Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. In this week’s headlines we read the updated Q3-2015 CoinDesk report on Bitcoin and the Blockchain, which had some interesting statistics and information. There was also news this week of governments looking into blockchain tech, all while this week we saw a jump in the price of bitcoin. Get all this news and more in our weekly recap.
**The bitcoin effect **[The State of Bitcoin and Blockchain](http://www.coindesk.com/sob-q3-2015-banks-embrace-blockchain-amid-bitcoin-funding-slowdown/)
CoinDesk’s latest State of Bitcoin and Blockchain report, was released this week which summarizes the key trends, data and events from the third quarter of 2015. In the report there was a significant shift in focus, namely in blockchain tech. As part of the report, CoinDesk covered a myriad of areas in bitcoin such as mergers, acquisitions, financial sectors, and wallets.
In an interesting data point (see slide 45), CoinDesk forecasts the total number of bitcoin wallets to reach 12 million by year end. The report also highlights banks and how they have been embracing the blockchain. For example just this week Barclays signed deals with two blockchain startups and Royal Bank of Scotland said that it will start a blockchain service of their own in 2016.
“Everybody wants to talk about blockchain,” said Bipin Sahni, head of innovation and R&D at US bank Wells Fargo. “At last year’s Sibos the conversation was all about risk and compliance – this year it’s all innovation and blockchain.”
Bitcoin and governments[UK Government Commits £10 Million to Digital Currency Research](http://bravenewcoin.com/news/uk-government-commits-10-million-to-digital-currency-research/)
The UK Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Harriett Baldwin, recently reiterated that the government will invest £10 Million to research distributed ledger technology [the blockchain], during her speech at the Alan Turing Institute for Data Science yesterday.
It’s not just in the UK where governments are looking into bitcoin and blockchain technology. In Peru, a political party is looking to make the blockchain a part of its presidential campaign platform. Hillmer Reyes, a policy director for Toledo’s campaign and a member of the party’s national committee, told Peruvian newspaper El Comercio the party would propose using the blockchain to help ease societal issues and combat corruption.
It should also be noted that according to recent academic research, it has been found that the price of bitcoin is higher in countries with lower degrees of economic freedom, for example in Latin American countries such as Argentina where bitcoin’s prominence is comparable to that of New York or San Francisco.
Keeping things in perspective[The price of bitcoin takes a jump](https://markets.blockchain.info/)
If there has been one thing this year, it’s been that the price of bitcoin has been steady. But this week, we have seen the price top $260, and hit a two month high. However, keeping your finger on the pulse of bitcoin isn’t just about the price. As this recent blog post, along with this 2014 CoinDesk article both suggest, there are many ways to keep tabs on the health of the Bitcoin network.
From the Grexit crisis to the recent block size split debate, bitcoin frequently finds itself at the center of regular news cycles. As the debates about its price performance, volatility and political implications continue to mount, beneath it all lurks the less obvious but fascinating undercurrent of bitcoin’s brand equity — and how it continues to evolve under the auspices of a nebulous and often unpredictable entity.
There’s no shortage of bitcoin events happening around the world. On October 17 the first blockchain hackathon will be taking place in Greece. The next Money20/20 conference will be held in Las Vegas, October 25-28, 2015, which is preceded by the Money20/20 Hackathon on October 24th. Also, Bitfilm gears up for the second annual global bitcoin film festival which will kick off on October 31 in Berlin. For more events, check out CoinDesk’s extensive list of bitcoin-related events for 2015 into 2016.
A special congrats to all the winners at Cal Hacks last weekend! Our sponsor prize of Best Bitcoin Hack went to BitMonster, a web-based bitcoin transaction platform that uses the Blockchain Wallet API to send and receive payments.