Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
Santander launches blockchain challenge. As Nikhil Gupta of NewsBtc reports, via its fintech venture capital fund, Santander InnoVentures, Santander joins forces with OneVest investing and equity crowdfunding startup to launch a blockchain challenge. In detail, the bank is actively seeking for blockchain-based startups operating in mortgage processing, trade finance and asset leasing, and related technologies that could help Santander to bridge the gap between conventional payment systems to new generation transaction settlement networks. The winner of the “Santander InnoVentures Distributed Ledger Challenge” will receive US $15,000 and guaranteed investment from Santander Innoventures. Runner-ups will explore partnership opportunities with other venture capital funds and angel investors.
Canadian blockchain technology startup gets listed in the Toronto Stock Exchange. As Joseph Young of Coin Telegraph writes, Blockchain Tech Ltd startup is successfully listed on the VentureBoard of the Toronto Stock Exchange, under the ticker TSXV:BTL. Blockchain Tech Ltd aims to alter the environment of “international fintech movement,” and provide assistance to banks and financial institutions to capitalize on the benefits of the blockchain technology to tie conventional payment systems and decentralized payment networks.
Record low bitcoin auction for the US Marshals. As Pete Rizzo of Coin Desk writes, the final auction of the bitcoins seized during the online black market Silk Road investigation attracted only 11 bidders, leading to a record low auction. The 11 bidders submitted 30 bids on 22 blocks of bitcoins, out of which 21 blocks were for 2,000 BTC (roughly $790,000), and 1 block was for 2,341 BTC (approximately $926,200).
E-Coin successfully completes fundraising in crowdfunding. As Elliot Maras of CryptoCoins News reports, the bitcoin debit card and multi-signature wallet, managed by the London-based Wirex Limited, has raised $186,596 USD from 93 investors via the online investment platform BnkToTheFuture. The goal of fundraising was $381,806 USD, so the minimum 10% required was
covered on the offer. E-Coin plans to use the funds towards product development and support team building.
Coinbase joins forces with the United Services Automobile Association (USAA). As Leon Pick of Finance Magnates writes, the leading bitcoin platform has partnered with USAA, the San Antonio-based bank to enable 11.2 million USAA members to follow their bitcoin balance via online and mobile banking. The new mobile app, still on pilot stage, will cater to the members of the military. It is worth noting that the USAA was the key investors in Coinbase’s $75 million funding round in January.
eCoin.eu integrates social media to facilitate transactions. According to Bitcoinist, the Panama-registered digital currency platform that operates under the Wallet Capital Group, Inc. has decided to proceed with the integration of social media into its platform so that users can directly withdraw fiat currency to their accounts. More specifically, eCoin.eu has integrated Facebook registration, one of the leading social media network with the aim of capitalizing on Facebook’s huge customer base and providing new traders with a convenient way of joining its platform. For registered traders, trading fees are waived, while eCoin.eu increases its social media exposure, while increasing traffic to its website.
Bitwala enables bitcoin transfer to PayPal accounts. According to a blog post on the Bitwala website, the Germany-based bitcoin payment platform launches a feature that will enable users to directly transfer bitcoins to their PayPal account by simply using their email address. Transaction fees are at 0.5% of the transacted amount. Currently, the platform is guaranteeing transfers to PayPal accounts in Euros, but it’s working towards topping up PayPal accounts in any currency.
ChangeTip launches mobile app to facilitate bitcoin tipping. According to PYMNTS, the new iOS app will enable users to tip anyone around the world in bitcoin or USD via the Change Tip social tipping and micropayments platform. In fact, any user with a phone number, email address, or a Facebook or Twitter account will be able to send or receive online payments internationally by using the newly-launched mobile app. The funds are sent in real-time to top off the users’ accounts in a seamless way.