This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:
Unioin launches mobile wallet app for iOS and Android
The famed Indian bitcoin exchange Unocoin has launched a mobile wallet app for iOS and Android. According to a statement from the co-founder published by CoinDesk, there are more than 300 million people accessing the internet through their mobile devices now, and the number is expect to grow by 56% next year. This is part of what justified the release. We also need to take into account India’s ban on high-value notes in the country. The company recently closed a $1.5 million funding round from both domestic and international investors.
Ernst & Young Switzerland will become the first advisory firm to accept bitcoin
Ernst & Young (EY) Switzerland said in a News Release it is going to “digitalize itself”, meaning it is going to become the first advisory firm to accept bitcoin for its services, starting in early 2017. The company also intends to give its employees a dedicated wallet option, and a brand new bitcoin ATM at its office in Zurich. The move makes Switzerland more and more appealing for bitcoin users, as earlier this year Swiss railway service SBB announced it would be selling bitcoin through its nationwide network of ticket kiosks in a two-year long test.
Eant & Young has been involved with blockchain and bitcoin in the past. Earlier this year, the company helped the Australian Government auction off $11.5 million in bitcoin that were confiscated as “proceeds of crimes”.
Silk Road’s Dread Pirate Roberts account was accessed after Ros Ulbricht was arrested.
Silk Road’s Dread Pirate Roberts account, owned by the admin of the infamous dark web marketplace, was accessed six weeks after Ross Ulbricht, the alleged owner of the website, was arrested and under federal custody. This information came from Ross’ defense team ,implying that either there were other people with access to the account, or that someone with access to the investigation did it. The information was acquired after forensic analysts took a look at backups of the Silk Road forums that were used as evidence by the government in trial.
This piece of evidence wasn’t brought up before, as according to the team, there were six terabytes of data to be analyzed. Lyn Ulbricht, Ross’s mother, took the chance to call into question the evidence used to lock up Ross.
MasterCard filed four blockchain patents
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published four applications filed by credit card giant MasterCard, all of which are related to blockchain technology. The patents describe how the company is pondering how a blockchain-based system could be integrated into its own systems, as they relate to fraud control, managing title transactions and validation. In one of the applications, the company explained that “the use of traditional payment networks and payment systems technologies in combination with blockchain currencies may provide consumers and merchants the benefits of the decentralized blockchain while still maintaining security of account information and provide a strong defense against fraud and theft.”.
New federal document confirms bitcoin is, by default, legal in Russia
A federal tax document confirms that, in Russia, bitcoin is legal by default as the cryptocurrency can be deemed foreign transactions per Russian laws. This means it cannot be blocked or banned. The document comes in a year where Russian authorities have allegedly attempted to ban the use of bitcoin in the country, and have even prosecuted those who use or mine digital currencies within the country.
The Bank of Finland has organized a blockchain event
In partnership with the Finland’s Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Finland organized a blockchain seminar that, according to representatives, supports ongoing research on blockchain technologies and FinTech. The goal, according to the central bank, was to find a common view of strategy for the technology in the Finnish economy. Attendees at the event included firms like Microsoft.
Major Chinese investment company announces the launch of a blockchain investment fund
A major Chinese investment company named Huiyin Group has announced the creation of Huiyin Blockchain Ventures (HBV). The fund is to focus only on the blockchain market, and it was launched with a $20 million in committed capital. The funds initial goal is to invest these funds within the next 12 months, while improving the blockchain ecosystem and the development of FinTech. According to sources, the fund has already invested in Unocoin, content monetization Yours, and Purse.io.
Bitcoin price at $765, closing in on its highest value of 2016
2016 has been a great year for the value of bitcoin, as 1 BTC is worth $765 at the time of press. As bitcoin keeps on moving towards mainstream adoption, turning more and more into digital gold, its value keeps on rising as time goes by. Major events such as those occurring in India or in Russia (see above) tremendously help the cryptocurrency.
Zcash price starts stabilizing after months devaluing
This past week, the price of Zcash seems to be stabilizing after months of devaluing. The cryptocurrency started off by being traded for millions of dollars, losing value ever since. Now, it seems to have stabilized at around $70-80, with small peaks here and there. The loss of value is, partly, because of the amount off zecs in circulation as the currency is being mined over time.