Bitcoin news roundup, 15th October 2016

This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments

New developments:

Bitcoin Services Inc. to develop online marketplace for bitcoin

According to Yahoo! Finance, Bitcoin Services Inc. is to develop an online marketplace in which bitcoin is going to be the currency used to make transactions, which will give it an advantage over other marketplaces as fees are going to be extremely low – if there are any. Furthermore, bitcoin offers an extra layer of security other currencies do not offer. In the marketplace, there should be goods such as cars, apparel, electronics and even real estate. Services such as plumbing and catering may also be included.

Bitcoin wallet provider Blockchain.info suffered a DNS attack

Earlier this week, bitcoin wallet provider Blockchian.info suffered a Domain Name System (DNS) attack that ended up sending users to the wrong servers, which could potentially expose their credentials. As the attack happened, users warned each other through social media but some damage may have resulted, and users were told to reset their passwords after the problem was fixed. Blockchain.info took itself down in order to reclaim its DNS records as soon as it noticed the attack was happening, which prevented further damage. On a Reddit post, it acknowledged the attack was going on

Ethereum to hard fork in order to get rid of network problems

Three months ago, Ethereum had to hard fork and, once again, the community and its creator, Vitalik Buterin, seem to believe that a hard fork is now the way to go as the network has been under semi-constant DDoS attacks that have slowed down transactions and caused nodes to crash, to the point that exchanges such as Kraken even stopped trading the currency temporarily. The hard fork, as of right now, looks like a fix to the problem as the attacker seems to be taking advantage of low “gas” prices and the hard fork would effectively solve the problem – at least, that is the plan.

Bitwalking and Nokia partner to mine digital currency for charity

Bitwalking, a UK startup that allows users to generate Walking Dollars (W$) by simply walking, has partnered with Nokia to raise funds for an educational project in Latin America. The charity will be held at an event called “Walk for Cause” which will run from October 17 to 20 in São Paulo, Brazil. Every Bitwalking user in Latin American countries will be able to participate and donate generated W$ so Nokia can convert them to USD and use the money to provide computers and Keepod devices to students in the region.

Bitwala launched bitcoin’s first-ever virtual assistant, LolaBot

On a blog post, Bitwala, a service that lets users send money and pay bills with bitcoin, has recently announced the launch of the world’s first-ever bitcoin virtual assistant named LolaBot, named after their beloved bulldog Lola. The virtual assistant was compared to Siri in the post, as it was claimed that “Siri is for Apple / Lola is for Bitcoin”. The assistant will help users get to know bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, as well as Bitwala itself. The more questions are asked, the more LolaBot will learn and the better it will be, according to CEO Jörg von Minckwitz.

World affairs:

Japan’s 8% bitcoin sales tax is to be dropped

Japan’s top finance regulator, the Financial Services Agency, and the Ministry of Finance, are reportedly considering letting go of an 8% sales tax applied to bitcoin and cryptocurrency purchases in general. Japan’s leading political party, the Liberal Democratic Party, had already tried to take down the tax, but to no avail. Now, a report from Nikkei, a regional news outlet, cites a bitcoin exchange operator that said administrative work will be reduced substantially. Right now, Japan is the only country among seven leading industry economies that tax cryptocurrencies.

Russian Government testing blockchain technology to store and exchange documents

The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) and Sberbank are working together in a pilot project called “Digital Ecosystem” that aims to exchange and store documents using blockchain technology. The goal of the project itself it to merely study possibilities, but the FAS has been quoted on some of the possible advantages, including cost reduction, as a decentralized approach will mean data processing centers aren’t required, and that protection can be lowered.

Financial:

Bitcoin price closing in on $640 as market confidence changes

According to analysts, market confidence has changed on the 11th, which result in a bitcoin being worth almost $640, being at $638,30 at the time of this writing. While the increase wasn’t otherworldly, it is noticeable as a short time has passed since the infamous Bitfinex hack occurred. According to exports, this may mean the price will increase in the future if market confidence keeps up.

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