Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
The Euro Banking Association (EBA) considers that the blockchain technology could make banking more efficient.As Evander Smart of CryptoCoins News reports, although the EBA considers that lot of steps should be taken until the bitcoin is regulated, still there is potential for leveraging the financial industry in the blockchain technology. According to the EBA report “existing financial services could be ‘powered by crypto-technologies’ offering financial institutions potentially lower costs, better products and faster time to market.”
Coinify, the Danish bitcoin exchange, seeks to expand its operations to serve all 28 EU member states. As Sarah Jenn of NewsBtc writes, Coinifyhas raised funds from SEED Capital, the largest venture capital firm in Denmark and has acquired Bitcoin Broker Bitcoin Nordic. Now, it is looking forward to improve the efficiency of cross-border bitcoin payments, offering 0% transaction fees under the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).
Cryex, the Swedish-based bitcoin exchange, secured $10m funding from major venture capital firms such as NorthZone and White Star Capital to expand existing operations. As Scott Fargo of Inside Bitcoins reports, Cryex aims to integrate the traditional financial markets with the blockchain ecosystem by capitalizing on its established knowledge. It is expected that Cryex’s efforts will make the bitcoin more mainstream to existing consumers.
NASDAQ is adopting the blockchain technology to improve the efficiency of the trading system. As Maria Santos of 99bitcoins writes, following an announcement on May 11, NASDAQ is planning to implement a pilot project with the use of blockchain technology. Although the bitcoin is very volatile, the NASDAQ representatives believe that the blockchain technology could not only ensure transparency in trading, but it could also “offer efficient, fully-electronic services that facilitate the issuance, transfer, and management of private company securities.”
Blocked Russian bitcoin websites are publicly accessible again. As Pete Rizzo of Coin Desk reports, after winning a court case in Nevyansk, the seven bitcoin websites, including Bitcoin.org, Coinspot.ru and Indacoin.com that had been blocked in January, are back online. Spokesmen of certain websites had already expressed their opposition stating that there are no laws prohibiting the release of information related to digital currency.
Bitcoin donations are offered to the Nepal Earthquake Relief. AsWilliam Suberg of Coin Telegraph writes, the Save The Children and See Change Foundation charities are accepting financial support in bitcoins, enabling victims of the recent Nepal earthquakes to recover. According to Director of Social Media and Digital Marketing at Save the Children, Ettore Rossetti, “bitcoin donations enable us to fundraiser faster than ever before and thus support victims quicker.”
The European Commission is seeking to tax reward-based crowdfunding. As Tom Jackson of Coin Telegraph writes, a proposal has been sent to the European Union’s Value Added Tax Committee, suggesting that value added tax (VAT) should be levied on crowdfunding rewards. The EU VAT Committee is about to determine whether crowdfunding applies to the definition of “financial service” as defined by the European Union VAT Directive. If not, intermediary services provided by crowdfunding platforms available will also become liable to VAT.
CoinGaming.io, the popular online bitcoin casino, enters a partnership with XIN Gaming. As Scott Fargo of Inside Bitcoins writes, the China-based game developer is a global B2B supplier of digitally distributed casino games and systems. Given the Coinaming.io hosts over 700 casino slots games, dice games, and live dealers for table games, the partnership is expected to raise awareness about the digital currency in the gaming platforms and heavily introducing the bitcoin to the rising iGaming industry.