This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:
Ripple, the blockchain payments company, has raised $55 million
Back in the August we reported that huge tech giants such as Apple and Google valued Ripple’s technology over Visa, and now the company has managed to raise $55 million in its second major injection of cash coming in from existing investors such as Santander Innoventures and CME Group, as well as new investors such as consultancy Accenture, SCB Digital Ventures and Standard Chartered. Ripple is seen as an extremely exciting startup revolving around blockchain technology, as it is to allow banks to use such technology for international transfers, which will benefit the transactions in terms of speed and security.
iOS 10 brings in integrated social payments via Circle
The social payment system already exists in China, where companies such as Alipay (run by Alibaba) and Tencent allow users to pay for stuff with their phones. Now, iOS 10 has brought it to the west by integrating Circle into the the iMessage app, allowing users to send different kind of currencies such as euros, pounds, dollars and bitcoins to anyone within the app itself. Users will be able to create an account, link it do a debit card and send payments though SMS or MMS, as users will also have a widget to allow them to withdraw payments to a bank account. Even Android users will be able to receive the money, as they’ll receive a link, if they do not have Circle for Android.
The app continues to add new currencies, the newest one being the Chinese yuan. If the app does not support a specific type of currency, users will receive it in bitcoin that they’ll later on have to exchange.
Founder of Bitcoin Suisse AG claims European banks will offer bitcoin accounts soon
Niklas Nikolajsen, founder of Bitcoin Suisse AG – a recognized member of Swiss regulatory organizations with authorization to establish a network of bitcoin ATM’s in the country – now claims that European banks will soon start to offer bitcoin accounts. Niklas Nikolajsen claims this may happen even before the end of 2016, and that it won’t be exotic banks doing so. The step still seems unrealistic to some, as security and anonymity issues may arise.
BTCXchange, the first Romanian bitcoin exchange shuts down
Bad news for the community and for Romania, as BTCXchange, the first exchange to appear in the country is apparently shutting down as the owner, Horea Vuscan, has attempted to sell the business in light of the recent Bitfinex hack that made him worried about the security of bitcoin exchanges as a whole. Users were asked to withdraw their funds on the4th of September as the owners said they would accept purchase offers until the 16th of September. As of right, it is unclear whether or not the exchange, which owners claim is very profitable, was sold
Australia to lead international blockchain standards effort
The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) has been around since the 1940s and is composed of representatives from the standard-setting organizations of over 160 countries. Recently, the ISO has appointed an Australian group to spearhead technical committee developing standards for blockchain technology. In addition to Australia, other representatives will come from Canada, France, the UK and the US, as the move shows standardization of blockchain technology is developing in financial and technological sectors. In Australia itself, various sectors have been testing the technology in order to improve their systems, as not only banks are interested in what it has to offer.
Enercity, a German energy provider, started to accept bitcoin payments
Cryptocurrency enthusiast will now literally be able to pay their energy bills in Germany with bitcoin, as Enercity has started to accept bitcoin payments. Although the use of the cryptocurrency remains rather limited with brick-and-mortar businesses, a partnership between Enercity and PEY GmbH, a Hannover-based company, perhaps may be giving enthusiasts a glimpse of the future. The Hannover-based company will convert all received bitcoin into fiat currency, it’s still nice to see such options appear.
Bitcoin price still above $600
Although bitcoin managed to barely reach $630 this week, it was still above the $600 at the time of this writing. This week’s cryptocurrency developments seem to show us that the price of bitcoin may become more and more stable as time goes by, since apparently some huge companies are slowly, but steadily, starting to adopt it. We can only wait to see what will happen in the future.