Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
UBS envisions on making the virtual currency mainstream. According to Anna Irrera of The Wall Street Journal, the leading Swiss bank is working on a “prototype virtual currency” that it will hopefully be used asa “utility settlement coin”. Even if two financial institutions that use different platforms built on blockchain technology, their transactions will besettled with the same utility coin. For the moment, UBS isn’t considering to issue its own digital currency, following the steps of Citibank, but it rather aspires to join forces with regulators and major market participants in order to release an industry-wide product.
Barclays is not accepting bitcoins. As Justin O’Connell of CryptoCoins News writes, the leading UK bank has denied the reports of The Sunday Times, Ars Technica and The Daily Mail that it will allegedly accept payments in bitcoins starting with charities. According to the reports, Barclays would join forces with a bitcoin exchange to facilitate charities’ payments into its accounts. However, Barclays Vice President of Group Media Relations, Candice Macdonald, stated “No Bitcoin is travelling through Barclays systems.”
In the midst of Ross Ulbricht’s controversial imprisonment for Silk Road’s fraudulent activity, federal agent pleads guilty. As Armaan Chandnani of the Bitcoinist writes, Shaun Bridges plead guilty to money laundering, theft and obstruction of Justine. Bridges admitted that he has stolen more than $800,000 in bitcoin by using Curtin Green’s (the Silk Road admin) credentials to log on the Silk Road website and locking vendors out of their accounts, while directing their bitcoins into his bitcoin address.
Connecticut is using the blockchain technology for data storage. As Evander Smart of Coin Telegraph reports, the officials of Connecticut State have requested Tierion blockchain startup to carry out a survey on the state’s top 200 tech companies seeking perspective on workforce demand and retention related issues. The innovative use of the blockchain technology for survey information purposes suggests that the state of Connecticut is actively involved in the use of bitcoin, although not very clear regarding its legislation.
Amended California Bill calls for new reporting requirements. As Stan Higgins of Coin Desk writes, the latest version of AB-1326 bill that was approved on August 27 by the California Senate Appropriations Committee, includes a provisional regulatory with new reporting requirements for licensed businesses. The licensees should file an annual report on March 15ththe latest beyond existing annual and quarterly financial audits.The bill AB-1326 will be effective on 1st July 2016, provided it is approved and signed into law.
A qualified software engineer runs in the Canadian federal elections in the hope of setting the bitcoin on equal footing with the US dollar. As Gola Yashu of NewsBtc reports, Dr. Alex Millar runs as an independent candidate or Vancouver East, believing that the digital currency is a sustainable alternative to the current monetary system due its transparency and increased integrity compared to the fiat currency. In his pre-election announcement on Straight.com, Millar stated:“The way money is created affects jobs and the economy. It affects the affordability of housing, education, retirement, and childcare. But most of all, it affects equality.”
Coinbase expands to Singapore. As Joseph Young of Bitcoin Magazine writes, followings its expansion to Canada, the leading bitcoin exchange now expands its services in Singapore in an effort to raise consumer awareness about the digital currency globally. Consumers in Singapore can now use Coinbase services to make their bitcoin transactions. According to Sam Rosenblum, Coinbase international expansion officer, Coinbase mission is to create incentive for mainstream adoption of the digital currency.“By expanding our wallet and exchange services, we’re getting bitcoin into the hands of even more people globally”, Rosenblum states.