BTC Guild will close shop in New York over the Bitlicense; Goldman Sachs plans to launch its own LendingClub competitor; Adam Back has called for more open discussion on the Bitcoin Block size and more top stories for June 16.

Bitcoin Mining Pool BTC Guild to Close over BitLicense Concerns

BTC Guild has become the latest company to announce it is shutting down its operations in New York over the Bitlicense. The mining pool enterprise said it could not afford any legal threats that may arise as a result of the new regulation and is closing shop at the end of June.

BTC Guild:

"This fact makes it possible for New York to attempt to claim jurisdiction to enforce regulations. Whether or not BTC Guild could win in defense of such an attempt is irrelevant, since the cost of defending the pool would be greater than any income the pool is expected to generate going forward."

Goldman Sachs to launch a LendingClub competitor

Goldman Sachs has disclosed that plans are underway to launch an online lending platform that will rival Fintech startups like LendingClub early next year. As part of the plan, the banking giant has hired Harit Talwar of Discover Financial Services.

While Goldman Sachs is best known for serving large companies and super wealthy clientele, the company is preparing this platform for ordinary consumers and small businesses.  

A memo by CEO Lloyd Blankfein and President Gary Cohn:

"The firm has identified digitally led banking services to consumers and small businesses as an area of opportunity for GS Bank."

CEO Lloyd Blankfein and President Gary Cohn

Cryptographer Adam Back calls for greater transparency in block size debate

Adam Back, the British cryptographer who invented both Hashcash and Proof-of-Work systems used by Bitcoin, has called for an open deliberation on the Bitcoin Block size debate. He also believes that there’s a lot at stake for a few people to influence the direction that the Bitcoin community adopts.

Mr. Back's sentiments are carried in a lengthy email reply to one of Bitcoin’s core developers, Mike Hearn, which is published online.

Adam Back:

“I strongly urge that we return to the existing collaborative constructive review process that has been used for the last 4 years, which is a consensus by design to prevent one rogue person from inserting a backdoor, or lobbying for a favoured change on behalf of a special interest group, or working for bad actor”

IMF: financial Inclusion is necessary

A new IMF report says that financial inclusion is necessary for the living standards in the developing countries to improve. The report indicates that currently there are large disparities in access to financial services between advanced economies and the emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs)

The IMF Report:

“There are large disparities in the use of financial services between advanced economies and EMDCs and across income levels within a country. More than 80 percent of adults in advanced economies have an account at a formal financial institution—twice more than in EMDCs.”

Bitcoin fundraising aims to help flood victims in Tbilisi, Georgia

BitFury and the Georgian Co-Investment Fund have partnered to support victims of the Tbilisi, Georgia flood. At least 12 people were killed, buildings damaged and roads swept away.

The two partners hope that money raised will provide some relief to the survivors as well as help in bringing some form of normalcy to the city.

The CEO of BitFury Group, Mr. Valery Vavilov:

“Our deepest condolences go to the families of those who suffered as a result of devastating flooding in Tbilisi, on June 13-14. On behalf of BitFury, we would like to donate bitcoins to support the victims and also enable everyone willing to help from all over the world to make donations. In partnership with Georgian Co-Investment Fund, we opened a joint bitcoin wallet where bitcoin donations are now accepted.”

BitReserve launches API for ‘frictionless cloud money platform’   

Currency conversion and payments platform BitReserve has just launched the Bitreserve Connect API. The new tool provides an opportunity for businesses, partners and developers to integrate Bitreserve functionality into their financial services apps.

Halsey Minor, Founder:

“With Bitreserve Connect, we’re focused on empowering businesses to create and deliver state-of-the-art financial services apps to deserving consumers across the globe. These reimagined apps take advantage of the many benefits within our truly frictionless cloud money platform."

Halsey Minor

Dope: the first movie to accept BTC for tickets

Dope is a Sundance Film Festival hit and is set to open in more than 900 theaters across the U.S this Friday. If you are planning to watch the movie, then you have the option of buying tickets on and paying with Bitcoins.

Dope will be the first movie to accept the digital currency for tickets. The film's distributor, Open Road Films has partnered with the Bitcoin payment platform GoCoin for this purpose.

Bitpesa to hold a trading event in Nairobi

In the bid to create awareness of the opportunities found in Bitcoin, Bitpesa has organized a Bitcoin Traders Conference in Nairobi, Kenya to be held on June 20, 2015. The all-day event will be attended by top Bitcoin traders from East Africa.

Bitpesa is an East African exchange that enables citizens living abroad to send bitcoins to East Africa, which is received on mobile money accounts such as Mpesa.