Abigail Johnson, chair and CEO of Fidelity Investments, went public with her enthusiasm for blockchain technology, bitcoin, ethereum and what the future holds for both open-source, public blockchains and more private alternatives, during Coinbase, a bitcoin and blockchain conference held in New York City. In her talk, Johnson discussed the "future scenario" where blockchain technologies have thrived, remarking that she thinks this has a "reasonable chance" of coming to pass despite the relative newness of the technology.
As Bitcoin has continued to gain in popularity and accessibility around the globe, its price has similarly grown. The digital currency, widely seen as one of the earliest and the most important in paving the way for the new cryptocurrency industry, has reached a landmark achievement. Continued growth in price has elevated the cost of a single Bitcoin to more than $2,000 for the first time in history.
The Norwegian Skandianbanken, independent of its Swedish counterpart, is rolling out a new feature which allows customers to integrate their Bitcoin wallets, checking the value of their holdings at the same time they check their bank accounts, according to local publication E24. Through an integration of the Coinbase wallet, which enables the buying and storing of cryptocurrency holdings in bitcoin, ether and litecoin, the bank’s customers now have direct access to these holdings using Skandiabanken’s online banking.
Hackers are claiming to have stolen an upcoming Disney movie and are demanding a ransom, according media reporters. Disney CEO Bob Iger first revealed the hackers' claim in a staff meeting with employees in New York City, Deadline.com and The Hollywood Reporter reported. Disney is working with federal investigators and will not pay the ransom, the reports say. Movie website Deadline identified Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which opens on May 26, as the target, without revealing its sources, while some film writers speculated on Twitter that Pixar's Cars 3, due for release next month, might have been hit.
Art investors, collectors and owners will be able to trade shares in fine art for the first time on a unique online marketplace powered by blockchain technology. Maecenas is a new marketplace for fine art investment that uses blockchain technology to revamp what its founders claim to be a market that has largely remained unchanged for more than 300 years. It will also allow any investor to have a fractional share of a masterpiece. Maecenas focuses on masterpieces and proven successful artists. The platform only lists art pieces worth US$1 million and above.
A new virtual currency launched yesterday aims to rival industry leader Bitcoin by pegging its value to hard oil assets, a first in the rapidly growing digital money sector. The currency called “bilur” and created by London-based financial services company R Fintech uses the technology pioneered by Bitcoin, while trying to offer an alternative for those weary of the wild fluctuations that have plagued digital currencies. The name "bilur" is the Basque language word for "chain", a nod to blockchain technology, the company said.
Airbitz, a San Diego-based bitcoin wallet and data security company, has announced a partnership with Bity, a Swiss bitcoin exchange that allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with Euros and Swiss Francs. Bity will be a plug-in application inside the Airbitz Wallet allowing Airbitz users to buy and sell bitcoin with Euros and Swiss Francs. Airbitz has only had buy/sell bitcoin capabilities for its users with US bank accounts but this plug-in allows those with European bank accounts to buy through the Airbitz Wallet easily, cheaply, and securely.
Boris Titov, the Russian business-ombudsman, has proposed the creation of a region in the Crimea similar to the “kriptodoliny” (Cryptovalley) in Zug, Switzerland for funding cryptocurrency and blockchain organizations, according to Rambler News Service. “Maybe we can make a Crypto Valley Crimea,” Titov said. This initiative was talked down during the Russian science-practical forum called “Blockchain: dialog between business and government” on the 13th of April in Moscow.
On April 1, a new law went into effect in Japan allowing for the country’s first officially recognized bitcoin exchange. The creation of a bitcoin exchange has been a long time coming in Japan. The law was originally drafted in May of 2016 and amended Japan’s Payment Services Act (PSA) in four ways. First, the law officially recognizes and defines virtual currencies. Second, it allows the official registration of virtual currency exchanges. Third, it requires that virtual currency exchanges submit certain disclosures and undergo periodic audits. And finally, it forces virtual currency exchanges to submit to regulatory supervision by requiring them to maintain books and records, file audit reports, and submit to on-site examinations among others.
Leading Chinese bitcoin exchange BTCC has announced the launch of a new global multicurrency wallet called Mobi. The app will be available on both iOS and Android platforms. Mobi offers in-app conversion of more than 150 global currencies, including dollar, euro, pound, gold and silver. It also enables users to send money to any Twitter account and phone number, as well as an optional Visa debit card. China-based BTCC is a Bitcoin company founded in 2011 that operates an online trading exchange, mints physical bitcoins, and now has entered the mobile payments market.
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