Weekend Roundup: Ending Counterfeiting with the Blockchain, Bitcoin in Cuba and More
Weekend Roundup from Cointelegraph
Block Verify announced on March 6th that they have a partnership with a UK pharmaceutical company to begin ensure the validity of pharmaceuticals using the Blockchain.
Block Verify, a blockchain-based anti-counterfeit solution, wants to have a global, positive social impact by using blockchain technology to "make the world more honest."
Pavlo Tanasyuk, founder of Block Verify (and co-founder of SpaceBit), told Cointelegraph:
"We decided to start with [the pharmaceutical industry] as it is one of the sectors where people are directly affected by using counterfeit products. That can lead to various complications and even death of the consumer. It is also one of the most challenging environments."
The charity Sean's Outpost has fed its 150,000th meal to the homeless using Bitcoin.
Sean's Outpost is the largest provider of meals to the homeless in Escambia County, Florida. It has the unique distinction of being the only homeless outreach in the world primarily funded by cryptocurrency.
According to Jason King, founder of Sean's Outpost:
"Bitcoin is significantly cheaper than credit card processing. If you think of 1.7% to 3.4% fee to process those transactions and for the right to get that money.
Sean’s Outpost has raised approximately $240,000 in 20 months, we have saved $8400 just for using bitcoin instead of credit cards. $8400 is a good amount of money but to a non-profit that it is a huge amount of money.
Which means that at Sean’s Outpost, we were able to feed an additional 6720 meals to the homeless, simply because we took Bitcoin rather than credit cards."
The Wall Street Bitcoin Alliance (WSBA), a trade advocacy group composed of financial market professionals, was formed last week and plans to educate the financical movers and shakers on Wall Street.
The WSBA is looking to "guide and promote comprehensive adoption of digital currency and blockchain technology across financial markets."
According to founder and executive director, Ron Quaranta:
"Bitcoin and blockchain technology and protocols represent a seismic shift in how financial markets, and all aspects of the global economy, will operate in the future.
The ability to operate using blockchain technology and create trustless counterparty interactions on a global scale will reinvent how many long-standing industries operate.
Finance 2.0 is the reinvention of capital allocation and movement on a global scale."
One young Arizona couple – the recent parents of baby Neo – are setting out to give their son a life unencumbered by “government documents for proof of birthday and location of birth.”
They're even kicking his paperless life off with a tour called Undocumented Human, which will promote Bitcoin at locales in Arizona, California, and Texas (including the Texas Bitcoin Conference).
According to a release:
"Their decision to take their son on the road will be to encourage a future where he and others will be able to find work when needed, a place to stay, a cold drink and some warm food, all without having to use the dreaded federal reserve note."
In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, members of the Club Anarcocapitalista de Cuba (Cuban Anarchocapitalist Club; CAC) were able to go on record to describe their mission to bring the social and economic freedom engendered by Bitcoin to their local community.
"I believe with news of new diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba now is the time that Bitcoin can begin to flourish in Cuba. Part of these new negations are allowing U.S. telecommunications companies to set up equipment and other infrastructure projects needed to improve phone and Internet services on the island. [...] Although the future of Bitcoin in Cuba may be bright, at the present time it is somewhat bleak."
IBM may be looking to use blockchain technology to create its own digital payments system. The development would presumably aim to bring a trusted name to the concept of instant funds transfers and payments, reported Reuters.
Blythe Masters, a former JP Morgan Chase & Co. executive, is taking the leadership of a new trading platform for bitcoin and other digital assets, called Digital Asset Holding LLC. The company is looking to build software that facilitates secure trading and settlement, as well as providing tools so customers can convert traditional securities and other financial instruments into digital form that can be embedded into the blockchain, Masters told the Wall Street Journal.
Following a partnership between BTCPoint and national Spanish bank Banc Sabadell, Spanish Bitcoin users will now be able to use 10,000 ATMs to withdraw BTC into Euros, reported 99Bitcoins.
Coinbase has taken a step in the direction of legislative legitimacy by joining a major Internet representation group in Washington DC, "the Internet Association." The group works to fight for the proper representation of Internet rights in legislative regulation.
Reddit announced on Twitter that its merchandise store, RedditMarket, is now accepting bitcoin. The long-awaited decision was well received on both r/bitcoin and Twitter, as Reddit is not only a popular Bitcoin hub but was also one of the first big names to start accepting the cryptocurrency for Gold subscriptions back in 2012.
New Bitcoin ATMs
In light of Cointelegraph's partnership with Coin ATM Radar, we have compiled a list of the Bitcoin ATMs that went live this week.
Announced in September 2014, France's third Bitcoin ATM was finally installed on March 8, at MineOnCloud, 18 rue de Toul, 31000 Toulouse.
Operated by French startup MineOnCloud, the device is a two-way BitXatm machine that allows up to 3000€ per day for buy and 600€ per day for sell, while charging 8.5% in transaction fees.
On March 9, the two-way BitXatm Bitcoin ATM that was initially located at Magicom Shop in Geneva, was relocated to Salsicia piu (before Harrem), Steinentorstrasse 26, 4051 Basel, Switzerland.
Operated by Bitcoin Suisse AG, the device allows up to 500 CHF to be transacted per day for unregistered users and charges 5%.
Another bitcoin ATM, this time in Italy, was moved from Working Capital Accelerator The Yellow Bar near the Termini station in Rome, at Via Palestro, 40. The machine is a one-way Bit-Wallet device that is limited to 990 EUR per day, and charges 6% in fees.
In Sweden, a new bitcoin ATM was installed on March 9, at BTCX office in Stockholm, Malmskillnadsgatan 32. The two-way BitAccess device charges a 5% transaction fee and is limited to 3,000 SEF for both buying and selling.
In Spain, two bitcoin ATMs went live this week. The first machine is located at Espai Bitcoin office in Girona, avinguda Lluís Pericot, 46, local 2-B, and is a one-way Lamassu device that allows up to 1,000 EUR per transaction, while charging a 5% fee.
The second device is a two-way BTCPoint bitcoin ATM located at the office of software distribution company Importmatica Eportacion, SL, Carrer Riu Llobregat, 4 in the city of Lleida.
In South Korea, it was reported that the one-way Lamassu bitcoin ATM originally located at Culcom (Culture Complex) Cafe, was moved on March 7, to Bitcoin Center Korea, 3rd Floor, 123-7 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul.
Operated by Digital Synergy, the device has no fixed transaction limits but charges between 3.5% and 4% in fees.
In Tokyo, Japanese company Fujicrypto installed a one-way Lamassu bitcoin ATM in their office located at 2-5-2 JMN Building 3rd floor, Azabujuban. The device is limited at 1M yen per day, and 100,000 yen per transaction.
On February 16, PYC installed two one-way Skyhook bitcoin ATMs in the state of New York. The first device is located at Tesoros Cafe, 1712 Union St, Schenectady, NY, and is available from Tuesday to Sunday from 7am to 3pm.
The second device is located at Fortunate Cup Coffee Shop, 120 West Ave #302 Saratoga Springs.
In Homewood, Illinois, a new one-way Genesis Coin bitcoin ATM was installed on March 13, at Homewood Office Building, 930 175th St. Operated by Red Leaf Chicago, the machine is limited to US$2,500 per transaction.
According to Blockchain.info data, Bitcoin continues its uptrend. The price rose 2.5% over the week, and 15.51% over the past month.
This week, bitcoin price reached its highest score on Friday 13, trading at 297 USD/BTC, a level that we have not seen since early January 2015.
The number of bitcoin transactions per day continues its long-term uptrend, while oscillating between 86,000 and 112,000 on a weekly basis.
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