Digital Currency Weekly Recap 4-10-2016
Circle Enters UK Market, Finds Partner in Barclays
Boston startup Circle obtained licensing approval in the UK on Wednesday, and has already found an eager partner in British banking giant Barclays. The new union will see the bank become the first UK financial institution to actively partner with a digital currency company. This is also the first time any digital currency firm has managed to obtain an e-money license from the nation’s Financial Conduct Authority.
Circle offers a social payments app that its customers can use to transfer money, along with messages, emojis, and GIF videos. The company’s platform utilizes the Bitcoin blockchain for part of its operations, which helps to facilitate Circle’s low-cost, no-added fees money transfer services. And while the company is now focused on providing fiat currency transfers, it still maintains the ability to convert US dollars into Bitcoins for consumers making payments in areas of the world where Circle services are not yet available.
Cryptsy Assets Frozen as Florida Court Places Exchange in Receivership
Cryptsy has been placed into receivership by a Florida Court, as the class action lawsuit against the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange continues. The court froze the exchange’s assets and appointed James Sallah to serve as its designated monitor, with administrative control over all assets. Sallah will also be responsible for management of Cryptsy’s operating company, Project Investors. As part of its order, the court suspended the powers of Cryptsy’s officers, agents, and employees except as may be later authorized by the designated Receiver.
This action empowers Sallah to subpoena company information, including more than three years worth of accounting data. The order directs that he report on the exchange’s viability and offer his recommendations within thirty days from taking receivership.
Bitwala Ends Funding Round with $900k
Bitcoin remittance firm Bitwala has announced that it raised roughly $900,000 in seed capital from investors during its last funding round. That investment came from a variety of entities including Digital Currency Group, KfW Banking Group, Deutsche Telecom, and others. According to CEO Jörg von Minckwitz, the funding will be utilized for technical innovation and improvement, as well as additional global expansion into Africa, the United States, and Asia.
New Bitwage App Unveiled for iPhone
Digital currency payroll firm Bitwage revealed its new app for the iPhone this week, providing the company’s customers with a simple way to use their smartphone to transfer money between the Bitwage cloud and its issued debit cards. The company’s CEO also announced that it would be partnering with Coinomi, Airbitz, and others to facilitate the Request for Payment Address Standard (RPAS) designed to improve interoperability for mobile apps on the blockchain.
After Data Breach, Coinwallet Chooses to Shut Down
After an attacker breached Coinwallet’s security earlier this week, the company announced that it is discontinuing its services. According to the company’s official announcement on the matter, the attacker exploited vulnerability in the input forms, enabling an unauthorized request to be made to the database. Backup security was successful in preventing a deeper incursion, and no customer funds were lost. Users have been instructed to submit requests for withdrawal.
2016 Liberland Annual Conference Begins April 15th
The first-ever Liberland Annual Conference is set to kick off next week, and the technological benefits offered by digital currency technology are sure to be among the hot topics discussed by attendees.
Okay, you can probably be forgiven for having no clue as to what Liberland might be, or why it would be involved in any sort of conference. To be fair, the number of people in the world who actually are aware of Liberland might actually constitute a group so tiny that it would be dwarfed by the nation’s population – were such a thing possible.
Did I mention that Liberland is a country? Sort of. Almost. Well… it’s complicated.
Officially known as the Free Republic of Liberland, this self-declared nation came into being on April 13, 2015 as the result of a declaration from Czech libertarian Vít Jedlička, who now serves as the micronation’s President. It unofficially exists in a 3-square mile area of disputed woodland located between Serbia and Croatia. To date, the new nation has received no formal diplomatic recognition from any UN member states. The reason for that lack of support is anybody’s guess. After all, what nation on Earth would be so discriminatory as to deny formal recognition to a country with no actual population? To add insult to imaginary injury, the Croatian government takes the matter so seriously that its police bar entry into the nation, denying access to the new country’s citizens – including its President.
By the way, anyone can apply for Liberlandian (is that the right word? No matter – it’s fun to say) citizenship online at the country’s very own website. Well, almost anyone, that is. Liberland is a libertarian-leaning constitutional republic, so communists and nazi-type personalities are most decidedly not welcome. At all. The same goes for convicted criminals and people who lack respect for personal property, since private property rights are a central tenet of libertarian thought.
Anyway, back to the conference. As part of the celebration of the nation’s founding, the first Liberland Annual Conference will be held from April 14 to April 17, 2016, at the Lug in Croatia - obviously because Croatia’s authorities won’t allow it to be held inside Liberland. Spoilsports.
After a welcoming party on Friday night, the serious conference activities kick off Saturday morning with a speech from President Jedlička. That will be followed by several days of presentations and discussions about the benefits of cryptocurrency technology, libertarian politics, entrepreneurship, and economics. The final day offers a boat trip into the micronation’s claimed territorial waters.