Blockchain Blog

Bitcoin News for the week of 4/18/16

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. This week we share updates on exciting things happening with bitcoin in Europe, and the recent price spike which made some waves. We also share news on the newest release of Bitcoin Core; read all about it and more in this week’s Blockchain news recap.

The state of Bitcoin in Europe

![Blockchain co-founder Nicolas Cary was very happy to meet Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/04/nic-cary-bulgaria-16.jpg)
Blockchain Co-Founder Nic Cary and Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev were all smiles in this photo from the recent Webit Festival in Sofia
[European Parliament Takes Initiative to Put Cryptocurrency, Blockchain on Fast Track](http://cointelegraph.com/news/european-parliament-takes-initiative-to-put-cryptocurrency-blockchain-on-fast-track)

Things are moving quickly in Europe at the moment in regards to cryptocurrency and the blockchain. The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament scheduled to vote on a virtual currencies report in a matter of days.

European Digital Currency & Blockchain Technology Forum (EDCAB), a European public policy platform for virtual currencies and distributed ledger technology, is co-organizing a flagship industry expo for policymakers in the European Parliament in Brussels. The expo, “Virtual Currencies and Blockchain Technology: Europe’s Future”, will culminate in three roundtables. Leading players in the financial services sector such as Barclays and NASDAQ will join representatives from Blockchain and Circle Internet Financial from the FinTech world. Industry will meet with participants from the World Bank, IMF, The Bank for International Settlements, OECD, the European Securities and Markets Authority, and Europol, along with representatives from all EU institutions and academia.

On another positive note, Antanas Guoga, an EU parliament member representing Lithuania, called blockchain a “perfect technology” as he spoke before the Internal Market for Consumer Protection Committee. He also said “I would suggest everyone to get some bitcoins and really learn about the system. It’s a huge leap forward and a huge opportunity.”

Price highs and adoption potential

![Bitcoin Price chart via markets.blockchain.info](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/04/blockchain-markets-4-22-2016.png)
Bitcoin Price chart via [markets.blockchain.info](http://markets.blockchain.info)
[Bitcoin Price Passes $448 to Hit Two-Month High](http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-price-448-two-month-high/)

The price of bitcoin passed $448 for the first time in two months. The notable climb helped bitcoin break the pattern of the last several weeks, when it fluctuated primarily within a tight range. Still, bitcoin stayed within this range for a reason, as market observers were watching the digital currency’s community to see whether it would make any progress on the fundamental issues facing its technology.

Besides the price going up, there are other reasons to be excited about bitcoin’s future, including the decision from Gaming platform Steam to introduce bitcoin payments to their platform. Although there’s no specific date to start accepting bitcoin, parent company Valve Corporation said it is working with an external payment processor “to process bitcoin payments to help partners reach more customers on Steam.” Bitcoin also brings some major potential benefits to the remittance market, as we’ve covered before. In an article this week from CoinTelegraph, it’s estimated that bitcoin could save India an estimated $7 billion in fees families pay to send money into and outside of the country.

Bitcoin development and block size

![Bitcoin image courtesy of Bitcoinist.net](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/04/bitcoin-world.jpg)
Bitcoin image courtesy of Bitcoinist.net
[Bitcoin Core 0.12.1 Released, Focus on Block Size Scalability](http://bitcoinist.net/bitcoin-core-0-12-1-released/)

Bitcoin Core has announced the release of a new update, Bitcoin Core 0.12.1. Focusing on scalability, this follows the “Capacity Increases Roadmap” they detailed December 23rd of last year, with April’s focus to “deploy segregated witness (including Blocksize increase)” according to the table taken from the Bitcoin Core website.

On the development front, bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen recently did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) for a major Chinese community bitcoin forum. The question and answers in Chinese were translated to English, which provides valuable insight into how other cultures and communities discuss and use bitcoin. The translations are broken into three-parts, which you can read here.

Finally, this week in China, a new bitcoin exchange was launched by the company HaoBTC, creating another channel for the Chinese nationals to enter into bitcoin.

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