Case Wallet raised US$1.5 million in seed funds to explore use cases regarding identity verification; Polish payment processors and at least one bank have closed the accounts of several local bitcoin exchanges and more top stories for June 19.
Bitcoin Hardware Maker Case Wallet Attracts US$1.5 Million in Seed Funding
Case Wallet just started taking preorders for its credit-card-size device used to securely store and send bitcoin, but it sees much broader applications for its biometric and other security know-how. The startup has raised US$1.5 million in seed funds to explore use cases regarding identity verification in financial-information access.
According to Case founder and Chief Executive Melanie Shapiro:
“Ultimately, what we’ve built is a secure signing device.”
Polish Exchanges Lose Payment Processors in Bitcoin Crackdown
Polish payment processors CashBill and BlueMedia and at least one bank – PKO Bank Polski - have closed the accounts of local bitcoin exchanges BitBay, Cryptoins.com, bitmarket24pl and Bitmarket.pl. A spokesperson for CashBill said that the company had been informed by various Polish banks that continued work with bitcoin exchanges would result in termination of services from these banks.
Canadian Senate Rules in Favor of ‘An Almost Hands-Off Approach’ to Bitcoin
After many months of thoughtful deliberations, the Canadian Senate released their official report on Bitcoin and cryptographic currencies. Interestingly, the legislative body has decided to protect Bitcoin from massive government regulation.
The Canadian Senate report concluded with these words:
“We believe that the best strategy for dealing with cryptocurrencies is to monitor the situation as the technology evolves; that Canada Revenue Agency and Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) must prepare to navigate and use block chain technology; that this technology offers new ways to protect the personal information of Canadians; and, finally, that this technology requires a light regulatory touch – almost a hands off approach. In other words, not necessarily regulation, but regulation as necessary.”
New York City based bitcoin exchange Coinsetter and foreign exchange consulting firm Shift Forex announced the launch of Bitbroker, a new bitcoin liquidity and market data service for foreign exchange brokers. Bitbroker enables forex brokers to add bitcoin as a trading option within existing margin FX infrastructures.
Jaron Lukasiewicz, CEO of Coinsetter, said:
“We built Coinsetter to support institutional liquidity and low latency trade execution, which makes it an ideal fit for FX brokers globally […] We’ve worked closely with Shift to develop Bitbroker, a comprehensive and truly turnkey solution for the market that we are excited to launch today.”
Indonesian Central Bank Does not Consider Bitcoin a Currency of Legal Payment Tool
In a public statement, the Indonesian central bank Bank Indonesia encourages citizens to be careful in regard of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The central bank does not consider them real currencies nor legal payment instruments. Bank Indonesia further declared that all risks related to the ownership and use of Bitcoin should be borne by the owners.
The statement reads:
“Bank Indonesia states that Bitcoin and other virtual currency are not currency or legal payment instrument in Indonesia. The society is encouraged to be careful toward Bitcoin and other virtual currency. All risks related to the ownership/use of Bitcoin should be borne by the owner/user of the Bitcoin and other virtual currency.”
Estonia’s LHV Bank: ‘The Bitcoin Blockchain is the Most Tested and Secure for Our Applications’
CoinTelegraph spoke with Rain Lõhmus, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Estonia’s LHV Bank, about experimenting with the blockchain via colored coins, bitcoin-based certificates of deposit, and the country’s attitude toward technology and innovation. In an uncharacteristically open interview, Lõhmus explains the banks interest in blockchain technology.
“The Bitcoin blockchain is the oldest, most tested and secure [public-key cryptography], and hence suitable for our current applications.”
Ryan Zagone, head of research on the Business Development team at Ripple Labs, has been elected to the Federal Reserve’s Faster Payment Task Force Steering Committee to represent the technology and non-service banking provider sector. The committee will help execute and discuss a payment strategy laid out by the Fed earlier this year.
“It’s a privilege to be selected […] I look forward to leveraging Ripple’s global experience as the task force assess ways to increase speed, efficiency, access to, and competition in payments.”
JoyStream Introduces Torrenting Client that Incentivizes the Seeding of Files
JoyStream is a new BitTorrent client that incentivizes users to make file-sharing both faster and monetarily rewarding. Bitcoin micropayments, enabled by JoyStream's built-in smart contracts, allow seeders to be paid as they contribute their bandwidth to the sharing of a given file.
Founder and developer Dr. Bendeho Mender explained:
“The brilliant insight of the BitTorrent system was to mobilize the idle upstream bandwidth of peers which had a mutual interest in acquiring the same content through barter tit-for-tat exchange. However, the problem of how to incentivize bandwidth contribution from peers which had no need for downloading [...] was a serious problem for the quality of the experience.”
Mender is currently seeking alpha testers to try out the JoyStream client with the Bitcoin testnet.
A US judge has ruled that a Kentucky man must repay US$67,591 on a loan he had received in bitcoin via the peer-to-peer lending platform BTCJam. The loan, dating back to December 2013, was for 11.95 BTC, worth just over $10,000 at the time it was solicited. Interestingly, the judge opted to treat bitcoin as a kind of highly speculative foreign currency – not as a commodity.
BitInka Launches Universal Bitcoin Services Platform for South America
BitInka has launched a Bitcoin web-wallet, exchange and remittance service with local presence in Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil, while Argentina, Colombia, and Chile will be added soon.
In a press release, BitInka states:
“The main goal of BitInka is to implement bitcoin on a daily finances, penetrate mainstream adoption by providing both the daily user a solution were they don’t even have to know that bitch is involved and once getting a positive result having the user get informed about bitcoin. All this being done by using Bitcoin trading.”
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