This is Bitcoin Examiner’s latest weekly round up. Check out the most important news of last week!
Serbia and Portugal issue anti-Bitcoin warnings while price hits new low
Bitcoin’s popularity is clearly a phenomenon that does not please every nation across the world. Take the example of Serbia and Portugal, two countries that just announced their anti-Bitcoin stance.
For the National Bank of Serbia the main problem is related to one of cryptocurrency’s most famous features: the fact that Bitcoin is not backed by any central authority, meaning that the users aren’t protected from different types of risks. The bank insists on this warning even though the existing digital currency exchange platforms can be registered as economic entities that are compliant with each country’s available regulation.
Bitcoin Foundation to standardise Bitcoin symbol and code next year
The Bitcoin Foundation’s Financial Standards Working Group has shed new light on its priorities for the next six months, announcing it will attempt to standardise bitcoin’s code, currency symbol and subunits over that period.
The group’s formal plan of action follows its first emergence as an unnamed standards committee this June, when a post on the Bitcoin Foundation community forum called for volunteers for the initiative. The Bitcoin Foundation framed the group as one that will seek to smooth Bitcoin’s path to mainstream adoption by creating commonly accepted symbols for bitcoin as a currency and ensuring the digital currency’s compliance with international standards.
Blockchain scores heftiest venture funding round in Bitcoin history
Blockchain, the provider of the world’s most famous Bitcoin digital wallet, has just landed a huge venture funding round, the biggest in the history of cryptocurrency. The company raised a little over $30 million from Silicon Valley-based venture capital investors, a group led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Wicklow Capital.
“Over the course of the next 10 years, Bitcoin is going to have a big impact. Where is the central nexus of value creation in this whole industry? It has to be the wallet”, said Jeremy Liew, a partner at Lightspeed Venture who will now join Blockchain’s board, after the investment was announced.
Bitcoin Foundation calls for access to research behind BitLicense
The Bitcoin Foundation has again commented on the ‘BitLicense’ proposal put forth by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to regulate bitcoin businesses in the state.
In a statement released today, the foundation highlights the need for public access to the “extensive research and analysis” cited by the NYDFS when the BitLicense was first proposed. This data, it says, is essential to examine the rationale used by the NYDFS in substantiating its regulatory proposal.
Draper University offers free online course about Bitcoin
The already pro-Bitcoin Draper University of Heroes has just become even more crypto-friendly. The institution – a Silicon Valley-based school that offers special programs designed to educate potential entrepreneurs – will offer a free online Bitcoin course starting October 22nd.
The entrepreneurship institute, located in San Mateo and founded by the well-known venture capitalist Tim Draper, announced that the course will happen thanks to a partnership between the school and ZapChain. According to a press release, the basic course was designed to teach those with no technical knowledge of Bitcoin.
Ebola fight turns to Bitcoin to deliver results in Africa
A dearth of donations for fighting Ebola is leading those on the frontline to consider Bitcoin as a major tool for change – and are introducing the currency across affected African countries.
From Sierra Leone to Liberia and internationally, the community is turning to Bitcoin to resolve the difficulties hampering the current fiat-based effort to stop the spread of Ebola, which has so far claimed almost 4,000 victims, with the vast majority in West Africa. Live Ebola Map, which shows updated information about the spread and mortality rate of the disease, is now accepting Bitcoin alongside PayPal as its two major donation channels.
Sean’s Outpost charity finances hit by drop in Bitcoin price
Bitcoin charity Sean’s Outpost is appealing for funds after running into financial problems following the recent decrease in the price of Bitcoin.
In a Facebook post, the Florida-based charity, which relies on Bitcoin donations to provide meals and shelter to the homeless, said: “the recent price drop in BTC has played havoc with our finances and we are down to the bone right now.” The charity reached out to the community on Thursday, following several weeks of weak Bitcoin prices.
Serbian Bitcoin community accepts anti-BTC warning and asks for regulation
After the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) issued its first anti-Bitcoin statement last week, the country’s Bitcoin community didn’t take long to reply. And they don’t seem disappointed by the authority’s reaction to cryptocurrency.
According to the bank, the Serbian laws say Bitcoin is not legal tender. It also claims that banks and even licensed exchange dealers cannot trade, purchase or sell BTC, highlighting that the users are taking a huge risk when dealing with digital money.
Coinme brings Bitcoin to the University of Washington
In May of this year, start-up Coinme released their first Robocoin kiosk at the Spitfire sports bar in downtown Seattle. On October 1st of this year, they added to their fleet with a new machine located on the University of Washington campus. The release event at UW’s “Startup Hall” also coincided with a Bitcoin meet-up for interested people in the local community to come network and listen to speakers talk about their personal projects. There were about 40 people in attendance.
According to Coinme’s general manager Nick Hughes, their first machine is seeing use on a “daily” basis and has proven that, in Seattle, “there’s definitely interest here, there’s curiosity”. He added “It’s a niche product in a niche industry…it’s not like a normal ATM that has hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars of usage. We’re seeing usage and growth but nothing out of this world”.
Philippines study creation of its own cryptocurrency: meet the E-Peso
The news that recently came from the Philippines stirred not only the local Bitcoin community, but the cryptocurrency ecosystem across the entire globe. The country is thinking about creating its own digital coin, the E-Peso.
The mind behind this idea is the Philippine Congresswoman Kimi Cojuangco, who presented the “Electronic Peso or E-Peso Act of 2014?, a draft bill that proposes the creation of a national digital currency backed by Bitcoin’s system. The lawmaker and representative of the 5th District of Pangasinan is pushing the bill to be immediately enacted. According to Cojuangco, the Philippines is lacking an “official medium of exchange or money for the internet”.
Pakistan’s first Bitcoin exchange launches with community building ambitions
Pakistani Bitcoin exchange Urdubit launched today in an effort to facilitate greater adoption of the digital currency in the region. The launch aims to usher Pakistan into the wider Bitcoin community, as its operators are bullish on the digital currency’s potential as a solution to greater geopolitical issues in the area.
For now, Urdubit is focused on bringing liquidity to local Bitcoin trading markets and educating newcomers on its promise as a decentralized commodity. Its founding partners, Zain Tariq and Danyal Manzar, are the founder and chief operating officer, respectively, of Bitcoin community and advocacy group BitcoinPk.