Bitcoin Weekly Recap 11-13-2015
Washington State Warns Consumers About Bitcoin Investment.
On Wednesday, news of a consumer alert related to Bitcoin purchases appeared in Washington newspapers. The News Tribune, a Tacoma publication, reported that the state’s Department of Financial Institutions had issued a warning to consumers who might be considering Bitcoin investment - as well as other investment opportunities such as binary options and marijuana.
The notice warned consumers that they would soon see a flurry of news reports detailing new regulated digital currency exchanges, as well as increased use of the cryptocurrency, and alerted them to be wary of investment opportunities. Sadly, however, the warning was less informative than it perhaps should have been. While it did accurately note that there are some wild fluctuations in currency value and a high level of confusion in the marketplace at present, it was less accurate in some of its assessments with respect to digital currency’s vulnerabilities.
For instance, the alert mentions that these currencies are difficult to trace and lack of security to prevent determined cyber attacks. The DFI would have better served the citizens of Washington by noting that the blockchain’s ledger system actually provides an accessible means for tracing transactions - unlike many of the more widely accepted fiat currencies. Moreover, the cyber attack vulnerability lacks context, as the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reported in June that even mainstream banks are struggling to protect their customer accounts against such online attacks. Obviously, an even greater educational effort will be required if this type of misinformation about digital currency is to be properly countered.
Nakamoto to be Nominated for Nobel?
Recently, there has been some talk that Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s enigmatic creator - or creators, depending on who you ask - may actually receive a nomination for the Nobel Prize in Economics next year. UCLA Anderson School of Management finance professor Bhagwan Chowdhry is among those who were invited to nominate someone for the 2016 Nobel Prize. He recently wrote an opinion piece published on the Huffington Post wherein he described his reasons for considering a Nakamoto nomination - including the revolutionary nature of digital currency, and the Bitcoin protocol’s emerging potential for massive disruption in so many areas of the marketplace.
Plutus App to Simplify Bitcoin Payment Process.
A fresh new service called Plutus has plans to further simplify the Bitcoin merchant payment process by providing a platform that harnesses smart contract power to enable users to spend Bitcoins even at locations that do not accept the digital currency. Using a virtual credit card linked to a decentralized exchange network, Bitcoin to fiat conversions will take place effortlessly. The service app is currently in the alpha test phase, and the company is still accepting users to help with the testing process. The service launch is currently slated for the first quarter of 2016.
ZapChain Raises $350k in Seed Funds for New Initiative.
ZapChain, the social media network that allows digital content transactions using Bitcoin, announced that it has received $350,000 in funding that will provide the company with the resources it needs to enhance its content and membership. The money was reportedly received from Tim Draper, Adam Draper, and the Boost Bitcoin Fund. The new initiative is being launched in partnership with CoinBase, and provides the platform’s users with the ability to buy and sell Bitcoin on the social media platform itself - making it easier than ever for ZapChain users to complete the entire purchasing process in one place.
Distributed Lab Launching Bitcoin Wallet to Serve Ukrainians.
The Coin Telegraph has reported that Distributed Lab is preparing to unveil a new wallet for Bitcoin users in the Ukraine. The new mobile wallet will permit real time exchange of Bitcoin into the local currency, with exchange transaction fees below 3%. The goal is to facilitate international remittances while combining the latest Fin Tech innovations with the more familiar debit cards to which Ukrainians are already accustomed.
Coinbase Expands Operations in Latin America and Asia.
Hot off its September announcement of a launch in Singapore, Coinbase is now preparing to expand even further into the Asian market, while also extending its reach deeper into Latin America. With more than $100 million of venture capital in hand, the company has the lofty goal of increasing its total markets from 32 to 40 nations by the end of 2016. According to its CEO, Coinbase will continue to focus on its partnerships with payment providers, investors, and its core exchange services.
Bitcoin’s Wild Ride Continues.
As most observers know, Bitcoin has seen a great deal of price volatility in recent weeks. After exceeding the $500 mark last week, its price fluctuated wildly before falling to $294 this week. It eventually rebounded, however, and managed to climb to around $345 on Thursday. At this point, most analysts seem to be anticipating continuing uncertainty with the price until some sort of equilibrium is established.
Mobile App Provides Bitcoin Trade Monitoring in Real-Time.
For anyone looking for an easy way to keep pace with Bitcoin’s current pricing volatility, Coinbase has the answer. The exchange giant has just unveiled new changes in its mobile application that make it easier than ever for Bitcoin traders to actively monitor the cryptocurrency’s trading activities and price in real-time. The app provides support for multiple language options, permits users to track balances across multiple accounts, and chart Bitcoin prices over time.