MasterCard’s Blockchain APIs

MasterCard is one of the first corporations that comes to mind when you think of credit cards.  But the company does so much more beyond providing you with credit.  Their latest venture?  Blockchain APIs.  Although this isn’t the first credit company to progress in the blockchain world, it is extremely forward thinking with this advancement.  Read more about this in the article below.

 

Credit Card Giant MasterCard Releases ‘Experimental’ Blockchain APIs

(@mpmcsweeney) | Published on October 31, 2016 at 14:01 GMT

matthew-roszak-mc-blog

Visa isn’t the only credit card issuer moving fast on blockchain.

But while Visa is going it alone in releasing a B2B blockchain, MasterCard it seems is quietly developing a set of new blockchain APIs with more collaborative goals.

The credit card giant’s development site now features three APIs connected to its internal blockchain work, including offerings focused on smart contracts and payment settlement. The APIs were released by MasterCard Labs, its innovation outfit.

MasterCard blockchain lead Justin Pinkham said the company released its API platform last month in a bid to stoke interest among banks and merchant developers.

He told CoinDesk:

“This is part of our initiative to publish experimental APIs from Mastercard Labs and give developers the chance to work on emerging technologies that haven’t yet been commercialized by us.”

Pinkham went on to state that the company is continuing to pursue uses of the technology while at the same time advocating for collaborations that might apply to MasterCard’s businesses.

“We believe that there is a role of blockchain in the future of commerce. This future needs to be developed in partnership with banks, merchants and industry participants,” he continued.

The news is perhaps the most significant to date for MasterCard, which has criticized bitcoin (the longest-running public blockchain) in the past but expressed cautious enthusiasm about its underlying technology.

More in store

But with the launch of the APIs, MasterCard is beginning to push some of the work done by its internal teams out the door.

It won’t be the last, according to Pinkham, who said that the company is creating the foundation for blockchain tech that could focus on use cases including inter-bank payments and trade finance.

Applications focused on digital identity and the exchange of know-your-customer information are also being explored, according to Pinkham.

The work coincides with collaborative efforts between MasterCard and startups through its Start Path Global program, as well as the more than 30 blockchain-related patents Pinkham said the company has submitted to date.

Disclosure: MasterCard is an investor in CoinDesk’s parent company, Digital Currency Group.

Image credit: Valeri Potapova / Shutterstock.com

 

Article sourced fromhttp://www.coindesk.com/credit-card-giant-mastercard-releases-experimental-blockchain-apis/

A New Digital Currency

The newest medium of exchange has been created.  It’s digital and it’s called Zcash.  This form of currency is supposed to be more secure and private than other digital methods.  If all holds true, it has the potential to be the most preferred method of digital transactions.  Learn more about Zcash in the article below.

Zcash Has Launched: Here’s How to Get Some

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Zcash (ZEC), the new digital currency lauded for its privacy features, is launching today amidst some massive hype. But until enough tokens become available on exchanges, Zcash enthusiasts are poised to acquire their ZEC first-hand by mining for it, either by setting up a home rig or by signing up for a cloud mining contract.

Created from a fork of Bitcoin’s codebase, Zcash promises all the best features and stability of Bitcoin with the added bonus of total payment confidentiality. Zcash transactions can be shielded to hide the sender, recipient and value of all transactions on the blockchain. Only those with the correct view key can see the contents.

Another interesting aspect of Zcash is it uses a memory-hard proof-of-work known as Equihash. This means the best hardware for mining Zcash tokens is standard GPUs and RAM. The hope is this will lead to a more decentralized set of miners.

“We think it is unlikely that anyone will be able to build cost-effective custom hardware (ASICs) for mining in the foreseeable future,” Zcash CEO and founder, Zooko Wilcox, and software engineer, Jack Grigg, wrote in a blog post.

Since Zcash did not hold an initial crowdfund, every Zcash token issued will be as a result of mining. And it’s likely that mining, especially in the early days, will be cheaper than purchasing Zcash on an exchange.

Mining for ZEC

There are two ways to mine Zcash: you can build your own GPU rig — arguably, with good mining software, you can use a CPU as well, but more on that later — or you can mine Zcash in the cloud.

Building your own GPU is not easy. When you buy an ASIC for mining bitcoin, you simply connect it to the internet and plug in the power. But GPU mining is a custom setup, where you need to source motherboards and graphic cards.

