Barry Silbert's Bitcoin Investment Trust is poised to become the first Bitcoin fund to be publicly traded. The Bitcoin Foundation announces the results of its recent board election. LazyCoins ready to launch the UK's first fully regulation compliant exchange and more top stories for March 2.
Barry Silbert's Bitcoin Investment Trust poised to begin public trading
The Bitcoin Investment Trust is poised to begin an open sale of its shares to become the first publicly traded Bitcoin investment fund, out-pacing the Winklevoss twins' planned ETF. Using a back-door route of selling off previously held private shares, the fund is expected to be given the permanent ticker symbol GBTC.
“The creation of a publicly traded bitcoin investment vehicle is seen as an important milestone for the digital currency’s bid for mainstream acceptance. Bitcoin advocates hope that regulated instruments will encourage a wider investment base as investors will no longer need to own bitcoin directly, which can expose them to hacking risks.”
Bitcoin Foundation election results are in
Olivier Janssens and Jim Harper have won the two available board seats at the Bitcoin Foundation elections. Change looks likely as Janssens ran on a platform of removing core Bitcoin development from the Foundation, a cause he's previously backed through funding of Mike Hearn's Lighthouse decentralized crowd-funding platform.
Won the elections with 63%! Clear sign people want change. @BTCFoundation get ready for exactly that. Thank u everyone! I'll make it happen.— Olivier Janssens (@olivierjanss) March 1, 2015
LazyCoins launches first UK exchange with full ‘money services business’ credentials
Following a lengthy process of registering with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, LazyCoins has now launched the UK’s first exchange that meets the standards for a regulated financial service. The accreditation facilitates the path for better relationships between the startup and banks, allowing for faster transactions.
“LazyCoins Managing Director Peter Heigho told CoinTelegraph that they received their MSB credentials on January 2, the first exchange in the UK to do so. This allows them to offer the ‘rare’ service of fast payments and same-day deposits.”
BTM CoinOutlet acquires LibertyTeller's machines
Four Bitcoin ATMs belonging to LibertyTeller will be re-branded as part of the CoinOutlet network following CoinOutlet's acquisition of the company that launched the first BTM on US soil in 2013. Arriving alongside a software update that allows a wider range of BTM hardware to operate on the CoinOutlet network, the startup seeks to become the largest BTM network in North America.
“CoinOutlet previously owned four BTMs around the US—one each in Utah, North Dakota, Maryland, and Pennsylvania—plus one in Amsterdam. According to the press release, they will acquire LibertyTeller’s BTMs, keep them at their present locations, and rebrand them under their own name.”
CoinSpark launches contextual messages for blockchain transactions
Allowing users to attach contextual notes when sending a payment, CoinSpark has released an open-source tool to insert such “thank you notes” into the blockchain metadata. The service uses colored coins to embed the user's message, an option that will make such bitcoin transactions more familiar to those used to conventional payment services like PayPal.
“These messages, inserted as metadata on the blockchain, give context for the transaction. Users can explain that a transaction is payment for a loan, for instance, or payment for a bet. The message can come in a variety of forms, whether an explanatory note, an invoice, or a video. Only the sender and receivers can view the message.”
Dutch Tax Office gives option to file a Bitcoin declaration
One /r/bitcoin user discovered a surprise whilst filing their self-assessment tax forms in the Netherlands this week in the form of a Bitcoin declaration field. Coming under the heading of “possessions” the field asks Dutch tax payer Espinha the total value of their Bitcoin holdings for tax purposes.
“[T]his section is where you declare your ‘possessions’ including savings and so forth. At the bottom they ask whether the sum of these possessions is above 42278 euro. Above this some tax will apply. But indeed, it's probably of a gray area as to how you can value the bitcoins within this 42k euro limit.”
Wordpress received only slightly over 100 BTC payments in 2014
Commenting on the recent removal of the Bitcoin payment option from the Wordpress subscription screen, founder Matt Mullenweg revealed the site received only two payments a week in Bitcoin during 2014, but plans to reinstate the payment option for “philosophical” reasons.
"The volume has been dropping since launch, in 2014 it was only used about twice a week, which is vanishingly small compared to other methods of payment we offer. […] We supported Bitcoin for philosophical reasons, not commercial ones."
JP Morgan seeks cryptosector employee who doesn't want to work for them
Admitting that their size means they “are not as flexible or agile as your average company,” JP Morgan has launched a search for a product developer delivery manager focused on new financial technology. The candidate is expected to have an “opinion on Bitcoin” and also to be “ambivalent about the prospect of working for a large financial institution.”
“You care about disruption and have opinions on the future of banking, the payments system, and how to improve upon our existing financial infrastructure. You have an opinion on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and you are probably ambivalent about the prospect of working for a large financial institution.”
Independent Reserve CEO Adam Tepper killed in Thailand bike crash
During a holiday in Thailand, Australian Independent Reserve CEO Adam Tepper has been killed in a high-speed motorcycle accident. The 32 year old entrepreneur founded the exchange in 2013, following a successful IT career.
“The company’s mission was to ‘transform digital currency technology into secure, robust and regulated financial services, and do things the right way.’ Mr Tepper was a member of The Ao Chalong Yacht Club in Phuket, which posted a tribute message on their website and on their Facebook page today.”
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