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Bitcoin News Roundup – 13 Dec. 2015

Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.

 Microsoft reveals intention to integrate Ripple for Ethereum expansion. As Samburaj Das of CryptoCoins News writes, following its October decision to offer its customers a blockchain-based solution, the multinational technology company is now considering the integration of Ripple in its cloud platform Azure to enhance the offering. Currently, Microsoft enables its Azure customers to familiarize themselves with the blockchain technology through the use of BlockApps Strato and Camp solutions. The integration of Ripple’s Interledger Protocol is expected to carve a pathway for innovative cases within Microsoft’s blockchain platform.

Sberbank favors the Blockchain, still reluctant for the bitcoin. As Jp Buntinx of Bitcoinist reports, Russia’s largest bank has expressed a clear interest in the blockchain by joining the R3 consortium, a widely viewed milestone for blockchain related projects. So far, Russia has been skeptical of jumping on the bitcoin bandwagon, so Sberbank’s interest is definitely a positive development. In fact, Lev Khasis, First Deputy Chair of the Management Board has openly stated that “once blockchain solutions are official, Sberbank will be among the first to embrace them.” Yet, the bitcoin remains still a no-no situation for the Russian financial institutions.

Data analytics company, SGI, refutes partnership with Craig Wright and Cloudcroft Supercomputers. As Aimee Chanthadavong of ZDNet reports, following a letter claiming that SGI was involved with the alleged bitcoin creator Craig Wright and his firm, Cloudcroft Supercomputers, SGI now refutes any type of collaboration. The letter was signed by Greg McKeon, SGI APAC Service Director, and it acknowledged that “As a global leader in high performance solutions for computers, data analytics and data management, SGI considers Cloudcroft a worthy partner in the goal to accelerate time to discovery, innovation and profitability”. However, SGI denies any contact with Wright or his company whatsoever.

Regulation

Hand-picked bitcoin businesses are exempted from regulation in North Carolina. As Pete Rizzo of Coin Desk writes, the North Carolina Office of the Commissioner of Banks (NCCOB) has established regulatory exemptions for exclusive bitcoin and blockchain businesses to avoid tricky provisions other US states are facing. Following a collaboration between the NCCOB and an industry advocacy group, the Chamber of Digital Commerce has exempted digital currency miners, non-financial blockchain services, and multi-signature and non-custodial wallet providers from the state’s Money Transmitters Act (MTA).

Bitcoin Group IPO postponed for the second time. As Shaun Drummond of The Sydney Morning Herald writes, following several missteps from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Bitcoin Group is now forced to submit a third supplementary prospectus and delay its listing on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) for the fifth time. The new listing date is January 6 and the bitcoin miner company seeks to raise $20 million, but apparently, there are still issues to be resolved.

Payments

SWIFT takes over a blockchain payments innovation initiative. As Nikhil Gupta of NewsBtc writes,

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) intends to explore the blockchain technology as part of a global payments innovation initiative that seeks to improve customer experience. SWIFT’s initiative is expected to launch in early 2016 and it focuses on enhancing the speed and reliability of cross-border payments. Upon completion of this project, SWIFT plans to cooperate with industry groups and investigate additional service level agreements (SLAs) that could lower costs and enhance liquidity and processing efficiency in global payments.

PayBis bitcoin exchange is out for expansion. As Marco E. G. Maltese of Coin Telegraph writes, the newly launched bitcoin exchange (May 2015) offers users a wide range of digital currencies, including the option to purchase bitcoins via their PayPal account. The Latvian bitcoin exchange has about 1500 registered users and expects to expand its reputation through customer satisfaction and reliable reviews on the social media.

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