The Federal Reserve published a brief paper highlighting the growth of virtual currencies; NASDAQ is expected to be the first major exchange operator to use blockchain technology, and more top stories for July 24.
Federal Reserve Publishes Study on Virtual Currencies
The Federal Reserve published a brief paper named “What Community Bankers Should Know About Virtual Currencies.”
The publication highlights the growth of virtual currencies and the fact that they still only represent a fraction of all US dollars in circulation. It also covers exchangers and intermediaries of cryptocurrencies bound to the traditional banking system.
BNP Paribas Testing Crypto in its Currency Funds
France's biggest bank BNP Paribas is looking to add bitcoin to one of its currency funds. A source at the bank told IB Times UK that the bank has been doing beta testing involving cryptocurrency, and that the addition of bitcoin into one of the bank's currency funds would soon be announced in Paris.
A spokeswoman for BNP Paribas said:
“We are looking at blockchain technology and how it can be applied to post trade processes to make things faster and potentially cheaper but it's all very much projects and it's all in testing. It's nothing live.”
NASDAQ Expects to Be First Exchange Using Bitcoin Technology
NASDAQ expects to become the first major exchange operator to use blockchain technology when a project in its private-companies business goes live in the fourth quarter. Speaking to Bloomberg, NASDAQ CEO Bob Greifeld said he believed that the technology will be of fundamental importance to Wall Street.
“The benefits to the industry are immense and cannot be ignored […] The application of blockchain technology within NASDAQ’s private market aims to modernize, streamline and really secure cumbersome administrative functions.”
Tunisian Government Offers Bitcoin Internship Opportunity
The Tunisian Ministry of Technologies of Digital Communication and Economy is looking for a Bitcoin intern, according to a document posted on its Facebook page. The short recruitment notice specifies that the intern will research advantages and disadvantages of utilizing Bitcoin, analyze the effects of Bitcoin on the banking system, and present blockchain applications that are being developed regarding various issues, such as privacy, security, freedom, transparency and more.
Customer Data Leaked in Possible Bitcoin Vendor Breach
UK bitcoin vendor CoinCut has suffered a security breach, temporarily exposing customer data to the public. Visitors to CoinCut's website were able to access directories that included images of passports, credit and debit cards and personal IDs. The site was taken offline, and it is unclear how long the information was publicly available.
CoinCut representative Dax Chan explained:
“We're trying to figure out how that particular directory was made visible to the world – and how the problem leaked out so promptly given that we're a moderately small bitcoin vendor in the grand scheme of things.”
Lightning Network Could be Ready for Use Sooner Than Expected
Thanks to some proposed tweaks, the Lightning Network could be up and running a lot sooner than expected. In a paper titled “Reaching the Ground With Lightning,” Blockstream developer Rusty Russell offered tweaks that simplify the Lightning Network. According to some developers, this could mean faster deployment of the network that could help Bitcoin scale despite a small(er) block size limit.
MIT's 'Enigma' Uses Bitcoin Blockchain to Create Privacy-Enhancing, Decentralized Computation Platform
The MIT Media Lab unveiled that it is working on a Bitcoin-based encryption system that lets users securely share data over a decentralized computational network. The system, called Enigma, could offer drastically improved privacy features on the Internet.
MIT Media Lab graduate researcher and one of Enigma’s creators, Guy Zyskind explained:
“You can see it as a black box. […] You send whatever data you want, and it runs in the black box and only returns the result. The actual data is never revealed, neither to the outside nor to the computers running the computations inside.”
While the system itself is largely platform agnostic, and could work with other blockchains as well, the team is currently working to build Enigma on top of Bitcoin.
Bitreserve Adds Seven New Currencies
Bitcoin-based financial services provider Bitreserve has added seven new currencies its customers can choose from. While Bitreserve users could already store, send, receive, buy and sell nine different currencies, it has now added the Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, Hong Kong dollar, New Zealand dollar, Singapore dollar, Kenyan shillings, and the Israeli shekel.
Bitreserve’s Vice President of Product Byrne Reese said:
“Bitreserve has a long-term goal of servicing every corner of the world – a goal that dovetails nicely with our ever-present drive to deliver better service to our global members […] We decided upon our most recent batch of currencies in response to both providing currencies our members have requested directly, and in better supporting the geographies our members currently live in.”