Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. This past week was one of the more exciting weeks in bitcoin, as the price fluctuations caused quite the stir globally renewing media interest in bitcoin. Outside of the price spikes, we saw more good news as reports continue to show positive growth in both venture capital and user growth as the year comes to a close. Get all this news and more, in our weekly rundown.
**Bitcoin sees massive interest **
Bitcoin broke the $400 mark for the first time this year on Tuesday — and Wall Street is betting it will go even higher. Brokerage firm Wedbush Securities said it sees the cost as $600 per bitcoin in the next 12 months, citing growing interest by large financial institutions in bitcoin’s underlying technology, known as the blockchain.
The biggest news hitting headlines across the world this week was the price of bitcoin. Hitting new highs for the year, the price skyrocketed as charted in the Blockchain Markets page. And there are various theories behind the rise, such as interest from China or the recent EU court decision ruling that bitcoin is except from value-added tax. Blockchain CEO Peter Smith said in an interview with Bloomberg Business, that the recent interest in bitcoin is also attributable to the infrastructure and user adoption that has been built over the past year in the bitcoin space.
**Investments continue through year-end **[FinTech and Blockchain investments in Asia-Pacific skyrocketed in 2015](http://cointelegraph.com/news/115554/fintech-and-blockchain-investments-in-asia-pacific-skyrocketed-in-2015)
The latest report from Accenture forecasts financial institutions and services in Asia-Pacific to invest in cloud technology, mobile wallets and blockchain. Moreover, FinTech investments in this area set to at least quadruple in 2015. According to the report: “Investments in financial technology (Fintech) across Asia-Pacific skyrocketed in 2015 – from about $880 million in all of 2014 to nearly $3.5 billion in just the first nine months of 2015.”
American Express, Bain Capital, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, MasterCard, the New York Life Insurance Company, the New York Stock Exchange — all of them have poured millions of dollars into Bitcoin firms recently. Overall, a record-breaking $1 billion so far has been pumped into Bitcoin-related tech startups. Banks are investing in the technology that powers Bitcoin, but not the currency itself.
In a recent survey by U.K.-based Magister Advisors, which advises the technology industry on mergers and acquisitions, they interviewed thirty of the leading bitcoin companies from across the globe. They found a consensus view that bitcoin will become the sixth largest global reserve currency within 15 years. The survey found that an estimated $1 billion will be spent by the top 100 financial institutions on blockchain-related projects over the next 24 months. Jeremy Millar, partner at Magister Advisors who led the research, said that the blockchain was the most significant advancement in enterprise IT in the last decade.
There is no sign of a slowdown[This Guy Implanted His Bitcoin Wallet and Made a Payment With His Hand](http://motherboard.vice.com/en_uk/read/this-guy-implanted-his-bitcoin-wallet-and-made-a-payment-with-his-hand)
Patric Lanhed is trying to send one euro worth of bitcoin from an implanted bitcoin key in his hand to his Blockchain wallet. But first, he has to hold a near-field communication (NFC) chip reader against his hand. Underneath his skin is a tiny computer chip, a popular modification among the body-hacking crowd, which contains the secret key to his Bitcoin wallet.
Although implanting your bitcoin key in your hand may be extreme, in other areas bitcoin is showing no signs of slowing down. In recent exciting news, bitcoin was approved for a Unicode character point.
“The Bitcoin symbol is clearly popular enough that it should be in Unicode,” said Ken Shirriff, the author of the proposal, in an interview with Bitcoin Magazine. “Getting the Bitcoin symbol into the Unicode standard was clearly the right thing for Unicode and the right thing for the Bitcoin community.”
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is also working on including bitcoin in new standards and tools for web checkout processes. Among the standards they are putting forward is the full implementation of bitcoin, and other digital currency payments, in every browser. We are also seeing more merchants recently begin to accept bitcoin, which we have featured in our merchant spotlight for Westland Coffee and FLAT 128. Even famous musician and artist Talib Kweli announced this past week that he is now accepting bitcoin for his new album Indie 500 via ZapChain.
*What are your thoughts on the topics we covered this week? Share them by commenting below! *