The Block Chain Summit kicks off at Branson’s private island, Xapo announces its advisory board, integrates Clef's 'passwordless' authentication system, a new Bitcoin center in the capital city of Brazil, and more top stories for May 27.

Block Chain Summit Kicks Off on Richard Branson's Necker Island

The Block Chain Summit, a four-day event seeking to attract attention to how decentralized ledger systems might impact the world, kicked off this week on Richard Branson's private Necker Island.

Gabriel Abed, co-founder of the Caribbean’s first digital currency asset exchange, Bitt, announced on Tuesday he will be representing the region.

Abed said in a release that he will "visit Sir Richard Branson’s private island as we conclude a set of discussion highlighting critical issues and solutions that will help lay out a framework for a world where humankind is fully benefitting from the amazing technology behind the Blockchain."

Xapo Welcomes Former Visa, Citibank Executives in Advisory Board

Xapo, a bitcoin wallet and storage provider, has announced the formation of its advisory board composed of three "visionary leaders," Dee Hock, the founder of Visa, John Reed, former chairman and CEO of Citibank, and Lawrence H. Summer, former Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton.

­The company said in a blog announcement:

"We look forward to continuing to build the global Bitcoin ecosystem with the help of these accomplished leaders and visionaries from the worlds of finance, economics and public policy." Integrates Clef's 'Passwordless' Authentication, an OTC bitcoin exchange looking to rival LocalBitcoins, has integrated Clef's passwordless two-factor authentication to "make logins safe and easy for the big audience."

Jad Mubaslat, CEO of, explained in a release:

"For us, Clef is more than just an evolved two-factor solution. We're excited about using Clef to replace confusing passwords altogether. This improves both the experience and security habits of our users."

BitcoinToYou Opens Bitcoin Hub in Brasilia

BitcoinToYou, a local bitcoin and litecoin brokerage, has announced the opening of its fourth franchise in Brazil’s capital, Brasilia. These physical locations are aimed to promote interest in bitcoin as a technology, reported CoinDesk.

According to Andre Horta, CEO at BitcoinToYou:

"We need to go beyond the obvious and see the important role of having physical presence in major cities of the country, thus promoting bitcoin, breaking barriers and showing that bitcoin is here to stay even to those who are skeptical."

New Jersey Reaches Settlement with 'Tidbit' Creator

The state of New Jersey and the creator of "Tidbit," a software designed to help websites make money by using the power of users' computers to mine bitcoins, have reached a settlement Tuesday that prohibits the creator from accessing computers in New Jersey without getting consent from their owners, reported

"MIT student Jeremy Rubin developed the software with classmates as part of the Node Knockout Hackathon [...] Rubin is prohibited from accessing New Jerseyans' computers without clearly notifying the owners and obtaining their consent. If Rubin violates agreement within two years, he'll have to pay the state $25,000."

ChainPay Partners with Payment Goblin

Bitcoin startup ChainPay, has announced a new partnership with payment processor Payment Goblin to allow merchants to start accepting bitcoin.

James Carter, founder of ChainPay, said in a release:

"Payment Goblin is a forward thinking payment processor who recognizes the value of Bitcoin payments. We are pleased to be working with such an organisation whose goals are aligned so well with ourselves. Through this partnership we hope to introduce merchants currently using traditional card payments to the benefits of digital currency."

Canadian University Wants to Raise Awareness of Bitcoin, Fintechs

The Simon Fraser University in British Colombia, wants its students to get accustomed and more involved in bitcoin and financial innovations. The university has installed three bitcoin ATMs across its campuses and is now accepting bitcoin payments for purchases of books and equipment.

Mark McLaughlin, executive director ancillary services at the university, said:

"It is our mission to challenge and engage students and provide them with learning opportunities not only inside the classroom but also outside. […] SFU has one of North Americas’s most prominent Bitcoin student clubs and they have asked us to help introduce Bitcoin to the SFU community. As a university focused on innovation, we want to provide our students the opportunity to try digital currencies like Bitcoin."

Canadian University Wants to Raise Awareness of Bitcoin, Fintechs

Banks Need to Explore the Long-Term Benefits of Blockchain Tech, Says EBA Chairman

In an interview with Finextra, Vincent Brennan, head of group payments and operations at the Bank of Ireland and chairman of the European Banking Association working group, shared his views on the blockchain technology, emphasizing on its advantages in terms of foreign exchange remittances, faster payments and collateral management.

Brennan said:

"If you look into two years, five years or 10 years, [the blockchain technology] would be very important for banks and now is the time to start understanding it and looking at what its opportunities could be."

Bitcoin Re-Imagining Charity and Empowering Women in 3rd World Countries

In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, Francesco Rulli, founder and president of BitCharities and BitLanders, explains how his platform has managed to provide people in unbanked regions of the world with the ability to leverage and monetize their talent, thanks to bitcoin and the blockchain.

An excerpt:

"Bitcoin is safe and confidential. The only person who can have access to it is the very person who is supposed to receive the payment. It positions women on the Blockchain ledger and they can exchange values and seek advice and support from very smart people like Marc Andreessen, Fred Wilson and Nic Cary, regardless of their geo location.

"I am a strong believer in what Spiderman says: 'With power comes responsibility' and it's with this power of the Blockchain and Bitcoin that we can truly empower women to financial independence, especially in countries where women have limited freedom."

Bitcoin Re-Imagining Charity and Empowering Women in 3rd World Countries