Because of the work involved, cloud mining make might make sense for some people, though it carries more associated risk. To that end, several cloud GPU providers are open for Zcash business. Genesis Mining is offering a limited number of one-year contracts. Toomim Brothers is offering Zcash cloud mining on three, six and 12 month contracts.

If you are setting up your own CPU or GPU rigs, you will need to find an efficient mining software. Zcash recently held an open source miner challenge, and made all the submissions available to the public.

Slow Start and the Founders Reward

Mining will begin with a “slow start,” which limits the block rewards for the first 20,000 blocks (roughly 34 days). During that time, the block reward will gradually increase from 0 ZEC to 12.5 ZEC.

Typically, when a coin first launches, mining difficulty is at its lowest and rises over a few days or weeks. A slow start discourage the big outfits from dedicating all their resources to mining in the beginning.

“With the ‘slow start’ approach, we can pull the trigger to start mining, knowing that we still have a few weeks before it gets to be significantly valuable, giving us time to watch for failures, work on related operational things (updating our web site, dealing with getting hacked and defaced and all that, collaborating with wallet makers, exchange operators, and other partners, touring the world to visit stadiums of screaming fans, etc.),” Wilcox  wrote on GitHubback in March.

But some in the Zcash forum argue, in the case of Zcash, where there is so much buzz around the coin, major players may jump into the game right away, and the difficulty will soar beyond the reach of the average CPU within hours or days.

TY13R (as he is known on the Zcash Slack channel), who has worked on the Zcash GPU miner, told Bitcoin Magazine:

“When they publish the first block, a huge a amount of hashing power will move over to it. There could be hundreds of blocks mined on the first day.”

Like Bitcoin, the plan is to only produce 21M tokens with a halving every four years, where the reward is halved to control inflation. However, unlike Bitcoin, for the first four years, a full 20 percent of the Zcash mining reward will go to stakeholders in the Zcash Company. This is known as the “Founders Reward.”

Exchanges  and Wallets

If you’re not up for mining, another option is to simply buy Zcash tokens. Coins will be sparse until there is enough in the supply system. But, said TY13R, “If there is money to be made, people will sell. It all depends on whether the miners are willing to give up their ZEC.”

Several exchanges — including Poloniex, Bittrex, HitBTC, and Kraken — have already announced support for Zcash.

Shapeshift has also said that its platform will support ZEC as soon as liquidity allows. Erik Voorhees, CEO of ShapeShift, said to Bitcoin Magazine:

“Just as we should expect privacy in our emails, telephone calls and personal relationships, so too is privacy warranted in financial transactions. In our age of surveillance, the individual deserves every tool of empowerment, and Zcash has the potential to uphold this principle.”

Along with Trezor wallets by SatoshiLabs, Jaxx has revealed it will integrate Zcash a few days after the launch, making Zcash the fifth token Jaxx has added to its lineup in less than three months.

“VCs have invested in Zcash, there’s cutting edge security technology behind it and that’s resulted in quite a lot of chatter in the crypto community,” said Jaxx CEO Anthony Di Iorio. “Zcash holds an extraordinary amount of promise.”

The Case for Zcash

As of this writing, the price of Zcash futures is hovering between 1.2 and 1.4 bitcoin ($820- $950) on BitMEX. If those numbers are any indication, Zcash could well become the second highest valued digital currency on record behind Bitcoin.

Zcash represents the hope for a perfectly untraceable digital currency. Although progress is being made, at this point, Bitcoin transactions are traceable. This lack of fungibility, the idea that one bitcoin may not be as valuable as another, based on how it has been used in the past, has long been a threat to Bitcoin’s livelihood.

“You need fungibility for Bitcoin to function. If you receive coins and can’t spend them, then you start to doubt whether you can spend them,” Blockstream CEO Adam Back told the audience at the Scaling Bitcoin conference in Milan.

The hope is that Zcash finally solves that problem, using the established cryptographic protocol, zk-Snarks. The basic idea is that when you make a transaction, you give a proof that says you have access to a certain amount of funds, but that proof gives zero knowledge to other people about what those funds are. (That is the “zk” part). The “SNARK” part is that Zcash can do this fairly efficiently now, especially compared to ZeroCoin, its precursor.

But Wilcox’s own words capture the aspirations of Zcash the best. In an earlier interview with Bitcoin Magazine, he said:

“The dream is that people all around the world use Zcash and other cryptocurrencies directly, to cooperate and organize with one another in safety and privacy. This will give them freedom from corrupt regimes, banks and unstable national currencies.”

