Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
The Winklevoss twins are strong supporters of the bitcoin and have shared their ideas about the cryptocurrency ecosystem in the recent NY TechCrunch Disrupt. As Sarah Jenn of NewsBtc writes, following their efforts on the first fully regulated bitcoin exchange (Gemini) and the newly-launched ETF that trades in the NASDAQ OMX under the ticker COIN, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss view the bitcoin and the cryptocurrency technology as the next big step.
Middle East acquires its first bitcoin platform. As Maria Santos of 99bitcoins writes, BitOasis, the Dubai-based digital currency startup, has launched the first bitcoin platform to accommodate customers in the MENA region, namely the Middle East and North Africa. BitOasis aims to raise awareness about the digital currency in the region as well as to boost the bitcoin liquidity and settlements in the digital currency by connecting countries in the MENA region with countries that represent an established bitcoin community, such as India.
Coinzone launches a European bitcoin wallet. As Joseph Young of Bitcoin Magazine reports, Coinzone, the Amsterdam-based bitcoin payment processor, plans to launch a bitcoin processing platform in the Czech Republic to accommodate its European customers. Besides enabling users to make transactions in bitcoins, Coinzone seeks to build country-specific features to enable customers to deposit and/or withdraw funds via local banks.
The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) investigates businesses participating in the cryptocurrency ecosystem to protect consumers from fraudulent or criminal activities. As Kate Vinton of Forbes writes, Ripple Labs Inc.was fined with US$700,000 for “willfully violating several requirements of the 1970 Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).”Ripple failed to implement appropriate anti-money laundering provisions when selling XRP without registering with FinCEN.
Isle of Man seeks to create a register for the digital currency businesses.As Christoph Marckx of CryptoCoins News writes, the Government’s Economic Department is using the protocol of Pythia Limited, a blockchain service that operates on the Isle of Man in order to create a stand-alone register for the businesses using the cryptocurrency technology. The goal of this legislative policy is to protect consumers and keep criminal activity out of, while enabling ventures to use the digital currency.
Connecticut passes a bill for the regulation of the bitcoin. As Stan Higgins of Coin Desk reports, the Connecticut House of Representatives approved the Substitute House Bill No. 6800 that provides state regulators with the power to oversee the local cryptocurrency ecosystem. If signed into law, the bill would require any company that seeks a money transfer license to specify if it involves digital currency services.
NorthPayments, one of the UK’s leading online payment processors, integrates the bitcoin payment option in its platform. As JP Buntinx of Digital Money Times reports, by adding the digital currency option in its existing payment processing options, NorthPayments raises bitcoin awareness to more than 20,000 UK retailers and becomes the first European payment platform to enter the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The integration has been made possible with the assistance of BitcoinPayGate, one of the major Europeanbitcoin payment processors.
Starbucks Hong Kong is accepting bitcoins. As Scott Fargo of Inside Bitcoins reports, foldapp is a new application that allows users to pay for their coffee at Starbucks using their mobile phone. Although Starbucks never officially acknowledged that they would start accepting bitcoin payments in spite of the lower costs compared to traditional payment methods, accepting the digital currency in their Hong Kong branches, may lead to a broader bitcoin adoption. Currently, the foldapp is applicable in 10,000 locations in eight countries.