AUG 12 DIGEST: Visa to Start Blockchain Research; LocalBitcoins & BitQuick Join NY Exodus

A recent Visa report indicates that the major international credit card firm is planning to research blockchain technology; LocalBitcoins and BitQuick are withdrawing their services from New York in response to the BitLicense, and more top stories for August 12.

Visa to Start Research on Blockchain Technology

Visa is planning to research blockchain technology, a recent report by the major international credit card firm has indicated. Visa executive vice president of technology Rajat Taneja said that the research will be conducted in the company’s innovation labs, which are dedicated on developing its Visa Checkout and mVisa products.

According to Taneja:

“India will soon have teams that will jointly work with our two research labs in US and Singapore in studying the many aspects of blockchain.”

LocalBitcoins and BitQuick Join New York Exodus

As part of an ongoing trend of Bitcoin companies withdrawing their services from the state of New York in response to the new BitLicense regulations, peer-to-peer bitcoin exchanges LocalBitcoins and BitQuick are now leaving the Empire State as well. Both Bitcoin services indicated that they will not apply for the BitLicense, which is commonly believed to be burdensome process.

In a statement, LocalBitcoins said:

“As the BitLicense is time consuming, expensive and difficult to obtain for anything but large companies we’ve taken the decision to protect our US based traders and not allow New York based users to use our service.”

Colu Launch Taps Bitcoin Blockchain to Digitize Assets, Starting with Music

Colu, a platform using Bitcoin blockchain technology, has announced that it has beta launched its platform for developers. Individual developers and companies are now welcome to build on the Colu platform. In addition, Colu has announced Revelator, a cloud-based provider of sales and marketing intelligence for independent music businesses, as its first partner.

Colu Launch Taps Bitcoin Blockchain to Digitize Assets, Starting with Music

WikiLeaks Raising €100,000 Award for Leaking TTIP, Accepts Bitcoin

WikiLeaks is raising a €100,000 reward for whoever leaks the TTIP, and the non-profit organization is accepting bitcoin. The TTIP is a multi-trillion dollar international treaty that is being negotiated between the United States and the European Union. It remains secret almost in its entirety, closely guarded by the negotiators, and only big corporations are given special access to its terms; a setup WikiLeaks is now trying to breach. Shuts Down Bitcoin Operations

The Bitcoin wallet provider is closing shop. The startup that set out to offer bitcoin services on dumb phones through SMS, and hoped to provide the over 2 billion worldwide unbanked access to the cryptographic currency, had to conclude that their mission was much more difficult than they imagined.

On its blog, the company writes:

“Despite the best of intentions, we were unable to deliver a quality product that showed product-market fit. We also found that SMS delivery between different carriers in countries outside the USA is unreliable. Lastly, our initial objective was not possible to achieve with the amount of capital raised. That is the most regrettable and we apologize.” Shuts Down Bitcoin Operations

Huobi CEO Pushes for Bitcoin Regulation in China

Leon Li, CEO of one of the biggest Chinese bitcoin exchanges Huobi, has published an article seeking for regulations of the digital currency sector. In the piece, Li introduces cryptocurrency technology, and illustrates how it is being adopted by some of the world’s biggest economies, like the US and the EU. This might be the first time a Chinese industry’s representative has stepped up to speak in favor of Bitcoin regulation in the country, regardless of China’s strict stand on the digital currency in past.

Bitcoin Exchange bitFlyer Raises $4m in New Funding

Japanese bitcoin exchange bitFlyer has raised JPY510 million (approximately US$4 million) through third-party allotment, which entails issuing new shares to a limited number of investors. The exchange said it would use the funds to heighten security for its customers and establish and maintain a solid management system.

In a statement, the exchange said:

“In addition, bitFlyer will take advantage of synergies available with each investment organization, and will continue to promote customer base expansion, strengthen revenues, and expand our global business development.”

EtherPriceFalls Back to Earth as Trading Floors Open

As Ethereum finally began trading on major exchanges over the August 8 weekend, the price fell dramatically in what has been called by traders as the “Ether dump.” The price of Ethereum’s native coin went from roughly US$2.50 to about US$0.75 per Ether. Despite the price roller coaster, however, Ether developers wasted no time submitting contracts to the blockchain and putting the network to the test.

Ether Price Falls Back to Earth as Trading Floors Open

GAW Miners Lawsuit Ends With US$340k Default Judgment

Mississippi Power Company (MPC) filed a suit against GAW Miners in April of this year, alleging breach of contract after GAW Miners failed to pay for months of electrical provision as well as infrastructure installation. MPC sought US$346,647.29 plus interest and court fees. In a court order, US District Judge Keith Starrett has now granted MPC’s request for default judgment.

Montreal Bitcoin Expo Postponed Indefinitely due to Low Sponsorship

Montreal’s first-ever bitcoin expo has been postponed indefinitely because the organizers were unable to find enough sponsors for the event. The event was scheduled to occur between August 21 and August 23 at the Centre Mont-Royal. The event has not yet been rescheduled, and it is unclear whether it will be in the future.

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