June 5, 2015- In This Issue:


Betting on Bitcoin

More banks are looking into the possibility to use bitcoin's underlying technology, the blockchain, to develop their own solutions without necessarily relying on bitcoin itself, we read on the American Banker website:


Ask a U.S. banker about the prospects for bitcoin, a digital currency with no trusted central authority or mechanism to reverse transactions, and you're likely to get a lukewarm answer.

But financial institutions are increasingly taking an interest in bitcoin's recordkeeping system, known as the blockchain, a so-called distributed ledger that can be used to track much more than stateless electronic tokens.


Bank of New York Mellon, for example, has created its own digital currency, BK Coins, and built an employee recognition application that rewards IT staff with the tokens, which can be redeemed for gift cards and vouchers.


CBW Bank, an innovative community bank in Weir, Kansas, is building a risk management system incorporating cryptocurrency technology. USAA has a team of researchers looking into the potential of the blockchain.


These institutions see possibilities for efficiency and security improvements in areas like payments and securities handling through the use of the blockchain.

How the Bitcoin Market Cap Explains a $1 Million Price Prediction

The Bitcoin market cap plays a key role in making sense of Bitcoin value predictions of $10,000, $100,000 and even $1 million.


First, I must point out that, technically speaking, the "Bitcoin market cap" is something of a misnomer. It's what people have come to call the total value of all the bitcoins mined so far multiplied by the current Bitcoin price.


The reason is that it mimics the market cap of a stock. But while the term is not quite accurate, the Bitcoin market cap is a convenient shorthand for describing what all the world's bitcoins are worth at a given point in time.


Philippine remittance industry embraces crypto-currency

Home to the world's third largest remittance market after India and China, the Philippines is witnessing robust growth in the tech industry as the number of remittance payment platforms for the unbanked proliferates.


Start-ups focusing on remittance payments carried out using Bitcoin -- the world's first global, digital, decentralized currency -- have flourished in recent months, and are now set to become a major ICT growth driver in the country. With overseas workers already facing a heavy cost burden due to high remittance and hiring fees, new payment platforms will also bring much-needed relief to millions of Filipinos working abroad, creating significant investment opportunities in the country's burgeoning start-up sector.




In May, Philippine Bitcoin umbrella company Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI) announced it had raised an additional $100,000 in seed funding, following impressive growth in its first year. Investor Joe Maristela told local media that the company's aim of widening financial inclusion in had caught his attention and noted the importance of developing new industries like the tech sector. "We must stop thinking about how we can grow our current industries and begin to think about which new ones we can create. Philippine tech is the path to this future, and investors must pave the way," he said in a release.

News of Bitcoin's Death Greatly Exaggerated

Bitcoin startup Xapo recently announced that three financial eminences had signed on as advisory board members: former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, former Citibank Chief Executive Officer John Reed and Visa founder Dee Hock. 


The news signaled that Wall Street is taking bitcoin seriously, which may surprise those who have followed the electronic currency's decline.


Starting late last year, bitcoin-related headlines were uniformly grim. My Bloomberg View colleague Mark Gilbert noted in December that the value of a bitcoin had fallen more than 56 percent since January, beating out the Russian ruble and the Ukrainian hryvnia for the title of worst performing currency of 2014. Quartz wrote that bitcoin's fall was steeper than the collapses of crude oil and the ruble. By the beginning of this year, publications had declared that people had lost faith in bitcoin. Columnists wrote that it was at death's door. 

Entrepreneurs Jump on the Bitcoin Bandwagon

The media is covering it. Universities are studying it. The government is seeking to regulate it. And entrepreneurs are embracing it. Business owners throughout the country have begun to accept bitcoin as the currency of the future.


Launched in 2009, bitcoin is a form of digital currency created and held electronically. It allows individuals to transmit money to one other online without using a bank or other intermediary. Since its inception, some of bitcoin's most avid and vocal supporters have been entrepreneurs.