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Bitcoin news roundup 29th October 2016

This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments

New developments:

The DAO hacker cashed out nearly $100.000

The DAO hacker, who stole over 3.6 million ether, was caught last week converting roughly $100.000 worth of his stolen funds into bitcoin. The hacker reportedly used ShapeShift by splitting the funds into 2,333 ETC chunks so he could bypass restrictions. Then, he converted the currency into bitcoin, storing it at this address. According to Bok Consulting founder Bok Khoo, who has been tracking the funds for months, this is the first time the hacker tried to cash out. He still has over 3.5 million ether in his main address.

Zcash was officially launched, and traded for over $2 million on the first day

Zcash was proposed in May 2014, and since then has had a lot of backers patiently waiting for it to go live. Once it did, a trading frenzy was unleashed in which one Zec was actually sold for more than $2 million on popular altcoin exchange, Poloniex. While no one can explain the transaction did occur, the community did go crazy as the privacy prioritizing transaction tool was launched. Zcash’s biggest promise is anonymity, as it beats Monero at it- while a Monero transaction can, at a very high cost, still be cracked, advanced math prevents it from happening with Zcash.

Switzerland’s national railways firm SBB to sell bitcoin at its ticket machines

Starting on the 11th of November, customers will be able to buy bitcoins with Swiss francs at SBB’s ticket machines. This is a two-year experiment that aims to test Switzerland’s appetite for bitcoin, as according to the firm, there weren’t a lot of opportunities to purchase the currency in the country, until now. While the transaction will be made at SBBB’s ticket machines, the exchange is performed by a Zurich-based digital payments firm called SweePay. While bitcoin gives users relative anonymity, those who purchase it through these ticket machines won’t be covered, as they will need to identify themselves with a Swiss mobile phone.

SBI to launch a digital currency exchanged backed by the bank

SBI is one of Japan’s largest financial services group, and it has announced that is establishing a new company called SBI Virtual Currencies Co., Ltd. – a new digital currency exchange that has been funded with roughly 300 million yen. The type of currencies or services the bank-backed exchange will offer were not yet disclosed, nor was the launch date. We do know it is schedule for next month, and that positive regulatory conditions in Japan contributed to the launch of the new company.

AT&T seeking patent to integrate a blockchain in their services

Telecom giant AT&T is seeking a patent that will apparently integrate a blockchain in their services, as the patent covers a “decentralized and distributed secure home subscriber server device” that would boost security of multimedia delivery networks by distributing nodes, utilizing the bitcoin blockchain instead of an internal private network. The patent also covers how a high number of nodes in the network would allow to keep going while under attack:

“…in the event of a node (e.g. base station device) being down or overwhelmed by an overloading attack, the disclosed distributed secure home subscriber server system operation would be unaltered and only mobile devices under the coverage of a victim base station device would be affected(.…)”

World Affairs:

Australia to regulate bitcoin exchanges

In an attempt to update its anti-money laundering ways, Australia’s government wants to include digital currency exchanges in the law so that they can be regulated. According to a document published by the Australian Attorney-General’s Department, the government will begin drafting proposals next year. The government is asking the public to comment on the proposal, as it is still in its early stages covering very few details as to what will indeed happen in the future.

Chinese and Russian CSDs to collaborate on blockchain applications

Chinese and Russian Central Security Depositories signed a document that announced the two institutions will collaborate on blockchain applications. The two institutions are to “exchange experience and information” when it comes to blockchain and fintech, especially in the research of new opportunities in the post-trade sector, according to Russia’s National Settlement Depository (NSD) board chairman, Eddie Astanin. The NSD had already announced experiments earlier this year, that covered blockchain-based voting.

Financial:

Bitcoin at $717, as Chinese yuan keeps falling

The yuan keeps falling against the dollar, and that is making bitcoin more and more valuable. At the time of this writing, it was at $717, with no signs of slowing down. The cryptocurrency is essentially serving as a way to hedge against the depreciating currency. This is bitcoin’s biggest rally since June, where it reached $794 in less than a week on account of the EU referendum.

Zcash currently at $4,135

Zcash just launched and it is stealing the show. Even though bitcoin is rising, Zcash is well above it value as there are virtually no Zec’s currently in circulation due to its very, very recent launch. At the time of this writing, one Zec was worth $4.135.

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