Whether or not Zcash lives up to this dream, only time will tell. As it states on its website, Zcash still considers itself “an experimental technology” and cautions, “there is risk involved.” But for many people who wish they had jumped into Bitcoin earlier, those cautions may go unheard.

 

Article sourced from: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/zcash-has-launched-here-s-how-to-get-some-1477670989

Blockchains and Banks

More banks and major financial institutions are investing in blockchains.  There is potential for great progress in the industry with this type of backing.  However, with great confidence from most bank executives, there are also some that want to proceed with caution.  There are arguments that blockchain transactions are safe and effective for certain kinds of digital monetary exchanges but not for others.  Read more about this in the article below.

 

Bank Execs Want An ‘Even Playing Field’ For Industry Blockchains

(@mpmcsweeney) | Published on October 23, 2016 at 08:01 GMT
matthew-roszak-bank-blog

Ninety percent of banking executives surveyed earlier this year by professional services firm Accenture said that their institutions are investing time and money in blockchain projects.

Just 3% said that they weren’t doing so, with the last 7% telling Accenture that they were “uncertain” about their work with the tech, according to a report published today. The firm surveyed 32 bank executives in August and September.

Yet despite the high degree of interest, the survey also casts a portrait of a banking sector that is largely in a cautious test-and-see phase. Respondents expressed concern about regulation and the need for standards to help build a network effect, while also highlighting compliance and security concerns as factors holding any significant degree of investment or product development.

At the same time, respondents expressed support for shared approaches between banks in order to create what one survey-taker called “a level playing field”.

Another bank executive told Accenture in an interview:

“The lack of a universal standard could prove deleterious. There could end up being bilateral agreements and altered processes between banks, which would severely diminish any network effect.”

Respondents indicated that that applications focused on intrabank settlements and cross-borderpayments were the most attractive, with 44% of survey-takers highlighting the former as the most appealing use case.

Still, the report suggests that some banks are still figuring things out.

Accenture quoted one US bank executive who said his institution remains “bewildered” amidst its own internal investigation.

“We don’t even have enough information to have an opinion,” said another executive from Canada.

 

Image via Shutterstock

 

Article sourced from: http://www.coindesk.com/bank-execs-want-even-playing-field-industry-blockchains/

The Future of Blockchain

The next five years of blockchain developments and use could be extremely progressive and forward-moving.  Predictions have been made in a study called the Wealth ad Asset Management 2021: Preparing for Transformative Change.  Part of the growth predicted would be due to technology advances and also to likely overall growth of the industry in general.  Read more about this report in the article below.

Wealth and Asset Management Report Predicts Blockchain Use by 2021

matthew-roszak-future-blog
A new report from Roubini ThoughtLab has found that over the next five years blockchain use is set to grow by 43 percent.

Teaming up with a coalition of leading organizations from the wealth industry, Roubini ThoughtLab conducted a study, titled Wealth and Asset Management 2021: Preparing for Transformative Change.

The research looked at extensive quantitative analysis from 2,000 investors and 500 wealth firms across 10 world markets. It also looked at economic modeling and forecasting across 25 countries and expert opinions from over 40 market leaders, economists, technologists and investment specialists.

According to the report, broad based changes in the finance industry are upon us. This can be witnessed in the rise of women investors in North America and the growth of the middle class in emerging markets. At the same time, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain, and real-time analytics are a few of the smart technologies that investment providers are embracing.

As a result, it is predicted that by 2021, the convergence of these smart technologies will produce a huge impact on the wealth profession, unlocking the doors of global wealth across a diverse universe of investors. However, with a fast-paced marketplace, it is important for investors to understand their customers’ needs and behaviors, and make the necessary technology changes to meet their requirements.

Bob Reynolds, President and CEO of Putnam Investments, commented in the report that ‘the business moves in cycles, and some are severe.”

Even for experienced professionals the market can be a particularly difficult place. Consider the Great Recession of 2008, which saw industry leaders having to navigate their companies through a debt crisis, a market slowdown, and a drop in oil prices.

As a consequence, economist Dr. Nouriel Roubini said in the report that “mediocre growth and low interest rates have become the new normal.”

However, while Roubini believes that a storm is looming, there are others who think that the biggest market upheaval will originate from within the industry.

