Bitcoin News Roundup: 17 April 2016

Bitcoin news round, week ending 17 April 2016. An interesting mix of news this week from Estonia, Africa, Japan and the US. Read on

BITCOIN EXCHANGES:

Zaif, Japanese Bitcoin Exchange trades $19 million in 24 hours

Japan’s bitcoin ecosystem has been on the spotlight, since legislators proposed regulating it like regular currency. Zaif, an exchange that accepts Yen transfers for buying and selling BTC online, set a new record, trading 45,000 BTC in a day as reported on bitcoinx.io. It adds up to about 20 billion Yen, and makes up 64% of the overall volumes made in JPY. 5 exchanges based out of Japan, including Kraken, the newest addition, are driving this demand collectively, despite a tainted image from Mt. Gox’s collapse in 2013. The Yen is currently the 3rd largest fiat currency traded against Bitcoin, behind the US Dollar and Chinese Yen.

Kraken Exchange secure series B funding from Japanese Forex Broker

Finextra reported Tokyo based Money Partners Group, a forex brokerage listed on Tokyo Stock exchange, has invested an undisclosed fee into San Francisco based bitcoin exchange Kraken. The deal, is also a strategic business alliance

“to offer bitcoin trading, bitcoin settlement service, and blockchain-based derivative trading to its clients.”

Kraken has expanded its client accounts 4X through acquisitions of Coinsetter and Carvitex, two of the earliest exchanges in North America. CEO Jesse Powell, commented on the announcement saying

“This investment from Money Partners Group is more validation that our long-game approach to the digital asset exchange business has been the right strategy.”

REGULATION:

Estonia now the worst country in EU for bitcoin, blockchain tokens and assets

Reddit reported a ruling from a court case in Estonia, involving a bitcoin trader and the Estonian Supreme Court. Otto de Voogd, a bitcoin brokerage operator, filed a lawsuit against authorities for restricting his business. The supreme court ruled against him, affirming regulation of alternative payment methods applies to bitcoin too.

De Voogd claims the court applied a higher threshold for bitcoin trading than regular economic activities, saying

“This means that whenever a business trades more than 1,000 euros worth of bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies, blockchain tokens or blockchain assets, they must meet their customer face to face.

Euro Parliament to Educate members on distributed ledgers and virtual currencies

Cryptocoin news reported a four day conference will be hosted by the European Parliament in the coming week, to get Members of Parliament upto speed on the latest rapid developments in the Fintech space. The non-commercial conference will bring together officials from the World Bank, IMF, the OECD, Bank for International Settlements, the United Nations and Europol.

The focus of the exhibition will drill in on blockchain and virtual currency. One of the hosts, Member of Parliament Syed Kamall said

Legislators internationally are now looking at this area and how to protect the consumer while stimulating innovation. For a strong and comprehensive policy and regulatory framework, collaboration based on in-depth understanding of the technology and open debate is vital.”

FED Governor talks up Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology

Coindesk reported Lael Brainard, US Fed Reserve board member, made public remarks on the potential of blockchain tech for the US financial markets. She urged caution and due diligence approach from regulators, at a roundtable organized by the Institute of International Finance.

In her comments she was careful not to mention Bitcoin, whose open source blockchain is a permissionless platform. Lael’s broad remarks however, are positive for Bitcoin overall

“Regulators should seek to analyze the implications of technology developments through constructive and timely engagement and prepare to make the necessary regulatory adjustments if their safety and integrity is proven and their potential benefits found to be in the public interest.”

HACK JOB:

Shapeshift Hack was an Inside Job

Shapeshift CEO Erik Voorhees admitted a breach discovered on April 7th, on its instant multi digital currency exchange was orchestrated by an ex – Team Member. Erik on Bitcoin.com said

“Since the investigation into the ShapeShift hack last week started, we had suspicion that someone previously on the team was involved, and that this person assisted an outside hacker. We are confident now that is is indeed the case.”

Besides customers with pending trends, who will get refunds, no other funds were lost. More specific details of the hack are unavailable, and the company is now quietly rebuilding its entire system.

AFRICA:

Transferwise, a money transfer service that matches customers with different currencies, no longer supports the Nigerian Naira transfers. Up until April 14th, the company supported only 2 African currencies – the South African Rand and Nigerian Naira. This cut off, now means only 1 African currency can be exchanged for money transfers such as payments and remittances into the country, according to Tech Cabal

Nigeria’s dwindling dollar reserves, have troubled the Naira losing value as oil prices fell to fresh lows. Capital controls by the Central Bank of Nigeria limit purchases abroad.

“Bitcoin becomes a promising alternative to the naira because it makes international purchases more convenient for consumers while also easing the strain on Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves. Crypto Coin News”

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