Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
George Kerevan of the Scottish National Party is a strong advocate of the bitcoin. As Yessi Bello Perez of Coin Desk writes, the Scottish MP, speaking at the SNP conference in Aberdeen, has urged his party to consider a trial of the ScotPound, a national digital currency that would coexist with the pound sterling. According to Kerevan, should another independence debate come up, a digital currency would be a great alternative to boost the popularity of the SNP.
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is set to pilot a blockchain technology-based service in 2016. As Bryan Glick of Computer Weekly reports, RBS is among the first banks to capitalize on the distributed ledger technology and offers its customers a relevant product. Although details have not been provided yet due to the sensitivity of the project, RBS Head of Strategy and Commercial Services, John Lyons states that the project is “on the fringes of payments” and will be ready by early 2016.
UK considers a £10million spending for cryptocurrency research. As Nikhil Gupta of NewsBtc reports, Economic Secretary to the UK Treasury, Harriet Baldwin, has confirmed a £10million funding for distributed ledger technology research during her Alan Turing Institute for Data Science speech. According to Baldwin, the UK is working towards the creation of an appropriate regime that could support digital currency startups and businesses, while attracting foreign investors. To that end, the government is determined to regulate the digital currency exchanges, but also to bring together the Research Council, Alan Turing Institute and Digital Catapult with the industry, in order to highlight the opportunities and challenges for cryptocurrency technology research.
Bitcoin Group Limitedraises $3 million via an investment fund before its IPO launching. As Samburaj Das of CryptoCoins News writes, the largest operator for mining bitcoin in Australia has launched a pre-IPO by setting up the investment platform BnkToTheFuture to receive cash in return for shares in the company. According to Simon Dixon, chief executive at BnkToTheFuture, “Australia will become the first stock exchange to list this new form of mining stock.” The IPO is scheduled for November 11, 2015 and Bitcoin Group plans to raise a total of $3.63 million.
Clique Fund borrows $10 million in stock using the blockchain. As Cade Metz of The Wired reports, the New York-based hedge fund, Clique Fund,has borrowed $10 million in shares trading in the Dow Jones Industrial Average via the distributed ledger technology. The CEO of the leading online retailer Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne, has used TØ.com, Overstock’s subsidiary that allows issuing, buying, selling, and lending securities on the blockchain. The TØ system is expected to help the stock loan market, which is mainly controlled by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, by reducing the cost of stock borrowing.
Leading Mexican retailer Famsa accepts bitcoin. As Joseph Young of Bitcoin Magazine reports, the billion dollar Mexican retailer of consumer and electronic goods is joining forces with BitPay, to accept payments in bitcoin. Famsa over 420 stores across 78 Mexican cities and 37 cities in the United States, and reports nearly $1.1 billion in annual revenue. In addition, the company provides car financing through Banco Ahorro Famsa. Famsa’s interest in integrating the bitcoin suggests that the company identifies the ineffectiveness of credit card and banking payments for costs and security.
OpenCart online shops accept the bitcoin. As Erin Lace of Coin Telegraph writes, BitcoinPay, the European bitcoin PSP, has announced the launch of an OpenCart plugin that will enable the bitcoin integration with their e-commerce platforms. Online retailers will be also able to choose whether they want to receive payments in the digital currency or in any of the fiat currency already integrated in OpenCart, including Euro, USD, Czech Koruna and Polish Zloty.