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September 22, 2015- In This Issue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Australian Bank Bitcoin Crackdown Could Fuel Startup Flight
A bitcoin business in Australia is eyeing banking opportunities abroad following a perceived crackdown from banks in the country.

The comments, made by Andrew Smith, the general manager of BuyaBitcoin follow on from reports that various Australian banks have decided to shut the accounts of some 17 bitcoin operating businesses.

Smith confirmed that BuyaBitcoin - founded in 2014 - had "experienced bank closures in Australia recently". He told CoinDesk:
"It's an Australia industry-wide issue. We are not in a position to comment on the specifics ... We are currently looking at opportunities outside of Australia (such as the UK) as the banking community is more open to innovation and exploring new technologies such as the bitcoin space."
According to the report by the Australian Financial Review, approximately 17 bitcoin companies in the country received letters from two of Australia's biggest banks - Westpac Banking Corporation and Commonwealth Bank of Australia - notifying them that their bank accounts would be closed without further explanation.

Bitcoin and Gold Exchange Vaultoro Reaches $1 Million in Gold Trading Volume
Real-time bitcoin-to-gold exchange and banking 2.0 Vaultoro has reached a significant $1 million milestone in gold trading volume, recording an average monthly trading growth rate of 91 percent.

The exchange has seen a rapid increase of its user-base, especially in developing countries such as India, which are severely underbanked or unbanked.

"The developing world skipped the landline and went direct to mobile phones. They are now doing the same with traditional branch banking because it's just too uneconomical to set up," said Vaultoro CEO and co­founder Joshua Scigala in a statement.

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Chile's First Bitcoin Exchange Sets Up Donation Program For Earthquake & Tsunami Relief
Chile's government has declared a state of emergency in a coastal town of Coquimbo where 15 foot waves came ashore in the wake of a massive earthquake that has left ten dead in the Latin American nation. Tsunami waves made landfall north and south of the quake's epicenter along Chile's long coastline, with tsunami warnings for the US west coast. 

The earthquake represents the largest quake in the world this year, its duration more than three minutes. Dozens of aftershocks followed. The initial quake could be felt in Brazil and Argentina.

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21 Inc. Unveils a New $400 Bitcoin Computer
Bitcoin startup 21 Inc. is releasing its first ever consumer product - a tiny, Linux-operated computer that is both a bitcoin miner and allows users to buy, sell and rent products for Bitcoin.

21 Inc. has developed a diminutive $400 computer that is equipped with a WiFi adapter, a 128 GB SD card that includes the factory-installed copy of the Bitcoin blockchain and a custom version of Linux, the 21 Bitcoin OS, preinstalled.

It also features a custom energy-efficient mining chip built-in to the device and a micropayments server. 21 Inc. has already developed a mining chip for smartphones, called the 21 BitShare.

In the FAQ section of 21's website, the startup is clear about their intentions with their invention.
"The 21 Bitcoin Computer is the first computer with native hardware and software support for the Bitcoin protocol."
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Russia's Qiwi Proposes Commodity-Backed Bitcoin Alternative
A Russian payments company seeking to launch its own digital currency has proposed backing its market value with real-world commodities.

Russian state-owned news service TASS quoted an interview conducted by RBC TV during which Qiwi CEO Sergei Solonin built on previous comments about how his company - one of the largest of its kind in Russia - might issue its own cryptocurrency next year.

According to Solonin, the cryptocurrency could be backed by "some [kind of] security in the form of energy" produced domestically in Russia. He added that such design might give the digital currency a competitive edge against bitcoin, which he argued "is not secured by anything".

Solonin went on to say that he hopes the Russian Central Bank will warm up to the idea and suggested cooperation on the initiative, telling RBC:
"We are ready, we encourage the Central Bank to cooperate. We would like some kind of open discussion in the working group. We are very keen that we have moved in this direction. We understand, of course, the concerns of the Central Bank."
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Bank of England Economist Proposes National Digital Currency
The Bank of England's top economist has suggested that a digital currency based on bitcoin could alleviate monetary policy problems.

Andrew Haldane, the UK central bank's chief economist and executive director for monetary analysis and statistics, spoke at the Portadown Chamber of Commerce in Northern Ireland on 18th September.

During his speech, Haldane offered several ways in which central bankers can conduct monetary policy during a period when interest rates are close to or below zero.

Haldane suggested that central bankers consider making measures like quantitative easing a permanent part of their policy toolkit. However, he warned that trust in central banking could be marred as a result.

One solution, he said, would be for the Bank of England to issue a state-backed digital currency based on bitcoin.

Supporting this initiative would be a negative interest rate levied on paper currency relative to the digital currency. Conversely, Haldane suggested that paper money be banned entirely.

On the subject of bitcoin, Haldane joined a growing chorus of central bank figures in pointing to the benefits of bitcoin and, more broadly, blockchain-based transaction systems. He said in the speech:
"What I think is now reasonably clear is that the distributed payment technology embodied in bitcoin has real potential. On the face of it, it solves a deep problem in monetary economics: how to establish trust - the essence of money - in a distributed network. Bitcoin's 'blockchain' technology appears to offer an imaginative solution to that distributed trust problem."
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