Merchants can now receive bitcoin payments in seconds with Bitnet’s 'Instant Approval' tool; Blockchain Investment Firm Coinsilium to IPO in London; New Jersey gets its first BTM, and more top stories for July 16.

Merchants to Receive Bitcoin Payments in Seconds with Bitnet’s 'Instant Approval' Tool

Payment processor Bitnet has unveiled 'Instant Approval', a new service that helps merchants receive bitcoin payments within seconds. The new product circumvents the problem of waiting for transactions to be confirmed on the blockchain.

The service operates on calculating the probability of whether a bitcoin transaction is ultimately confirmed. Akif Khan, Chief Commercial Officer at Bitnet:

"Whatever the reason, when a transaction is propagating more slowly, it increases the chance that a double-spend transaction could be present in the network and reach miners before the slowly propagating original transaction reaches them. We notify the merchant accordingly and take liability for funding that transaction."

Blockchain Investment Firm Coinsilium to IPO in London

Coinsilium, an investment company focused on early-stage Blockchain startups, has announced that it plans to hold an IPO on the London Stock Exchange’s submarket, AIM.

The float is due to take place in the month of August, and the company will be listed under the ticker COIN.

Jersey City gets its first Bitcoin ATM

Jersey City in the state of New Jersey has received its first Bitcoin ATM. The teller machine is owned and operated by Kointron, a company founded by Michael Singh, a Bitcoin enthusiast, and entrepreneur.

The Bitcoin ATM officially launches today at a local shop and will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Michael Singh:

"We need this (Bitcoin ATM) for mass adoption. We need this to be as safe, efficient, and quick as possible."

Investment Firm Wedbush Predicts Bitcoin to Reach $400 Bitcoin by 2016

Wedbush Securities, an LA-based financial services and investment firm has predicted that bitcoin will trade at US$400 by next year. In the report, the firm further indicates that Bitcoin Investment Trust's NASDAQ traded bitcoin derivative GBTC will grow as well and thus, advises investors to buy the over-the-counter security.

The synopsis of the report reads:

"We believe Bitcoin and its associated blockchain technology have the potential to disrupt the existing financial infrastructure over the next few years. We believe the value of the bitcoin currency (BTC) will benefit from this trend and, therefore, are initiating coverage of GBTC with an OUTPERFORM rating and US$400 price target."

Investment Firm Wedbush Predicts $400 Bitcoin by 2016; Advises to Buy GBTC

Coinbase Reports on Bitcoin’s Trends in the First Half Of 2015

Coinbase, a bitcoin exchange as well as wallet service provider, has published a report on its blog site about the trends in the Bitcoin ecosystem in the first half of 2015.

According to this report, the industry has seen grown in almost all of its sectors; the number of wallets in use, number of daily transactions and even the value of bitcoin as compared to the US dollar.

Part of the report reads:

 “[…] if you look below the surface it is clear that Bitcoin had a strong first half and is making great strides as digital money for people around the world and a payment network for innovation.”

Smartwatch manufacturer Kairos now accepts bitcoin

Kairos, a hybrid smartwatch manufacturer, has announced that is now accepting payment for its high-end products. The South Korean startup, which launched early 2014, has partnered with BitPay, a bitcoin payment processor, for this purpose.

In the same announcement, the company has offered a 40% discount for preorders made with bitcoin. Kairos CEO and founder Sam Yung has said that pre-orders will begin shipping in the next four months. The company has already collected over US$2m in pre-sales from its website alone.

Mr. Sam Yung:

“Kairos smartwatches currently sit at the cross-section between technology and craftsmanship so being able to offer our products for purchase in Bitcoin is a part of the fundamental way we look at disrupting traditional industries."

Digital Asset Holdings CEO Blythe Masters Named Chairman of Santander Consumer USA

Blythe Masters, the CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, a blockchain company, has replaced Stephen Ferriss as the non-executive Chairperson of the Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc Board of Directors. Santander is a consumer finance holding company that specializes in vehicle finance and unsecured consumer-lending products.

Jason Kulas, CEO of SCUSA, in a statement:

“Blythe Masters’ deep understanding of the financial markets and emerging bank technologies, coupled with her regulatory expertise, make her the right choice to lead the SCUSA Board[.]”

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Supports Bitcoin Startup in Africa

Ghana-based blockchain startup Bitsoko has received a research grant of US$100,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through a startup competition called Gran Challenges Explorations. The competition was focused on promoting widespread acceptance of mobile money by small merchants.

Bill Gates:

“Poor people don’t have bank accounts and so when they have an emergency [or] they want to borrow or save, it’s very tough. [With] small transactions, the fees are just too high when you have banks and ATMs and all that. If we take the cellphone and just use the digital currency, then you can have all those financial services." 

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Promotes Bitcoin in Kenya