Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. Several of bitcoin industry leading companies including Blockchain came together this week in support of bigger blocks to help scale the blockchain. You can read our letter in the link below. Also this week, more news continued to pour in showing support from financial firms and banks testing out bitcoin and blockchain technology. Also a fun fact: Oxford Dictionaries added two new bitcoin terms to their dictionary. Read all about this and more in this weekly bitcoin rundown.[Industry Endorses Bigger Blocks and BIP101](http://blog.blockchain.com/2015/08/24/industry-endorses-bigger-blocks-and-bip101/)
Our community stands at a crossroads. The debate about which path to take has, by and large, been a healthy one, and we have not interposed our own positions or interfered in the discourse. Until today, our involvement has consisted of listening, researching and testing. We believe that work is complete, and it is time to communicate our view in a clear and transparent manner.
Not to be outdone by Stanford, MIT Media Lab has announced its own course to inspire the “next generation” of bitcoin talent. Thanks to a partnership between its Digital Currency Initiative (DCI) and Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, MIT will join other universities, including Stanford, putting bitcoin into the classroom.
Big banks like Deutsche Bank are caught between the devil of their own antiquated IT systems, and a deep blue sea of disruptive technology, the like of which has never before been visited upon the financial sector. In order to compete, banks must first address what Deutsche Bank Research analyst Thomas F Dapp calls their “homework” – solving their legacy problem. Dapp recently authored a report for Deutsche Bank entitled “Blockchain – attack is probably the best form of defense.”
When it announced its blockchain innovation lab earlier this year, UBS caused a ripple of excitement and trepidation. It was a watershed moment: one of the world’s wealthiest investment banks was putting its money, and public image, behind blockchain technology. Not only that, but it would be experimenting deep in the financial heart of London.
Nowhere, though, are more money and resources being spent on the technology than on Wall Street — the very industry that bitcoin was created to circumvent. “There is so much pull and interest on this right now,” said Derek White, the chief digital officer at Barclays, the British global bank, which has a team of employees working on about 20 experiments that explore how the technology underlying Bitcoin might change finance.
The first reported bitcoin transactions between the US and Cuba mark the latest innovation brought to the island’s complicated economy, as the two countries normalize relations. Fernando Villar, the Cuban-American founder of a group called BitcoinCuba, told CryptoCurrency News that he made the transaction this week using public wi-fi networks that Cuba’s socialist government has started installing in public parks.
The first ever bitcoin exchange in Iran has opened, opening up the cryptocurrency to a previously untapped market. BTXCapital will offer instant deposits and real-time buy and sell orders to users in the country through Draglet’s exchange platform, though regulatory issues surrounding bitcoin in Iran remain unclear.
Crypto-securities and blockchain record-keeping systems may not be subject to commercial transactions law under the US Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), according to new research from Cardozo Law.
My conversation with Mr. Tai was wide-ranging, and, at some point, we may offer the entire transcription as a free downloadable PDF. For now, below are excerpts related to bitcoin and blockchain, and, specifically, how blockchain technology could help solve what I believe to be the fundamental issue for today’s creator — be they a musician, writer, visual artist, etc. — attribution.
A group of researchers at the University of Maryland, College Park are among a small number of scientists working to erase a lag between the growing adoption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and the understanding of them.
— Nic Cary (@niccary) August 28, 2015
More than just a steady flood of hacking, bitcoin hacking has become more of a culture within a subculture. As such their methods are ever evolving and they are extremely coordinated. Once a critical flaw is found it is exploited rapidly throughout the entire eco system. Conventional security guides cannot keep up with such a culture nor do they understand the unique terrain that bitcoin startups must deal with.
CardCash, an American online company that buys and sells discounted gift cards from thousands of national retailers, has begun to accept bitcoin payments. CardCash joins companies like Gyft and Fold that provide ways for Bitcoin users to interact with the massive gift card industry.
A new bitcoin micropayments tool has launched to take aim at the global freelance and on-demand services market. Called Faradam (after inventor Michael Faraday), the service uses a simple timer to facilitate payment between two parties, with freelancers seeking to leverage the service only needing to provide their name, hourly work rate and bitcoin address. In turn, those looking to employ short-term services simply receive a link and connect a wallet.
Catalan-born Jaume is a developer whose focus has been primarily on our web wallet. His travel portfolio reminds me of another developer on the team, Sjors, who has also visited and lived in his fair share of places around the world. Currently Jaume is settled in Ottawa, Canada, which is a city I called home for most of my life.
OxfordDictionaries.com, the online language resource owned by the Oxford University Press, has added new cryptocurrency-related definitions. A “blockchain”, according to the site, is a noun defined as: “A digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly.”[London’s Moniker Art Fair Banks on Bitcoin for 2015 Edition](http://uk.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/1225764/londons-moniker-art-fair-banks-on-bitcoin-for-2015-edition)
London’s Moniker Art Fair has collaborated with bitcoin-based global art, music, and technology collective Fork The Banks for its 2015 edition to become the world’s first international art fair to accept Bitcoin payments.
How a bullied geek forged an empire out of digital currency, and became a suspect in a half-billion-dollar heist. Mark Karpeles was the accidental emperor of bitcoin. Then a half-billion dollars worth of bitcoins vanished from his exchange.