According to Coin ATM Radar, the world now has more than 1,000 Bitcoin ATMs in operation. According to reports, more than 60% of these machines – 621 – are at sites around the United States, with Canada coming in second in total Bitcoin ATM placement. The ATMs provide Bitcoin enthusiasts with easier access to Bitcoin transactions, and are viewed as an important tool for increasing awareness of the digital currency.
As many industry observers already know, The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has been working toward becoming the first exchange of its kind to use blockchain technology for its post-trade services. The exchange revealed late this week that it plans to increase its investment in the technology in 2017 as it pushes forward to build on the distributed ledger system currently being developed by Digital Asset Holdings.
Crypto gaming store GameCredits recently announced that the company will be launching a crowdsale for its new MobileGo Token. The crowdsale is currently projected to begin in April, with active promotion in China and throughout the West. The crowdsale funds and issuing of tokens will be used to fund marketing of the company’s new Mobile Store and to develop Ethereum-based smart contract systems on the platform.
The Austrian capital of Vienna is now home to what is being referred to as the world’s first Bitcoin bank. The newly-opened “Bitcoin Bank” is owned and managed by blockchain firm Bit Trust, and has opened for business in one of the more popular Vienna shopping areas on Mariahilfer Strasse. The bank was launched to help simplify the buying and selling process for Bitcoin enthusiasts in the area.
National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) recently announced that it has successfully employed the Ripple blockchain for its cross-border payment systems. The bank’s integration of the Ripple Distributed Financial Technology is expected to provide its customers with immutable, secure, and cost-efficient fund transfers. With this move, NBAD has become the first bank in the Middle East to officially implement the Ripple technology.
In a new article published today, DNotes Global Inc. Founder Alan Yong has his own thoughts to share on the current climate for U.S. businesses – with a special focus on new startups. Ever the realist, Yong doesn’t shy away from reminding us about just how bad things have been for small businesses in recent years.
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission has reportedly joined the R3 blockchain group, according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal. The regulator is collaborating with the group’s banks and blockchain tech firms to test the technology’s capabilities for recording and settling transactions. The formal entry into the consortium is simply the latest evolution in the relationship between the regulator and R3 – a partnership that has seen the parties work together on similar tests in recent months.
It’s been a stressful few days for China’s Bitcoin enthusiasts, as the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) seems to have expanded its investigation of the country’s Bitcoin exchanges. After last month’s meetings with the three largest domestic exchanges saw those companies implement new fees and other policy changes, the PBOC this week turned its attention to nine of the smaller Bitcoin platforms. In a meeting with those exchanges on Wednesday, the central bank reportedly focused on the need for greater anti-money-laundering efforts.
In a recently-published transcript of a speech given at the FinTech Forum in Paris last month, French central bank Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau signaled that the Banque de France is seeking greater collaboration with FinTech startups focused on blockchain technology. In the speech, de Galhau revealed that the central bank intends to open a new lab to strengthen its partnership with those blockchain firms and facilitate its broader goal of encouraging more FinTech innovation across France.
Venezuela’s Bitcoin community has felt the pressure in recent weeks, as the nation’s law enforcement agencies have intensified their crackdown on Bitcoin mining. Raids, detentions, and public announcements have contributed to a general sense of unease for Venezuelans, as nearly a dozen people have been detained as authorities confiscated Bitcoin mining equipment from a number of different sites. Now, the largest Bitcoin exchange in the country, Surbitcoin, has announced that it has temporarily suspended its operations.
When the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Central Bank issued new regulatory guidelines for digital payments last month, many observers took note of an apparent ban on “virtual currency” usage by companies that were subject to the new regulations. In a new statement, the central bank has now provided new clarity on the subject by announcing that the new rules do not apply to Bitcoin or other digital currencies.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a new notice this week, warning digital currency users and traders about the risks faced by anyone engaged in cryptocurrency transactions. The central bank reminded Indians that it has not yet authorized any of those digital currency activities, nor provided licenses to any cryptocurrency companies.
With government resources around the world straining as many economies remain mired in slow growth, government officials are increasingly turning their attention to new technological solutions. A new study from IBM has attempted to gauge those officials’ interest in blockchain technology, and their current plans to leverage it at an organizational level.
A communications analyst formerly employed by the Fed was sentenced on Friday for secretly installing Bitcoin mining software on a central bank server. That former employee, Nicholas Berthaume, pled guilty to the charges last October, after initially trying to mask his activities by deleting the program. The court sentenced him to a twelve-month period of probation and fined him $5,000.
Most experts within the blockchain industry estimate that China’s banks are as much as twelve months behind their Western counterparts when it comes to adopting distributed ledger technology. If the Chinese government has its way, that gap may soon be closed. According to a new report from Reuters, the nation’s regulators have been pushing banks to modernize outdated systems and processes by adopting blockchain technology.
San Francisco blockchain tech provider BitFury Group and Hong Kong FinTech firm Credit China Fintech Holdings Limited this week announced the launch of a joint effort in the Chinese market. The deal represents BitFury Group’s first major foray into China, and will see Credit China Fintech invest $30 million to establish the venture and purchase shares of BitFury.
Reports from Venezuela indicate that the nation’s federal police took four Bitcoin miners into custody today after arresting them in Charallave. The news, reported by Bitcoin news site Criptonoticias, revealed that the suspects were all charged with cyber fraud and electricity theft. Cuerpo de Investigaciones Científicas Penales y Criminalisticas (CICPC) director Douglas Rico posted a statement to Instagram that accused the foursome of negatively impacting “the consumption and the stability” of Charallave’s electricity services.
LA-based GameCredits recently told DCEBrief about its upcoming Get the Gun tournament, which is scheduled to begin at 9:00 PM GMT on January 27, 2017 – with a second tournament to be held on the following day beginning at 12:00 pm GMT. The staggered times are designed to ensure that players throughout the world have the best opportunity to participate in one of the tourney events. The tournament will be accompanied by a Prize Pool that is being jointly-sponsored by Datcroft Games and GameCredits Inc.
In statements posted on their websites Sunday night, Chinese Bitcoin exchanges BTCC, OKCoin, and Huobi announced that they will impose new trading fees to “curb speculation and prevent price volatility.” The announcement of the new 0.2 percent charge on each transaction comes in the wake of recent meetings between the exchanges and the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). The new policy is scheduled to go into effect on Tuesday.
In Though voters in the state of Washington used a ballot measure to legalize marijuana in 2012, a bill recently introduced in the state Senate would add new restrictions on businesses that sell and distribute those products. That bill, SB 5264, would alter the rules on those sales by prohibiting those businesses from using digital currencies for their transactions. The bill would require that: