Bitcoin News Round Up 25 April 2016

Recapping Bitcoin news that made the headlines this week.

REGULATION:

Japan’s OK’s set of Virtual Currency Bills

The Island of Japan has been aggressively pushing for adoption of virtual currencies into mainstream finance and payments. This week, the Cabinet approved a set of bills that expand banking groups’ carte blanche to IT- ventures, such as virtual currency business. Revisions in the banking bill now treat VC’s like bitcoin, similar to real money.

Japan Times wrote:

“The latest bills on virtual currencies recognize them as asset-like values that can be used in making payments and be transferred digitally.”

Just 2 months ago, Japan’s major corporations, Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., and Mizuho Bank Ltd, trialed a settlement system using the bitcoin blockchain. meanwhile, trading volumes on the country’s digital currency exchanges have been on the rise. Perhaps the government has realized bitcoin is a possible life raft. It has one of the highest government debts in the world, an ageing population and unstoppable deflation

PAYMENTS:

Steam says Bitcoin support coming soon

PC Gamer reported digital distribution platform Steam, that offers multiple gaming and social network services, announced it will begin accepting bitcoins for PC game purchases on its digital store front. A post appeared on a non-public official developer forum saying

“We are excited to announce that Steam is going to start accepting payments via bitcoin. We’re using an external payment provider to process bitcoin payments to help partners reach more customers on Steam.”

Typically, the company, one of the most popular PC video game marketplace.

emphasized it would not directly receive or hold any bitcoin. A payment processor, rumoured to be BitPay, will handle the back end, so developers need not worry about price fluctuations.

START UPS:

Decentralized Peer to Peer Exchange BitSquare comes to market

The nature of programmable decentralized digital currency makes decentralized applications such as exchanges and commerce possible. On 27th April, Bitsquare will launch to market after incubating in development the last 2 years. Bitsquare software connects via peer to peer network on Tor, a series of multisignature addresses with arbitration.

Manfred Karrer, an Austrian leading the open source project, said centralized exchanges impose AML/KYC compliance, which when combined with the public ledger leads to a loss in privacy. Bitcoin magazine  quoted Karrer,

“Bitcoin’s reliance on centralized exchanges is diametrically opposed to its principles. I hope Bitsquare will solve that problem.”

REGULATION:

European Members of Parliament vote for Bitcoin

Coindesk reported a round table series for policy makers and industry leaders was held in the European Parliament to discuss policy implications of virtual currencies and distributed ledgers. The Internal Market for Consumer Protection Committee, heard from members, before a vote was cast on measures calling for expansion of current task force to include VCs, or create a new one. The result is the first vote on virtual currencies report passed with near unanimity in European Parliament.

Antanas Guoga, a professional poker player and EU MP representing Lithuania, championed bitcoin saying

“I’m sure a lot of us politicians haven’t got any bitcoins at the moment and we’re trying to make laws for something we don’t understand. I would suggest everyone to get some bitcoins and really learn about the system. It’s a huge leap forward and a huge opportunity.”

MINING:

BTCC Mining pool upgrades  servers faster connections across 7 continents

Chinese Bitcoin exchange BTCC, that also runs a wallet service, payment processing and mining pool operations, announced an international services to add global customers to its pool. Chief Executive Bobby Lee commented on the new servers, that will allow faster connections from the United States, South America, Europe, China, and Africa.

Ibtimes reported Samson Mow, COO, saying “The relaunch of the BTCC Pool site with all of our content now available in English is an important step in the expansion of our global footprint,”

BITCOIN MARKETS:

Zerohedge: Is Bitcoin About To Soar?

Deeply conspiratorial and anti-establishment financial and economics website Zerohedge, confirmed an impending bullish breakout. Price has been trading in a triangle pattern, a bullish pennant on every traders chart. A break from it could see higher and higher moves for the rest of 2016.

An interesting quote was a precise summary of current market sentiment

“a large move in bitcoin is imminent. A “Bullish Pennant” is a buy indicator. It exists here since the price action in October 2015 was bullish.”

Bitcoin Investment Trust shares trade at 66% premium

Shares of Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust, a publicly tradable open ended trust, were trading at a 65% premium this week compared to its net asset value, 110,000 coins bitcoins held in trust by Xapo bitcoin vault services. Here is a great chart of a the arbitrage opportunit

The last time this happened was October 2015, the same time price exponentially shot up to $504. It’s been called a leading indicator and just like last time, the timing is ominous. Price is speculated to break to $650, in a pattern vastly similar to September – October 2015.

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