Swiss-based Falcon Private Bank announced today that it is expanding its current blockchain asset management services to provide its customers access to three additional cryptocurrencies. The bank made news in July when it began offering its clients the ability to use their bank cash holdings to buy and hold Bitcoin in their bank portfolios. Next week, that service will expand to provide those clients with access to Litecoin, Ether, and Bitcoin Cash as well.
Bloomberg has reported that Russia is moving to become a major Bitcoin mining center, openly challenging the current Chinese dominance of the industry. The effort is being led by Russian Miner Coin, which is co-owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s internet ombudsman, Dmitry Marinichev. To finance the move, the company is seeking $100 million in funding through an initial coin offering.
Coinbase has recently completed a $100 million Series D funding round, which featured investment from IVP, Draper Associates, Greylock Partners, and others. The company made the announcement via a blog post from Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, and notified its customers by email. Coinbase has confirmed that the funding will be used to expand its operations.
After successfully testing digital currency viewing with its employees, Fidelity investments Inc is now ready to offer those capabilities to the company’s customers as well. The new offering debuted on Wednesday, and provides the firm’s clients with the ability to see their cryptocurrency holdings on the company’s client accounts pages. The move has been in the works for some time, and will enable those investors to more efficiently track digital currency investments on the same portal they use to monitor their stocks, mutual funds, and other investments.
Japan’s retail market appears to be increasingly receptive to Bitcoin, with yet another large chain of stores on track to begin accepting Bitcoin payments. Reports suggest that the Marui fashion department chain has entered into a partnership with the BitFlyer exchange to enable its stores to facilitate the use of Bitcoin. Marui Group will reportedly begin by testing Bitcoin payments at the Shinjuku Marui Annex beginning on August 7.
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced Monday that it has formally approved LedgerX LLC’s bid to become the nation’s first federally regulated derivatives clearing organization. The decision was the result of a unanimous vote by Commission members, and provides LedgerX with the legal authorization it needs to begin offering digital currency options sometime within the next few months.
Digital currency exchange Poloniex issued a press release Monday detailing the company’s overall position on any potential Bitcoin turmoil that may arise in the next several weeks. That announcement made clear that the exchange would reserve the right to temporarily halt Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals if that becomes “necessary to ensure that all tokens stored on Poloniex remain safe.”
Reuters recently reported that the London Stock Exchange Group is partnering with IBM to develop a platform that will digitize the issuance of private shares for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Italy and throughout Europe. The LESG system has been built to store and share transaction records for SME SME shareholders, in a safe, “gated” environment.
With continuing uncertainty about the near-term fate of the Bitcoin blockchain, the Nikkei Asian Review is reporting that restaurants and retailers could temporarily stop accepting Bitcoin as payment for goods and services. Though most experts seem confident that recent events have helped the currency avoid a contentious split, some Japanese exchanges remain wary. And that lingering concern has left many Bitcoin-accepting businesses scrambling for a contingency plan.
The annual Blockchain Summit is scheduled to begin on July 25, and this year’s event will see attendees gathering in one of the most exclusive locations on Earth. The Bitfury-hosted conference is being held on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island – a 74-acre Caribbean paradise located in the British Virgin Islands. Fifty of the world’s most influential thought leaders will assemble there for a three-day getaway to discuss a host of issues related to blockchain technology.
Swiss regulators have given Zurich-based Falcon Private Bank approval to provide its clients with Bitcoin asset management offerings. On Wednesday, the bank began offering customers the ability to trade Bitcoin using their cash deposits. Falcon has partnered with Swiss cryptocurrency broker Bitcoin Suisse, which will provide the bank with access to the digital currency.
Nikolay Storonsky’s startup banking firm Revolut Ltd is receiving investor funding totaling $66 million. The two-year-old company has attracted capital from several investors, including Ribbit Capital, index Ventures, and Balderton Capital. Revolut has announced that it intends to use the funds for expansion of operations, and has plans to add digital currency trading for its customers.
South Korean digital currency exchange Bithumb has announced plans to compensate its users for any damages suffered because of compromised customer data records. The company has confirmed that roughly 30,000 customers had their data stolen when an exchange employee’s personal home computer was hacked. According to the online news site, BraveNewCoin, the company claims that the hack didn’t involve the Bithumb main server:
In recent months, South Korea’s digital currency trading activity has been among the most robust in the world. Many policy experts have been uncomfortable with the lack of industry regulation, however, with some worrying that any sudden downturn in the cryptocurrency markets could negatively impact the country’s broader economy. This week, Democratic Party of Korea Representative Park Yong-jin announced that he intends to introduce a new bill to enact a framework for regulating digital currencies like Bitcoin.
While many analysts have been expecting Bitcoin’s recent price doldrums to continue for some time, one market analyst is projecting growth that could see the world’s most well-known digital currency rise another 50% above its current price. Goldman Sachs analyst Sheba Jafari offered that assessment in a recent note that was reported on by CNBC and other news outlets.
The Nikkei Asian Review has reported that the Japanese government is moving forward with plans to begin testing blockchain technology for its public procurement process. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will be conducting the trials to assess the technology’s usefulness for streamlining the tendering process though improved interagency data-sharing. The test is reportedly part of a broader government effort to improve e-government efficiency and security, and is expected to conclude in March 2018.
If you live in New York and want to send your preschoolers to one of the city’s two Montessori luxury preschools, don’t expect to put those tuition costs on your credit card. The schools don’t accept that form of payment. However, Montessori Schools co-founder Marco Ciocca wants you to know that the Montessori schools in Flatiron and Soho will be more than happy to accept your Bitcoin. In fact, they now accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin as payment options.
It wasn’t that long ago that cryptocurrency enthusiasts in Russia faced the very real possibility that their government might ban Bitcoin and even jail anyone who owned or used digital currency. Those types of threats are now all but forgotten, as acceptance of digital currency technology is growing by leaps and bounds. That increasing interest in cryptocurrency was perhaps best highlighted by a single Bitcoin merchant transaction at an unidentified Burger King restaurant in Moscow on June 27, 2017.
Despite the GDAX exchange’s announced decision to honor all trades that occurred during the Wednesday flash crash, many of the exchange customers who lost money during that event will apparently see the value of their holdings restored. GDAX vice president Adam White made the announcement in a Friday blog post, and explained how the company intends to ease those customers’ pain.
In a blog post published on Thursday, Blockchain CEO Peter Smith announced that the startup raised $40 million in its most recent round of funding. That Series B total is significantly higher than the company’s 2014 Series A result of $30.5 million, and was described by Smith as “the most substantial investment in the fintech space since Brexit” and “the largest Series B raised by any digital currency company to date.”