“Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. has agreed to provide New York-based startup Noble Markets with core technology to power a new marketplace aimed at allowing companies and institutional investors such as hedge funds to trade bitcoin and related digital-currency assets.
According to a joint statement provided to The Wall Street Journal, Noble’s platform will use Nasdaq’s X-stream trading system, a high-tech system for matching market participants’ orders that is used by more than 30 exchanges and marketplaces worldwide. Nasdaq will also provide marketing support.” WSJ
Former NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer has joined NY-based bitcoin derivatives platform TeraExchange in the role of advisor. TeraExchange previously received approval from the CFTC to move forward with their platform, but has not yet received specific approval for their bitcoin derivative products.
Barry Silbert’s Bitcoin Investment Trust (Ticker: GBTC) finally went live this week, making it the first bitcoin ETF to hit the market. At the time of this writing, no trading activity had occurred yet. GBTC quotes on WSJ.
For the past several months, there have been rumours that PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker room, was preparing to accept bitcoin deposits. In February, the company even denied those rumours. PS still has not caught the bitcoin bug, but thanks to a partnership between payment processor Neteller and BitPay, users can now use bitcoin to make deposits into their accounts. Neteller also offers prepaid MasterCard debit cards which can be topped up with bitcoin.
BitNet, the bitcoin payments processor that was founded by former Visa and bank executives announced this week a partnership with payments processor Cardinal Commerce. The partnership will give all Cardinal merchants the ability to enable bitcoin payments. Cardinal counts among their customers “international retail giants such as Lenovo, Toshiba, GameStop, Tiffany & Co., and Urban Outfitters. It also includes leading travel companies such as Delta Airlines, Orbitz, Travelocity, and Hotwire.” Last week Rakuten integrated bitcoin payments with BitNet. Keep an eye on these guys!
AROUND THE WORLD
Senior Hong Kong legislator Leung Yiu-Chung says that there is no need for legislation to regulate bitcoin at this time. Several months ago, a group of scammers in Hong Kong used the premise of selling their clients bitcoins to steal millions of dollars, which led some in the HK government to call for more regulation.
“Swedish bitcoin exchange BTCX, has been requested by the local Tax Authority to disclose transaction history of the company’s 20,000 customers. The exchange is taking the Swedish Tax Authority to court, arguing that by doing so, all its clients’ identities would be disclosed.”
Startups from more than sixty countries applied to this year’s Barclays Accelerator program in London. Only ten were accepted. Of those ten, three of them are focused on bitcoin or blockchain technology. According to Coindesk, Barclays was heavily involved in the selection process, with finalist applicants having to do a Q&A session with as many as thirty employees of Barclays.
“Welcome to DoctorX’s Barcelona lab, where the drugs you bought online are tested for safety and purity. No questions asked.” Fascinating article: Inside the Deep Web Drug Lab
“Traditional payment infrastructure was built before the Internet existed, in a world where a lot of people and physical resources (land, buildings) was owned by central parties (e.g. a bank) to monitor and facilitate transfers of value. There hasn’t been an efficient, standardized way for banks across the world to communicate with each other and for developers to interact with.” We Deserve Better Payment Products
“As for China, the government here neither endorses nor prohibits bitcoin. The only official government policy regarding bitcoin is that traditional banks and financial institutions are not allowed to deal with bitcoin directly. Private ownership and trading of bitcoin is legal.” An interview with Robert Kuhne from Chinese bitcoin exchange Huobi
“Since day one Bitcoin has had a rarely discussed but fundamental rule called the first seen rule. The first seen rule says that given two transactions or blocks that build off the same dependency, whichever one the node saw first wins.” This essay by Mike Hearn gets really technical, but is very interesting.
BITS & PIECES
A video demonstration of OpenBazaar multisig escrow. This project is looking really good.
“Global institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, have endorsed a China-led international bank, despite opposition from the U.S.” CNBC
France imposes new restrictions on using cash, requiring ID for any cash transaction of more then €1,000. Reuters
The Australian Federal Government is set to institute a new tax on bank deposits.
DBS Bank is holding a hackathon for “blockchain enthusiasts”.
The EFF filed a second round of comments on New York’s proposed BitLicense regulation.
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