Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. This week we brought you highlights of our new Blockchain Markets page, and updates on ZeroBlock. Making considerable headlines over the past several days were nine major banks coming together to state they are working on bitcoin and block chain tech-related projects. Also in the U.S., regulators said that bitcoin is a commodity which seemed to raise some eyebrows. Read about this, plus a lot more interesting news in this week’s bitcoin summary.[A quick update on the Blockchain Markets page and ZeroBlock](http://blog.blockchain.com/2015/09/18/a-quick-update-on-the-blockchain-markets-page-and-zeroblock/)
Have you had a peek at our new Blockchain Markets page? It was initially designed to give users live data points on the bitcoin network, price, exchange volume, and news. While its purpose remains the same, we wanted to make the page easier to understand and provide access to a wider range of information. In this post we’ll take you through some of the new features and UI changes to the Markets page, and we encourage you to comment below with your feedback.
The banks of the world are taking a page from cryptocurrency. Nine of the world’s biggest financial institutions have partnered with FinTech company R3 to develop distributed ledger technologies—the same technologies that underpin Bitcoin’s block chain.
Virtual money is officially a commodity, just like crude oil or wheat. So says the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which on Thursday announced it had filed and settled charges against a bitcoin exchange for facilitating the trading of option contracts on its platform.
Exchange-traded funds specialist ARK Investment Management has become the first ETF to invest in bitcoin. ARK has made its investment for ARK Web x.0 ETF through the purchase of publicly traded shares of Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC). ARK said it is betting on bitcoin to disrupt the $500bn intermediary payment platform industry which includes credit cards, electronic payments and remittances.[Bitcoin Is Only The Beginning For Blockchain Technology](http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemontgomery/2015/09/15/bitcoin-is-only-the-beginning-for-blockchain-technology/)
It turns out that currency might not be the most exciting thing to come out of the Bitcoin craze. Instead, it’s the technology that makes Bitcoin work, known as the block chain, which will be truly revolutionary. Block chain technology could be useful for “any industry that needs an immutable record,” says Peter Smith, CEO of Blockchain, a startup that has 4 million users of its Bitcoin wallet, a kind of private key that allows users to move bitcoins around the block chain.
Universal bitcoin company Satoshi Citadel Industries’ Rebit.ph has partnered with California-based global transaction network and money transfer platform ZipZap to enable Filipino expat workers in Canada to send money back to the Philippines using the ZipZap payment application.
Bitcoin payment startup PEY has raised €300,000 ($339,780) in seed funding for a new payroll service. The Hanover-based firm, which makes bitcoin point-of-sale (POS) terminals alongside a consumer app, attracted investment from a series of entrepreneurs, including the former managing director of multinational e-commerce company Zalando, Frank Biedka.
IBM has announced that it will soon release its own, open source version of block chain software — the public ledger system that lets Bitcoin work. It’s not a move to reinvent cryptocurrency, but an ambitious attempt to allow individuals and large corporations alike to make full use of everything the internet makes possible. It has the potential to decentralize the internet, making it both safer and more versatile in one fell swoop.
The chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) believes block chain technology has the potential to fundamentally change the world’s existing financial system. According to Medcraft, distributed ledger technology could result in greater efficiency and speed, disintermediation, reduced transaction costs and improved market access.
Some say block chain technology is going to become as significant in modern society as the internet. Others are calling the open ledger system, which is used to keep track of bitcoin transactions, “the future for financial services infrastructure.” BitNation, a block chain-based Governance 2.0 initiative, is using the block chain to help refugees in Europe. The organization’s new series of Refugee Emergency Response services allow refugees to create a digital identity, which can be used to cryptographically prove their existence and who their families are.[Bitcoin micropayments: Coming to smartphones—and toasters?—everywhere](http://qualcomm.tumblr.com/post/129111879296/internet-of-everything-micropayments-bitcoin)
Micropayments might not top your list of most compelling inventions, but they’re a sought-after capability. Small payments of less than a dollar, or even less than a cent, have the potential to shake up old, established business models, and open up new doors for the Internet of Everything. Some argue that digital payment methods like bitcoin are the way forward.
While most everyone seems to agree that the technology will disrupt financial services, there’s no consensus as to how it will play out. Distributed ledger technology is likely to disrupt financial services first by making existing processes more efficient, secure, transparent and inexpensive, and then later by creating new products that we can’t even dream of. Greater innovations may be yet to come.
The Money20/20 Hackathon will bring together more than 500 of the world’s most skilled developers from over 15 countries, and 10 of Fintech’s most influential brands, making it the largest Fintech Hackathon globally. With more than $125K in prizes on the line, hackers will have 24 hours to showcase their skills and vision using the APIs, SDKs and other tools from today’s leading innovators in Payments and Financial Services.
Our most recent hackathon we attended was Hack The Planet, which was designed by Major League Hacking as their finale to end the spring season of hacking. Coming in second place overall and claiming our prize for Best Bitcoin Hack was Tim Su, a developer and student from Northeastern University. Tim created Shuttlepay, an app that unites payment methods like bitcoin, Venmo and PayPal into one neat little app.[Introducing Ledger, the First Bitcoin-Only Academic Journal](http://motherboard.vice.com/read/introducing-ledger-the-first-bitcoin-only-academic-journal)
Bitcoin has mesmerized academics, computer scientists and economists alike, for cutting out the PayPals and governments usually required for digital money. Finally, researchers have an official setting to nerd out in. Tuesday, the University of Pittsburgh launched the first bitcoin-only journal, Ledger, which tackles the interdisciplinary world of cryptocurrency research.
“I used bitcoin to purchase an OkCupid membership, and thanks to the A-List features, I met my wife!” At one point, this sentence wouldn’t have made much sense. But now, online dating and digital currencies are both disrupting current systems, and thanks to OkCupid, you just might find love with bitcoin.
Budafoods, a certified organic farm and food supplier located in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Queensland, Australia, is attempting to create a closed bitcoin economy among farmers and to encourage its partners, supporting businesses and community to accept bitcoin.