Bitcoin News Round Up June 4 2016

The week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS:

Bitcoin Market cap hits 9 Billion

With the continued exponential increase in Bitcoin value, the market cap for the digital currency has surpassed nine billion USD, bringing the base price for a full bitcoin to around $578 USD. Along with this, the second-most valued cryptocurrency, Ethereum, has reached a 1.1 million USD market cap. Current trends show that the bitcoin price and market cap have no inclination of slowing down due to the halving event happening soon in July and the recent drop of the Chinese Yuan currency. This is the highest market cap so far after blowing past eight Billion USD last week. For readers unfamiliar with what a market cap is, it is the current amount of shares, or in this case, currency, available multiplied by the cost per currency. Currently there are about 15,622,750 bitcoins available. 15,622,750 x 578 is approximately 9.03 billion.

AMERICAN POLITICS:

Libertarian Nominee accepting bitcoins for donations

Gary Johnson, recently nominated by the American Libertarian Party, is now accepting bitcoin donations for his general election run for President of the United States. Even though the two-party dominant system is in full-swing, Libertarians such as Johnson, Austin Peterson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are still hopefuls in this election cycle. Third-party candidates are getting a lot of attention currently because of the record-high disdain for both the Democratic and Republican nominees. Johnson, along with his fellow third-party candidates, hopes to break the two-party machine that is predominant in American Politics. While Johnson encourages his supporters to donate, it is illegal for any candidate to accept any payments from non-U.S. residents. So far Johnson is the only presidential candidate accepting Bitcoin as a donation method.

WORLD AFFAIRS:

Colombian-Based Bitcoin Market Opens for Testing

Colbitex, a brand new bitcoin market created for Colombia, will soon go into an alpha test stage to allow their userbase to stress test and try out the features and uses for the market. Starting in July, the test is a precursor to the upcoming beta test. Currently the alpha build for the market includes features for users such as buying, selling, and managing assets as a vendor. While this stage currently does not support any real transactions, it gives customers and vendors a head start on familiarizing themselves with the program. Colbitex founder Roman Parra says he plans to implement an “alarm system” for the detection of illegal activities on his market.  Currently the program only includes support for Colombian pesos, but that may change sometime in the future if the market grows large enough to catch another country’s eye.

Australia will soon offer Bitcoin to Consumers

Currently, Australia is working on a project that will allow everyday citizens the opportunity to purchase Bitcoin in retail locations through Ladbrokes around the country. Ladbrokes is a sports company that deals with online betting with sports among other ventures. Partnering with the Blueshyft retail chain and the Australian Bitcoin exchange service, the three companies plan to spread awareness and trust among citizens with Bitcoin and its uses while promoting their product. At the Blueshyft retail locations, customers will be able to purchase set amounts of Bitcoins for standard currency. Like any standard bitcoin purchase, the retail chain will allow users to choose between full bitcoins or parts of them, allowing them an unrestricted purchase choice, with a minimum purchase of at least $50 to start. Rupert Hackett, the general manager of the Australian exchange, believes “there is a huge value to offer customers in term of investment.”

CROSS-CHAIN BLOCKCHAIN:

Microsoft starts development on Ethereum Bitcoin Platform

Microsoft is out to tackle the issue of different blockchains for the Bitcoin and Ethereum digital currency by starting research on a cross-chain open source platform. The platform’s goal is to integrate the two different blockchains with each other and hopefully provide every single person on Earth with a form of legal documentation. The platform would hold information such as citizenship, driver’s license registrations, and tax returns.  At the moment little is known about this new idea, but ConsenSys and Blockstock Labs have partnered with Microsoft in the complicated undertaking. An early stage of the platform is planned to release on Microsoft’s Ethereum-friendly Azure cloud computing platform. Sam Cassatt, chief strategy officer of ConsenSys, stated “While we have two fairly robust blockchain technologies, we think it’s important for the self-sovereign and humanitarian ends of our project that we partner in such a way that provides access to as many people as possible.” With the combination of multiple blockchains and a way to store and access an individual’s information, the platform in development is promising.

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