Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
Nine leading investment banks join forces on a blockchain startup. As Justin O’Connell of CryptoCoins Newswrites, Barclays, BBVA, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, State Street, Royal Bank of Scotland, and UBS, all partnered to integrate the blockchain technology into their services. The initiative aims to launch new industry standards for the use of blockchain in the banking sector by offering high-end financial services to their customers. Additionally, a number of other institutions have expressed an interest on joining the scheme or integrating blockchain in banking.
ARK Fund invests in BIT. As Giulio Prisco of Bitcoin Magazine reports. ARK Fund becomes the first ETF fund to invest in bitcoin by purchasing publicly traded shares of Silbert’s Bitcoin Investment Trust.The ARK Web x.0 ETF trades under the ticker ARKW on NYSE ARCA and includes cloud computing, social media, Internet of Things (IoT) and digital currencies-related securities. Cathie Wood, ARK’s CIO, believes that “the bitcoin is a disruptive innovation, and, while still in its infancy, interest has been growing rapidly in Silicon Valley, Wall Street and Washington, D.C.”
Atlanta’s Bitpay sues a Massachusetts insurance company for losing more than $1.8 million in bitcoins. According to David Allison of Atlanta Business Chronicle, BitPay got hacked during a fishing campaign last December, when the company’s CFO, Bryan Krohn received an email from a digital currency publication with a request to comment on a bitcoin-related document. The email was a scam, leading to a total transfer of 5,000 bitcoins in three separate transactions.
BitPagosacquires Unisend Argentina.As Deepak Tiwari of Forex Minutewrites, the Delaware-based bitcoin processor acquired the country’s largest order-book exchange aiming to enable small businesses to expand their customer base and lower their fees in order to offer their customers faster, seamless and safer transactions on a global scale. The amount of the acquisition remains undisclosed, however, it followed the sale of Unisend Mexico BitPagos’ $1.18m funding round settled last September.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) claims the bitcoin is a commodity. As Luke Kawa of Blomberg writes, the CFTC has officially recognized the digital currency as a commodity, like the crude oil or wheat, following the charges filed against a bitcoin exchange for facilitating option trading via its platform. CFTC’s decision affirms its authority to controlbitcoin futures and options trading, which will now be subject to the agency’s regulations.
AB 1326 Bill fails to pass in the Legislature. As Evan Faggart of Bitcoinist writes, the highly debated California AB 1326 Bill that required the California-based bitcoin startups to apply for a state license, was not approved by the Parliament before the September 11 deadline. In fact, the bill was viewed as similar to New York’s BitLicense, and, therefore, it has received a great amount of criticism by the bitcoin community, and several regulators in California, thus being, finally disapproved by the Legislature
The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) releases model regulatory framework for virtual currencies. As Stan Higgins of CoinDesk reports, following a draft version of virtual currency activities, the State Bank Supervisor released the final version that shall be used as a basis to oversee existing digital currency-related activities, but also to improve regulations at a later stage.
Russia seeks to create Bit-ruble. As Evander Smart of Coin Telegraph writes, Russia is working on a state-run virtual currency, the Bit-ruble, in cooperation with Qiwi, the e-wallet payment methods. The national digital currency will be controlled by the Russian Central Bank and is expected to be released in 2016. On the other hand, Pavel Medvedev, the Russian Ombudsman, states: “The only currency in Russia is the ruble. The rest of the money is illegal, and this kind of disgrace (would be) a criminal offense.”
PayPal is back on the U.S. online gambling scene, possible reclaiming stake from bitcoin. As Sarah Jenn of NewsBtc reports, the global online payment system has announced that it will facilitate deposits and withdrawals from online gambling sites, following a ban after the merger with eBay back in 2003. Now that PayPal has split partnership with the online retailer, this move is viewed as a potential seeks to retain revenues in the online gambling industry, while directly competing with the bitcoin.