Bitcoin Weekly Recap 6-10-2016
Bitcoin Price Hovering Under $600
We don’t usually report much about Bitcoin’s price fluctuations - but since the world’s best-known digital currency has been threatening to break the $600 barrier for much of this week, it seems worth a mention. As of Friday night, Bitcoin’s price stood at just over $578. Of course, analysts are racing to determine whether the coin’s upward trajectory has peaked – which could indicate a sell-off as investors engage in profit-taking, or whether the current slowing of momentum is merely a pause as the market catches its breath before advancing upward again. Stay tuned...
Yellen Encourages Central Bankers to Study Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology
Even as many large banks across the globe have seemingly turned their backs on Bitcoin in favor of its underlying technology, one powerful voice has urged the world’s central bankers to study both innovations. The Chair of the Board of Governors of the Fed Reserve, Janet Yellen, issued the challenge at the recent three-day closed-door Federal Reserve Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. While the meeting was reportedly focused primarily on FinTech and the blockchain, the Chairwoman made a point of including the digital currency in her remarks.
Her remarks before the gathering of representatives from more than ninety of the world’s central banks encouraged the attendees to learn everything that they can about Bitcoin, the blockchain, and distributed ledger technology. That exhortation is made even more noteworthy by the fact that Yellen is on record as disavowing any Federal Reserve power to exercise regulatory authority over cryptocurrency. As she noted in 2014, “Bitcoin is a payment innovation that’s taking place outside the banking industry.” Because of that, she believes that the Federal Reserve has no power to either supervise or regulate the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin Mining Firm Canaan Bought for $466 Million
Chinese Bitcoin mining company Canaan – best known for its Avalon mining brand - announced this week that it is selling its operations to an electronics firm. The agreement will see the company sold to Shandong Luyitong for $466 million in cash and stock, provided that the deal is approved by regulators. Despite the announcement and the signing of a purchase agreement, the sale won’t be final without government approval. Canaan representatives indicated that they expect that approval will ultimately come.
Wilson Has Message for Banks Choosing to Ignore Bitcoin
Union Square’s Fred Wilson had some strong words for the world’s banks during a panel interview at the recent Future of FinTech gathering in New York. In remarks to the New York Times’ Nathaniel Popper, Wilson asserted that bankers are making a mistake by focusing on private blockchain development and ignoring the real value potential inherent in Bitcoin technology. As he noted, “To me, that’s like, ‘We don’t use the internet because we think Compuserve is good.'” He reinforced that notion by predicting that the technology could only truly provide transformative value with what he described as a “globally distributed, public blockchain.”
France’s Le Pen Goes Full Conspiracy Theorist, Calls for Bitcoin Ban
In a move that may be intentionally designed to demonstrate that certain American presidential candidates aren’t the only ones silly enough to believe every conspiracy theory they hear, the leader of France’s National Front, Marine Le Pen, has gone on record suggesting that Bitcoin is part of a Wall Street conspiracy to empower governments with even greater tools for financial monitoring. Le Pen suggested that efforts to digitize money can only lead to increased government monitoring and control of financial activity. To counter that somewhat interesting fantasy, she suggested that the National Front would be committed to preventing the use of Bitcoin and other digital currencies in France.
Le Pen is widely expected to run for the French presidency in 2017 against the current President, Francois Hollande. In the meantime, there may yet be a chance to find out her views on important matters like how the United States faked the moon landing, the identity of the man (or men!) on the grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza, and how the mysterious reptilian elite manage to remain so... well... mysterious. Enquiring minds want to know...
Citrix Survey: Companies Buy Bitcoin to Pay Ransomware Attackers
In what has to be some of the most depressing Bitcoin news to come down the pike in recent months, a new survey from networking firm Citrix suggests that many UK businesses are buying Bitcoins to stockpile them in the event they are needed to pay ransom to cybercriminals. The trend is apparently in response to a rash of DDoS attacks over the last few years that have seen cybercriminals use malware that encrypts a company’s files – attacks that usually result in the criminals demanding Bitcoin ransom payments in return for the decryption they need to regain control over their systems.
According to the survey, more than one-third of those companies reported buying Bitcoin as insurance against prolonged denial of service. As might be expected, those firms also tended to be smaller companies that can least afford to have their business operations disrupted for any sustained period of time.