Bitcoin Weekly Recap 4-29-2016
DCG Receives Investment from Western Union
Digital Currency Group, which has been providing funding to various Bitcoin and blockchain companies, has itself received a major infusion of investment funding from money-transfer king Western Union as part of the latest DCG funding round. Though the exact details of the investment were not released to the public as part of DCG founder Barry Silbert’s announcement, the news does represent the diversity of investors currently involved in funding the firm’s financing efforts.
That list of investors encompasses firms from a wide swath of the global marketplace, including financial firms like insurers and banking interests, payment companies, money transfer entities, media entities, and manufacturers. The sheer breadth of the global economy’s interest in the pursuit of digital currency and distributed ledgers is just one more indication that the marketplace is gradually coming to terms with the inevitability of a cryptocurrency and blockchain-powered world.
New Study: 44% of Germans Are Aware of Bitcoin; 1% Have Used It
A recent German Consumer Payment Study provided some interesting insight into the current position of Bitcoin within German society. The numbers reveal that an impressive 44% of Germans seem to have at least some basic understanding about Bitcoin, which is being viewed as a testament to the success of ongoing efforts to increase consumer awareness of digital currency. Unfortunately, only 1% of the people who said that they know about Bitcoin report ever having actually used it.
The survey is far from being bad news, however. 12% of those who have yet to try it reported that they would be open to using it sometime in the next year. If that were to happen, cryptocurrency use within Germany would see an impressive increase. For now, Bitcoin advocates appear to recognize that they have two main challenges to overcome before more widespread adoption can occur: increase educational efforts to make even more people aware of the currency, and develop a better way of getting Bitcoin to consumers so that they can experience its benefits.
Steam Network to Accept Bitcoin
To gamers around the world, the Steam game network is a well-known and respected entity that facilitates many of their most common gaming purchases, while also providing a simple way for gamers to communicate with one another as they play. The company that owns Steam, Valve software, recently announced that it is now accepting Bitcoin as a payment option for its claimed one-hundred million customers around the globe.
That announcement should be viewed with excitement in nations like China, India, and Brazil, where thousands of new gamers are coming online each week. Many of those new Steam customers lack the access to payment options like banks and credit or debit cards, so a seamless global payment system like Bitcoin is being seen as a perfect solution.
Russia Definitely Planning to Punish Bitcoin Users?
In the on-again, off-again saga that seems to define the Russian Federation’s tortuous relationship with digital currency of all sorts, the Russian Finance Ministry is apparently still on track to submit anti-cryptocurrency legislation to the Duma in May. The Ministry has long asserted that it would take such action, and the most current version of their proposed ban would impose a maximum 3.5 million ruble fine on offenders and provide for a maximum jail sentence of seven years.
Russia’s official position on Bitcoin has long been that the currency is a threat to Russia’s financial system due to its potential abuse as a vehicle for criminal activity. There is also concern that the existence and use of viable digital currencies pose a direct threat to the survival of the Russian ruble, since any sort of “money surrogate” could impede the ability of the nation’s central bank to exercise control over the supply of its own currency.