Chamber of Digital Commerce
Invites You To A Complimentary Webinar
March Regulatory Affairs Update
Time: 10:00 AM/PT 1:00 PM/ET
TOPICS DISCUSSED INCLUDE:
- California Assembly’s AB-1326, requiring money transmission licenses for all persons/businesses engaging in virtual currency business activities
- New York’s Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) updated BitLicense proposal
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposed rule on prepaid cards
For more information click here
Boring Bitcoin Report
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Click on the headlines below for links to the full story.
Isle of Man Still Wants to Become Bitcoin Haven
Located between Northern Ireland and the west coast of England, The Isle of Man, could become the first place in the world to pass a “regulatory framework” for digital currencies. The small, self-governing island, which operates with its own government, has proposed a legal framework to allow businesses using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to operate more safely and securely. The island is poised to benefit from FinTech companies that are looking for proximity to London, but with a better regulatory landscape.
UK Politician Exceeds Bitcoin Fundraising Goal by 50 Percent
A UK politician who has embraced digital currency donations has exceeded her target fundraising goal by 50%. Green Party candidate Gulnar Hasnain, running for the constituency of Vauxhall in London, has raised roughly $2200 through “cryptocurrency crowdfunding.” The money will be used to produce leaflets explaining the Green Party’s stance on housing, tax evasion, and the environment. Hasnain joins Texas governor Greg Abbott and Swedish Parliament’s Mathias Sundin, as candidates who have embraced digital currencies for donations.
IBM May be in Talks with Central Banks for Bitcoin Technology
IBM is reportedly developing a Bitcoin-like technology that would be controlled by central banks. In a Reuters exclusive, an anonymous source said the company held “informal” talks with several central banks, including the Federal Reserve to develop a bitcoin-tied cash system. IBM has experimented with blockchain technologies before. They recently introduced several services for a partnership with Samsung including ADEPT, which uses peer-to-peer file sharing system BitTorrent, ethereum, which deals with smart contracts and TeleHash, peer-to-peer messaging.
Chinese Yuan Commands Majority of Bitcoin Trades
A new Goldman Sachs report reveals that 80% of bitcoin volume is exchanged in and out of the Chinese yuan. According to the report, day traders and younger Chinese citizens see more of an opportunity to profit off of bitcoin, as opposed to investing in property or the stock market. Digital currency lawyer Rowland Sun stipulates loopholes that allow companies to circumvent China’s ban on bitcoin trade is another reason the digital currency continues to flourish there. In addition, China sees a substantial amount of bitcoin mining, which is said to also be a contributing factor.
‘Secretive’ Bitcoin Startup Raises Record 116 Million
Bitcoin startup 21 Inc. has raised $116 million, a record amount for a digital currency startup. The San Francisco-based company is not yet, however, “publicizing the precise nature of its operations.” Co-founder Matthew Pauker is expected to reveal the company’s software and hardware products in the coming months. 21 Inc. has garnered investments from venture capitalists and tech luminaries like PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and tech giant Qualcomm.
More African Migrants Opt to use Bitcoin for Remittance
More migrant workers in Africa are turning to bitcoin as an option for sending money home. BitPesa’s CEO Elizabeth Rossiello told the BBC that “a shortage of payment options” is driving the uptick, in addition to the lower cost per transaction. BitPesa’s 3 percent fee is significantly lower than the 12.3 percent on average charged by other remittance services. Rossiello added BitPesa’s business has been growing about 60 percent “month-on-month.” Over 30 million Africans send nearly $40 billion USD home each year.
Ex-JP Morgan Exec Joins Bitcoin Startup
One of the pioneers of the credit-default swap and former JPMorgan Chase Executive, Blythe Masters, is joining Chicago-based Digital Asset Holdings, a financial software company. Masters was head of JPMorgan’s commodity unit but left last April because it wasn’t performing up to expectations. Digital Asset plans to utilize blockchain technology to improve the financial transaction process by providing their customers with financial software. “We’re not seeking to disintermediate and destroy the current financial system… We’re seeking to make it stronger, better and safer,” said Masters.
Partnership Announced to Deploy ‘BitSats’
Dunvegan Space Systems has announced a partnership with Deep Space Industries Inc. to build 24 BitSats, satellites that will broadcast and keep record of bitcoin transactions. Bitcoin core developer Jeff Garzik who heads the company, first introduced the idea for the technology last year. The project was initially slated to be paid for through crowdfunding, but instead is seeking customers to to pay $1 million per satellite including launch, or $19 million for 24 satellites, including launches. Garzik told the Wall Street Journal,“Basically we look at [the BitSat] as a platform that can do on-demand data broadcasts to any location on earth, as well as store data for customers.”
