This week all eyes have been focused on bitcoin’s fantastic upswing above the psychological $1200 price range. Alongside this many cryptocurrency enthusiasts are watching Ethereum markets closely as people await the tokens next price breakout. Bitcoin proponents are filled with optimism as many tech luminaries and investors believe the digital asset will climb to possible highs of $2000 by the end of 2017.
Coinmama’s Weekly Review
The Japanese City of Hirosaki Will Preserve Cherry Blossom Trees With Bitcoin Donations
When it comes to Japan the topic of bitcoin is smoking hot as many from the country seem to be embracing the digital currency revolution. This past week the well-known city of Hirosaki’s committee has announced the local government will solicit bitcoin donations to help preserve the fifty different types and 2600 cherry blossom trees within the city. The region is popular for its Cherry Blossom Festival which attracts 2 million visitors annually, but city council members say costs to support the trees are expensive. “We expect bitcoin donations to be an effective approach to promote Hirosaki’s cherry blossoms and a castle especially to people living outside of Japan,” explains the Japanese city officials.
Billionaire Says 10% of His Retirement Investments Consist of Bitcoin and Ethereum
Michael Novogratz, a former executive of the Fortress Investment Group, told an audience at Harvard’s Business University that ten percent of his assets are held in cryptocurrencies. Novogratz tells the crowd that he is a big believer in Bitcoin and Ethereum protocols and invested in ether when the token was under $1. Furthermore, Novogratz says investing in the cryptocurrencies were probably some of the “best investments” he’s made in his lifetime. “We're witnessing the ‘3rd inning’ of this digital asset revolution,” Novogratz tells the well-known business school’s audience.
The Token App Wants to Make Ethereum Mainstream
A new application will be launched soon called Token an Ethereum based application inspired by WeChat. The Token app is a private and secure messaging platform, a user controlled Ethereum wallet, and a browser for Ethereum based applications. Furthermore using the messaging platform users will also have a built-in reputation system based on trust within the social network. “Every user and app builds a reputation over time as they transact with others on the platform,” explains the Token blog. Token hopes to provide financial services to the ~2B people in the developing world who have a cell phone, but don’t have access to a bank account. As well as make it far more accessible and easier for the mainstream to utilize Ethereum applications.
Bitcoin Demand in India Continues to Surge
Local residents in certain sections of India are having trouble accessing cash from Automated Teller Machines (ATM) in many cities as reports say 70-90 percent of ATMs are empty. The cash shortage has led many Indians towards cryptocurrency solutions as volumes from the country have grown exponentially. Working between different price spreads average citizens are also making money with cryptocurrency arbitrage opportunities as well. Furthermore, there are many rumors of Indian officials legalizing bitcoin as a form of payment much like Japan’s recent regulatory guidelines. “I think the government should make regulations at some point. It is when bitcoins are converted into rupees that regulation will be required. Bitcoin to bitcoin transactions are transparent and trackable," explains Rahul, an Indian bitcoin entrepreneur from the region.
The National Bank of Cambodia Joins the Growing List of Central Banking Blockchain R&Ds
Recent reports detail the central bank of Cambodia is partnering with the blockchain startup Soramitsu. The National Bank of Cambodia is the central bank and financial regulatory agency within the Kingdom of Cambodia. The two forces will utilize the Hyperledger Project’s Iroha distributed ledger technology (DLT) framework. This will be the first time the Kingdom of Cambodia has shown interest in the research of DLT solutions. “Through our work with the National Bank of Cambodia, we will be able to take the first step toward creating a more efficient payment infrastructure, which we hope to expand globally in the future," details Kazumasa Miyazawa, Chief Operating Officer at the Soramitsu blockchain startup.
The Southern European Island Country of Malta Focuses on Blockchain Tech
The Republic of Malta, a European island of archipelago surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, is another nation state interested in blockchain technology. Government officials from Malta say they are in the process of creating a “national strategy to promote blockchain” sponsored by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. According to regional news outlets, the Prime Minister also made some statements about bitcoin during a speech last week. The Republic of Malta will also look into other sectors of the country where distributed ledger technology can enhance infrastructure. "This is not just about bitcoin, and I also look forward to seeing blockchain technology implemented in the Lands Registry and the national health registries. Malta can be a global trailblazer in this regard," Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stated during his speech.
Millennial Chinese Bitcoin Traders are Making Millions
According to a recent report from the Guardian young Chinese bitcoin traders have been making big money trading cryptocurrency. For instance, one trader based out of Beijing, the 27-year old Huai Yang says he makes 1m yuan (£116,000) a month exchanging bitcoins in the country. Furthermore many other traders have been doing very well making profits off the cryptocurrency rather than 9-5 day jobs. The 35-year old Chenxing recently quit his government job working as a geo-information engineer to trade bitcoins every day. Allegedly Chenxing says he is pulling in 40,000 yuan worth of bitcoin every month. Although trading has become harder as the country’s central bank has implemented new regulations and most trading platforms in the region have suspended withdrawals for the time being.
Once again bitcoin and the cryptocurrency ecosystem has had a phenomenal week both in markets and positive news headlines worldwide. It is clear that Bitcoin, Ethereum, and blockchain protocols are slowly revolutionizing the financial world towards a brighter future. Society is on its way towards decentralization and financial independence as described by cryptocurrency speaker and digital finance visionary Andreas Antonopoulos. Be sure to check out our weekly review next week as we comb the internet for the hottest cryptocurrency news and announcements.
Coinmama’s weekly review is always on a mission to hunt for the latest topics being discussed within the digital currency space. Follow us here every week to keep up-to-date with current events concerning Bitcoin, Ethereum, and blockchain technology innovation.