August 28, 2015- In This Issue:



Symbiont: Blockchain Technology and the Future of Wall Street
Blockchain technology has garnered a lot of attention in the financial world, as the decentralized public ledger could transform the way the industry keeps records or handles transactions. Several banks all over the world are trying to explore the applications of blockchain technology in their internal operations while some forward-looking companies such as Overstock have experimented with the bitcoin-related technology in securities clearing.

For blockchain-based private security company Symbiont, blockchain technology could spell the future of Wall Street through 'smart securities' or 'smart contracts'.

According to Symbiont CEO Mark Smith, the company plans to focus on private equity markets. He explained that many startups are avoiding public offerings and that a robust private securities market might shape the future of finance.

Bitcoin Interest Grows in India From Cross-Border Payments and Corporate Support
Tech giants including Microsoft and IBM have been supporting Bitcoin startups, conferences, accelerators and developers in India. The efforts of these companies are beginning to pay off, as India has seen a gradual increase in the number of developers and freelancers in the Bitcoin ecosystem.

"There is lot of interest from freelancers in India who suddenly are now getting bitcoins from U.S.-based companies, and then they scramble to understand what is bitcoin," Indian Bitcoin startup Blockonomics founder Shiva Sitamraju told Bitcoin Magazine.

The increase of Indian freelancers' and developers' involvement with Bitcoin startups and organizations has created an efficient environment for local people to buy and purchase bitcoins instantly.

Bitcoin comes to Cuba. Could it help end the country's crazy two-currency system?
The first reported bitcoin transactions between the US and Cuba mark the latest innovation brought to the island's complicated economy, as the two countries normalize relations.

Fernando Villar, the Cuban-American founder of a group called BitcoinCuba, told Crypto-Currency News that he made the transaction this week using public wi-fi networks that Cuba's socialist government has started installing in public parks.

"The future for Bitcoin in Cuba is promising, but it's going to take some time and effort," Villar told CCN. "Cubans are only now being connected through public Wi-Fi, which is somewhat cost prohibitive at $2 an hour, with the average Cuban salary about $20 a month. ... [but] it's only a matter of time before they also start receiving money through those networks."

Iran's first bitcoin exchange opens in effort to exploit 'huge untapped market'
The first ever bitcoin exchange in Iran has opened, opening up the cryptocurrency to a previously untapped market. BTXCapital will offer instant deposits and real-time buy and sell orders to users in the country through Draglet's exchange platform, though regulatory issues surrounding bitcoin in Iran remain unclear.

There are more than 46 million internet users in Iran, according to Internet World Stats, yet no convenient avenues for people to purchase bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. In rolling out the new service, Draglet and BTXCapital have both cited increasing demand in Iran for bitcoin as a remittance service.

"It's really hard to get hold of bitcoin in Iran," Ganesh Jung, CEO of Draglet, told IBTimes UK. "There were ways to buy bitcoin but the process was very difficult and the amounts it was possible to buy were small.

"The market is massive. A large population with a high proportion connected to the internet means there is a lot of completely untapped market potential. Our platform makes trading really easy. All you need to do is deposit some local currency and then you can trade."

BTXCapital is not the first cryptocurrency company to operate in Iran, where peer-to-peer sales are offered through LocalBitcoins. However, regulation surrounding bitcoin in the country remains a grey area. Naser Hakimi, IT Director of Iran's Central Bank, said in 2014 that bitcoin in Iran is illegal under Article 2 of Iran's 'Money and Banking Act'.

Article 2 states: "The official currency of the country comes solely in the form of paper money and metal coins. Only paper money and metal coins that have been produced after the enactment of these regulations are legal tender."