Blockchain Blog

Bitcoin News for the week of 5/23/16

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. The bitcoin price surged toward the end of this week, and pundits have opined on the increase. Our Co-Founder, Nicolas Cary, presented Blockchain at Startup Fest in Amsterdam alongside Tim Cook of Apple, Eric Schmidt of Google, and Travis Kalanick of Uber. We also take a look at bitcoin in Japan, as recent activity there has produced some interesting new regulatory developments. Additionally, we had the chance to connect with the community at a few events, like the FinTech hackathon we attended in Ukraine. Read about all this news and more in our weekly Blockchain recap.

Bitcoin Price Surging

![Bitcoin Price Chat via Markets.Blockchain.info](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/05/bitcoin-price-may-27-2016.png)
Bitcoin Price Chat via Markets.Blockchain.info
[Bitcoin Price Hits Six-Month High Amid 5% Surge](http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-price-six-month-high-5-surge/)

Bitcoin prices surged more than 5% in the early hours of 27th May, a more than six-month high that saw the digital currency breaking out in a period or relative stability. There is a good deal of speculation about the current price increase.

Differing opinions on what’s driving the increase have surfaced. In an International Business Times article, they cite the reason for the price increase to be a result of the weakening Chinese Yuan. Others have pointed out that gold bugs are becoming fans of the digital currency. Another interesting factor is the bitcoin halving that will happen this summer.

Bitcoin in Japan

![Image via CryptoCoinsNews.com](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/05/japan-diet.png)
Image via CryptoCoinsNews.com
[Japan Passes Bill to Regulate Bitcoin Exchanges](https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/japan-passes-bill-regulate-bitcoin-exchanges/)

The Diet in Japan (the legislature consisting of the Lower and the Upper Houses) has passed a bill today that mandates the regulation of virtual currency exchanges by the Financial Services Agency (FSA) in Japan. The revised law will see exchange operators required to register with the Japanese Financial Services Agency.

One of the motivating factors in the new regulation is due to the now defunct bitcoin exchange in Japan, Mt. Gox. Users of Mt. Gox who may have lost funds when the exchange closed have something to be positive about though. New information has surfaced that U.S. based bitcoin exchange Kraken will be refunding many of the previous Mt. Gox users as part of claims filed to the Mt. Gox trustee. Japan has been a hotbed of activity recently in regards to bitcoin. There are a few bitcoin exchanges now in Japan, and one of them, Zaif, recently secured a $6.2 million investment, and has started a coin reserve program for Japanese exchange users.

Bitcoin Conferences and Events

![Dubai picture courtesy of Bitcoin.com](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/05/dubai.png)
Dubai picture courtesy of Bitcoin.com
[Dubai to Host Upcoming Blockchain Technology Conference](https://news.bitcoin.com/blockchain-technology-conference-dubai/)

With the help of Smart Dubai and the Dubai’s Future Foundation, the Blockchain Technology Conference Keynote 2016 is shaping up to be a great event that will likely drum up plenty of excitement.

With over two hundred executives from Fortune 500 companies in attendance, combined with investors and government officials from all over the region, there is a growing interest in exploring blockchain technology. In Dubai, bitcoin exchange provider BitOasis has announced its first round of funding, led by Wamda Capital and drawing support from Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group.

The FinTech Week Hackathon in Kyiv, Ukraine, was last week, and we were able to have a presence at the event with the help of our awesome brand ambassadors. The event’s inspiration was simple – the creative implementation of FinTech solutions to improve our day-to-day lives. Earlier this week, Blockchain co-founder Nicolas Cary brought his enthusiasm for bitcoin to Startup Fest Europe, where he gave a talk on the benefits of bitcoin and blockchain technology.

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