November 5, 2014 - In This Issue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PayPal Exec Leaves to Take Compliance Lead at Bitstamp

PayPal chief compliance officer (CCO) Jean-Baptiste Graftieaux has revealed that he has left his current position at the global payments giant to join one of the largest bitcoin exchanges by USD trading volume, Bitstamp.

 

Graftieaux served as a director and CCO of PayPal's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) division for more than five years, starting in January 2009. Prior to joining PayPal, Graftieaux was also a CCO at online ticket marketplace StubHub. Today was Graftieaux's final day at PayPal.

 

Speaking to CoinDesk, Graftieaux framed his latest endeavor as one that allows him to pursue his fascination with the bitcoin ecosystem as a full-time career.

Graftieaux said:

"I have been attracted by the culture of Bitstamp and also by its people. The Bitstamp employees that I have met are committed, optimistic and passionate and we share the same passion for the bitcoin ecosystem."

 

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Sir Richard Branson - Bitcoin Brings Power to the People

Sir Richard Branson has been in the news quite a bit lately, for all of the wrong reasons. His Virgin Galactic company suffered a major setback in their quest to send common (rich) folks into space, when their Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo spacecraft crashed during testing in the Mojave Desert, killing one of the pilots. Never one to let free publicity go to waste, he seems to be quickly turning the page towards his viewpoints on Bitcoin.

 

Sir Richard Branson is now making news for other reasons as he spoke extensively about Bitcoin recently in Australia. Branson is a known Bitcoin investor as a venture capitalist, and has spoken on behalf of Bitcoin before publicly.  This time his commentary was via an op-ed piece for Bitcoin lobby group Australian Digital Currency Commerce Association, which is leading up to the G20 Summit next month.


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Circle launches mobile apps and looks to take Bitcoin global

Today, Circle, the Boston-based Bitcoin financial services company that recently opened up its platform to the general public, announced the launch of mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices.

 

The move could be a game changer for the company and its mission to promote wider usage of the crypto-currency, as users will now be able to pay with Bitcoin directly from their mobile phones, more easily transfer and convert dollars and Bitcoin, and send and request the currency with others.

 

In the blog announcing the mobile app launch in the U.S., Circle founder and chief executive Jeremy Allaire alluded to the importance of mobile deployment in building a more global presence for Circle and Bitcoin,

 

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Bitcoin is Inevitable, say Israeli Politicians and Central Bankers

Writing about the recent Inside Bitcoins conference in Tel Aviv, Coinapult Director Gabriel Sukenik reports that the Israeli tech community has very clearly identified blockchain technology as a crucial tool for future development. Bitcoin was seen as a clear and obvious inevitability, by all parties including politicians and central bankers.

 

"There were speakers from Israeli Parliament as well as the Central Bank of Israel. I remember my jaw hitting the floor when I heard a Central Banker make reference to when Bitcoin becomes systematically valuable, just like the dollar or euro. Not if, but when."

 

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Bitcoin-Friendly Accelerator Boost VC Raises $6.6 Million in Funding

Boost VC announced today that it has closed a $6.6m funding round to accelerate 200 companies over three years, half of which will be focused on bitcoin.

 

Marc Andreessen, Ben Davenport, former American Online CEO Barry Schuler, Rothenberg Ventures, Maven II, Kilowatt Capital are among those that invested in the fund.

 

Boost founder and chief Adam Draper told CoinDesk that the fund's investors are evidence of a trend of quality investors becoming drawn to the bitcoin space.

 

"Our goal is always to provide the companies with the best network to make their company the best it can be," he said. "Our investors are keeping with that vision, and can provide experience and guidance and brand recognition for the startups."

 

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Bitcoin on the CFTC's radar as Commissioner Mark Wetjen considers its benefits

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is the latest in a series of respected government bodies and regulators to voice proponency of Bitcoin, with Commissioner Mark Wetjen having spoken specifically of the benefits to the derivatives market that virtual currencies may bring.

 

On October 9, Commissioner Wetjen publicly stated at the Global Markets Advisory Committee Open Meeting that "Today we are discussing crypto-currency developments and how they relate to the commission and the markets we oversee. This is an important and timely discussion for two reasons."

 

"First, there are a number of merchant businesses who now accept Bitcoin as payment for goods they sell. For many merchants, fluctuations in the value of Bitcoin have created a demand for a derivatives market that would allow for hedging against those fluctuations. Consequently, the commission already has been presented with one swap contract on Bitcoin by a registered SEF that has been listed for trading, and there are at least several other platforms already registered or soon-to-be registered that intend to list other Bitcoin-denominated contracts" stated Commissioner Wetjen.

 

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Regulator: Brace for the bitcoin future

One of the nation's top financial regulators called on Tuesday for a "flexible and rational" set of rules for virtual currencies such as bitcoin.

 

Mark Wetjen, one of the five commissioners on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), wrote in an op-ed that regulators need to steer clear of a strategy that could harm future growth of the money.


"Regulators should work quickly to understand how these technologies work and how they affect specific regulatory jurisdictions, with the ultimate goal of creating a regulatory framework should the public begin adopting or using these technologies in greater numbers," he wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

 

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Why Mobile Payments Are a Millennial Must And how brands can stay ahead of the curve

With the arrival of Apple Pay and Facebook reportedly mulling peer-to-peer payments, the established system of exchanging currency for goods and services is experiencing disruption.

 

A new study by JWT said that tech giants and startups, retailers, phone carriers and others "are jockeying for position in a bid to capture a piece of the huge payments market, along with a mass of consumer data and the chance to boost customer loyalty."

 

In addition to apps and other payment methods, different forms of currency-like bitcoin-are being tested, the study notes: "Marketers have been more creative in bypassing the currency system, turning everything from social media shares to mobile minutes into forms of value exchange.

 

And by taking a closer look at these trends in the context of the millennial mind-set, JWT offers suggestions for brands that want to stay ahead of the curve or begin acting as intermediaries between consumers and their money.

 

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