“The wealth sector is going through a tremendous, fast shift,” said Dirk Klee, Chief Operating Officer of UBS. “Not because of regulation or low interest rates, but from customers and their desire for a digitally enabled experience.”

The report found that wealth service providers and investors agree that technology is revolutionizing the industry. From those surveyed 46 percent of service providers and 52 percent of investors believe that heightened competition and the growth of fintech companies are the main drivers of change over the next five years.

Watching Emerging Markets

The report found that only 11 percent of firms and 31 percent of digital leaders have systems in place for monitoring next-generation technologies. In a bid to meet customers’ needs, it’s important to stay ahead of the game by catching new trends early.

The most influential technologies to watch are the fast-growing, smart technologies that can enhance a customer’s experience and put one firm ahead of another. Technologies targeted for growth by 2021 include artificial intelligence at 128 percent, telematics at 72 percent, blockchain technology at 43 percent, and geospatial/location-based technology at 26 percent.

Alex Tapscott, Founder and CEO of Northwest Passage Ventures, states in the report that blockchain is a game changer for the wealth profession. However, speaking to Bitcoin Magazine, Spiros Margaris, venture capitalist and founder of Margaris Advisory, said that he believes blockchain technology will eventually be a game changer for some industries and could be a very attractive technology for the wealth management industry by cutting out the middleman and providing faster settlements at lower costs.

“However, in my opinion, it’s over-hyped in its role as the magic bullet that will bring huge benefits and savings wherever it is applied,” he added.

Instead of blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are predicted to be more transformative for fintech by 2021. According to a Forrester Research report released earlier this month, it is these two technologies that will provide fintech companies with a bigger opportunity to grow, helping to expand customer engagement levels over the next five years.

Margaris agrees, stating that companies seeking opportunities to grow and expand will see faster results by investing in AI and IoT compared to blockchain.

“We are at the early stage where the blockchain industry is still searching to find the best use cases for a mainstream adoption,” he said.

 A Relatively New Market

Blockchain was first outlined in 2008, but as a relatively new technology it has garnered plenty of interest, particularly among financial services companies. According to the report, 45 percent of providers say that they are now exploring blockchain, while 64 percent expect to expand their use in five years.

Of course, while there is a lot of interest in blockchain, the broader picture demonstrates that experimentation characterizes most of its current use, such as happens in technology accelerators, and that more needs to be done to increase its adoption.

“The more companies, from incumbents to fintech startups, experiment with proof of concepts for blockchain implementations, however crazy or useless they might seem at first glance, the faster we will see real advances and benefits happening,” Margaris said.

While blockchain use-case breakthroughs might not happen in the next five years, Margaris is of the opinion that the likelihood of this happening will increase due to investments made in the sector and the many participants who want to benefit from a possible breakthrough.

Bitcoin Goes to Space!

One small step for Bitcoin, and one giant leap for digital currency.  Genesis Mining successfully sent a bitcoin into space!  This fun news is the first “peer-to-peer financial transaction in space”.  This means Bitcoin and Bitcoin wallet have huge potential for transactions spanning large distances and use by NASA and other space researchers.  Read about this exciting launch and watch the video on YouTube below.

Toward the Moon: Genesis Mining Sends the First Bitcoin Into Space

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Bitcoin has come a long way since it was first introduced to the cyberpunk world by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, and now for the first time, space travel history has been made with the digital currency.

Genesis Mining, a major bitcoin cloud mining company, recently conducted the first peer-to-peer financial transaction in space.

Searching for a way to increase awareness of Bitcoin, while educating people about its benefits as the standard bearer for digital currencies, Genesis Mining decided that sending bitcoin into space was the perfect way to achieve this goal.

Speaking to Bitcoin Magazine, Marco Streng, CEO and cofounder of Genesis Mining, said that the Bitcoin community started using the catchphrase “to the moon” when the growth of the digital currency was rapidly escalating. For the company, this was their way of saying that they think this ambition is still possible.

“We hope its value and the value it returns to the world will continue to grow and we believe firmly that there are no limits to its success,” Streng said.

With growing interest in private space programs and the increased possibility of space tourism, Genesis Mining decided to demonstrate how easy bitcoin is to use by sending it into space. Streng adds, however, that sending it to the moon itself is still out of reach for them for the time being.

“While we knew that sending it to the moon may prove difficult in the short term, near space was a pretty great achievement for cryptocurrency so we decided to pursue the project,” he said.

