JUL 10 DIGEST: Visa Exec Says Bitcoin Has a Future in Payments; BitFury Raises $20 Million in New VC Round

Visa Europe believes existing payments companies and new players should cooperate more openly; BitFury announced that it has raised US$20 million in its third venture capital round and more news

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JUL 10 DIGEST: Visa Exec Says Bitcoin Has a Future in Payments; BitFury Raises $20 Million in New VC Round

The executive director of new digital payments and strategy at Visa Europe believes existing payments companies and new players in the space should cooperate more openly; Bitcoin mining operation BitFury announced that it has raised US$20 million in its third venture capital round and more top stories for July 10.

Visa: Bitcoin Has a Future in Payments

According to Jonathan Vaux, the executive director of new digital payments and strategy at Visa Europe, large existing payments companies are “lowering the drawbridges” and working more openly with new players in the space. His session at the Wired Money conference in London focused on removing friction between startups and incumbents within the payments space, such as Bitcoin.

Speaking at the one day conference, Vaux said:

“I genuinely believe that by working together, we will succeed together. I think that the innovation that the startups bring is fantastic and that the scale the incumbents – the banks, the Visas of the world – can bring is really really valuable.”

BitFury Raises $20 Million in New VC Round

Bitcoin mining operation BitFury announced that it has raised US$20 million in its third venture capital round, with participating investors including DRW Venture Capital, iTech Capital, and Georgian Co-Investment Fund.

BitFury, which has management offices in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Amsterdam, said it will use the funds to support its accelerating growth as well as its technology and business expansion. In total, the company has so far raised US$60 million in investments.

Backpage.com Adult Section Goes 100% Crypto

International classified ad sites Backpage.com has switched to providing exclusively cryptocurrency payments for its adult entertainment section. Users posting advertisements of an adult nature, such as escort services, must use bitcoin, litecoin or dogecoin to pay any posting fees. The move makes Backpage the first mainstream resource of its type to experiment with a cryptocurrency-only payment model.

Backpage.com Adult Section Goes 100% Crypto

Bitcoin Wallets Changing Fee Structures to Speed Transactions through Network Delays

Due to the continued spam attack on the blockchain network, multiple bitcoin wallets have implemented either increased fees, or the ability for users to increase the fees paid for a given transaction. Based on the nature of the software, miners prioritize which transaction to process first based on the fees associated with it, among other factors.

BitGo, Ledger and BTCJam therefore now effectively allow users to “buy” space in a Bitcoin block, which could be a much needed and necessary step to establish a well functioning fee market.

Amir Taaki Backs Up Ross Ulbricht’s Claim of Leaving Silk Road After Creation

In a recent video posted on the Brave the World YouTube channel, Libbitcoin developer and DarkWallet front-man Amir Taaki is seen discussing the case of Ross Ulbricht. Based on his own conversations with the Dread Pirate Roberts, Taaki says to believe that Ulbricht is falsely convicted, as there were probably at least several DPRs.

Taaki:

“Years ago, when I messaged the Silk Road, I had a conversation with the Dread Pirate Roberts – a very personal conversation where he was [talking] about how one day he hopes to be on the outside struggling for freedom together. [...] One year [or] two years later when I messaged the guy — I’m pretty certain it was not the same guy.”

Jersey to Create Bitcoin Regulations in Line with Public Opinion

The government of Channel island Jersey has asked the public to provide its opinion on whether it should regulate cryptographic currencies such as bitcoin or not. In a newly released consultation paper, prepared under the watch of local authorities, the self-governing democracy has outlined its own opinions on Bitcoin, explaining how it sees it as a great “economy-boosting” technology to adapt, but also raised concerns related to its misuse in nefarious crimes such as money laundering and terrorism.

Columnist Leaves WSJ for MIT's Digital Currency Initiative

Senior columnist Michael Casey is leaving his 18-year old seat at the Wall Street Journal to advise the MIT Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative. Casey hinted at the move in a leaked goodbye e-mail to his colleagues last week, calling the position “too exciting to turn down.”

He explained:

“Leaving The Wall Street Journal after 18 years is not a decision I took lightly. What it does reflect is my belief that digital currency is on the cusp of becoming a major transformative force in society and I can’t think of a better place to help make that happen than the MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative.”

Columnist Leaves WSJ for MIT's Digital Currency Initiative

Wedbush Report Projects US$400 Bitcoin Price By 2016

The price of bitcoin can be expected to rise to US$400 over the next 12 months, according to a new report by financial services and investment firm Wedbush Securities. The report begins with forecasting a rise of Bitcoin Investment Trust shares, and suggests that the Bitcoin network itself could end up powering 10% of online payments and 20% of global remittances by 2025.

The report reads:

"By aggregating the utilization of the various applications, we arrive at our US$400 BTC price target, which translates to US$40 per share of GBTC. This implies [roughly] US$6 billion market capitalization, which we would also describe an option on bitcoin supplanting some payment volumes from Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union, who combine for [less than] US$300 billion in market cap."

Verisart to Use the Blockchain to Verify Artwork

New LA based startup Verisart has announced its future plans to launch a decentralized platform that will help artists and collectors to document, verify and certify artwork. Verisart is trying store a worldwide record of art and collectibles with standard meta-data on the blockchain that can immediately be availed by collectors, artists and insurers, thus creating a 100% transparent ledger of all art-related records on the blockchain.

Verisart Founder Robert Norton said:

“The art word is not broken. It just relies too much on middlemen to ensure trust and liquidity. We believe the advent of a decentralized world-wide ledger coupled with powerful encryption to mask the identities of buyer and seller will be attractive to the art world.”

Verisart to Use the Blockchain to Verify Artwork

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