Stock exchange operator NASDAQ is experimenting with blockchain technology, Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul has named Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne as a member of his tech council, and more top stories for May 11.
NASDAQ Tests Blockchain Technology
Stock exchange operator NASDAQ is experimenting with blockchain technology to see if it could be used for the trading of shares of private companies. More precisely, NASDAQ is testing blockchain tech in NASDAQ Private Market, a marketplace that handles pre-IPO trading among private companies, and where transactions are currently largely handled with informal systems such as spreadsheets.
NASDAQ Chief Executive Robert Greifeld said:
“Utilizing the blockchain is a natural digital evolution for managing physical securities (…) [The technology holds the potential to] benefit not only our clients, but the broader global capital markets.”
Rand Paul Names Overstock's Patrick Byrne As A Member Of His Tech Council
Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul has named Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne as a member of his tech council. This is a noteworthy move from a bitcoiner’s perspective, as both Paul and Byrne have vocally supported the cryptographic currency in the past.
Paul did so by being the first and so far only presidential candidate to accept Bitcoin campaign donations and speaking at a Bitcoin fundraiser in New York. Byrne's Overstock was the first million dollar company to accept Bitcoin, while the company recently applied to issue stocks on blockchain based technology. Byrne himself, furthermore, was the key note speaker at the Bitcoin Foundation's Bitcoin 2014 conference in Amsterdam.
Shares Of Bitcoin Investment Trust Surge After Much Anticipated Debut
Bitcoins can now be traded on the public markets. After a long wait, Grayscale Investment’s Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT) received formal approval on March 26 and began trading in May with the ticker GBTC. On its debut, the shares of BIT traded at around US$35 per share and rose to US$45 per share in a matter of days, an amount significantly higher than the value of Bitcoin on other exchanges, as a share of GBTC is equivalent to approximately one tenth of a bitcoin. At one point the shares even traded at US$133.70, which could be interpreted as a new all time high for the cryptographic currency.
Mycelium Launches Payment Processor Mycelium Gear
Mycelium has introduced a completely free and open source payment processor, Gear. Unlike other payment solutions Gear does not go through a bank or any third party service. Instead, Gear uses the blockchain's ability to track spending so users can watch their bitcoins go directly from the customer into their Bitcoin wallet, with no stops inbetween.
According to Mycelium:
"Mycelium’s hope is that Gear will encourage even more merchants to adopt bitcoin and completely change the way merchant transactions are done, thus continuing our goal of decentralizing everything, improving privacy, and eliminating unnecessary third parties in the Bitcoin economy."
Canadian Brick-and-Mortar Store Bitcoin Brains Secures 10-Year, $2.1M Deal with BitNational
The Canadian brokerage services firm and Bitcoin ATM provider BitNational has acquired brick and mortar Bitcoin store Bitcoin Brains for US$2.1 million. The acquisition move is important to western Canada as a whole, since it consolidates Bitcoin ATM ownership under one ambitious provider. Cointelegraph took some time to talk in-depth with Bitcoin Brains owner and president Dave Bradley.
Emphasizing the technical possibilities of Bitcoin, Bradley said:
“We secured the deal with a deposit done by multisignature. This kind of application will be huge in the future. We priced out the alternative of having a deposit held in trust by a lawyer, and this option saved us around US$6K.”
ConnectX Intends To Launch Bitcoin Wallets Into Space
The ambitious startup startup ConnectX wants to launch Bitcoin wallets into space by 2017. The overarching project is to leverage the advantages of space to the benefit of the economics, technology and security, but for now, the company is focusing on financial companies with the first secure distributed satellite database in the Bitcoin industry.
Project leader Lance Parker said:
“I’ve seen all of the cycles that happen with companies not being able to manage data and solutions that come in to try to solve these issue. (…) The ultimate vision of where our platform could go is to actually do all the data processing on a platform in space.”
GetDotBit Has Registered Over 700 Decentralized .Bit Domain Names and Counting
Daniel Ternyak, CEO and founder of the “no nonsense” .bit domain name registrar GetDotBit launched his project on April 23. Since then, he has offered no-cost registrations to his customers for their first domain name. Over 700 .bit domains have been registered so far, and he says an end date for the free registrations is “not yet” planned.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Ternyak said:
“Anyone even remotely interested in Namecoin should go grab [a .bit domain].”
Breadwallet 0.5.1 For iOS Released
A new version of the Breadwallet, the popular Bitcoin wallet for iOS, has been made available in the App Store. The latest version, 0.5.1, includes localization for a dozen languages, over 100 local currency exchange rates, and the ability to keep transactions private while the app is locked, and bug fixes as well as a faster general performance.