Surrounded by the lush greenery of the rolling hills and blue skies of Sheffield, England, the team released their weather balloon carrying a 3D printed bitcoin and a Bitcoin wallet. Initially, the goal was to clear 20 km, which is above the Armstrong Limit (the altitude beyond which humans cannot survive without a pressure suit), and send a bitcoin to the wallet.

In space, there are many layers. What is known as “near space” is the region of Earth’s atmosphere that is between 20 and 100 km (65,000 and 328,000 feet) above sea level. The Armstrong Limit is roughly at 20 km, but it extends up to the Kármán Line, where outer space begins and astrodynamics take over from aerodynamics for flight to be achieved.

Once the weather balloon had reached 20 km, the team at Genesis Mining sent one bitcoin to the wallet to make it official, but they wanted to see if they could reach a higher limit.

“We hoped to get over 30 km, which we did,” said Streng. “Our partners let us know that 34 km was going to be the optimal height and that is when we sent the second coin.”

For the team, sending bitcoin into space helps to increase awareness about  the digital currency and demonstrate its ease of  use.

“We believe firmly in technology being a vehicle to make our lives better. Showing that Bitcoin can be a part of the growing private space enterprise is another step in that direction,” Streng said.

Watch the video of the bitcoin launch into near space here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnSYVo_5dXM

Blockchain and Health Care

The health care industry is in huge transition right now due to the immense amounts of technology that are infiltrating this field. Blockchain is one of the largest new innovations that could revolutionize the industry. Just out this piece on just how the government plans to take advantage of this wonderful idea.

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is soliciting
research papers related to blockchain applications in healthcare and
health research.

According to a notice
published in the Federal Register, HHS is seeking white papers that
explore how the technology can be leveraged for healthcare purposes. The
submission date is 29th July, with the winners set to be announced late
next month.

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The
only stipulations, the notice states, is that papers shouldn’t be
longer than 10 pages and that no more than three papers should be
submitted by any one researcher or group.

Further, the department asks that any submission “educate its audience on the technology”, explaining:

“The paper should discuss the cryptography and underlying
fundamentals of blockchain technology, examine how the use of
blockchain can advance industry interoperability needs expressed in the
Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, patient centered outcomes research
(PCOR), precision medicine, and other health care delivery needs, as
well as provide recommendations for blockchain’s implementation.”

The Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap was published last fall as part of a bid to support greater interoperability between healthcare data networks in the US.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/29om6Z8

Blockchain goes to Wall Street

Wall Street, where so much of our economy and trade is determined, has embraced more elements of Blockchain technology and Bitcoin at a recent convention in New York City. Nasdaq recently heard a speech from influential members of the Bitcoin community. Here’s what happened.

The father and son authors of the new book “Blockchain Revolution”
took to the stage this morning where Nasdaq opens and closes its market
to discuss their latest work.

Kicking off a panel discussion with several industry leaders, Don
Tapscott and Alex Tapscott took turns discussing how the management
structure of some of those very same companies could be disrupted by
distributed ledger technologies like blockchain.

The elder Tapscott set the stage for the conversation with a
point-by-point explanation of why he believes blockchains can do
to the management structure of companies what bitcoin and other
applications are doing to value exchange.

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Don Tapscott described the bigger-picture impact:

“This surely will have an impact on the firm.”

Coincidental timing

On the same day “Blockchain Revolution” hit stores, a distributed autonomous organization called TheDAO would also launch its crowdfunding campaign.
Given the leaderless, autonomous nature of the project and the
impressive capital it has raised, it was a topic of conversation at the
day’s event.

According to Tapscott, the reason The DAO was created is because its
structure provides the most efficient way for its creators to minimize
transaction cost.

Citing Nobel prize-winning economist Ronald Coase, Tapscott argued
that until now the structure that best facilitated that process was
vertically integrated, which generally speaking means a leader
overseeing other leaders who oversee entry-level employees.

But with smart-contract enabled management infrastructures,
supporters of “The DAO” argue this structure can be flipped on its axis
and managed horizontally.

As an example of the types of services that may one day be delivered
under this management structure, Tapscott invoked the business models of
some of today’s leading Silicon Valley startups.

Tapscott mentioned that blockchains could enable the creation of what he called a “super Uber” or “bAirbnb” (blockchain Airbnb).

