EU lawmakers to hold off from regulating blockchain for now

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Union should hold off for now from regulating blockchain, the technology that underpins bitcoin, an EU parliamentary committee agreed on Tuesday in the latest example of a softly-softly approach by authorities toward financial services.

"We don't want pre-emptive regulation, but we do want precautionary monitoring," Jakob von Weizsaecker, a German center-left member of the European Parliament, told Reuters.

Court Documents Show Cryptsy CEO Predicted Exchange Would Fail

By Stan Higgins

Weeks before disclosing that the digital currency exchange Cryptsy was insolvent, CEO Paul Vernon told a Florida divorce court in a financial affidavit that he expected the operator of the exchange to fail.

The affidavit was filed on 22nd December – less a month before Cryptsy would go on to claim that it had been the target of a debilitating hack in 2014 that left it insolvent and with millions in customer liabilities.

Bitcoin technology heralds ‘smart contracts’ era

By Michael Cross

The technology behind the Bitcoin digital currency could usher in an era of ‘smart contracts’ and enable the creation of a tamper-proof Land Registry database, legal technology experts said this week in the wake of a landmark government report.

Mark Walport, the government’s chief scientific adviser, last week said that ‘distributed ledger technology’ offers the potential to reduce fraud, corruption and the cost of paper-intensive processes, including contracts.

BitBeat: Ethereum Presale Hits $12.7 Million Tally

By Michael J. Casey

Welcome to BitBeat, your daily dose of crypto-current events, written by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey.

Bitcoin Latest Price: $581.52, down 0.89% (via CoinDesk) - AUG 2014

Crossing Our Desk:
–It’s two weeks into new Ethereum’s one-and-a-half-month fund-raising and already the cryptocurrency startup can boast one of the most successful crowdfunding exercises in history, with the equivalent of $12.7 million raised.

European Union Wants to Surveil not Regulate Bitcoin

By Neer Varshney

The European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) held a public hearing on Monday, January 25th 2016 on virtual currencies and the role of regulators.

The role of virtual currencies in abetting illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorism funding was the central idea discussed during the meeting.

Argentine President & Richard Branson Discuss Bitcoin

By Justin OConnell

Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, spoke with the President of Argentina on a variety of topics, including drug control, space flight and Bitcoin. According to President Mauricio, the British entrepreneur expressed interest in investing in Argentina.

According to the president’s Facebook page, the president “was very interested in the talk as Branson, plus entrepreneur in areas related to new technologies, such as space flight and use bitcoin is entrepreneurial in humanitarian issues.”

Record $1 billion invested in Bitcoin firms so far

By Jose Pagliery

The technology behind Bitcoin -- that electronic money almost nobody understands -- is finally on the verge of going mainstream.

American Express (AXP), Bain Capital, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs (GS), MasterCard (MA), the New York Life Insurance Company, the New York Stock Exchange -- all of them have poured millions of dollars into Bitcoin firms recently.

IMF 'unable' to supply the currency needed to counter speculative attack using bitcoin

Luke Parker

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was created in 1945 to ensure the stability of the international monetary system, the agency helps stabilize the global economic system by monitoring exchange rates and enabling countries to transact with one another fairly. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Fund has an almost global membership of 188 countries.

11 Bitcoin Startups That Went Bust in 2015

By Daniel Palmer

This year was a time of further consolidation for the bitcoin industry.

After what you might call a 'Wild West' period (when it seemed everyone with the urge was setting up their own bitcoin-based service), the space is now rapidly becoming more dominated by bigger, more professional outfits, often with serious funding to get them off to a solid start.

And while some big bitcoin names made the news this year for positive reasons, some firms had to report that they were closing down.

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