Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. In exciting news this week, CEO and co-founder of Blockchain, Peter Smith, has been chosen to travel to Asia with Prime Minister David Cameron to promote FinTech solutions. Also this week, several big names continue to dabble in bitcoin and blockchain technology, such as Visa, Microsoft, Overstock, and even retired boxer, Mike Tyson. It’s an eclectic grouping, but shows how far reaching bitcoin has become, and how everyone wants to be a part of it.
The U.K. has been the financial hub of Europe for decades now, and it looks like it plans to do the same thing with bitcoin. British Prime Minister David Cameron is currently wrapping up his first trade mission since re-election in South East Asia, and he brought the usual suspects (Lloyd’s of London, Rolls-Royce…), as well as a bitcoin company, Blockchain.
Brian Forde is a former Senior Advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and recently became MIT Media Labs new director of digital currency. He sat down with the Ferenstein Wire at the Atlantic Aspen Ideas Festival and revealed how bitcoin technology could eventually become a cornerstone of modern governance.
George Galloway wants to use the blockchain software that underpins bitcoin to keep track of the Mayor of London’s spending. Galloway, who is famous for his far-left views as well as pretending to be a cat on Celebrity Big Brother, is running for Mayor of London next year. The former MP, who lost his seat for the Respect Party in May’s election, is running as an independent.
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.
Visa Europe’s Collab, an arm of the company’s digital innovation program, has begun to look at bitcoin start-ups within the area of digital payments – a space dominated by the big card providers. Visa’s Collab has been operating what it calls “a religion of a 100-day sprint proof of concept”, and since February 2015 has established relations with some 200-odd start-ups and taken 45 of them through the proof of concept stage, to be bench tested at Visa Europe.
Bitnet is a Bitcoin payment processing company that has raised tens of millions of dollars over the past year, and the team behind this global payments platform has a plethora of experience in the traditional online payments space. Before co-founding Bitnet, CEO John McDonnell was a Senior Vice President at Visa. McDonnell was recently interviewed on the Epicenter Bitcoin podcast, and he shed some light on the serious issues with the current state of the online payments industry.
Bitcoin technology could reshape the way financial markets operate. That is according to Blythe Master, the chief executive of Digital Asset Holdings, and one of the biggest names in the business. Speaking at SourceMedia’s Convene conference in midtown Manhattan, Masters said: “The potential addressable markets for these types of technologies are gigantic.”
The ways in which blockchain technology can be used to support social good were discussed at an event hosted by Microsoft’s Civic Innovation team in New York. Taking place at the LMHQ venue in Lower Manhattan, the event was kicked off by John Paul Farmer, director of technology and civic innovation at Microsoft. Farmer, who previously served as the senior advisor for innovation in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, explained the purpose of the session was to explore the kind of impact blockchain technology can have when used in new and creative ways.
David Cameron is to bang the drum for Britain’s fast-expanding financial technology sector during a trade mission to Asia that will be notable for its emphasis on SMEs and regional businesses. Among those attending from the FinTech industry are Alastair Lukies, chairman of Innovate Finance; Peter Smith, co-founder of the Bitcoin group Blockchain; Rhydian Lewis of RateSetter, the peer-to-peer lending platform; and Christophe Rieche of Iwoca, which provides credit to small businesses.
Funderbeam, an Estonian company that offers data-intelligence on startups for angel investors, has announced it will launch a blockchain based trading platform for startup-investment. By doing so, the company that is – among others – funded by Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn sets out to create liquidity in the startup marketplace.
A new partnership between Bing Rewards and Tango Card will let users of the search engine redeem reward points for the ability to win $500 in bitcoin. Bing Rewards awards credits to search engine users that can be redeemed for gift cards and other products, including entries into various consumer-oriented contests. The latest contest was made possible by Tango Card’s recent partnership with bitcoin processing service SnapCard.[Next On The Vegas Strip — The Mike Tyson Bitcoin ATM](http://www.pymnts.com/news/2015/next-on-the-vegas-strip-the-mike-tyson-bitcoin-atm/#.VbvT0_lVikp)
Mike Tyson hasn’t made many headlines lately, but a tweet he sent out has revealed that the former heavyweight boxing champion is getting into bitcoin by launching a bitcoin ATM. Yes, Mike Tyson is getting into bitcoin. And he’s doing so in a very flashy manner, starting with his tagline on his site promoting the ATM: “Mike Tyson’s fastest knockout in the ring was 30 seconds. The Mike Tyson bitcoin ATM can turn your cash into bitcoin in under 20 seconds.”
American Banker’s second annual digital currencies conference was also its first to put an equal emphasis on the emerging opportunities posed by bitcoin’s distributed ledger, the blockchain. The idea that conversation around the technology has altered drastically in the last year. The talk proved forward-thinking in its praise for the promise of more expansive and experimental use cases for the blockchain while acknowledging that bitcoin, as its first application, had kickstarted a new wave of innovation.
SETL has announced plans to deploy a multi-asset, multi-currency institutional payment and settlements infrastructure based on blockchain technology. The SETL system will enable market participants to move cash and assets directly between each other, facilitating the immediate and final settlement of market transactions.
The first hackathon to be held in India will reportedly focus on bitcoin and blockchain technology. Multinational tech company IBM is one of the sponsors of the event, which aims to highlight developments in the FinTech sector. The two-day event called HackCoin will be held in the Bombay Stock Exchange in August 1 and 2.
We recently came across an informative series of Bitcoin videos created by Kyle Honeycutt. Kyle records tutorials that are developer focused and help explain how to build exciting new services leveraging the Blockchain API.[The 4 properties of Bitcoin](https://holytransaction.com/page/the-4-properties-of-Bitcoin)
HolyTransaction.com created an infographic that illustrates some of the main properties of bitcoin, such as it being divisible, durable, spendable, and secure. Check out the full infographic for more details.
Overstock.com, Inc. announced the sale of a $5 million digital security in the form of a cryptobond to FNY Managed Accounts LLC (“First New York”), an affiliate of FNY Capital. The sale is intended to serve as an additional proof-of-concept of the safety and efficiency of exchanging financial instruments via a cryptographically secured public ledger.
Imagine a time when the job you perform can be entirely replaced by technology. Picture a day when the trust that financial institutions worked decades to build, can be duplicated electronically in seconds. Think about a system, invented by anonymous strangers, which creates more security, speed and transparency than the financial world has ever seen. Science fiction? Hardly. That time is here. That day is today. That system is the blockchain.
Around the corner of every new idea lurks the element of uncertainty and risk. Since its inception in a 2008 academic paper, bitcoin has ushered in a new era of possibilities for global finance. It has attracted the attention of celebrities, investors, and financial leaders, many of whom have gotten involved in bitcoin themselves. Paul Szurek recently made the leap to join a bitcoin team as a way for him to learn, grow and satisfy his entrepreneurial curiosity.