Money20/20 Europe which took place in Copenhagen, Denmark between the 4th and 7th of April 2016 was an event that left an imprint in the mind of all who attended and has set the bar for every other conference in the future to attain too. If you missed out don’t worry as the revolution that took Europe by storm is on course to continue in Las Vegas this October.
According to many banking experts, Blockchain is set to revolutionise banking in the same way that email revolutionised communication. After all, its practical applications can impact everything from international money transfers to identity verification. However, blockchain has served up a quiet revolution so far, still waiting for its moment to blow apart decades-old infrastructure and bring banking into the digital age.
Bitcoin is no longer just a currency of the internet as it can now be spent at any brick and mortar shop, filling station, restaurant or any other business premises that offers Visa and MasterCard as a payment option. This is on top of the added benefit of withdrawing the cash equivalent of your Bitcoin account from any ATM. E-coin is at the forefront of this and has plans to keep it that way for the foreseeable future and will be announcing more developments in the coming weeks ahead.
The past twelve months have been an exciting time for the Blockchain with practically every major bank in the world looking into its possible applications. The topic was a central point of the World Economic Forum in Davos, who identified the Blockchain as one of the core technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The theme is now making its way to London, UK on the 27-28 of April at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London - Docklands Riverside for the European Blockchain Congress.
The war on cash has been a favorite pet project of the economic central planners for quite some time now. They want to eliminate hand-to-hand payments so that governments can control, document and tax everything. The governments hate paper cash as it is so hard to track and the light in the darkness for them to rectify this is Bitcoin and its distributed ledger but they want control of it first.
The Westminster Business Forum took place at the Royal Society London on Wednesday 13th of January past. The topic of the forum was the future of FinTech in the UK - competition, regulation and opportunities for growth, with a focus on the future of the FinTech sector in the UK, and the opportunities it presents for the future development and delivery of financial services.
2015 was the first time in the United Kingdom that contactless transactions accounted for one in ten card payments according to the UK Cards Association. Stockholm, Sweden which was the first European country to introduce bank notes in 1661 is looking like the front-runner in getting rid of them in 2016.
Bitcoin debit cards have serious potential at being a massive player in bringing in new adopters to the digital currency ecosystem. Of all the new protocols and products that has entered the market over the last twelfth months, it is the one that I have witnessed most naysayers and those on the fence take most notice off.
When I first came across Bitcoin around four years ago, I was already interested in maintaining my personal right to privacy online although it was only through following the road of the digital currency that led me to an interest in encryption and how to use it and really maintain my right to a private life.
The largest of the non-profits in the digital currency world, the Bitcoin Foundation has been making a lot of negative headlines over the last few years with some justified and others that just seem to be personal attacks. The question that now lingers is there a future for it or any of the many non-profits scattered across the globe in the digital currency industry anymore.
Another development happening in the digital currency industry beginning in January 2016 has combined the forces of the University College Cork and Zhejiang University China who have linked together with the International Street State bank for research and development to study crypto-currencies and future investor technologies.
The price is at new highs for 2015, transactions and trading volume are at record levels for bitcoin but what the psychological driving force has been behind this new found adoption is a fascinating question no one has the answers too. Well that’s all about the change thanks to a global bitcoin adoption survey project being carried out by the Bitcoin Embassy in Amsterdam.
2015 will be remembered as the year bitcoin and its blockchain entered the mainstream, penetrating the highest levels of the global financial system, the arts, and social media, even what at the moment is known as the internet itself, but at what cost will this be as we move forward to its core principle of decentralisation?
In the era of social networks where people share freely everything from the content of their dinner plates to the mood they are in for the world to see instantly, dotcom/mobile entrepreneur and Bitcoin angel investor Alistair Milne has spotted a wide open gap in the market and plans to bring it to the mainstream.
While it seems from the outside looking in that the Bank of England, The United Kingdom Government and Her Majesty’s Treasury are pro digital currencies, just what direction are they really going in and at what cost will their final decisions have for the decentralized concept the protocol was designed for.
While there are already online businesses based in Northern Ireland accepting Bitcoin, we have only recently had our first brick and mortar company announce that it accepts the digital currency for its products. This will hopefully be like the stone that’s thrown into the sea and will cause a ripple effect throughout the province.
CoinMate is the latest and most innovative Bitcoin exchange to register and launch in the United Kingdom after a successful beta trial from November of 2014 in the Czech Republic. This may be a new company but the guys behind this operation have had very successful past experiences in the industry and you could call them old hands.
It is exciting times in N.Ireland in regards to Bitcoin at the moment with the first upmarket coffee shop in Belfast starting to accept Bitcoin, the arrival of the first exchange terminal making purchasing the currency as easy as sending a text message and the Non-Profit Bitcoin Association Northern Ireland holding its first regional meet-up in Belfast on the 28th of May.
Gift Off which specialises in offering gift cards in exchange for over 27 different digital currencies has just this week added another fifty options to their range of over one hundred and eighty gift cards already available, as well as expanding their operations into another few European countries.
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