As Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology continue to experience increased consumer and investor interest, mainstream media outlets have focused their attention on the industry as well. News giant Reuters has apparently also taken note of that increased attention, and will now report on stories about the blockchain and digital currency in one of two new coverage sections launched by the company on Monday.
If you’ve ever wondered how digital currency can ever really hope to achieve its promise of providing real financial empowerment to the people of the world through true democratization of money, you’re not alone. Most crypto-skeptics and even some enthusiasts have long wondered how decentralized currencies can ever manage to meet that goal. In a recent interview with CEOCFO Magazine published on Monday, DNotes Founder Alan Yong offers his take on the problems confronting Bitcoin and most other digital currencies, as well as his ideas about how DNotes can meet those challenges.
Yesterday, Bitcoin set a new all-time price high, passing the $3,000 mark. Today, the world’s most well-known digital currency sharply retreated from that record high, as trading volumes on the major cryptocurrency exchanges surged. Amid that heavy traffic, global Bitcoin exchange Coinbase experienced yet another major outage that temporarily left its customers without access to exchange services.
San-Francisco based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has announced that it is lowering its withdrawal fee from the roughly $7 flat fee (.0025 XBT) proposed several days ago to a flat fee of about $3 per withdrawal (.0001 XBT). The company cited customer preference in its decision, and has suggested that it will conduct batch withdrawals to help control costs.
More than a month ago, the New Hampshire legislature passed House Bill 436 and sent it to Governor Chris Sununu for his signature. The Governor signed the bill into law late last week, effectively ensuring that those who use cryptocurrency in New Hampshire will no longer be subject to the state’s money transmitter regulations. That exemption will become effective on August 1, 2017.
When mainstream news outlets talk about digital currency these days, much of the emphasis is on the cryptocurrency markets and the surging values of digital currencies like Bitcoin. According to Reuters, however, what’s good for digital currency investors has apparently also been good for computer graphic card maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). In fact, increased activity in the cryptocurrency markets has contributed to rising stock prices and increased demand for the company’s chips as AMD shares rose by more than 7 percent in Tuesday’s trading.
Recent reports suggest that the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) may be considering a move to enact a regulatory framework for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Chinese cryptocurrency news source cnLedger posted the news on Friday, noting that Chinese central bank Digital Currency Research Institute head Yao Quian addressed the issue while discussing digital currencies and related technologies. As cnLedger reported,
With demand for Bitcoin and other digital currencies continuing to increase, it seems as though each day brings news of some new milestone in the cryptocurrency universe. Bitcoin exchange Coinbase could soon achieve its own milestone in the coming weeks, as the company is reportedly in negotiations with investors to raise capital that could result in the exchange eventually being valued at a billion dollars or more.
In remarks delivered at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum recently, Russian Central Bank Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova suggested that the world will eventually see nations create their own digital currencies. She also seemed to confirm that the tests required to prove the viability of such currencies had already been completed using platforms like the Hyperledger and Masterchain.
After more than three months of uncertainty, cryptocurrency traders with holdings on China’s three largest Bitcoin exchanges received welcome news this week when they learned that they will soon be able to once again withdraw their digital currency. That news ends the suspension of withdrawal activity that began in February amid central bank concerns about the exchanges’ compliance with AML/KYC requirements.
Chinese Bitcoin exchange Huobi will make Ethereum (ETH) trading available to its customers, effective May 31 2017. According to reports, the move was prompted by numerous requests from traders. At this point, however, it is unclear whether customers will be able to trade and withdraw the digital currency from the exchange, or whether the change will simply allow them to purchase and hold Ethereum.
Bitcoin exchange BITPoint Japan has announced plans to continue its efforts to increase access to payments for consumers and retailers alike. After helping Peach Aviation in the airline’s quest to begin accepting Bitcoin payments from passengers by the end of 2017, BITPoint’s next Bitcoin plans reportedly involve a partnership that could provide hundreds of thousands of retailers with the ability to accept the digital currency in their stores.
Blockchain copyright firm Blockai has announced that it has raised $950,000 in investment money. The company has also rebranded by changing its name to Binded – a clear reference to the firm’s new focus on providing legally-binding copyright records for those who use its blockchain copyright service. That service is designed to provide artists and other content creators with a blockchain-based copyright system to help safeguard their intellectual property rights.
The Canadian central bank and its Project Jasper partners revealed the results of their experiment with distributed ledger technology (DLT) in a press release published on Thursday and a report posted on the central bank’s website. The project’s conclusions suggest that the technology still has obstacles to overcome before it can reliably replace the existing national intrabank payment settlement system.
In a statement released earlier this week, Japanese budget airline Peach Aviation Ltd announced that it will add Bitcoin as a payment option for its customers before the end of 2017 – making Peach the first Japanese airline to accept the digital currency. In addition, the company has announced its intention to place Bitcoin ATMs at airports, to provide its customers with easier access to Bitcoin.
Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson has made no secret of her love of technology, and she’s certainly not shy about expressing her appreciation for Bitcoin, the blockchain, and other aspects of the digital currency universe. In a speech to the attendees of the Consensus 2017 conference on Tuesday, she doubled down on that support for digital currency technology, and announced that Fidelity will soon provide its customers with the ability to track their cryptocurrency holdings on the Fidelity website.
With blockchain technology gaining increased attention from an ever-expanding array of industries, it was only a matter of time until the auto industry began to take serious notice too. Toyota Research Institute’s announcement at Consensus 2017 yesterday revealed that Toyota is serious about exploring the technology as it seeks to develop the vehicles of the future.
DNotes has announced that its upcoming DNotes 2.0 upgrade will include innovative features and applications relating to smart contracts, blockchain technologies, mobile applications, and global payments systems. The upgrade is expected to launch later in 2017, and the company is unveiling a new Bitcointalk Forum in preparation for the event.
Earlier this month, the largest bank in Dubai, Emirates NBD, unveiled plans to integrate blockchain technology into its checks as it launched an initiative that has been referred to as “Cheque Chain.” The project involves adding printed Quick Response (QR) codes to the bank’s checks, with each code eventually registered on the Emirates NBD blockchain to strengthen authenticity and reduce fraud. As the bank’s Group Chief Operating Officer Abdulla Qassem observed at the time:
If anyone at the Internal Revenue Service thought that the agency’s quest to force Coinbase to give up its customer records was a battle that would be fought only in the courts, a new development this week may have them questioning that assumption. A May 17 letter from three Congressional Republicans to IRS commissioner John Koskinen indicates that some in Congress may be prepared to flex their oversight muscle to protect taxpayers from the IRS’ unprecedented John Doe Summons.