Weekend Roundup: Venezuelans Turn to Bitcoin, Russia to Legalize Bitcoin Transactions

Weekend Roundup from CoinTelegraph.

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Weekend Roundup: Venezuelans Turn to Bitcoin, Russia to Legalize Bitcoin Transactions

Web-Wallet Providers Divided over Andresen’s 20 MB Block Size Increase Proposal

CoinTelegraph reached out to bitcoin web-wallet providers to know their sentiment on the block size limit debate.

Of all the providers listed on bitcoin.org, Blockchain.info, Coinbase and Xapo are in favor of raising Bitcoin's block size limit from 1 to 20 megabytes as advised by Bitcoin Core developer Gavin Andresen, while Coinkite and GreenAddress have come out against the proposal.

Wences Casares, CEO and founder at Xapo, said:

"We support Gavin's proposal as we think it is important for Bitcoin's growth and development to get ahead of this hard cap before it is a problem. Many of us are already circumventing this by processing as many transactions as possible off the blockchain which makes Bitcoin more centralized, not less."

Hyperinflation Leads the Number of Venezuelan Bitcoin Users to Double

Venezuela’s official inflation rate hit 68% in 2014 and it is predicted to surpass 70% this year. Meanwhile, the number of Venezuelan bitcoin users has doubled and the trading volumes of Venezuelan bitcoin exchanges have increased substantially since 2014.

According to a spokesperson of bitcoin Venezuela:

"The price [of bitcoin] never fluctuates at the same rate as the devaluation of the bolívar, which lost 60 percent of its value in one month."

First-Ever iPhone App for Trading Every ‘Major’ Digital Currency Released

ShapeShift has released its multi-sig iOS app that allows trading of all major digital currencies including Monero and Counterparty.

According to CEO Erik Voorhees:

"Most exchanges hold customer funds and extract personal information, which is an archaic and insecure model. Mt. Gox was a teachable moment for everyone in the Bitcoin community and ShapeShift has innovated these problems out of the picture."

Russia Expected to Legalize Bitcoin P2P Transactions

The Russian Central Bank may soon allow P2P transactions in Bitcoin, as well as other operations with cryptocurrencies.

According to a source close to the Central Bank, it is "very likely" that the regulator may in fact be a proponent of cryptocurrency as "the attitude of the Central Bank towards Bitcoin has shifted in the past year."

Max Keiser: Banker Suicides ‘Likely to Increase as the Fiat Bubble Continues to Implode’

In an exclusive interview with CoinTelegraph, Max Keiser, financial journalist and host of the Keiser Report, discussed his new venture capital fund Bitcoin Capital, who the number one basher of Bitcoin is, and why bankers’ arrests are needed if he becomes the economic advisor to the Mayor of London.

An excerpt:

"The future of European banking and global banking is a universal currency reset against Gold along with a parallel universal adoption of cryptocurrencies. We've seen a lot of banker suicides recently - that pace is likely to increase as the fiat bubble continues to implode."

Elsewhere

After eight months of developing its much anticipated sidechains project, which aims to turn Bitcoin into a more versatile platform for innovative decentralizing applications, the cryptography team at BlockStream has unveiled its first working prototype called "Sidechain Elements," reported the WSJ's MoneyBeat.

Symbiot, a technology company that seeks to create "smart securities" on the blockchain, has raised US$1.25 million of seed funding from financial market leaders, including Duncan Niederauer, former CEO of the NYSE Euronext and Matt Andresen, founder of the Island ECN and trading head at Citadel.

A 17-year-old Virginia teenager faces up to 15 years in prison for blog and Twitter posts about encryption and Bitcoin that were geared at assisting ISIL. The teenager, who contributed to the Coin Brief news site, pleaded guilty to a federal charge of providing material support to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, reported Ars Technica.

New Bitcoin ATMs

This week, a two-way BitAccess bitcoin ATM went live on June 10, in Brooklyn, NY.

Located at Vape Supply Co., on 40 Bushwick Ave, the machine charges 8 to 19% in fees and is limited to US$9,900 per day.

Market Activity

This week, the bitcoin price has finally broke the US$230 mark, trading, at the time of writing, at 233 USD/BTC, according to Blockchain.info data.

Although bitcoin has gone up by 4% this week, the volume has been relatively weak. The fact that Bitcoin might have been losing momentum and hasn't moved up significantly, might suggest that the currency is now consolidating before yet another move to the downside.

As we reported in our price analysis:

"Bitcoin's primary downtrend remains intact [...] It’s been a slow bleed down but all the indicators in multiple time frames are pointing to a test of key support levels below."

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