September 16, 2014 - In This Issue:

Bitcoin Continues to Grow as One of the Largest US Bitcoin Exchanges Expands to Europe

Bitcoin, the digital peer-to-peer "cryptocurrency" which was created in 2009 by an anonymous programmer calling himself Satoshi Nakamoto, is continuing to gain traction worldwide. Despite many analysts predicting that the online currency was merely a fad and would be short-lived, Bitcoin has defied all of these expectations and continues to rise in both value and popularity.


In the latest development, Coinbase, a large U.S.-based Bitcoin exchange, has recently expanded its services to Europe. While there are countless cryptocurrency exchanges throughout the world, including many already in Europe, the expansion of Coinbase is a significant step as Bitcoin increasingly appears more viable as a legitimate currency - albeit one not directly regulated or created by any government body.


Coinbase will be offering its trading platform and wallet service in 13 European countries including France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, and Greece, among others. The American company is working with several European banks which will allow their clients to use their accounts to buy and sell Bitcoin. Previously, users could only link Coinbase wallets with U.S. bank accounts.


The exchange working with banks to integrate Bitcoin with the European SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) network is perhaps an even more important development than its expansion to Europe. By linking the cryptocurrency with an official, regulated payment system under government oversight, Bitcoin will gain considerable legitimacy in the eyes of consumers who may now be more likely to try using the digital money. 



Bank of England Issues Digital Currency Report: Bitcoin Possible Future Threat?

     The Bank of England released a report today after what it termed a lengthy investigation about digital currencies like Bitcoin. The report described cryptocurrencies and even went as far as saying that the idea was essentially ingenious and then moved on to talk about these currencies in present tense, describing its current market penetration. The report was prepared by four of the bank's officers: Robleh Ali of the Bank's Financial Market Infrastructure Directorate, John Barrdear of the Bank's Monetary Assessment and Strategy Division and Roger Clews and James Southgate and was included in the Bank's Quarterly Bulletin.


If you are a crypto enthusiast and have read the report than you were no doubt amused after reading this report because the writers were seemingly so short sighted. The report begins by describing the traditional banking definition of money.


 The Bank found that about 20,000 UK citizens possessed Bitcoin and that, in general, they considered it a store of value rather than a medium of exchange. They said that because of this Bitcoin cannot be considered money under the Bank's definition. They also estimated that only about 300 transactions a day are made in Bitcoin in the United Kingdom. The report concluded that while Bitcoin was not a current threat to English banks, and very well never would be because "significant" barriers. One important note however is the discussion of the fixed number of coins that most cryptocurrencies feature and the reports assurance that this rule was not built into the code and could be manipulated.



US Regulator Approves First Bitcoin Derivative

TeraExchange became the first derivative exchange to introduce bitcoin swaps on its platform. The Summit, New Jersey-based exchange launched bitcoin swaps on Friday, after finally getting a green light from US federal regulators.


The exchange was working to develop the bitcoin swap facility for over a year, after it received approval from the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which regulates futures and options derivative markets.


While speaking to Coindesk, TeraExchange President Leonard Nuara said the new product will bring together investors with a profound interest in the bitcoin ecosystem. He added that the exchange will mitigate risks associated with volatility in bitcoin prices and also increase liquidity in the market.


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Tim Draper: Bitcoin's Price Still Headed to $10k

Despite continued interest from major payments companies and thought leaders, the price of bitcoin has declined in recent weeks, as optimism surrounding New York's proposed bitcoin regulation gave way to backlash and the market grappled with the widespread use of new and more complex financial tools.


Both factors were recently cited by bitcoin hedge fund Pantera Capital as reason's that bitcoin's price has declined since July. In that time, the price of 1 BTC has fallen from close to $650 amid heightened interest from investors at the time of the US government's auction of roughly 30,000 BTC to a value of $472 at the time of publication.


Still, it's arguable that no investor has been more exposed to this recent price decline than noted venture capitalist and Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) partner Tim Draper, who on 2nd July revealed he purchased all of the nearly 30,000 BTC seized from now-defunct online black market Silk Road and sold by the US government.


In a new interview with CoinDesk, Draper revealed he has been surprised by bitcoin's recent decline in value, though he remains optimistic in its long-term value as an asset.



SMP Partners make digital currency history

  SMP Partners has made history by becoming the first corporate service provider in the Isle of Man to accept Bitcoin payment from its clients.

The decision to allow invoices to be settled with Bitcoin is part of the firm's commitment to embrace digital currency. SMP Partners already has an established Digital Currency team, led by Andrew Corris, and is engaged with a number of exchanges, funds and other Bitcoin-related enterprises exploring opportunities to establish in the Isle of Man.

As one of the Island's largest corporate service providers, and leading provider of services to the e-commerce and e-gaming sectors, SMP Partners has been at the forefront of developing virtual currency opportunities for its clients. Representatives were present at this year's BitFin Conference in Dublin and Coin Summit in London. This week SMP Partners will attend the Crypto Valley Summit on the Isle of Man and two Directors of the Group's Accounting and Tax practice will host one of the Expert Tables to discuss the VAT and Tax implications of establishing an operation on the Island.

Allowing invoices to be settled using Bitcoin, with Island-based providing merchant services to SMP, is the latest commitment by the firm to the digital currency revolution. 

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