Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
Scotland should launch its own digital currency. According to a report released by The New Economics Foundation, Scotland has all the potential to introduce the “ScotPound” and capitalize on the benefits of a digital currency. The independent economic committee thinks that such a scheme would create a new field for small startups and medium-sized businesses, boosting local economies and suggests a 250 ScotPound dividend per citizen.
ShapeShift.ioraised US$1.6 million to expand its services. According to Bitcoinist, the round was led by Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, whereas other participants included bitcoin entrepreneur Roger Ver and Bitfinex as well as leading angel investors, Bruce Fenton and Michael Terpin, among others. In July, the leading converter for digital currencies, has hit the US$2 million threshold in transaction volume. Now, the company focuses on improving its API service to offer a seamless customer experience.
John McAfee runs for president. As Jami Redman of Coin Telegraph writes, the avid bitcoin supporter and globally known anti-virus software owner will run in the 2016 Presidential elections aiming to promote the blockchain technology. McAfee believes he stands a good chance to get elected because leadership in the United States is “illiterate on the fundamental technology”, but people need it. McAfee’s election campaign is called “Cyber Party.”
LedgerX has been temporarily approved byUS Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to act as a swap execution facility (SEF) and derivatives clearing organization (DCO).Stan Higgins of Coin Desk reports that, following its registration with the CFTC in September 2014, the institutional trading and clearing platform now expects the final regulatory approval by the CFTC to be allowed to act as a as regulated bitcoin derivatives exchange. According to LedgerX CEO Paul Chou, this is a positive progress, but LedgerX is not set to launch, pending final licensure.
Bitcoin Group’s second stop order on investor prospectus is lifted. Shaun Drummond of Sydney Morning Herald reports that,following two revisions of its listing date, September 2 and October 2, Australia’s largest mining operator revised its prospectus with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and it is set to float in November 11. Given that this is the first IPO in the cryptocurrency industry, the prospectus was revised in order to ensure that investors would be fully informed of Bitcoin Group’s mission. The book-build closes on October 30.
Google competes directly with Apple in mobile payments by launching Android Pay. As Giulio Prisco of Bitcoin Magazine writes, following its initial announcement in February, Google has now launched Android Pay, a direct competitor to Apple Pay. The payment platform will be rolling out gradually and will be adding new features, including banks and store locations over the next months. Additionally, it will support American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa debit and credit cards in an effort to boost mobile payments and facilitate the customer experience.
UPS seeks to implement the blockchain technology in its operations. As Sarah Jenn of NewsBtc writes, the top package delivery and logistics company, is exploring the benefits of the blockchain and the bitcoin via its private equity strategic investment arm UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund (SEF). Rimas Kapeskas, SEF Managing Director, emphasizing the limitless advantages of the blockchain, thinks that “it has enhanced the global exchange of goods and information and it gives more people access to virtual marketplaces.”
E-coin launches virtual currency debit card. As John Weru Maina of CryptoCoins News writes, the bitcoin startup launches a Visa-branded virtual prepaid card to enable unlimited spending and ATM withdrawals to bitcoin users worldwide. Cardholders will be able to perform all the transactions Visa cardholders do, whereas the card is expected to trigger the cryptocurrency developers as it allows spending on websites that do not accept the bitcoin yet.