This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:
Two major banks leave R3 Blockchain Consortium
This week, Goldman Sachs and major Spanish banking giant Banco Santander left the R3 Blockchain Consortium, without offering any clear motives to do so. According to CoinDesk, this may mean these banks want to pursue blockchain project development on their own, bypassing a current $150m funding round the consortium is currently soliciting from its members. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, an R3 spokesman said: “Developing technology like this requires dedication and significant resources, and our diverse pool of members all have different capacities and capabilities which naturally change over time.”
Reportedly, JP Morgan is also out of the funding round, but intends to continue to be a part of the R3 Blockchain Consortium. The Wall Street journal recently pointed out Morgan Stanley and National Australia bank may be leaving as well.
Bitcoin wallet provider Blockchain has reached its 10 millionth wallet
A few weeks ago, Blockchain CEO made it public that after Donald Trump’s victory in the US elections the company was having its best month so far. Now, it has reached its 10 millionth wallet, and keeps on growing. According to him, the milestone isn’t a coincidence, but a sign that “people are embracing the need for a more globally accessible currency system”. The company has over 50% of the bitcoin wallet market, and on average processes around 150.000 transactions per day. The company has recently signed a partnership with Coinify, in order to allow its users to buy and sell bitcoins from within their wallets.
IRS could take months to be able to access Coinbase user records
Last week, we reported the IRS was seeking records on Conbase’s customers who transacted between 2013 and 2015, after the IRS declared that bitcoin and other digital currencies were going to be regulated in the future, while being considered property. Court documents now show that it could take months for the IRS to, perhaps, gain access to Coinbase user records, as they show no significant action is expected until February. The prominent company claimed it was going to fight for the privacy of its users: “Our customers’ privacy rights are important to us and our legal team is in the process of examining the government’s petition. In its current form, we will oppose the government’s petition in court. We will continue to keep our customers informed on developments in this matter.”
Uganda could start regulating bitcoin in the future – the first nation in Africa to do so
According to CoinDesk, a meeting in which bitcoin and digital currencies were discussed. took place in Uganda this past Summer. The event aimed to establish a basis in order to establish bitcoin regulation in Uganda, and managed to draw in support from the Bank of Uganda, United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI) and the University of Birmingham Law School. The next step towards bitcoin regulation in the country will be to agree upon the right approach, as the nation “moves towards embracing the technology so as to harness its benefits and to promote innovation”.
South Korea to introduce bitcoin regulations next year
According to Korea Joogang Daily, a digital currency task force has been launched in South Korea as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies keep on growing in popularity. In a recent meeting, the task force has decided digital currencies need to be regulated and, as such, the country’s financial regulator said it would introduce regulations by the first quarter of 2017. The move comes, partly, as an attempt to prevent illegal use of digital currency exchanges. The Financial Services Commission (FSC) was quoted saying: “Digital currency is often used for money laundering, drug trafficking and tax-related crimes since it is free from regulation”
Bitcoin at $731, gaining some stability after Brexit and Donald Trump’s election
This year, bitcoin gained a lot of value after events such as Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory in the US elections. People began to hedge against economic instability and saw bitcoin as an option, which made the price reach $750 not long ago. At the time of writing, one bitcoin was currently worth $731, which indicates the price may be stabilizing for a while – if no other major events take place, at least.
Zcash at $84 as its about to commemorate one month of existence
When Zcash was launched, it unleashed a trading frenzy that saw one Zec be worth as much as $2 million according to a few reports. Soon after, the price went down, and one Zec was worth over $4.000, as the currency continued to lose value. One month later, it is currently at $84, as mining makes supply keeps growing.