Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. News surrounding the price has been the dominant headline for the past two weeks, as it’s continued on an upward trajectory quite steadily. Industry opinions on what’s driving the increase vary, and we have a few pundits weigh in below. Also, we see that the blockchain is disrupting different spaces, from banking to business. Get all this news and more, in our weekly recap.
Price movement on the up and up[Bitcoin Hits Two-Year High Ahead of Key Event](http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2016/06/13/bitcoin-hits-two-year-high-ahead-of-key-event/)
Bitcoin price news has been all the talk this week, as the price of the digital currency bitcoin hit a two-year high. The reasons for the increase are unknown, but the Wall Street Journal wrote that the “more important factor, though, is almost surely a rare event in the bitcoin world that is coming within a month: the “halving”,” which writer Paul Vigna associates to a possible reason for the price spike.
From speculators to new users, network traffic also spiked along with the price. This especially high increase in transactions caused some delays around the network, with some saying that more than 250,000 bitcoins were waiting to move at one point. This brings back the debate of the bitcoin block size, where it’s said that a higher block size would allow for more transactions, which would alleviate any spikes in demand as we saw this past week. Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen says that there is ‘nothing bad’ in removing the block size limit.
The blockchain is disrupting[IMF Economist Examines Bitcoin Blockchain’s Role in Banking](http://www.coindesk.com/imf-says-bitcoins-blockchain-tech-help-banks/)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published an article in Finance and Development magazine that examines the case for bitcoin’s blockchain technology and suggests that while the technology might have been built to “avoid banks” it could have benefits for the banking and trading sectors. MIT’s Brian Forde says that companies will be disrupted the most by public blockchains. Forde, who is director of the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, gave a keynote titled “Business Decentralized,” focusing on the rapid transformations that are being driven by the blockchain and how this technology has the potential to change the financial services industry as we know it.
Many different banks around the world have given their opinions on blockchain technology, but the Bank of Canada is actually working on the development of a digital version of the Canadian dollar called CAD-coin. What makes this unique is that it’s one of the first known tests by a major central bank about how banks could use the technology. The bank’s senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins states that the project has no plan to officially launch for external use, and is an experimental project designed “solely to better understand the technology first-hand.”
Innovations, growth, and investments[OpenBazaar growing fast, with major upgrades on the horizon](http://bravenewcoin.com/news/openbazaar-growing-fast-with-major-upgrades-on-the-horizon/)
Since its launch on April 5th, the first truly decentralized marketplace, OpenBazaar, has been growing steadily in popularity and in features. Due to the peer-to-peer nature of the platform, it can be difficult to quantify how popular it is, but there are various secondary indicators. The most apparent is how many users are following the OpenBazaar account inside the program.
Bitcoin startup 21 Inc announced it had open-sourced its software, a move that finds it following through on statements by the firm’s co-founder and CEO, Balaji Srinivasan, at CoinDesk’s Consensus event last month. The release coincides with a stronger presentation of the company’s long-term vision, one that will find it seeking to enable micropayments via API services for developers.
Digital bank WB21 announced that it has added bitcoin as a method for its customers to transfer and deposit funds to their checking accounts. WB21 customers can now send bitcoin to make real time account deposits in any of the 18 currencies supported by the bank. And in India, a new study shows that India’s fintech space is growing rapidly, with over $1.3 billion invested so far.
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