In the eyes of investors, enthusiasts, and crypto-veterans Bitcoin is doing quite well. Just recently Bloomberg’s Wyre’s Dunworth detailed that “Bitcoin is a good investment for everyone.” The positive headlines are of stark contrast to the early days when financial publications like Bloomberg scoffed at the digital currency. However many have realized its hard to dismiss Bitcoin’s excellent performance over the past year as the cryptocurrency has become a significant store of value and a safe haven from geopolitical demise.
This Week’s Crypto-Report
Swiss Regulators Conditionally Approve Xapo Through FINMA
The Bitcoin company Xapo has been conditionally approved by Swiss regulators. The Switzerland-based service said the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has given them a temporary status of approval. In order for the approval to be finalized, Xapo must join a self-regulatory organization (SRO) and complete a few other regulatory policies. Xapo had left the United States due to regulations and relocated to the Swiss region. Currently, the company is the only Bitcoin-based firm in the country approved by FINMA.
The Royal Bank of Canada Looks to Patent a Public Blockchain Payment Concept
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has been headstrong towards blockchain technology recently. On January 19 the bank applied with the US Patent and Trademark Office with an application that presents a "secure processing of electronic payments.” The application states, "Among the many advantages offered by trusted platforms, trusted devices, and other systems, devices, and processes in accordance with the invention is the ability they provide to adapt to developing technologies. For example, one or more trusted devices, including for example one or more mPOSs, may participate in, or otherwise be associated with, various forms of public ledgers, such as blockchains."
Switzerland Blockchain Consortium Initiates an Ethereum OTC Trading Platform
The telecom firm Swisscom, the Zürcher Kantonalbank, the SIX Exchange, and others are developing an Ethereum application. The new OTC platform is being submitted to the regulatory authorities and may be released in the near future. The companies are quite pleased with the new developments as Project Manager Mathias Bucher explained, "Our privacy solution paves the way for the usage of the ethereum blockchain in financial markets.” The announcement is another addition to Switzerland’s growing blockchain community.
U.S. Federal Reserve Employee Mines Bitcoin on Fed’s Internet
Nicholas Berthaume, a former Federal Reserve Board analyst, was recently charged with unauthorized use of the Fed’s Internet server. From 2012 to 2014 Berthaume supposedly ran Bitcoin mining software using his official access. Berthaume received probation and a $5,000 fine for the wrongdoing. “This case demonstrates how my office will vigorously pursue Board employees who unlawfully abuse their positions and use government property for personal gain,” Fed Inspector General Mark Bialek explained. The official count of how much Bitcoin was actually mined is unconfirmed.
The European Commission Reveals Cryptocurrency Regulatory Roadmap
This past week the European Commission unveiled its new attempt to regulate anonymity within cryptocurrency and cash environments. The roadmap dubbed ‘Inception Impact Assessment’ describes the authorities efforts to combat money laundering and criminal financing. The roadmap mostly speaks of cash, but there are definitive notations that stretch towards cryptocurrency use. “An option could be to extend the restrictions to cash payments to all payments ensuring anonymity (cryptocurrencies, payment in kinds, etc.),” the European Commission states.
Bitcoin and blockchain innovation continues to be an unstoppable force in the world. These technologies are changing and slowly shaping our future for a better tomorrow. The past week in cryptocurrency-land has been quite eventful with 2017 being an exciting year. People are embracing decentralized technologies such as Bitcoin in a feverish manner and it doesn't look like it will subdue anytime soon.
Stay tuned next week as Coinmama reviews the hottest most trending movements within the cryptocurrency circuit.