Welcome to our weekly recap of the latest headlines in bitcoin and fintech news. Making a splash at The Mermaid in London, Richard Branson held his sixth Virgin Disruptors event and bitcoin took center stage. The rest of Europe also saw coverage this week, including one featuring an official bitcoin-only Red Bull vending machine. Learn about this and lots more in our post below.
— Blockchain (@blockchain) October 3, 2016
A diverse lineup of events were in the news, with Richard Branson’s sixth Virgin Disruptors kicking off the week. Members of our leadership team joined Branson and other bright minds spanning a variety of industries in London to discuss disruption and what it takes to change the world. Our CEO & Co-Founder, Peter Smith, participated in an opening panel focused on the entrepreneurial spirit, and other key topics included sustainability, diversity, and optimizing performance.
Also making headlines was Prague’s Hackers Congress Paralelní Polis, a convention attracting entrepreneurs, legal experts, artists, and cryptographers with a focus on trends in cryptocurrencies, hacking, decentralization, and technology. Much to the delight of the attendees, Red Bull set up shop at the event in the form of a bitcoin-only vending machine that kept everyone caffeinated in exchange for 2.3 millibitcoin (mBTC), equivalent to $35 CZK or $1.40 USD per can. Unsure of the difference between mBTC and BTC? Check out our post on bitcoin units of measurement comparing the most common units.
Another European event with impressive turnout was the third annual Bitcoin Conference Kiev. Without a doubt, attendance was evidence that bitcoin is increasingly being considered a viable alternative to the hryvnia. According to Pavel Likhomanov, the conference this year drew six hundred attendees, two hundred more than last year. The conference focused on different areas of crypto, such as consensus mechanisms, bitcoin’s value proposition and cold storage.
Using bitcoin as an investmentMulti-billionaire bond manager [Bill Gross](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gross) was on Bloomberg this week discussing new financial technologies, and said that bitcoin has become an increasingly attractive way to [protect against central banking policies](http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-04/janus-s-gross-says-bitcoin-blockchain-may-counter-central-banks) that contribute to low or negative interest rates for consumers.
“Bitcoin and privately agreed upon blockchain technologies amongst a small set of global banks are just a few examples of attempts to stabilize the value of their current assets in future purchasing power terms,” he wrote. “Gold would be another example — historic relic that it is. In any case, the current system is beginning to be challenged.”
Real estate on the blockchainIn Cook County Chicago, they will be [testing the transfer and tracking of property titles](https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/chicago-s-cook-county-to-test-bitcoin-blockchain-based-public-records-1475768860) and other public records using the bitcoin blockchain. According to Bitcoin Magazine, the Cook County Recorder’s Office is the second largest such office in the United States, and it it will be the first in the country to experiment with blockchain technology.
In similar headlines, a new service launched in Holland called Blandlord looks to sell property and prove ownership using the bitcoin blockchain. Blandlord will provide part-ownership of real estate with shares that will be verifiable on the blockchain.
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