Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
Europol releases report on the bitcoin, stating it could become the go-currency for digital criminals in the EU. According to The Paypers, Europol’s Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment for 2015 focuses on criminal financing and how the cryptocurrency technology is used for criminal activity. Given that the bitcoin accounts for 40% of criminal-to-criminal payments, whereas the PayPal accounts for 25% of those payments reported, Europol highlights the need for emerging technologies to monitor the alternate payment community for further intelligence into payment mechanisms.
Australian financial sector targeted by bitcoin criminals. As Jamie Redman of Bitcoinist writes, following last week’s decision to close corporate bitcoin accounts without prior notice, the Australian banks now explain that they are under cyber-attack. To anticipate these sophisticated network attacks on banks, brokers, and Australian clearing-houses, the Australian government has initiated the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), a cyber security that will focus on lowering the hacking attack rate.
R3 blockchain project grows globally, totaling 22 banks. As Jessie Willms of Bitcoin Magazine writes, the New York-based financial innovation firm, with premises also in San Francisco, is seeking to develop a series of blockchain apps that could be implements in the financial services industry with the aim to “define, design and deliver the next generation of financial technology.” 13 new banks, including Bank of America, Citi, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, and Morgan Stanley, among others, have joined the global project to capitalize on the “shared” ledger initiative.
Venezuela blocks bitcoin-relates websites. According to Bitcoinist, following several complaints from bitcoin users in Venezuela, the state-owned and largest ISP, CANTV, has proceeded in blocking a few bitcoin-related websites, domains and mining pools, including coindesk.com, coinbase.com, blockchain.info and others, totaling 9 so far. This is not the first time that CANTV exercises censorship control in Venezuela, but this time it looks like the government of Venezuela is testing the blocking functionality, in case it is required during a crisis.
Chinese auto giant invests $50 million in blockchain technology. As Sarah Jenn of NewsBtc writes, Wanxiang Group, China’s leading automobile conglomerate, purchased 416,000 ETH tokens on the Ethereum blockchain decentralized platform. To further support the blockchain technology initiative, the company is sponsoring the 2015 Global Blockchain Summit, a conference that will be held in Shanghai in November. Issues to be discussed include the use of blockchain technology in payments, securities trading, digital asset management and global supply chains.
Following the Bank of Mexico’s warning about the use of cryptocurrencies, Mexico’s Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) deems the bitcoin as a means of payment. As Alexey Tereshchenko of Coin Fox writes, the SHCP places the digital currency on the same footing with cash, and therefore, the bitcoin is subject to the same restrictions placed on cash or precious metals transactions. The measure aims at the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing.
Mexico’s leading online retailer facilitates bitcoin payments for 7,000 merchants. As Joseph Young of Coin Telegraph writes, Mercado Libre Mexico, Mexico’s leading e-commerce platform and eBay subsidiary, is now accepting bitcoin payments.Following an increasing demand by morethan 100 million users and 7 million sellers, Mercado Libreenables various methods of payment. The integration of bitcoin facilitates instant payments in a seamless way.
Coinbase enables instant bitcoin purchasing in 26 European countries. As Grace Caffyn of Coin Desk writes, following technology trials in Spain and the UK, Coinbase supports 3D Secure Credit and Debit cards. This means that users won’t have to top up their accounts anymore. According to Coinbase “Since credit and debit cards will not require a customer to pre-fund their Coinbase account with a bank transfer, customers can now receive bitcoin much faster.”