Bitcoin Weekly Recap 7-15-2016
In Russia, Political Party Moves to Accept Bitcoin Donations
As the Russian government continues to struggle with issues related to Bitcoin and other digital currencies, at least one of the country’s political parties has expressed interest in accepting Bitcoin donations. That party, the Party of Growth is apparently seeking funds for its political activities from a variety of sources, and has recently indicated that it would pursue crowdfunding as an option as well. The party is headed by Boris Titov, who advises President Vladimir Putin on matters related to entrepreneurial concerns.
According to Russian news outlet TASS, the Party of Growth views its Bitcoin donation idea as a way to enhance awareness and acceptance of cryptocurrencies within the country. The party is also on record as supporting new laws that would make it easier for blockchain technology to be used and developed throughout Russia. That may be easier said than done, however, as the Party of Growth is without representation in the Duma, and has only a scant presence in the legislatures at the regional level.
Dutch Companies Move to Influence New EU Regulations
Last week, the European Commission issues proposals that would alter the EU’s current anti-money laundering provisions so that they would apply to Bitcoin and other digital currencies. The revised regulations are just the latest in a series of steps that the European Union has taken since last fall’s terror attack in France, and are designed to increase reporting of suspicious digital currency activities and provide for enhanced identity verification. Now, some Bitcoin startups in the Netherlands have banded together in an attempt to influence those revisions and prevent overregulation.
The group of Dutch companies, along with a number of Bitcoin experts, has apparently made efforts to work with the country’s Finance Ministry in an attempt to help shape the new policies. The effort has been led by Bitonic CEO Jouke Hofman, who noted that, "Under the current provision, it's not that clear who or what the regulation applies to, exactly.” That sentiment has also been expressed by others in the group, and helped to motivate them to seek an audience with the Ministry so that they could work together to ensure that the regulations are crafted clearly and in a way that does not overburden the industry.
Gemini Partners with eSports’ Echo Fox
The Winklevoss twins are on the move again – this time announcing a partnership between their Gemini exchange and the eSports organization Echo Fox. The partnership should benefit both parties, as Gemini has agreed to serve as a sponsor for the organization’s teams in exchange for Echo Fox working to integrate Bitcoin into its eSports payment system. Echo Fox is best known for fielding teams in some of the most popular eGames on the market today, including League of Legends and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. As Echo Fox CEO Rick Fox noted, “There is a deep-seated connection between video game culture and digital currency and the futures of both are innately linked.”
Plutus Crowdsale Raises $1 Million
UK-based Bitcoin wallet Plutus raised in excess of one million dollars over the course of a nine-day crowdsale. According to reports, the company will use that funding to finish work on its platform, bringing its Bitcoin Tap and Pay app one step closer to completion. The company’s goal is to simplify Bitcoin transactions by connecting the existing legacy debit systems in use throughout much of the economy with blockchain technology, with payments being executed via Ethereum smart contracts. Using the company’s app, users could simply use their mobile device to make a payment through any merchant NFC contactless payment reader.