Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. A continued theme we saw this week is that banks are getting their feet wet with bitcoin and blockchain technology. Making a bit of waves this week was an article from ArsTechnica saying that Barclays will become the first major bank to accept bitcoin. We are also seeing more and more governments look into bitcoin and its various uses. Looking back over the past couple of years, it’s quite amazing how far bitcoin has come, where people and organizations all over the world are taking a great interest in it. Read about all this news in this week’s rundown.[Gov’t in U.S. First to Record Survey on Bitcoin’s Blockchain](http://cointelegraph.com/news/115223/govt-in-us-first-to-record-survey-on-bitcoins-blockchain)
There have been many smaller mainstream uses of the public recording information into Bitcoin’s blockchain. Marriages and financial shareholding have also started to use blockchain technology. Now, for the first time, government survey information is being sent to the world’s most technologically-advanced online ledger.
The UK government is exploring the use of blockchain technology in a bid to improve the transparency and accuracy of its record keeping. In a post on the blog of the Government Digital Service, a unit of the UK Cabinet Office, technical architect Paul Downey explains that his team has been examining registers – how they are currently formatted and managed, and how they could potentially be improved through the use of a blockchain.
“Regulators worldwide are ready for bitcoin regulation and for considering it as a payment tool,” Victor Dostov, President of Russian Electronic Money Association (EMA), said in an interview to Russian financial media Bankir.ru. “There are less bans related to cryptocurrency while the opportunities expand,” he added.
Ukraine may soon legalize bitcoin. The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) is seriously looking into the possibilities of implementing bitcoin’s technology into the financial system according to Ukraine’s Bitcoin Foundation (BFU).
A parliamentary hopeful running in Canada’s upcoming federal election says he wants to give bitcoin an equal footing with the dollar. Alex Millar, a former math teacher and software engineer, claims to be an independent candidate running for Vancouver East.
Barclays, one of the the UK’s largest banks, will begin to accept bitcoin later this year. Unless another high street bank rushes to accept bitcoin, Barclays is set to become the first major bank in the UK, US, and Europe to accept bitcoin. At the time of publishing, one bitcoin (BTC) is worth about £150 or €204.
Like pretty much every other major bank at the moment, Barclays is very interested in the potential of the blockchain, the technology that underpins bitcoin. The Sunday Times reported this week that Barclays is planning to let charities accept bitcoin later this year.
Citigroup is looking to tap into the potential of blockchain, the underlying technology that powers virtual currencies such as bitcoin, and is also experimenting with the idea of its own fiat-backed digital currency, a top executive of the United States headquartered banking and financial services company said.
Researchers at a UK innovation lab operated by Swiss banking giant UBS are developing a blockchain implementation for settling transactions. The lab, opened earlier this year, is currently at work on a cryptocurrency that would be “linked to real-world currencies and connected to central bank accounts”.
The banker who helped give the world credit-default swaps wants to upend finance again—this time with the code that powers bitcoin. Masters is betting that the blockchain, the breakthrough that permits people to buy and sell bitcoins without the need for an intermediary, can be used to streamline all manner of financial transactions.
As the debate about the block size continues to roar through the bitcoin community, Gavin Andresen speaks with Epicenter Bitcoin to discuss how decisions in bitcoin are made, and what the governance of bitcoin looks like now and how it should look in the future.
Fintech, short for ‘financial technology’ is the new buzzword online. The idea encompasses many operations in finance and melds it together with technological advances. These forward movements in monetary trade are now defining a new era of entrepreneurs. From peer-to-peer lending, bitcoin and online remittances, the new economy is netting a majority of consumers.
The electronic currency bitcoin works because of encryption and a blockchain — a widely accessible, distributed record of everyone who has created, accessed or altered a given file. Bitcoin’s blockchain tracks who has had each bitcoin, verifies its authenticity, and so on.
Banking is at an inflection point. Most people think that banking is being reshaped by regulations since the global financial crisis. But that’s only half the story. The other half is about technology. Financial innovation is the dominant theme at technology centers around the world. Banking is an almost entirely digital business and innovation using technology is an obvious choice.
— Nic Cary (@niccary) September 2, 2015
It was great to get to know Marco, whose role at Blockchain is focused on infrastructure scaling and platform development. In the bitcoin industry, the roles that need to be filled are plentiful, as are the diversity of personalities that fill them.
Bitpay Chief Commercial Officer Sonny Singh, whose responsibility is to bring bitcoin to the masses and to small businesses worldwide, led a discussion about bitcoin, the importance of the block chain technology to banks, the rapid growth in VC investments, and the benefits of bitcoin for merchants and small e-businesses.
Bitcoin payments services startup Paymium has raised €1m in new seed funding from investors including Newfund and Kima Ventures. Founded in 2011, Paris-based Paymium, while not a marquee name in its sector, has so far garnered notable partnerships with online fashion retailer Showroomprive – then the largest merchant in Europe – and point-of-sale solution provider Ingenico.