Blockchain Blog

Bitcoin News for the week of 7/25/16

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. This week we take a look at the maturation of bitcoin, how it’s grown, and how it can be used as an asset class for investors. We also read that Visa is working with a bitcoin startup to facilitate micropayments. And on the bitcoin development front, we learned how developers are making the bitcoin network more efficient. Get all this news and more, in our weekly recap.

Bitcoin is Growing Up
![Stack of coins image via Bitcoin Magazine](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/07/coin-stack.png)
Stack of coins image via Bitcoin Magazine
[New Study Reveals Bitcoin Economy Maturing to Mainstream Enterprise](https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/new-study-reveals-bitcoin-economy-maturing-to-mainstream-enterprise-1469640897)

A team of economists from UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies, Deutsche Bundesbank, University of Wisconsin and The New School have published a research paper analyzing the evolution of bitcoin. The economists’ conclusion is that the Bitcoin economy has grown and matured from an early prototype stage.

The conclusion is hardly surprising as blockchain-related press headlines continue to appear in mainstream press. Our weekly bitcoin news recap is an awesome example of this, where we have noticed news echoing this trend week-over-week. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see how this conclusion was reached by thorough economic analysis.

Financial advisors and traders have also noticed that bitcoin has matured. Bitcoin represents an exciting new asset class that can help diversify portfolios.

Fintech Global News
![Illustration via YourStory ](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/07/fintech-bitcoin.png)
Illustration via YourStory
[Visa Europe Partners for Bitcoin Micropayments Trial](http://www.coindesk.com/visa-europe-bitcoin-micropayments/)

Bitcoin micropayments startup SatoshiPay is developing a new proof-of-concept with Visa Europe’s innovation unit. The concept, according to SatoshiPay founder Meinhard Benn, involves the integration of the startup’s technology with Visa’s card payments structure, allowing for automated micropayments from a person’s Visa account to a SatoshiPay account.

The news that Visa is working with a bitcoin company isn’t completely surprising, however, it is an important piece of information given a new report from Ernst & Young (EY) which shows that consumers are straying from conventional banking and looking for alternatives, like bitcoin.

In Korea, KB Kookmin Bank partnered with U.S. based bitcoin startup Circle to promote blockchain related businesses and mobile certification. And in China, a Top Markets Report of Financial Technology produced by the U.S. International Trade Administration (ITA), says that bitcoin is one of the top focuses of China’s fintech market.

Bitcoin Development and Innovation
![Global network image via Bitcoin Magazine](https://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2016/07/global-network.png)
Global network image via Bitcoin Magazine
[On Relay: How Different Bitcoin Developers Are Speeding Up the Network](https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/on-relay-how-different-bitcoin-developers-are-speeding-up-the-network-part-1469724479)

Over the past years, several projects have been in development to increase the speed of block propagation. These projects focus on roughly two main issues: block compression to limit the amount of data that needs to be propagated over the network, and relay speed to cut the time it takes for blocks to propagate. This two-part series provides an overview of these projects. Read part 2 here.

MIT’s Media Lab unveiled a fun project this week, a vending machine that accepts bitcoin with a quirky twist — it was stocked solely with Soylent!

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