Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) may revoke bitcoin ban. According to Gola Yashu of NewsBtc, the Russian authorities are reconsidering the ban of the digital currency on the grounds of having acquired an improved idea regarding the blockchain technology and the benefits of its use. CBR is scheduled to meet with leading financial market representatives in order to decide the future role of the bitcoin in the Russian economy.
US Treasury questions the use of bitcoin in terrorism funding, although the actual risk remains unclear. As Stan Higgins of Coin Desk writes, according to a study released by the National Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment, the digital currencies are included on a list of tools for funding terrorism based on their attractiveness to conduct illicitbusiness transactions. However, the study focuses more on the “potential emerging” risks, stating that bitcoin “may be vulnerable to abuse by terrorist financiers.”
More Australian banks are joining forces with Ripple.As Paul Smith of The Australian Financial Review reports, following the initiative of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the Westpac Banking Corporation and the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group have entered a partnership with Ripple Labs in order to test the cryptocurrency technology and how it can be beneficial to their financial systems. CBA is currently the leading Australian bank to use the Ripple technology for establishing a cryptocurrency exchange.
Symbiont develops trading platform for smart securities using blockchain technology. As Katherine Fletcher of Coin Report writes, Symbiont has raised 1.25 million in seed funding from leading institutional investors. The company aims to facilitate bitcoin trading both for institutional and retail investors by offering them “a single, international, decentralized, and distributed peer-to-peer financial network.”
The Swiss Federal Tax Administration has decided that the bitcoin should be VAT exempted. As Giulio Prisco of Bitcoin Magazine writes,according to the Swiss financial authorities the bitcoin transactions do not constitute delivery of goods or services, and therefore VAT exemption should apply. According to the President of Bitcoin Association Switzerland, Luzius Meisser,being VAT exempted “is the most reasonable way to classify bitcoins”
The bitcoin is accepted in convenience stores in Taiwan. According to Jon Southurst of Coin Desk, Maicoin, the Taiwanese bitcoin startup has launched a system, which is based on Maicoin’s mobile app or on its web-based wallet, to facilitate the use of the digital currency in more than 10,000 convenience stores. People can pay in bitcoin both at in-store terminals and over-the-counter. Alex Liu, Maicoin CEO believes that the application will be most beneficial to foreign workers as by using the over-the-counter service they won’t be forced to open a bank account.
Overstock launches the first cryptosecurity on blockchain. As Eliot Maras of CryptoCoins News reports, the leading online retailer has entered a partnership with Counterparty to capitalize on its blockchain technology towards the creation of a decentralized bond exchange within the Counterparty platform. The project is known as Medici and the bonds are expected to sell for a total of $25 million. Medici’s goal is to build a leading stock market by bringing to investors the first blockchain-based security.
ShapeShift makes its platform available to Apple’s iPhone for bitcoin trading. As William Suberg of Coin Telegraph writes, the Swiss bitcoin exchange is the first to offer an iOS app for trading major digital currencies, including the bitcoin. According to ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees “Most exchanges hold customer funds and extract personal information, which is an archaic and insecure model,”so this iOS app is expected to provide a higher level of security.
BetChain launches “Free Spins Friday” promotion.As Ofir Beigel of 99bitcoins reports, the global bitcoin casino with a long established reputation in terms of player experience and game offerings, is becoming the first bitcoin casino to automatically credit player with up to 50 free spins every Friday, giving them the opportunity to win bitcoins for free. This promotional offer is expected to place BetChain on top of the competition.