Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. We made an exciting announcement this week, asking users to sign up for an exclusive sneak peek at the brand new Blockchain Wallet, which will be coming soon – so sign up now and get to see it before anyone else. We saw a continuation in news from last week, as more banks experiment in bitcoin and block chain technology. Another piece of interesting news shows that bitcoin is the fastest growing area of startup investment. It’s safe to say that bitcoin continues to grow worldwide, as we are seeing each week, and different countries learn and begin to use this nascent technology.
There are exciting changes coming to your Blockchain Wallet soon! We’ve reviewed feedback from community members around the world, and have been hard at work behind the scenes to dramatically improve your Blockchain Wallet experience. We aren’t just talking about a facelift either. Sign up and learn more today.
Bitcoin supporters argue the software that makes the digital currency possible could accelerate trading on Wall Street. A new survey suggests financial-services professionals are on board. Greenwich Associates found 94 percent of respondents say the blockchain — the ledger that drives bitcoin — could be used in finance, according to a new report.
France’s biggest bank BNP Paribas is looking at ways bitcoin could be incorporated into one its currency funds, according to a source at the bank. The source at BNP Paribas told IBTimes UK the bank has been doing “beta testing” involving crypotocurrency and one of the bank’s currency funds in Paris, with a view to making an announcement about that in the near future.
As global banks are increasingly experimenting with the blockchain to search for possible use-cases that they can implement in its existing banking systems, CoinTelegraph has compiled a list of some of the most notable banking giants experimenting with Bitcoin’s underlying technology.
On July 28, 2015, in New York City, American Banker is hosting a conference devoted exclusively to exploring the implications of the digital currencies and blockchain revolution for the banking sector. The conference will be asking the question – how can digital currencies and blockchain technology improve modern banking systems and how can banks work with governments to prevent regulations from tying the hands of innovators?
Banks are not prepared for the wave of disruption from digital companies seeking to capture the financial market, according to new research. In a survey of senior executives from the UK’s retail banking and wealth management sectors, digital innovation agency Adaptive Lab found that legacy technology and rapidly changing consumer behavior were hampering innovation.
Bitcoin exchange Kraken has announced a reduction in Bitcoin trading fees, along with a new model that rewards its users who provide liquidity to the exchange with even bigger savings, which they call a “maker taker” model. The company announced the new rates in a blog post, stating that the change comes by popular demand since many clients had told them they would like to see a maker taker model with reduced fees overall.
ItBit has launched its Global OTC Agency Trading Desk, a new, five-person over-the-counter (OTC) trading service that allows customers to complete trades outside its online order books. The trading desk will facilitate transactions of 100 BTC (roughly $28,000 at press time) or more with no broker or trading fees.
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the founders of Winklevoss Capital, filed an application with the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) on behalf of Gemini Trust Company, LLC, which will operate as a New York Limited Liability Trust Company. According to a spokesperson, the Gemini exchange will be open to the general public as well as institutional investors once a Certificate of Authorization is issued by the NYDFS.[Bitcoin and space travel are two of the fastest-growing areas of venture-capital funding](http://qz.com/457818/bitcoin-space-travel-venture-capital-funding/)
Two of the industries most historically owned by the government are now venture capital targets—money and spaceships. According to Mattermark data analyzed by Tomasz Tunguz of the venture capital firm Redpoint, bitcoin and space travel were two of the four fastest-growing areas for startup investment in the past three years.
“The value of bitcoin, if successful, is much greater than the downside risk,” said the founder and CEO of Pantera Capital. “It seems to be an asymmetric opportunity.” Morehead decided to close the 10-year-old firm’s existing global macro funds and open a pure bitcoin-only investment fund in 2013, two years after being introduced to the most famous and infamous virtual currency. Since then, the fund’s assets under management (AUM) has grown to $150 million.
Australian cryptocurrency firm DigitalBTC bought $10.1m worth of bitcoin in Q2 of this year, the company’s latest quarterly report reveals. This brings the amount of bitcoin the company has purchased over the past 12 months to almost $29.7m.
The use of bitcoin has more than doubled in the past year in Argentina as government controls have delivered economic stagnation and double-digit inflation, according to the London, U.K.-based Financial Times.
Efforts to get bitcoin off the ground in Africa received a boost this week as BitX announced it has raised $4 million in funding. Africa is a market ripe for bitcoin: it’s underserved by financial institutions due to the high cost of having a physical presence like ATMs, bank branches and remittance offices, according Werner van Rooyen, head of business development and growth at BitX.
Tunisia’s Ministry of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy is reportedly looking to explore both bitcoin and blockchain technology. The news follows the publication of an internship advert on various social media channels believed to be controlled by the Ministry.
The blockchain can be used for more than just bitcoin, at least that is what digital identification protection startup ShoCard is out to prove. The company recently raised $1.5 million in funding from Morado Ventures Partners, AME Cloud Ventures, Enspire Capital and Digital Currency Group for its digital identity card that can be used through a mobile app.[Bits Blockchain Visualization](https://ihb.io/2015-07-24/news/bits-blockchain-visualization-21136)
This is an experiment on visualizing the blockchain. It actually came out of frustration when waiting for confirmations, I wanted something nice to look at, and added the sound notification for notifications when I am browsing in another tab. I hope some of you find it useful.
Our development team includes Abhi Sharma, a UX (User Experience) Developer whose primary focus has been projects involving our web wallet. His day tends to include a myriad of different challenges, from usability testing all the way to front end development, which is great because he enjoys the many different aspects of design & development.
The blockchain revolution is so fascinating because it could actually be two completely different revolutions. Both profound in their implications: Censorship-resistant digital cash providing a new platform for open, permissionless innovation driven from the margins and industry-level systems of record driving efficiencies for incumbents.