Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
Goldman Sachs files security settlement patent application for cryptocurrencies. As Jennifer Hughes of The Financial Times reports, the leading New York-based multinational investment bank has filed SETL Coin patent application with the U.S. Patent & Trade Mark office in a move that highlights the bank’s belief that the blockchain technology could revolutionize global payments. SETL Coin is one of Goldman Sachs’ latest efforts to determine how to adopt the blockchain, while eliminating the need for intermediaries, including exchanges and clearing houses. Paul Walker and Phil J. Venables are listed as the inventors of the SETL Coin.
PrivatBank accepts the bitcoin as a legal payment method. As Samburaj Das of CryptoCoins News writes, Ukraine’s largest bank in terms of assets in now accepting the digital currency as a legal form of payment allowing online retailers to receive payments in bitcoins and convert them into hryvnyas, Ukraine’s national currency. The bank’s decision was announced by Head of E-Commerce Christina Karmazin at the “Cross-border E-Commerce: The Import to Ukraine” conference that was held on December 4th in Kiev. Privat Bank focuses “not only within the Ukrainian market, but also the European market.”
The Estonian Government joins forces with Bitnation for e-Residency notarization services using the Blockchain. As Nina Lyon of Coin Telegraph reports, in an effort to support the e-Residency program, the government of Estonia has entered a partnership with Bitnation, one of the leading emerging initiatives to offer Estonian citizens a range of electronic option to bypass legacy governance issues. E-Residency offers a new public notary service using the blockchain and an Estonian government-issued digital identity to facilitate Estonian e-residents to notarize their documents. The e-Residency offers also the option of operating a business under the Estonian laws and regulations. According to BITNATION Founder, Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof the initiative aims to “expand the number of services for the e-Residents who are not physically based in Estonia.”
Bitcoin hackers attack three Greek banks. As Paul Taylor of Reuters writes, according to Greek police and the Greek Central Bank, a group of hackers called Armada Collective have blocked the Internet banking activity of three major Greek banks demanding ransom of 20,000 bitcoin for each bank, roughly $7.2 million. The hackers did not breach the banks’ security or gain access to confidential client data or accounts.
Russia keeps the fire burning regarding the bitcoin regulation. As Yessi Bello Perez of Coin Desk writes, following a series of announcements against the use of the digital currency as an alternative form of payment to the national currency, now the Russian Ministry of Finance claims that it seeks to ban the bitcoin itself and not the blockchain technology. Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev was working last month on a law that would punish with up to four-year imprisonment those who convert bitcoin into the ruble, now he states that “We feel that blockchain technology is very important in the development of various Internet-based services.”
GoPay integrates the bitcoin. As Jamie Redman of Bitcoinist writes, the Czech equivalent of the PayPal has announced that it will integrate the bitcoin into its systems. Currently, GoPay, in cooperation with the BitcoinPay, allows its customers to purchase, sell and transfer funds in a seamless way by offering business payments, online payments and mobile solutions in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. According to a statement made by GoPay on Twitter “The leading Czech payment gateway provider Gopay is now accepting Bitcoin in cooperation with Bitcoinpay. More than 2000 merchants can accept Bitcoin now.