, when serious analysts used to say “isn’t that cute,” pinch its cheeks and move on. Now in its awkward, self-righteous adolescence, it spends a lot of its time railing against sinister grown-up conspiracies: fiat currencies, banks—don’t get it started on central banks—and the governments that prop them all up.
French bank BNP Paribas says the technology underpinning Bitcoin has the potential to make existing companies “redundant,” a huge admission from one of the world’s biggest banks. Analyst Johann Palychata writes in the company’s magazine Quintessence that Bitcoin’s blockchain, the software that allows the digital currency to function, “should be considered as an invention like the steam or combustion engine,” that has the potential to transform the world of finance and beyond.
What do you do when you aren’t allowed to take your money out of the bank and your country’s currency (and with it, your savings) might soon be worth only a fraction of what it was before? Well, some Greeks are turning to Bitcoin, the much-maligned supranational digital currency.[China’s Stock Market Freefall a Boon for Bitcoin](http://cointelegraph.com/news/114803/chinas-stock-market-freefall-a-boon-for-bitcoin)
China’s stock market woes have been part of the reason for bitcoin’s recent rise in price. Considering the country’s dominance in bitcoin trading, continuation of falling stocks could fuel another record boom similar to what occurred back in late 2013 when the price soared beyond US$1,000.
“Bitcoin is not smooth jazz,” says Andreas M Antonopoulos, an entrepreneur, author and cryptocurrency expert. “Bitcoin is punk rock.” That means you can’t control it, centralize it, turn its disruptive elements into something palatable for an executive board room… or rename it ‘blockchain’ to make it more palatable for mass adoption.
Visa card cut all ties with the number two online classified ads website, Backpage. American Express had previously cut ties with the service, and Mastercard followed suit. This leaves Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin as the only working payment options to purchase any ads or services through Backpage.
European leaders have given Greece until the weekend to reach an aid-for-reforms deal with its creditors or risk bankruptcy and banking collapse. Here, we outline the currency options available to Greece if it leaves the single currency.
A new amended draft of California’s AB 1326, a bill that would specify the state’s licensing regime for digital currency businesses, was released —and it’s good news for us and Bitcoin advocates everywhere. Today, we’re issuing a letter of support for the legislation.
Can bitcoin conquer Argentina? It’s a question that is being given increasing validity by major media outlets like The New York Times and The Economist, and it’s easy to see why. Numerical and anecdotal evidence suggest that if bitcoin will prove popular as a currency anywhere, it should in Argentina.
Bitcoin Africa Conference 2015 – This Bitpesa video presentation from Elizabeth Rossiello is a good watch to understand North African markets and why Bitcoin can work perfectly over there without as many hurdles.
The Bits + Blocks Lab is an pop-up incubator hosted by the Harvard Innovation Lab, and created by IDEO Futures to explore the future of trust, and transaction and participation. In this video, Andreas Antonopoulos speaks for IDEO Futures about Bitcoin and blockchain technology.
For MovieTickets CEO Joel Cohen, expanding his online movie ticketing company’s payment options has been a recent top priority. Consumers have begun to demand more alternatives such as Visa Checkout and MasterPass. With this in mind, MovieTickets was well positioned to expand its payment options to include bitcoin at the request of Open Road Films, the US distributor for independent film Dope, when its creative team sought to use digital currency as a promotional tool.
BitFury Group has been quietly bringing online its 28nm ASICs increasing its hash rate to at publication time to a reported 15% of the global total of the Bitcoin network. On the investment side they have not slowed down either. They have announced that they secured another $20 million in funding.
It’s with great pleasure to announce that Michael Casey will be joining the MIT Media Lab as Senior Advisor to the Digital Currency Initiative on September 1, 2015. Michael’s move closes the curtain on a distinguished 23-year career in journalism–most recently as a senior columnist at The Wall Street Journal covering global finance and economics.
Due to its decentralized nature, Bitcoin has often been mentioned in the same breath as BitTorrent in recent years. Now, a solution being touted by a technology company sees the virtual currency being used to track movie and music leaks by turning pirates into paid snitches.
There’s another, far more radical vision for Reddit (or a site just like it): A decentralized, bitcoin-powered community that is impossible to shut down, impossible to censor. It’s the free speech advocate’s dream — and it’s not as unrealistic as you might think.
OKWave, Japan’s answer to social network Quora, has announced plans to launch its own bitcoin tipping scheme. The platform, established in 1999, claims to be the country’s largest Q&A site. It announced the news via its blog.
The stock exchange announced recently that it has begun experimenting with the blockchain—the publicly accessible and cryptographically verified record of every single Bitcoin transaction that has ever occurred. Specifically, Nasdaq will take advantage of a feature in Bitcoin’s design that allows additional data to be recorded on the blockchain along with information about a Bitcoin transaction.
With the recent Hacking Team revelations, it clearly shows that many organizations are working with companies which use sophisticated malware in attempts to compromise consumer software. Reports are emerging that Bitcoin transaction monitoring were specifically targeted. As a helpful reminder, here are a few tips to keep your computer and sensitive materials safeguarded.
Last week, Coinay announced that Spanish Bitcoin enthusiasts can use its vouchers to buy Bitcoin in their neighborhoods. Bitcoinist, followed the story further and interviewed Dolf Diederichsen, CEO & co-founder of Coinay, to learn about this Bitcoin voucher solution.
Our latest Meet the Team profile features Keonne Rodriguez, who helps craft the product vision for our wallet users. In this role, he needs to be tuned into what consumers want, to identify major hurdles preventing adoption, and to establish the building blocks for how we can incorporate this feedback into the evolution of our software.
Blockchain is a service that provides information on bitcoins and block chain data. Blockchain also allows users to manage their online bitcoin currency with online wallets. Three APIs for implementing the Blockchain Wallet and payment services have been added to the directory.