January 15 ,2015- In This Issue:

 

Introducing the Bitcoin Lobby

Who do you call if you want to call Bitcoin?

 

For officials in Washington, the question might not be as vexing as its Europe-related counterpart, sure. But it is one that Jerry Brito, formerly of the free-markets-loving Mercatus Center at George Mason University, started to ponder last year.

 

With the infamous Satoshi Nakamoto unavailable, there were scant resources available for policymakers and regulators when they had questions about the mechanics of the block chain, or the theft of huge sums of the currency, or its wild swings in value. Moreover, Bitcoin had few advocates on the Hill as the wonks in Washington started to ponder whether and how to regulate the technology-slash-currency.

 

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Bitcoin storage firm secures 'Big Four' financial accreditation

(Reuters) - Elliptic, a firm that stores bitcoins for financial services clients, said it had received an accreditation from a "Big Four" accounting firm that signified it operates on the same standards as a custodian bank.

 

Elliptic said the accreditation from KPMG, which followed a review of its financial controls, regulatory compliance, internal access controls and other areas, was an industry first and a significant step for the company.

 

The UK-based company is known for its Elliptic Vault product, a so-called deep cold storage service which allows bitcoin holders to store holdings of the digital currency in secure locations offline to shield them from hackers.

 

"KPMG's accreditation is an important milestone," James Smith, Elliptic's chief executive officer, said in a statement on Monday.

 

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Forget Currency, Bitcoin Tech is the Revolution

 

Most people think of bitcoin, if they think about it at all, as a currency - a means of digital exchange, or perhaps a speculative investment.

 

But forget everything you know, because the technology underlying bitcoin has the potential to be a much greater disruptive force than the cryptocurrency itself. Investors and technologists think the technology could replace huge aspects of the financial and insurance industries, and eventually even corporate management teams. In fact, big names like Google and IBM are reportedly already looking to invest in applications.

 

"Bitcoin is a token, a currency, but that's not all it is. That's the first of many, many applications of this blockchain technology," said Jeff Garzik, one of five bitcoin core developers who have taken over maintenance of the technology from mysterious creator Satoshi Nakamoto. "[Currency] is not the killer app, it's just the first app."

 

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Cryptocurrency round-up: Bitcoin bounces back, okBitcard launches and Blockcypher funding

The price of bitcoin has rebounded above $200 following a prolonged crash earlier this week that saw the world's most valuable cryptocurrency drop to its lowest levels since October 2013.

 

A 15% price rise over the last 24 hours has taken bitcoin to its current level of around $212 and has spurred other cryptocurrencies to follow in its lead.

 

Litecoin, dogecoin, peercoin and darkcoin all saw prices increase by between 5% and 20% since yesterday (14 January) to bring to an end the market-wide downturn.

 

South Korean cryptocurrency firm Coinplug has announced it will be offering its bitcoin gift card to 24,000 convenience stores across the country.

 

The okBitcard is already available at 8,000 7-Eleven stores in South Korea and will be fully rolled out by the end of January.

 

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