A Tokyo judge has ruled that bitcoin’s are not subject to ownership; Intel is hiring a researcher to investigate hardware and software to advance decentralized ledgers; the Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo says Bitcoin's advantage is its network effect and more top stories for August 6.

Tokyo Court Says Bitcoin Not Subject to Ownership

Tokyo's District Court has made a historic ruling that bitcoin is "not subject to ownership," reported CoinDesk. Judge Masumi Kurachi ruled that since cryptocurrency is intangible and depends on third parties, bitcoins cannot be covered under existing law. In other words, the plaintiff could not file a claim for the bitcoins lost in the Mt Gox collapse.

Intel Hiring Cryptographic Researcher to Investigate Blockchain Related Hardware and Software

Intel, one the world's largest producers of semi conductor chips, is hiring a researcher to investigate hardware and software to advance decentralized ledgers. In a job description posted on LinkedIn, the company cites Bitcoin and blockchain technology, and writes:

“The Special Innovation Projects group within Intel Labs is looking for a researcher to investigate hardware and software capabilities that advance the performance, robustness, and scalability of open, decentralized ledgers. Working with a team of distributed systems, operating systems, and security technologists, you will focus on development of cutting-edge, cryptographic algorithms for improving the robustness and assurance of transaction verification within an open, decentralized ledger.”

Italian Banking Group Says Bitcoin's Advantage is its Network Effect

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), which regulates securities activity in the European Union, has published 14 responses from different banks stemming from a request for information on the topic of virtual currency. Perhaps most interestingly, the Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo said to have established an internal working group called an “Innovation Area” focused on cryptocurrencies as part of a broader effort to innovate on the technology side.

The banking group noted:

“There are high chances that [Bitcoin] can establish itself as a global standard, as it leverages at least four powerful network effects: [the] bitcoin network has by far the largest hashing power (and so the greatest security), the higher capitalization, the largest user (and merchant) adoption, the best and largest developing and maintenance effort around it.”

British PM David Cameron Selects Blockchain.info for Asian Delegation

British Prime Minister David Cameron has selected Bitcoin analytics and wallet service Blockchain.info on last week’s trade delegation to South East Asia. Blockchain.info may be considered an interesting choice to accompany Prime Minister, David Cameron, on such a visit alongside such British stalwarts as Rolls Royce and Lloyds of London.

Blockchain.info co-founder and CEO, Peter Smith stated:

“We’ve been working pretty closely with Number 10 and the policy makers in the U.K. generally. I think the invitation is a reflection of the positive relationship and the Prime Minister’s dedication to fintech, and especially fintech 2.0.”

British PM David Cameron Selects Blockchain.info for Asian Delegation

Coda Payments Partners with BitX to Offer Bitcoin Payment Gateway

Singapore-based alternative payments gateway provider Codapay has partnered with BitX, a bitcoin exchange headquartered in Singapore. The partnership will enable merchants to process bitcoin payments in Southeast Asia while getting paid in local currency, due to BitX’s real-time price conversion technology.

Coda CEO Neil Davidson said:

“Given the low penetration of debit and credit cards in the region, we think Bitcoin holds great promise as a way for customers to transact online.”

Vermont Considering Blockchain Tech for State Records, Smart Contracts

Vermont has taken some legislative steps that could see the state using Bitcoin’s technology for state records, smart contracts and other applications in a drive to become “a leader in the field.” A new law states that research must be done on the potential opportunities and risks of creating a presumption of validity for electronic facts and records that employ blockchain technology.

Additionally, an amendment that it not yet signed into law, states:

“Blockchain technology shall be a recognized practice for the verification of a fact or record, and those facts or records established through a valid blockchain technology process shall have a presumption of validity for matters to be determined subject to, or in accordance with, the laws of the State of Vermont.”

Vermont Considering Blockchain Tech for State Records, Smart Contracts

Glitch Stirs Rumors of Satoshi’s Return

Satoshi Nakamoto’s fortune stands at US$281.6m, which has not moved in over 6 years. But yesterday, one user noticed that some coins had moved, according to data from Blockchain.info, causing a social media storm.

However, it appears that the issue was due to Blockchain.info accepting transactions without validation. The company later acknowledged the issue on Twitter, stating that more details would be forthcoming:


60% of World’s Bitcoin Merchants Are Using BitPay

Leading global bitcoin payment processor BitPay has published a half year report on bitcoin which covers growth of merchants, transactions, volume, etc. Today, over 100,000 merchants worldwide are accepting bitcoin. Out of the 100,000 bitcoin merchants, 60% are processing bitcoin payments through BitPay.

In addition, there has been some impressive growth particularly in Latin America:

“Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region has maintained a consistent transaction volume growth of 20%, while Latin America has reached 120%, and almost doubled in quarterly transactions.”

60% of World’s Bitcoin Merchants Are Using BitPay

Augur Thought-Leader Thinks the Project Will Fail

Augur has quickly become one of the most anticipated projects in the blockchain space this year, but Paul Sztorc, the man who created the theoretical basis for the decentralized prediction market, thinks the platform will not succeed in the long run, reports Coingecko.   

One of the main issues that Truthcoin Creator Paul Sztorc seems to have with Augur is that it’s built on Ethereum as he believes there is no point in building on a platform that “may not exist in a few years.” Sztorc has gone as far as to say, “No one should build anything on Ethereum until we can be sure there actually will be an Ethereum.”