Blockchain Blog

Bitcoin News for the week of 7/04/16

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. The headlines over the past several days have been heavy with reports on this weekend’s Bitcoin halving, where the block rewards are cut in half as part of a fixed supply and predictable inflation schedule. In addition, we share some exciting news about bitcoin adoption in the nonprofit and trading sectors. Read all about this and more in our weekly Blockchain recap.

The Great Bitcoin Halving
[![thehalvening5](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/07/thehalvening5-1.png)](http://www.thehalvening.com/)
TheHalvening.com depicting the completion of the countdown to the second halving in bitcoin’s history
[Counting down to the 2016 Bitcoin Halving](https://blog.blockchain.com/2016/07/06/counting-down-to-the-2016-bitcoin-halving/)

Bitcoin halving is a process that is built into Bitcoin’s code, and it occurs once for every 210,000 blocks mined, roughly every 4 years. The process affects how much of a reward miners receive for validating new blocks of transactions on the blockchain. This weekend marks the Bitcoin Halving for 2016, and the next halving won’t happen until the year 2020. The final halving will take place in the year 2140.

Despite the uncertainty, the second halving was positively embraced as a pivotal moment in bitcoin’s history. Social media was abuzz with excitement as everyone counted down the final blocks until block 420,000, which was mined on Saturday at 16:46 GMT. Since the halving, the network has been demonstrating signs of good health with normal transaction times.

Bitcoin Adoption On The Rise
![Heifer International website, heifer.org](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/07/heifer.png)
Heifer International website, heifer.org
[Heifer International starts accepting bitcoin donations via BitPay](http://www.econotimes.com/Heifer-International-starts-accepting-bitcoin-donations-via-BitPay-231069)

Heifer International, a charity organization working to end hunger and poverty around the world, has announced that it is accepting bitcoin donations through a partnership with leading bitcoin processor BitPay. In addition to traditional payment methods, donors will now have the option to select bitcoin when they give through Heifer.org.

In Switzerland, the private Bank Vontobel AG has introduced a new financial instrument to enable trading in bitcoin on the Swiss stock market. The bitcoin-linked tracker certificates from the Zurich-based bank will be available for regular investors starting on July 15. They allow for trading in the digital currency in traditional markets. On the other side of the world in Argentina, driving services company Uber has had their credit card payment options blocked, and to get around the blockade Uber Argentina has turned to bitcoin as a workaround.

Technology and Innovations
![Lightning photograph by Catalin Fatu via Wikimedia](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/07/lightning.png)
Lightning photograph by Catalin Fatu via Wikimedia
[Bitfury Releases Proposal for Bitcoin Lightning Micropayments Routing](http://www.coindesk.com/bitfury-flare-lightning-network-routing/)

Bitfury Group, in collaboration with the open-source Lightning Network community, has released a white paper that explores how the in-development micropayments protocol could more effectively route bitcoin payments between users when launched.

As a friendly reminder, just two months ago Blockchain released the Thunder Network, which is designed to facilitate secure, trustless, and instant payments. It has the ability to unleash the power of microtransactions, to allow the bitcoin network to handle heavy loads, and to increase user privacy.

Bitcoin entrepreneur and angel investor Roger Ver, recently penned an op-ed entitled *Time to End the Block-Size Blockade *discussing his views on how to scale capacity on the blockchain.

Finally, in the The Netherlands, the Dutch central bank is all set to support a new ‘blockchain development campus’, which will enable banks to develop and share information regarding the use of blockchain, the distributed ledger technology behind bitcoin.

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