He suggested the technology that powers The DAO could also reshape
the music industry to the point where musicians “could they be fed
first, and enable the labels to work on there behalf”.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1TjVdCD

By 2020, currency will look very different

Although Bitcoin is thought by many to be on the fringes of society and global economy, a recent study has shown that by the year 2020, one out of five businesses in the United Kingdom will be using some form of digital currency in order to complete trades. The study only covered the United Kingdom but we can assume that the global economy will reflect similar results. It’s a smart idea to get in now.

Since its introduction in 2009, Bitcoin has grown exponentially. Now,
however, it seems as though its rise in popularity is due to continue
in the the United Kingdom after a new report found that a fifth of U.K.
employees believe that their organizations will be accepting Bitcoin and
similar digital currencies as payment by 2020.

The study, Beyond Digital,
by Infomentum looked at the feedback from 1,000 office workers
examining how they believe office technology is set to evolve over the
next few years. According to the report, during the past five years
digital transformation and technological change have seen companies
rethink the way they do business, whether on or offline.

In 2014, Infomentum produced a report titled Generating Success with Generation C,
enabling businesses to understand the expectations of the connected
customer and how those expectations were making their way into the
workplace. In 2015, a report called Talking Transformation was released, looking at how CEOs could restructure their organizations before the market disrupted them.

This
latest report is aimed at helping businesses look beyond digital
transformation as it focuses on what else Generation C ? made up of
young, tech savvy consumers ? wants over the next few years, enabling
businesses to prepare their organizations for 2020 based on the analysis
and views from leading experts.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1S3jCxW

Taking the internet to the next level

IBM, one of the largest technology companies in the world, is taking a closer look at Blockchain technology and naming it the revolution that it truly is. IBM is looking for new ways to incorporate blockchain into their methods and how to help this technology move along on a more widespread kind of scale. Check this out.

The Aite Group projects the blockchain market could be valued at
$400 million by 2019. For that reason, some of the biggest names in
banking, industry and technology have entered into the space to evaluate
how this technology could change the financial world. 

IBM and
Linux, for instance, have brought together some of the brightest minds
in the industry and technology to work on blockchain technology through
the Hyperledger Project. 

The Hyperledger Project is under the
umbrella of the Linux Foundation, and seeks to incorporate findings by
blockchain projects such as Blockstream, Ripple, Digital Asset Holdings
and others in order to make blockchain technology useful for the world’s
biggest corporations. IBM has also contributed its own code to the
project. 

According to John Wolpert, IBM’s Global Blockchain
Offering Director, when IBM and Linux began working together on the
blockchain project, Linux made clear it wanted to “disrupt the
disruption,” in part with their findings, as well as the data gathered
by projects such as Ripple, Ethereum and others exploring the
blockchain.  

The Linux foundation announced its Hyperledger
project on December 17, 2015. Just one day later, 2,300 companies had
requested to join. The second-largest open source foundation in the
history of open source had only 450 inquiries.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1RLcPvL

Bitstamp could be taking off very soon

Bitstamp, a very prominent Bitcoin startup is very close to receiving its official license for European exchange. This is exciting news, as it is another step closer to legitimizing and establishing Bitcoin as the global exchange that it is designed to be. Here’s what that could mean for the Bitcoin world.

One of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges is reportedly close to
announcing a new deal with the Luxembourg government that would enable
it to launch regulated and licensed services across Europe.

According to sources, Bitstamp may have secured a payment institution (PI) or electronic money institution (EMI) license from Luxembourg regulators,
a move that the company has reportedly said would allow it to become
“the first regulated and licensed bitcoin exchange for all 28 countries
in the EU”.

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Founded
in 2013 and originally based in Slovenia, Bitstamp has long been one of
Europe’s largest bitcoin startups, offering bitcoin trading and gold
buying services to investors. The company is registered in the UK, the
US and Luxembourg, where its Bitstamp Europe SA entity is based.

Such a move would come nearly two years after Luxembourg first opened dialogue with the industry, and weeks after blockchain-based payment app provider Circle received an e-money license in the UK.

Bitstamp is currently the fourth largest exchange by total US dollar trading volume, according to data from Bitcoin Charts,
behind Bitfinex, BTC-e and Coinbase. The exchange saw just shy of 4,000
BTC traded in the last 24 hours, representing $1.6m in trades. Notably,
it does not yet offer EUR trading.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1SudBdS