**Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. **It was abundantly clear this week that headlines centered around banks adopting bitcoin and block chain technology in some fashion; which just goes to show how far bitcoin has grown and user adoption has come, both individually and through institutions such as banks, over the years. Other news bites this week are Russian President Vladimir Putin chiming in on bitcoin, and continued discussion on what the Greek debt crisis is teaching the world about wealth and bitcoin.
The highly anticipated bitcoin documentary “Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It” has been released, announced Torsten Hoffman, the film’s writer and producer. It highlights the most interesting use cases of bitcoin and block chain technology by avoiding the complex technical aspects of secondary applications.
New Jersey State Assemblymen Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson) and Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen), are proposing a bill creating a regulatory framework for digital currency exchange companies and offering tax breaks to exchange companies created in or relocating to the state.
Bitcoin regulation and legislation will remain a hot topic for many years to come, as various governments around the world are trying to figure out the best approach to this matter. In the United States, however, several regulatory actions are under way already, and a Bitcoin Bill for the state of North Carolina has come one step closer to completion.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued his first remarks on Bitcoin and digital currencies in an educational forum broadcast on domestic TV network Russia 24. Local news sources are reporting Putin indicated his belief that the Bank of Russia, the country’s central bank, has so far taken a reasonable stance on the technology by exploring, not rejecting, its applications.
An indictment against a Colorado bitcoin trader, Burt Wagner, has been dismissed “without prejudice” by a district court judge. Wagner had been charged by the US Attorney’s Office for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business in the state of Colorado in late 2014. However, in a surprise turn of events, Judge William J Martinez issued an order to dismiss the case this Monday at its request.
As the Greek Parliament readies to vote on a third bailout agreement today – which would inevitably seal the country’s fate within the eurozone – there’s still a steady stream of media reports suggesting Bitcoin could prove useful to Greek citizens.[What Greece can learn from bitcoin adoption in Latin America](http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/what-greece-can-learn-bitcoin-adoption-latin-america-1511183)
Bitcoin is uniquely positioned to rescue economies in crisis. Owning bitcoin means being a participant in a resilient and rapidly expanding global financial network – one that is independent of politics and central authorities. In economies where governments strive to establish stability, bitcoin is already providing protection against inflation and access to consumer finance services that allow people to go about their daily lives in the midst of the worst economic circumstances.
Think your money is safe in the bank? In stocks? In bonds? Think again. To put it simply, when you store wealth with traditional financial institutions there is no guarantee of future access. Governments and banks can freeze or seize your funds at will. The current system relies on trust, trust in your government and institutions to act responsibly to protect your wealth.
The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation announced plans to sponsor a series of educational events in Nairobi, Kenya, on the block chain for start-ups. The events will focus on the block chain technology to provide local start-ups with knowledge on opportunities and innovations in the industry.
British multinational banking and financial services company Barclays launched Rise New York, a physical space and virtual global community designed to pioneer the future of financial technology. By the end of 2016, Barclays plans to open other Rise hubs in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
The Bank of England has said central banks are looking at ways to implement “hybrid systems” involving distributed ledger technology of the type currently used to record bitcoin transactions. It is interesting to get an insight into the thought processes of the governors of international banking in this regard.
The Bitcoin block chain could hold the keys to reducing the cost of credit cards, money transfers and remittances, according to Standard Chartered chief innovation officer Anju Patwardhan. In a new LinkedIn post, Patwardhan outlined her views on the technology, suggesting that the true innovation behind bitcoin is its decentralized public ledger, the block chain.
Professional services firm Deloitte has revealed it is seeking to use block chain technology to automate client auditing and crowdsource its consulting efforts, among other applications. With the announcement, Deloitte – one of the world’s ‘Big Four’ audit firms – becomes the latest mainstream financial entity to voice its interest in the technology, following announcements by banking giants such as Citi, UBS and USAA.
UBS’s chief information officer (CIO) is giving 1-on-1 mentoring to fintech startups in London, working in areas like block chain software and social media investment analytics. UBS CIO Oliver Bussmann visited London’s fintech-dedicated office space Level39 in Canary Wharf to sit down and give advice to fledgling fintech businessess, according to Level39 head Eric Van der Kleij.
Analysts at Wedbush, the West Coast brokerage and investment bank, are embracing the Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC). The instrument, which is quoted on the OTCQX over-the-counter market, is the first and only means to buy and sell bitcoin with a standard brokerage account in the U.S.
A spokesperson for ING Group has clarified its customers are able to buy bitcoin via company bank accounts, despite conflicting statements from one of its social media representatives. “Our bitcoin policy, it is very simple, ING customers can buy bitcoins with their ING bank account.”
Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne wants to use bitcoins to help “clean up” Wall Street. Byrne said his company will issue the world’s first “crypto bond,” to be traded on a platform the company has developed that uses bitcoin technology.
A collective of Chicago-based entrepreneurs and investors have opened an incubator for bitcoin- and block chain-focused startups. Based at 1871, the city’s hub for digital startups, the Chicago Bitcoin Center promises to “foster a new wave of technological innovation on the block chain”. A similar operation launched in New York last year.
Exciting news: Journal Square is getting the first bitcoin ATM in the state of New Jersey. What’s a bitcoin? According to Michael Singh, founder of Kointron, the company behind the ATM, bitcoin is a digital currency currently gaining traction because it’s decentralized (no government or institution controls it) and it’s anti-inflationary.[Bitcoin Mining in an Abandoned Iowa Grocery Store](http://motherboard.vice.com/read/bitcoin-mining-in-an-abandoned-iowa-grocery-store?utm_source=mbfb)
Jared Smith, a senior industrial engineering student at Iowa State University, told me he started bitcoin mining as a sort of side project during his internship at Colohub Data Center, where his main duties centered on optimization engineering. He said a news segment about a bitcoin mining operation in Seattle raking in $8 million a month first sparked his interest in the cryptocurrency.
The music industry should explore block chain technology used in cryptocurrencies to ensure musicians are paid fairly for streams and sales of their work, according to a report published by the US-based Rethink Music initiative. The report, which is being widely circulated within the industry, suggests that embracing cryptocurrency technology could bring more transparency to the debate about musicians’ income from streaming services like Spotify.
The global bitcoin donation marathon organized by BitFury Group and Georgian Co-Investment Fund is finished, says the BitFury press release. A special bitcoin wallet was used to collect donations that came from all over the world. Nearly 230 transactions took place, bringing over $64,000 for the victims of the Tbilisi flood. Valery Vavilov, CEO of BitFury stated the company was “proud that the bitcoin community has once again demonstrated its generosity and support”.
Presenting as part of the session “Beyond Bitcoin, Unleashing the Blockchain”, Andreas M Antonopoulos opens with a contrarian perspective. It’s not about “beyond bitcoin,” and you can’t put this technology on a leash to make it more palatable. Bitcoin is the real thing, the revolutionary and disruptive technology that can’t be tamed.
Recently, there’s been a battle over whether the size of blocks need to grow to account for more capacity — especially since there isn’t much time left to make changes before blockchain capacity runs out, says core bitcoin developer Mike Hearn. Hearn joins a16z’s Chris Dixon on this segment of the a16z Podcast to discuss the current state of bitcoin development.