Blockchain Blog

Bitcoin News for the week of 12/14/15

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. As you’re getting ready for the holidays, make sure to check out some of these gift idea and bitcoin holiday feel good articles. As the year comes to a close, it’s only natural for headlines this past week to be focused on banks and the blockchain, which was a major theme this year, and will more than likely be for 2016 as well. With so much interest in bitcoin and blockchain tech, it’s attracting a lot of attention, even from the Department of Homeland Security who wants to do more research into it. Read about all this news and more, in this week’s news recap.

Holiday do-gooding

![Illustration via bitcoin.com](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/12/bitcoin-holiday-snowman.jpg)
Illustration via bitcoin.com
[13 Ways To Donate Bitcoin This Holiday Season](https://news.bitcoin.com/13-ways-donate-bitcoin-holiday-season/)

The holidays are here, and the typical sentiment usually involves a whole lot of giving throughout the month. In fact, in 2014, the United States alone gave $385 billion to charitable donations; but what’s pretty remarkable is 31% of that money was given in the month of December alone. Another notable figure is that 12% of that money is given on the last three days of the year. In the Bitcoin world giving happens often too and there’s plenty of charities and nonprofit organizations that accept the digital currency. Linked to above is list for the holidays of 13 places that take cryptocurrency donations.

In fact, giving to nonprofits isn’t the only use case for bitcoin. In a new report from the Charities Aid Foundation, they say that blockchain transparency could be the ‘killer app’ that charities have always been looking for. This is something we’ve covered in the past as well, where the benefits of accepting bitcoin as a nonprofit are plentiful. The bitcoin blockchain isn’t just impacting philanthropy, it’s also a channel for social good. In a Coindesk article this week, they talked to a new company Provenance, who is using the blockchain for a positive impact to the food supply chain.

Banking on the blockchain

![Securities and Exchange Commission image via wired.com](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/12/security-exchange-commission.jpg)
Securities and Exchange Commission image via wired.com
[SEC Approves Plan to Issue Stock Via Bitcoin’s Blockchain](http://www.wired.com/2015/12/sec-approves-plan-to-issue-company-stock-via-the-bitcoin-blockchain/)

The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved a plan from online retailer Overstock.com to issue company stock via the Internet, signaling a significant shift in the way financial securities will be distributed and traded in the years to come.

Also heard this week was that JPMorgan is “aggressively” investing in the next generation of technology like blockchain and robotics and its investment drive in these areas is part of its “major priorities” in 2016, according to an internal memo seen by Business Insider. Blockchain, big data, and robotics are the focus for JPM. In addition, Bank of America just published ten new cryptocurrency patents to the The US Patent & Trademark Office, which include patent proposals like “cryptocurrency transaction payment system” and “cryptocurrency transaction validation system.” If you aren’t sure what all the clamor is about the blockchain and banks is yet, you may want to read why investment firms are exploring bitcoin technology.

Regulation and innovation

![Tokyo, Japan via Wikimedia](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/12/tokyo-japan.png)
Tokyo, Japan via Wikimedia
[Japan to consider regulating cryptocurrency exchanges](http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/12/17/business/japan-panel-eyes-registration-system-for-virtual-currency-exchanges/#.VnSn8HarTIX)

A working group under the Financial System Council has compiled a draft proposal on regulations for digital currencies that are traded on the Internet, informed sources said Wednesday. It calls for the mandatory registration of operators of digital currency exchanges with the Financial Services Agency, the sources said.

It seems that the Department of Homeland Security is interested in researching blockchain technology too, as the US cabinet department is now accepting research proposals from small businesses in 13 topic areas, including the “Applicability of Blockchain Technology to Privacy Respecting Identity Management” and “Blockchain Applications for Homeland Security Analytics.” On the innovation side, there are a couple of states that have become ideal places to develop and work in bitcoin and blockchain tech, such as Texas and North Carolina. And if you’re looking for motivation to code, look no further than Fereshteh Forough’s project, Code to Inspire (CTI), which is teaching women in Afghanistan how to write software, use computers, and possibly get employment from the World Wide Web.

Looking forward

![Blockchain.com](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/08/blockchain-desk.jpg)
Blockchain.com
[‘The Blockchain will become our new signature’ (The Wired World in 2016)](http://www.siliconroundabout.org.uk/2015/12/%E2%80%98the-blockchain-will-become-our-new-signature%E2%80%99-the-wired-world-in-2016-in-their-recent-article-forde-and-casey-argue-%E2%80%98timestamped-bitcoin-transactions-can-provide-a-path-to/)

Over the past few years Blockchain, the company, has grown from a small team based in rural, northern England to one of the fastest growing technology companies in the world. It is our mission to build the bitcoin software platform that will power our open financial future. We build software that enables users to succinctly transact with one another over a peer-to-peer network. From individuals to the largest institutions in the world, everyone is welcome to use our platform. In fact, we have users in over 140 countries and are growing faster than ever before.

Blockchain has been growing really quickly. In fact, we just won an award for the Scale Up Company of the year and week over week we’re seeing record traffic on our services. As we expand, finding amazing teammates to help us on our mission is critical. Today we’re excited to introduce some new colleagues and fellow bitcoin geeks.

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