BitGo Announces Upgrade to Multi-Sig Wallet and Free Services
Bitcoin security provider BitGo has introduced product and service updates, including upgrades to its multi-signature bitcoin wallet. BitGo will now be free of charge to individuals and free to try for businesses. The company has also improved the “ease of use” of their bitcoin software. BitGo CEO Will O’Brien said in a press release, “We are incredibly excited to now offer the security controls and capabilities of BitGo free to all individual holders of bitcoin.”
BitPay Signs Referral Agreement with Payment Processor
BitPay, a bitcoin payment processor, has reached a referral agreement with a traditional payment processor, Heartland Payment Systems. This is now the second referral agreement with a traditional payment processor that BitPay has publically announced. The first was with Global Payments, which was reported last August. Heartland is the fifth largest payment processor in the US and boasts over 300,000 businesses and educational locations in their network. As part of the program, Heartland will identify the businesses and organizations that would see the most benefit from accepting bitcoin and refer them first.
In other news…
Teen Convicted After Spending 30,000 Mistakenly Deposited Into Account
A teenager in Madison County, Georgia was convicted after spending $30,000 mistakenly deposited into his account by a bank teller. Steven Fields will serve 10 years’ probation and was ordered to pay the money back. The money was originally deposited by another Steven Fields, who is 70-years-old after he sold property. The teen reportedly spent most of the money on a BMW. He has since been arrested for possession of illegal drugs.
Boring Bitcoin Calendar
Loyola Consumer Law Review
March 27, 2015, Chicago, IL
This symposium will examine emerging payment systems that are innovating on traditional payment rails, such as mobile payments and prepaid products, in addition to blockchain technology, the payment rail behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Industry professionals will navigate the current landscape of emerging payments by analyzing the technology and business models responsible for the market shift and the legal, regulatory, and compliance hurdles encountered by businesses and financial institutions.
Texas Bitcoin Conference
March 28-29, 2015, Austin, TX
The Texas Bitcoin Conference is a bitcoin technology summit with speakers, presentations and a hackathon. Key speakers include Steve Stockman, Congressional representative and bitcoin advocate, IBM Business Analytics and Strategy Architect Sumabala Nair and Founder and Partner of the Gilder Technology Fund, George Gilder.
Inside Bitcoins – New York
April 27-29, 2015, New York, NY
Inside Bitcoins will be returning to New York on April 27-29 at the Javits Convention Center. The program will cover topics including bitcoin 2.0, blockchain-based startups, institutional investing, multi-sig wallets, risk mitigation, compliance, banking and fundraising, and more. Keynotes have been confirmed from Dan Morehead, CEO, Pantera Capital and Chairman, Bitstamp; Brian Kelly, Contributor, CNBC’s Fast Money and Founder & Managing Member of Brian Kelly Capital LLC; and Perianne Boring, Founder and President, Chamber of Digital Commerce. Get 10% OFF with the discount code CHAMBER. Register at insidebitcoins.com/new-york.
Virtual Currency Today Summit
April 29, 2015, Boston, MA
“Bitcoin and Beyond: The Next Disruptor in Payments.” The Virtual Currency Today Summit will be held at the Hilton Boston Back Bay and will look at the many factors that will shape the adoption and growth of Bitcoin and other similar currencies. Expert panelists will offer insights on how market stakeholders can push through barriers to embrace digital currency as the next generation of payments and transaction solutions, which will ultimately change the end-user customer experience.
Tweet of the Week
UK’s #Bitcoin Politician Exceeds Fundraising Target by 50% http://t.co/Y15PalLG9E pic.twitter.com/qNbd6rSn4K
— Coinfeed (@CoinfeedIO) March 12, 2015
Pic of the Week
Quote of the Week
Bitcoin startup 21 Inc. Co-founder Matthew Pauker, to the Wall Street Journal:
“Bitcoin is going to change the way that people and businesses and even machines interact with each other. But for bitcoin to realize that vision we need mass adoption. It can’t just be for Silicon Valley.”
Communications Director Wanted
The Chamber of Digital Commerce is currently interviewing for a full-time communications director. This role would require working closely with the Chamber President and the government affairs staff to develop and implement a communications strategy for the Chamber. Assumed responsibilities would include publishing regular newsletters, creating presentations for webinars and other speaking engagements, managing the social media accounts and blog, and overseeing all marketing/PR initiatives. This role would be highly entrepreneurial in nature. The Chamber is looking for someone that can embrace a startup mentality, work independently, and add value to the organization.
If you are interested in applying please email Perianne Boring at .