Blockchain Blog

Bitcoin News for the week of 4/4/16

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. This week exciting conversations unfolded at Money20/20 Europe, which drew in over 3,000 attendees. As well, we bring you news from Russia on the bitcoin ecosystem, and evidence of a growing enthusiasm in Eastern Europe. We also cover the opening of OpenBazaar, a peer-to-peer marketplace. Read about all this news and more in our weekly Blockchain news recap.

Money20/20 Europe takeaways

[![Photo via Paul Szurek (@pabloszurek) on Twitter](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/04/nic-cary-money-2020-2016.jpg)](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/04/nic-cary-money-2020-2016.jpg)
Photo via Paul Szurek (@pabloszurek) on Twitter
[Money20/20: Blockchain Technicalities and Potential](http://bitcoinist.net/blockchain-technicalities-potential/)

This week kicked off with Money 20/20 Europe. During a panel, Nic Cary summarized the breakthrough technological invention that is token-driven blockchain technology, and the emerging and creative use cases brought forth. “The blockchain is essentially a big spreadsheet in the sky, that anyone can write to, and that’s a big deal,” said Cary. Additionally, when discussing the shift in expectations and attitude towards blockchain technology, Cary smartly tied our attitudes towards money to our attitudes towards using applications and sending email or messages online.

In a separate quotable moment at Money20/20, he said “while banks are working out their ‘Uber’ moment, global teleportation is already happening on the blockchain.” However, banks are starting to turn to blockchain technology even more so in recent times. In a recent test, blockchain is bringing transparency to credit default swaps. On Thursday, Wall Street’s bookkeeper announced that it had successfully tested blockchain technology to manage single-name credit default swaps (CDS) among four big banks: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Credit Suisse, and JP Morgan.

The question remains though – how can we continue to develop and apply blockchain technology in the real world? Our Head of Strategy Paul Szurek is attending an event at The Mankoff Company in May to engage with others in FinTech on this topic.

Moscow loves bitcoin

#Bitcoin is alive & well in Russia – today @niccary & @pabloszurek attended a packed #BitcoinConf2016 in Moscow! pic.twitter.com/W8lf7zWo0a

— Blockchain (@blockchain) April 8, 2016

We also attended Bitcoin Conference Russia in Moscow this week, and we’re pleased to report that the event was extremely well-attended and a resounding success. The enthusiasm for bitcoin and blockchain technology show no signs of tapering off in Russia, despite attempts from the country’s officials to restrict usage and even ban bitcoin.  Interestingly, it’s also said that Russian banks may employ blockchain technology, according to an article by Coinfox, after Russia’s central bank’s task force presents the results of its work.

Looking to nearby Czech Republic, another post-secondary institution has announced the acceptance of bitcoin. Prague’s CEVRO Institut University is going to be endorsing bitcoin payments for their Master’s programs. The university follows suite of other universities such as the University of Nicosia, Draper University, and several others.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplaces

![Open Bazaar via CryptoCoinsNews.com](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/04/open-bazaar-store.png)
Open Bazaar via CryptoCoinsNews.com
[Bitcoin Marketplace OpenBazaar is Open for Business](https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/bitcoin-marketplace-openbazaar-open-business/)

Decentralized peer-to-peer marketplace OpenBazaar is open for business, in its first full version released and available for downloads. It has been nearly two years since initial chatter arose, with word of a decentralized marketplace being developed in time for a public beta in 2014. Now, OpenBazaar sees its first full version in a public release, moving beyond the beta phase. In a review of OpenBazaar, Jamie Redman commented that the application is refreshing and has a lot of potential.

In other news, Wiper, an encrypted mobile messaging app with a built-in bitcoin wallet, has released a new functionality called Wiper Film that allows users to view films and allows online digital content providers to monetize their content by accepting bitcoin.

The FinTech50 and the Blockchain Awards

All right team!!! @blockchain named #Fintech50 winners for the second year in a row pic.twitter.com/Y2sjjfxyLl

— Nic Cary (@niccary) April 4, 2016

We’re honoured to be part of The FinTech50, now in its fourth year, which celebrates the most exciting and innovative companies shaking up the traditional finance industry. Congratulations to everyone who made the list. “2016 marks a pivotal point at which big banks and traditional financial institutions are starting to collaborate more closely with the industry’s newest players,” said founders of the FinTech50 Julia Lake and Nick Cotter.

To learn more about the FinTech 50 and who else made the list, check out an event recap by panel judge, Chris Skinner.

Nominations are now open for the 2016 The Blockchain Awards, an awards ceremony and event acknowledging achievements of individuals and companies in the bitcoin community. The event will be held on May 2nd at the Coin Center annual dinner. Blockchain is an industry sponsor of the event, and we’re looking forward to presenting the awards to the winners.

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