Blockchain Blog

Bitcoin News for the week of 9/28/15

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. As of this week, we’ll be taking a more focused approach to the news we feature. Our recaps will highlight articles that reflect some of the most prominent themes in bitcoin news for that particular week. If you’d like to dive further into a particular article or topic, we’ll be sure to include links for further reading below each article.

This week we saw two new big companies adopt bitcoin and integrate it into their business, embracing the technology for their customers. Banks continue to jump on board too, with news about the R3 block chain project, and 22 banks saying they plan on using block chain tech for their own ventures. Continue reading and let us know what you think about this new format in the comments section below!

![Illustration via bitcoin.com](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/10/okwave-bitcoin.jpg)
Illustration via bitcoin.com
[Japan’s Largest Q&A Platform OKWave Adds Bitcoin Services](https://news.bitcoin.com/japans-largest-qa-platform-okwave-adds-bitcoin-services/)

OkWave, Japan’s largest question and answer platform, boasting over 40 million users, announced its addition of Bitcoin services. The site now offers bitcoin wallet integration, and a tipping system to help the community with an improved feedback incentive. OkWave’s offices are located in Shibuya, Tokyo and run by CEO Kanemoto Kaneto, who said that his company was proud to utilize Bitcoin, giving its customer base new opportunities.

In a brief Q&A session on the bitcoin.com forum, Roger Ver talked about being an integral part of the OKWave onboarding, saying that he “helped explain bitcoin to this company’s CEO and employees.” OKWave was able to integrate bitcoin into it’s platform using a popular Japanese Bitcoin exchange, Zaif, whose CEO Takao Asayama also joined the Q&A.

The ‘eBay of Latin America’ Announces Bitcoin Plans

MercadoLibre, Latin America’s answer to eBay, has announced it is integrating bitcoin into its payments platform, MercadoPago. In an email to users, the marketplace said the initiative would keep its merchants “one foot in the future”.

Founded in 1999, MercadoLibre is the largest e-commerce platform in the region – last year, it exceeded 120 million users, reporting revenues of $556.5m. MercadoLibre is an Argentine online marketplace dedicated to e-commerce and online auctions. In Latin America, bitcoin is not just catching on only in Argentina. Further north, “Bitcoin fever spreads across Brazil.” Brave New Coin spoke with Fábio Anjos, co-founder of Brazilian Bitcoin Education startup Rexbit. Anjos also manages MAPA Bitcoin, a Brazil-specific version of Coinmap, which shows all the bitcoin accepting merchants in Brazil, which are spread all over in the populated areas of the country.

![Map of Brazil, showing bitcoin merchants via MAPA Bitcoin](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/10/brazil-bitcoin-map.png)
Map of Brazil, showing bitcoin merchants via MAPA Bitcoin
[R3 Blockchain Development Initiative Grows to 22 Banks Worldwide](https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/r-blockchain-development-initiative-grows-to-banks-worldwide-1443553081)

The international R3 blockchain project to develop blockchain commercial applications and standards for the financial world just got a whole lot weightier as 13 new global banks joined the distributed or “shared” ledger initiative, bringing the total amount of involved banks to 22. “The addition of this new group of banks demonstrates widespread support for innovative distributed ledger solutions across the global financial services community, and we’re delighted to have them on board,” R3 CEO and former ICAP Electronic Broking CEO David Rutter said in a press release.

To our readers, this may come to you as no surprise as we have been reporting these sentiments in our weekly bitcoin reports now for some time, where each week, there are new reports of a major bank or institution that is getting involved with bitcoin and block chain tech; which is something we can get excited about as well. As time goes on, it’s becoming more apparent and clear on just how banks might want to use block chain tech, which has led to various discussions to further clarify what “private block chains” are.

Boost VC Investment in Blockchain Startups Tops $50 Million

Boost VC has released new figures about its investments in startups focusing on bitcoin and the blockchain. The San Mateo incubator, which has pledged to invest in 100 industry startups through 2017, revealed in a Medium post this week that it has invested in 52 bitcoin and blockchain companies since its founding in 2012.

As we live and breathe in this space, we watch and monitor it closely. Just earlier this year, it was projected that by year-end venture funding in the bitcoin space would exceed over one billion dollars. As we just entered quarter-four, it’s going to be close and we may or may not hit that projection, but suffice it to say that this ecosystem is constantly being fueled and talked about in a positive light, considering all of the benefits that it brings to the table. CEO’s are predicting that blockchain tech is the future, “the blockchain is going to change everything, especially financial markets,” says Leigh Drogen. Drogen is the founder and CEO of Estimize, a website that crowdsources financial earnings estimates.

Using The Blockchain To Fight Crime And Save Lives

It has a catchy title, yeah? Jokes aside, blockchain technology has been described as email for money, but it has the potential to be so much more. In this article, TechCrunch dives into some of the ways that blockchain technology can change the way traditional applications are done, such as art authentication using the blockchain to verify work. Verification or proof-of-existence isn’t the only thing the blockchain is good for (besides currency validation!), but you may wonder, how the blockchain can power a new generation of enterprise software?

Possible scenarios that can be redefined by the blockchain are a decentralized Internet of Things, keyless signatures, data archiving, and much more. The ability to enable decentralized, secure, trusted and highly scalable architectures opens the door to a new group of enterprise software solutions on a grand scale.

Cryptocurrency Comes to Fordham University

A new club on Fordham’s Rose Hill campus is hosting roundtable discussions on the so-called “financial revolution” started by cryptocurrencies. In its mission statement, the Cryptocurrency Club at Fordham University (CCFU) proposes an interdisciplinary exploration of virtual currencies spanning across various academic disciplines, including finance, accounting, economics, philosophy and computer science.

This year, we starting to see a more consistent trend of schools and universities across the world offering classes and discussions around bitcoins and cryptocurrencies. Education on bitcoin is important, as the topic in general on the first go-around isn’t always easy for the layman, and getting knowledge out there to young people of the benefits should be one of our top priorities.