Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alerts consumers about the bitcoin use. As Nuno Menezes of NewsBtc writes, in a blog post released by the FTC on the FTC Consumer Information blog, consumers are warned about the risk of using the bitcoin as a legal payment method as well as other digital currencies. Lack of regulation, extreme fluctuation and increased exposure to hacking are some of the alerts explained in the FTC blog. The aim of FTC is to alert those who accept or facilitate the acceptance of bitcoin in consumer transactions.
NASDAQjoins forces with API startup Chain to secure transfer of digital assets in its newly launched marketplace, Nasdaq Private Market.According to Joseph Young of Bitcoin Magazine, the California-based bitcoin startupwill assist NASDAQ to use its blockchain-based pilot program. Unlike other unregulated bitcoin platforms, NASDAQ will implement the Open Assets protocol towards the development and setup of a customized blockchain infrastructure.
Blockstack, a San Francisco startup led by ex-Google Inc. and NASDAQOMX Group Inc. employees, enters the blockchain space. As John Detrixhe of Bloomberg reports, Blockstack implements the blockchain technology into clearing,settlement and other mainstream finance operations. According to Peter Shiau, Blockstack co-founder and COO, “we’re building a technology that can help improve the back-office infrastructure that financial institutions are using. We are not trying to destroy banking or financial services as they are today.”
Digital Assets Holdings has acquired Hyperledger and Bits of Proof startups. As Stan Higgins of Coin Desk writes, the two bitcoin startups have merged with Blythe Masters’s company “to help clients harness the power of distributed ledgers to serve their own customers.” The former JPMorgan executive expects that the new venture will raise interest in blockchain technology, which is increasingly used by financial institutions to streamline financial processes.
Following the recent bitcoin ban, Ukraine is working towards the regulation of the bitcoin. As Maria Santos of 99bitcoinsreports,the Ukrainian government supports the issuance of BitLicense draft based on New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). Mikhail Chobanyan, representative of the Bitcoin Foundation Ukraine presented a document, which suggests a self-regulated organization in the Ukraine to investigate the use of the bitcoin. The regulation policies will be crafted by the Ukrainian Bitcoin community and all the necessary licenses for the operation of bitcoin businesses will be issued by the self-regulating organization.
Major European banks are implementing a new EU directive towards the bitcoin regulation to protect EU citizens from potential fraudulent activities. According to Charlie Richards of Coin Telegraph, European banks have to investigate individual accounts with bitcoin transactions of over €1,000. The newly-launched EU directive aims at “the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing.”The threshold of €1,000 is applied on a national level.
Quoine, one of the leading bitcoin platforms globally teams up with Econtext payments network to deliver the bitcoin payment option to more than 20,000 retailers in Japan.As Duncan Riley of Silicon Angle reports, the deal will enable both online and brick-and-mortar retailers in Japan to start accepting the digital currency as a payment method. Retailers who already have an account with Econtext are not required to register under a new bitcoin payment processor. The partnership is pretty significant for the Singapore-based exchange as it launches retail services for the first time.
Facebook integrates its payment platform for desktop usage. As Justin O’Connell of CryptoCoins News writes, in March, Facebook introduced its payment platform on its Facebook Messenger application, but now the payment platform has expanded to desktop. Users can receive and send money to their Facebook contacts provided they have access to a US Visa or MasterCard. It is expected that the Facebook payment platform will soon start to accept the bitcoin as a payment option or even introduce its own digital currency to raise the competition in the cryptocurrency space.