Blockchain Blog

Bitcoin News for the week of 1/18/16

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. We have a special treat this week, as Blockchain co-founder Nic Cary was featured by Ukraine’s largest private bank for a live interview, where he discusses bitcoin and blockchain tech. In other big news, China announced that they want to create their own bitcoin-like digital currency, and yes, bitcoin is still alive and chugging. Read all this news and more, in this week’s Blockchain recap.

Around the world

PrivatBank Ukraine Interview with Blockchain Co-Founder Nic Cary

Ukraine’s largest private bank PrivatBank posted an interview about bitcoin and blockchain with Nicolas Cary from Blockchain.info on the main page of its online banking service Privat24. The bank also sent a newsletter to its customers inviting them to watch the interview. Considering the bank’s clientele counts up to 3.9 million people in Ukraine, the campaign could raise the awareness level throughout the country’s citizens.

In other big news this week, China made headlines when they said it is studying the prospects of issuing its own digital currency similar to bitcoin, and aiming to roll out a product as soon as possible, contending that alternative payment systems can improve the efficiency of global transactions. And in Africa, they may leapfrog traditional banking for bitcoin where they are reaching a tipping point due to the necessities of food, shelter, and clothing which can be bought with bitcoin. Going around the world there are many other places that are friendly to bitcoin too, such as the US, Brazil, Canada, UK, and Australia.

Bitcoin is still chugging along

![Pictured: The number of bitcoin transactions climbing steadily for the past year](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/01/bitcoin-transactions-1-year-jan-22-2016.png)
Pictured: The number of bitcoin transactions climbing steadily for the past year
[Bitcoin: Too big to fail](http://www.newsweek.com/bitcoin-too-big-fail-418481)

Blockchain co-founder Nic Cary wrote an op-ed, saying that the death of bitcoin has been proclaimed once again. Prominent developer Mike Hearn’s recent comments that the bitcoin experiment was over mark the 89th time the digital currency has been pronounced dead since it first launched in 2009, at least according to one website dedicated to tracking bitcoin obituaries. While it’s sad to see a talented programmer like Hearn turn his back on bitcoin, there are still thousands of people working on making the world’s first digital currency a success.

Others in the industry feel the same way too, remaining overly optimistic amid the block size issues that everyone has been running into. At The North American Bitcoin Conference, Bitcoin Foundation executive director Bruce Fenton believes the community would be better for having gone through the process, no matter how difficult or damaging. Fenton concluded: “There’s a perception this is an argument with no end in sight, that’s not the case.” Others have different opinions, such as that there should be a bitcoin consortium.

Startups, ventures, and tech

![Brave homepage via Brave.com](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/01/brave-homepage.png)
Brave homepage via Brave.com
[Browser Offers ‘Brave’ Solution To Ad Blocking, Will Cut Users And Publishers In](http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/267089/browser-offers-brave-solution-to-ad-blocking-wi.html)

One of the Internet’s most visionary developers is introducing a new browser and a bold economic model that could transform the economics of digital advertising. The platform by Mozilla founder and former CEO Brendan Eich, is called Brave. The browser is attached to two components that differentiate the user experience from others, including a “data vault” for each user, as well as a “digital wallet” leveraging digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin for transactions.

Blockchain startup run by former JPMorgan Chase executive Blythe Masters, Digital Asset Holdings, raised $52 million and plans to bring the blockchain to the Australian Stock Market. Bitcoin Mining company BitFury is said to be developing a bitcoin-enabled Internet of Things device, which is a consumer light bulb that is capable of mining small amounts of bitcoin. And in other news, bitcoin exchange Kraken made an announcement that they acquired bitcoin exchange Coinsetter so they could further expand their operations.

FinTech

![Chart image via BraveNewCoin.com](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/01/IMF-VCs-Taxonomy.png)
Chart image via BraveNewCoin.com
[IMF describes ‘Virtual Currency schemes,’ including Bitcoin, to the World Economic Forum](http://bravenewcoin.com/news/imf-describes-virtual-currency-schemes-including-bitcoin-to-the-world-economic-forum/)

Christine Lagarde recently presented “Virtual Currencies and Beyond: Initial Considerations,” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The invitation-only annual meeting brings together chief executive officers from its 1,000 member companies, as well as selected politicians, representatives from academia, NGOs, religious leaders, and the media.

Traditional financial players are forced to keep a close eye on the evolution of blockchain technology. Failing to do so would result in these players being blindsided by the next big thing in the financial sector. MasterCard, one of the leading plastic card issuers in the world, is paying a lot of attention to the blockchain, simply because this technology holds so much promise for the future. In a ZDnet article, they explain how bitcoin technology such as the blockchain could be used in government services.

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