Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
Microsoft partners with ConsensYs to launch blockchain-based enterprise solution. As Jemima Kelly of Reuters reports, the tech giant confirmed on Tuesday, November 10 the launch of a cloud-based blockchain platform to provide financial institutions with the tools to experiment with the decentralized ledger technology. The new platform will be available to banks and insurance companies that are already using Microsoft’s Azure platform. So far, four global financial institutions have signed up to the newly-launched service to lower costs and improve efficiency.
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) seeks to roll out a blockchain-related loyalty program. As Robert Barba of American Banker writes, following the recent trend of experimenting with blockchain technology, the leading Canadian bank is seeking to launch a loyalty program that would rely on blockchain for swift settlement and distributed system of recordkeeping by 2016. Dave McKay, chief executive of RCB, views the blockchain as a “quantum innovation”, however it is still “a brand-new technology” and integrating it into the RCB would be a hybrid step.
The Bank of Canada favors the bitcoin. As Jamie Redman of Bitcoinist reports, seeking to change the global dynamics of quantitative easing and manipulated interest rates, the Bank of Canada considers launching a bitcoin-related initiative. In February 2014, the Canadian Parliament has approved a national law towards cryptocurrencies as Canada’s financial tech industry is growing fast and the country is home to seven of Deloitte’s Canadian Technology Fast 50 FinTech companies. It is also home to CryptoCapital and Blockstream bitcoin startups. Carolyn Wilkins, the bank’s second in command, believes that “Canada will curb the global crisis in their region by being open to new technologies.”
Chinese bitcoin investors, victims of Ponzi schemes, OKCoin suspects. As Joseph Young of NewsBtc reports, the leading Chinese bitcoin exchange experienced a sharp decline in bitcoin price of 28.8% over the past week (from $500 to $356), which led to a sharp decline in trading volume. OKCoin’s Corporate Development Associate, Alfred Lin, stated that, possibly, the result of various Ponzi schemes that target Chinese investors and traders, thus boosting the bitcoin activity in the market. As soon as the “hype of the Ponzi scheme might have been dwindled down”, the bitcoin activity has slowed down.
The first bitcoin-friendly bank opens in 2016. According to PR Newswire, NextBank has received a $950,000 seed capital investment, most of which come from founder Dim Voloshinsky, owner of London-based Instaglobal Limited. Next Bank is expected to start operations in 2016 and has announced that it already accepts early registrations. Next bank aims to provide a wide range of services to the bitcoin users around the world in more than 50 languages, with accounts in over 135 currencies including the bitcoin, gold, the U.S. dollar and the British Pound. The bank will also offer debit cards and an escrow service.
London bitcoin companies view George Osborne as able to regulate the opening bank accounts drawback. As Erin Lace of Coin Telegraph writes, UK banks are refusing the opening of standard bank accounts to bitcoin-related businesses, even if the latter are licensed and have FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) support. Bitcoin supporters and market experts consider that George Osborne, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer should resolve this issue, especially after having expressed its support to bitcoin-related regulation on November 11 at the Bank of England’s Open Forum.
Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) denies bitcoin ban. As Stan Higgins of Coin Desk writes, following a report by the Central News Agency regarding potential restrictive policies related to the bitcoin, the FSC now keeps a neutral stance on the digital currency. Chief of Taiwan’s leading banking, insurance and securities regulator, Tseng Ming-Chung, stated that “the FSC would work with the country’s central bank and police to crack down any illegal act” igniting speculation that the regulators were seeking to take action against those using digital currency.