The cryptocurrency ecosystem has been far from boring as there have been things to watch over the course of the week. Bitcoin’s price has done fairly well this week alongside various altcoins that have also seen significant increases like Ethereum. The price per ether has consistently stayed within the $50 range for the longest period in the token’s history. The price is down five percent at the time of writing but still keeping relatively stable during the course of the week.
Coinmama’s Weekly Review
Japan Recognizes Bitcoin as a Legal Payment System
The biggest news this past week came out of Japan as the country has legally recognized bitcoin as a method of payment on April 1st. The law gives virtual currencies some definitions as authorities from the region such as the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) said the cryptocurrency has “asset-like values.” Furthermore, Japan has declared bitcoins and other virtual currencies exempt from consumption tax. “This change will apply to sales or purchase transactions performed in Japan on or after 1 July 2017,” explains the newly declared Japanese legislation. The cryptocurrency community has been very excited about the developments happening in Japan as the trading volume in the country is the second highest globally now beating China.
Ledger Hardware Wallet Startup Raises 7 Million
The France-based popular bitcoin hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger has recently announced the startup has raised $7m USD in a new Series A funding round. The company is attempting to expand to a factory located in China amongst other new ventures. Investors leading the funding round include Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, Wicklow Capital, Libertus, Xange and more. So far the company has gathered more than 8.3 million in the startup's coffers and recently announced hardware wallet sales were through the roof due to the significant Bitcoin and Ethereum price rises this year.
Sweden Takes Land Registries to the Blockchain
Sweden’s land registry agency, Lantmäteriet has been working with blockchain technology to record property details and land registrations. The agency is working with a startup called Chromaway and collaborating with two financial institutions Landshypotek, SBAB bank. “It could be a great benefit for economic growth,” Chromaway CEO Henrik Hjelte told the press. Hjelte believes Sweden is the perfect environment for initiating distributed ledger technology land registry solutions.
Spanish Financial Giant BBVA Joins the Linux Led Hyperledger Project
The distributed ledger project Hyperledger has welcomed two members of the banking institution BBVA. "We believe that Hyperledger will be fundamental to ensuring standardization and interoperability in the different technologies and platforms that will make blockchain a powerful tool that will transform business processes and social relationships," explained Carlos Kuchkovsky a BBVA’s digital business executive. The blockchain project Hyperledger has expanded its project considerably throughout 2016 and over the course of the new year as well. BBVA has also shown interest in the new Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) and the blockchain consortium R3 Cev.
Another Exchange Traded Fund Gets Rejected by SEC
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected yet another Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) last week. This particular ETF was bid on by the company SolidX and would have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The Winklevoss twins ETF was rejected on March 10 and caused a significant bitcoin price drop across global exchanges. “As discussed further below, the Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change because it does not find the proposal to be consistent with Section 6(b)(5),” detailed the Securities and Exchange Commission’s denial letter.
Chinese Peer-to-Peer Lending Giant Goes Blockchain
According to reports the Chinese company Creditease (Yixin) is testing a blockchain pilot dubbed ‘Blockworm.’ The Beijing-based firm had shown interest in the digital currency phenomenon when it participated in Circle Financial’s Chinese funding round. Creditease was founded in 2006 and is one of the leading P2P lenders within the region. Blockworm will be an Ethereum based protocol which will handle “intelligent contract services” such as trusted storage, smart contracts, a token system, and more. The Ethereum system Creditease is trialing will be a privatized blockchain system with a series of features said the company.
Bitcoin continues its journey towards the future without looking back. The price has done well over the course of 2017, and the economic growth has been exponential. The experiment continues, and the nascent cryptocurrency ecosystem still has a long way to go. This is particularly the case for topics such as the heated scaling debate. So far both Bitcoin and Ethereum are showing bright futures ahead of them as they have outperformed better than nearly every fiat currency worldwide.
Tune in next week as Coinmama crawls the web for the hottest bitcoin topics and stories.