Blockchain Blog

Bitcoin News for the week of 4/11/16

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. This week we take a look back at the Money20/20 conference highlights, and provide updates on new investments in the industry. Other interesting pieces from around the bitcoin-sphere include the top 10 most influential people in bitcoin. Read about all this news and more in our weekly Blockchain recap.

A look back at Money20/20

![Blockchain co-founder and CEO Nicolas Cary, illustration by CoinTelegraph.com](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/04/nic-cary-illustration.jpg)
Blockchain Co-Founder Nicolas Cary, illustration by CoinTelegraph.com
[Blockchain Co-Founder Nicolas Cary: You Can Be Your Own Bank](http://cointelegraph.com/news/our-goal-is-to-replace-your-need-for-a-bank-says-blockchain-co-founder-and-ceo-nicolas-cary)

CoinTelegraph met Nicolas Cary, Co-Founder of Blockchain, at Money20/20 in Copenhagen and asked him about the current state of the financial market, the latest fintech innovations and the company’s plans. Experiencing a rapid expansion in the last few years, the company has passed 6.7 million users, and the amount of wallets created on the platform is constantly increasing.

At Money20/20 a panel of experts from the bitcoin industry shared their thoughts on the current state and potential of blockchain technology. Nicolas Cary of Blockchain discussed the impact and importance of engaging young entrepreneurs in the space. In relation to this, one nonprofit organization, Code to Inspire, is going above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to empowering underprivileged young women in Afghanistan. The use of bitcoin is an important initiative for Code to Inspire, as it provides women in developing countries with a powerful tool that enables them to connect quickly and affordably with the global economy.

A list of the Top 10 Most Influential People in Bitcoin

The following list was compiled by the team at Bitcoin.com and represents who they feel have had the most impact on the Bitcoin space to date. Besides spreading information on the benefits of bitcoin and strengthening its infrastructure, extra weight was given to those who have had direct involvement in the maintenance, development, and creation of the bitcoin ecosystem as a whole.

Additionally, other influential folks in the space include core developer and Bloq co-founder Jeff Garzik, who recently talked about sidechains and the Lightning Network. Garzik said that he likes the Lightning Network, but there is still a lot of unanswered questions about it. This is one of the main reasons that Blockchain has dedicated resources to the Lightning Network, which will help study and develop layer two technologies. From our leadership team, our co-founders continue to advocate for bitcoin in the fintech and payment solutions space.

Our CEO Peter Smith will be having a talk in London as part of a series of intimate events featuring visionaries from various industries later this month.

Investments and a growing ecosystem

![bitkan](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/04/bitkan.png)
Photograph of Bitkan, provided by CoinDesk.com
[Bitcoin Mining Giant Invests $1.6 Million in Trading Platform](http://www.coindesk.com/bitkan-1-6-million-series-a-bitmain/)

Beijing-based mining giant Bitmain has invested $1.6m in bitcoin-focused data and trading services provider BitKan. Bitmain was the sole investor in the Series A round, which follows an angel round investment from Lanqi Venture Capital Investment last November. Based in Shenzhen, BitKan offers bitcoin data and pricing services, and recently launched an over-the-counter (OTC) bitcoin trading service.

Also, San Francisco based bitcoin exchange Kraken just announced that they have secured a new round of funding from Money Partners Group amounting to a multimillion-dollar deal. The investment firm is one of Japan’s leading foreign exchange brokerages. And bitcoin microtipping platform ChangeTip was part of an “acqui-hire” deal with AirBnB, who acquired their team to help develop bitcoin and blockchain technology for their home rental services.

#### Merchants and blockchain technology

bitcoin merchants

2016 Q1 Merchant Spotlight Recap

How are you spending Bitcoin? At Blockchain, we share the stories behind bitcoin-friendly merchants every week. These merchants are also featured in the Blockchain Merchant Map, built directly into our iOS and Android wallets. This easily accessible tool provides you with a verified list of merchants to show where you can spend your bitcoin and support the bitcoin community too.

In the merchant services sector, Bank of America announced that it’s expanding to Europe. As cross-border payments innovation becomes more common, it’s critical for legacy providers to innovate in the same space. In a new report, Business Insider Intelligence analysts wrote that alternative technologies could disrupt the processing ecosystem. For example, blockchain technology, the protocol that underlies bitcoin, could change how consumer card payments are verified.

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