Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. This week contained a lot of news from all different aspects of bitcoin. Last Sunday we hit a new milestone – 4 million Blockchain wallets! We heard news that W3C will begin working to standardize online payments, which includes references to bitcoin. We also spent last weekend at #HackThePlanet in California. On the other end of the spectrum, there has been tumultuous news about the blocksize debate and BitcoinXT, which discussions included differing point of views. Get all this and more in our weekly rundown.[Achievement Unlocked – 4 million bitcoin wallets](http://blog.blockchain.com/2015/08/16/achievement-unlocked-4-million-bitcoin-wallets/)
It’s a proud day when we get to announce to the bitcoin community that we have accomplished another milestone. Today, we officially crossed over the 4 million marker for Blockchain Wallet users. We’ve been growing quickly and have doubled in size the past year. This is really exciting as it points to a positive trend in bitcoin adoption.
Blockchain.info, one of the first and popular bitcoin wallet providers, has recently announced in a blog post that it hit the 4 million user mark on Sunday, 16th August. The company reached 2 million user mark just last year.
Bitcoin wallet provider Blockchain, now supports 4 million user wallets. It hit the goal roughly one year after reaching the 2 million mark. In doubling the count in roughly one year, the company says, “This is really exciting as it points to a positive trend in bitcoin adoption.”
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) started review of a draft Web Payments Working Group Charter. The Web Payments Working Group will launch by the end of September after the end of the review on September 15, start working on an overall Web payments architecture, and prepare key topics for discussion at the next Technical Plenary/Advisory Committee meeting (TPAC 2015) in October.
Major League Hacking‘s spring 2015 season came to a close with Hack The Planet, a 48-hour finale event that ended last Sunday evening. On Friday, August 14, several hundred students made the Computer History Museum in gorgeous Mountain View, CA their home for 48 hours.
Two of bitcoin’s best-known developers have ‘forked’ the software in a controversial attempt to resolve its scalability crisis. The client, Bitcoin XT, was dreamt up earlier this year as a way to ‘opt out’ of bitcoin’s current 1MB block size limit – which has proved a divisive issue as the digital currency grows.
Bitcoin is divided. Some are calling it the currency’s “constitutional crisis”, a debate that has split its community right down the middle. The crux of the issue comes down to a single technical detail: the size of bitcoin’s blocks.
Bitcoin has never been a boring technology. At first glance you might figure that a seemingly tiny design decision, Bitcoin’s “blocksize,” would be a departure from that. And it seems to have reach a high point with a recent proposal to split the network. But developers think that recent coverage is getting it wrong.
Mike Hearn is one of the primary engineers behind bitcoin, the digital currency that aims to remake our financial system. Or at least he used to be. Over the weekend, Hearn told the world that he and a group of other coders were forking the bitcoin project, creating an alternate version of the software that underpins the digital currency.
ChangeTip teams up with Direct Relief, a charity known for its efficient use of donated funds (deemed 100% efficient by Forbes), to launch an eight-day fundraising campaign that aims to help prevent deaths from pregnancy and childbirth complications, one of which occurs in a developing country every two minutes.[First Bitcoin academy launches in Africa to teach people about digital currency, blockchain](http://memeburn.com/2015/08/first-bitcoin-academy-launches-in-africa-to-teach-people-about-digital-currency-blockchain/)
The Bitcoin Academy is the first of its kind in Africa. The new company will focus on bitcoin and blockchain development courses, and is located at the Bandwidth Barn in Woodstock, Cape Town. The aim of Bitcoin Academy is to educate those wanting to know more about bitcoin, blockchains, as well as developers wanting to integrate the exciting technology.
Bitcoin ATMs could spring up across Greece as soon as October as citizens and businesses become increasingly desperate to move their money despite capital controls. BTCGreece, which bills itself as the country’s first bitcoin exchange, plans to eventually install 1,000 ATMs nationwide, in partnership with European bitcoin platform, Cubits.
Despite the growing remittance demands, much of India’s population is underbanked, suffers from poor payment infrastructures and lacks access to traditional financial services. With the help of local bitcoin exchanges such as Bitcoin India and UnoCoin and tech giants such as Microsoft and IBM, many merchants and entrepreneurs are finally shifting toward bitcoin and beginning to recognize its advantages.
Bitcoin-paying customers spend $18 more on average per transaction than those paying with credit cards, according to Spanish online travel agency Destinia. This year, customers paying with bitcoin have spent an average of $477, in comparison to an average of $400 being spent by credit card paying consumers, according to a spokesperson for the company.
As bitcoin companies grow, these bigger goals can best be addressed when the finer details are taken care of: proper bookkeeping, financial planning and analysis, a suitable office location and the daunting prospect of employee health insurance. Who thrives under the pressure of mountains of paperwork? Our VP of Operations and Finance, Chris Lavery, enthusiastically says he “loves bringing operational efficiency to an organization.”
Mark Vanderaar and his daughter Katie run a small honey-making business in Ohio, Beerbelly Bees. Earlier this year they sold several bottles on the online marketplace OpenBazaar using the technology that underlies bitcoin: the blockchain.