Blockchain Blog

Bitcoin News for the week of 7/18/16

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. We take another look at the price of bitcoin this week which has been very stable since the halving when the block reward reduced by 50%. There were some interesting updates with bitcoin development which we shared, and we also learned that event the Bank of England is testing the waters when it comes to digital currency. Get all this news and more, in our weekly Blockchain recap.

Bitcoin price goes sideways
![Bitcoin price chart via Markets.Blockchain.info](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/07/bitcoin-markets-price-7-22-2016.png)
Bitcoin price chart via Markets.Blockchain.info
[Will the Brexit and China Continue to Influence Bitcoin Prices?](http://www.coindesk.com/brexit-china-bitcoin-prices-2016/)

Macroeconomic uncertainty has spurred investment interest in bitcoin in recent weeks, but is this likely to continue? According to CoinDesk, prices have pushed up 50% from the 1st of January, and two key drivers were, at least according to market observers, uncertainty in China (where the yuan has been devalued) and Europe (where the UK voted to leave the EU in an event known as the ‘Brexit’).

Looking ahead to the second half of the year, it remains unclear, however, if these events will continue to be factors impacting digital currency price movements. Some are speculating if the recent events in Turkey will also spark interest in bitcoin. In an article from Bitcoinist, they said “Japan and South America have become much more involved in digital currency,” stating that regional interest across the globe may push the price higher over time.

The price of bitcoin is always an interesting hot topic, which may be a reason why 8,300 people are using the IFTTT developer platform to track the price using their alert-triggering system.

Bitcoin Development and Innovation
![Rootstock home page via RSK.com](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/07/rootstock.png)
Rootstock home page via RSK.com
[Here’s Rootstock’s Spin on the Bitcoin Sidechains Concept](http://coinjournal.net/rootstock-spin-bitcoin-sidechains/)

Rootstock is a bitcoin sidechain currently in development by RSK Labs. It is a platform for distributed smart contracts, much like Ethereum, but the fact that it’s a bitcoin sidechain means that it will use the bitcoin currency by default. During a recent interview with Epicenter Bitcoin, RSK Labs Chief Scientist Sergio Lerner explained how the two-way peg, which allows users to transfer bitcoins between blockchains, will work with bitcoin and Rootstock.

Blockstream, who is also working on developing sidechains for bitcoin, announced this week a defensive patent strategy. Blockstream’s commitments are meant to ensure that the company only uses its patents defensively, and therefore, to assure users and developers of bitcoin technology that they can use Blockstream’s inventions without fear of patent litigation, wrote the EFF.

In other development news this week, bitcoin payment processing company BitPay introduced a new BitPay Modal Invoice, which they aim to make paying with bitcoin even better. We also learned on Thursday from CoinDesk that bitcoin’s “nervous system” is getting an upgrade with the FIBRE Network.

Global FinTech
![Image courtesy of Bitcoin.com](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/07/bank-of-england.png)
Image courtesy of Bitcoin.com
[Bank of England: Digital Currency Can Raise GDP ‘By Almost 3%’](https://news.bitcoin.com/bank-england-digital-currency-raise-gdp/)

The Bank Of England (BoE) has stated a “central bank digital currency” (CBDC) could raise the UK’s GDP “by almost 3%.” In a lengthy new report published this week, the Bank studies the feasibility of introducing a CBDC, as well as the likely positive implications it would be have for the economy.

In India, one of the Reserve Bank of India’s deputy governors has encouraged local banks to work with a research outfit previously established by the central bank on blockchain projects, saying banks should work to develop applications for digital currencies and distributed ledgers.

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