RE/MAX London begins accepting BTC for rent payments, NY BitLicense enters its second 30 day comment period, Bitcoin Foundation attempts to improve Bitcoin’s image and other top stories for February 26.
London real estate giant accepts rent payments in bitcoin
RE/MAX London, part of the giant RE/MAX property group has started accepting rental payments in bitcoin via the payment platform GoCoin. Accepting their end of the transactions in GBP, the estate agents say they hope to tap the power of the blockchain in one of the world's key financial cities. Co-founder and CEO of GoCoin Steve Beauregard said:
“RE/MAX London is taking an important first step toward embracing the full potential of the Blockchain for the real estate market. Lease payments are one area of focus, and we look forward to expanding into other areas of smart property as well.”
30 day comment period begins for revised NY BitLicense bill
New York's controversial BitLicense bill aimed at regulating the Bitcoin sector has entered its second period of formal comment submission following its revision. Already having been changed to lessen some of the more onerous regulations, opponents still feel the proposed bill would harm local cryptocurrency businesses.
“Following what Lawsky described as some ‘major changes,’ BitLicense will now enter a second 30-day comment period, during which time the public may review the latest version of the proposals and contribute their opinion as before. Following this period, BitLicense should become law.”
Major advertising agency hired to re-brand Bitcoin
The Bitcoin Foundation, BitFury, BitGo, and Tally Capital, have come together to pay advertising agency “the Audience” to re-brand Bitcoin in the eyes of the general public. Aiming to combat a bad image and poor reputation, the ad-agency will be using its network on digital “microcelebrities” to incorporate and use positive digital currency references in their posts.
Bitcoin Foundation resets problematic election system
The Bitcoin Foundation has abandoned the use of a blockchain based voting system following a string of technical difficulties experienced by those trying to cast a ballot. Reverting back to a simpler Helios system, the election for two new board members will be reset.
“Due to several complaints and technical challenges the Blockchain voting system is being canceled and rolled back to the previous system, Helios.
Voting will be restarted on this platform. This was discussed on the foundation forum - the foundation emailed all candidates and all four of us agreed that this was the best course of action.”
DApps partner Sam Yilmaz: ‘Appetite for crypto is shrinking’
In an interview with Cointelegraph, Decentralized Apps Fund partner, Sam Yilmaz, has warned that he sees tough times ahead for crypto based startups as interest in the sector is “shrinking.” Suggesting that start-ups will need to be leaner and more driven towards a great product, Yilmaz believes that interest will return in the long run.
“It's the free market and it's natural to see spurts of growth and stalling. I'd not be surprised to see a slowdown in the rate of growth, as the appetite for crypto seems to be shrinking, especially if the BTC price is any indicator.”
CoinJar announces Bitcoin debit card for Australasia
Australian exchange CoinJar has announced its general release of CoinJar Swipe, a debit card funded with bitcoin that should be accepted for any over-the-counter purchase. Also capable of withdrawing funds from ATMs, such cards represent a familiar and accessible way for the general public to use cryptocurrencies.
“Last year in September, we invited 100 members of our early access program, CoinJar DNA, to beta-test Swipe. It was well-received and using the beta-test feedback, our team was able to refine and improve Swipe for you today.”
BitGo offers bitcoin insurance up to US$250,000
Backed by the “XL Group” of insurance underwriters, BitGo is now offering insurance for bitcoin balances for up to US$250,000. Unlike previous “bonded” style insurances, which relied on a cash reserve being set aside, the involvement of the international underwriters makes this the first time a Bitcoin company has been able to offer this level of insurance.
“BitGo’s multi-signature architecture delivers a significant level of security, realizing how seriously they take cyber security; we confidently developed a comprehensive insurance solution that offers BitGo and their customers another layer of protection.”
Ex-Goldman Sachs Director launches Bitcoin derivatives brokerage
Former Goldman Sachs Director, Timo Schlaefer, has announced the launch of a Bitcoin derivatives trading platform. The Crypto Facilities services aims to bring familiar trading tools such as risk management, margining, and settlements into the cryptocurrency world.
“The platform aims to appeal to sophisticated investors and is backed by a high-profile team of experienced professionals from top investment banks and regulatory advisers. The Bitcoin space still lacks professional, reliable marketplaces, and this is what we provide.”
Filipino students build portable Bitcoin ATM
Students from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines Manila have constructed a portable BTM aimed at increasing awareness and easing the deployment of such systems. The one-way device was built as part of their bachelor thesis, which runs on the BitcoinJ API. The machine is physically secured by a heavy lock on the side of the device.
“The Bitcoin ATM’s core is programmed mainly using BitcoinJ API and the conversion value was pulled using the Finance and Bitstamp API from Google. The physical security of the Portable Bitcoin ATM comes with a variety of options. With this first model of Portable Bitcoin ATM, a simple lock is used to prevent the unauthorized access inside the machine and a pin code to access the settings of the Portable Bitcoin ATM system.”
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