Weekend Roundup: Visa Warms to Bitcoin, Xapo Promises Reimbursement, and 3 Big Governments Speak About Regulation

By August 10, 2014Bitcoin Business
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1. ‘Visa Is Not a Currency. It’s a Network’

Sound familiar? On Monday, Diana Ngo reported on Visa’s stance that cryptocurrencies were not being seen by the company as competitors but something that Visa’s payments network could facilitate.

“Visa CEO Charles Scharf admitted to looking for a way to make payments frictionless as well as developing technologies that would enable easier and faster payments of its users. ‘Payment works best when it is a non-event, it works, it's fast and nothing goes wrong.’”

On Thursday, Bogdan Ulm reported that Xapo had issued a statement regarding their fees, which had become a source of controversy among would-be users.

“‘We do not, however, intend to charge monthly fees or fees for everyday spending,’ the company’s statement read. ‘If our users are charged a monthly service fee, Xapo will reimburse that amount in bitcoins. So, if you use the Xapo Debit Card and are charged a monthly service fee by our third party provider, we will directly reimburse your Xapo Wallet.’”

On Wednesday, we reported that Britain’s Chancellor of the Treasury, George Osborne, had initiated research to see whether Bitcoin could fit into the government’s strategy of making the UK a leader in FinTech.

“‘It’s only by harnessing innovations in finance, alongside our existing world class knowledge and skills in financial services that we’ll ensure Britain’s financial sector continues to meet the diverse needs of businesses and consumers, here and around the globe, and create the jobs and growth we all want to see in the future,’ Osborne said. ‘Key to the government’s long-term economic plan is cementing Britain’s position as the center of global finance.’”

Diana Ngo reported on Monday that the Bitcoin Foundation Canada estimates the government’s financial regulations aimed at cryptocurrencies will only go into effect in 2015.

“The Canadian financial regulator said that changes to the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorism Financing Act, a list of rules that facilitate combatting the laundering of proceeds of crime and combating the financing of terrorist activities, ‘will aim to cover entities such as virtual currency exchanges, not individuals or businesses that use virtual currencies for buying and selling goods and services.’”

On Wednesday, Diana Ngo reported that the French senate’s financial committee issued a report on Bitcoin that was rather positive.

“The document stated that the technology ‘can no longer be disregarded by public authorities,’ and, despite the risks, ‘Bitcoin offers multiple opportunities for the future, both as payment system and, above all, as a decentralized validation protocol,’ the report said.”


  • The team at Swarm had a pretty interesting blog post last Saturday called “The New Social Contract” that is worth reading.

Market activity 

Bitcoin’s exchange value with the dollar has jumped around erratically since it lost about 6.5% of its value during late July’s drop — but we’re still only talking about activity within a range between about US$580 and $US600.

Tuesday saw a price drop (from about US$594 to US$580) that spurred a midweek spike in the number of transactions per day and the transaction volume.

Last weekend’s price jump to above the US$600 mark also correlated to the highest two-day trading volume we’ve seen in more than a month, with daily transactions worth around US$7 million. By Monday, however, those numbers had fallen off a cliff.

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