Study Suggests 25 Percent of Bitcoin Users Are Associated With Illegal Activity

In a newly published paper on the use of bitcoin for illegal activity, researchers from the University of Sydney, the University of Technology Sydney and the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga indicate that a quarter of all bitcoin users are associated with illegal activity.

Blockstream Releases Lightning Charge, Launches Test E-Commerce Store

Following the release of the first Bitcoin Lightning Network white paper, published in February 2015, developers have been working on Lightning Network implementations to enhance the throughput and usability of the Bitcoin network.

Out of Steam: PC Gaming Platform Ends Bitcoin Payment Option

The utility aspect of Bitcoin faced a setback yesterday as PC gamers heard from Valve Corporation’s Steam Team in a blog post that Bitcoin would no longer be accepted as payment on its digital distribution platform, Steam.

This New Scaling Layer Could Make Payment Channels Ten Times More Effective

There is no disputing the fact that the Bitcoin network has scalability problems. Micropayment channels are a solution to increase the transaction rate and speed. Yet, this is not the golden solution … This micropayments solution needs a fixed amount of funds to be locked into each channel’s multisignature wallet and requires a transaction for each channel creation and closure.
R3 Unveils Cross-Border Payments Platform Built on Corda DLT Tech

R3 Unveils Cross-Border Payments Platform Built on Corda DLT Tech

Distributed ledger consortium R3 and 22 of its member banks have announced a cross-border payments platform built on top of the company's Corda technology. Centered around the concept of creating digitized versions of fiat currencies that can be exchanged and transferred between different parties, the effort has seen involvement from banks including Barclays, BBVA, CIBC and Commerzbank. The unveiling comes just a month after the startup announced version 1.
Foxconn Backs $16 Million Series B for Bitcoin Startup Abra

Foxconn Backs $16 Million Series B for Bitcoin Startup Abra

Bitcoin startup Abra has completed a $16 million Series B led by manufacturing giant Foxconn. Announced today at the Money2020 conference in Las Vegas, the new capital brings Abra's total funding to more than $30 million. Other participants in the round include new investors Silver8 Capital and Ignia, as well as previous Abra backers Arbor Ventures, American Express, Jungle Ventures, Lehrer Hippeau and RRE.
Foxconn Backs $16 Million Series B for Bitcoin Startup Abra

Foxconn Backs $16 Million Series B for Bitcoin Startup Abra

Bitcoin startup Abra has completed a $16 million Series B led by manufacturing giant Foxconn. Announced today at the Money2020 conference in Las Vegas, the new capital brings Abra's total funding to more than $30 million. Other participants in the round include new investors Silver8 Capital and Ignia, as well as previous Abra backers Arbor Ventures, American Express, Jungle Ventures, Lehrer Hippeau and RRE.
IT Giant Fujitsu Joins Major Banks for Blockchain Money Transfer Pilot

IT Giant Fujitsu Joins Major Banks for Blockchain Money Transfer Pilot

Japanese IT giant Fujitsu and three major banks have announced plans to pilot a peer-to-peer money transfer system built with blockchain technology. In partnership with Mizuho Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Fujitsu will field trial a cloud-based blockchain platform for sending funds between individuals, as well as a smartphone app to increase the usability of the system. In theory, the platform would link customers' fiat accounts at the three banks to the blockchain system.
Swiss Public University Begins Accepting Bitcoin

Swiss Public University Begins Accepting Bitcoin

Switzerland's Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is now accepting bitcoin. The public institution is taking the cryptocurrency as payment for student-related bills through a partnership with Bitcoin Suisse AG. As might be expected, the university itself won't handle the bitcoin – rather, the brokerage firm will exchange incoming payments into Swiss francs on a weekly basis, according to an announcement.
Circle Is Building a Master Mobile Payments Network on Ethereum

Circle Is Building a Master Mobile Payments Network on Ethereum

Blockchain startup Circle has unveiled new software aimed at connecting the world's digital wallets. Known as 'CENTRE', the project seeks to create a way for digital wallets (like Venmo, Alipay or the startup's own Circle Pay) to communicate with one another. Put more simply, CENTRE as envisioned would let the companies behind those apps to transmit and settle funds between them. At its heart, the project targets the so-called "walled garden" issue, wherein different platforms – whether they be a social media site like Facebook or a payments app like Venmo – exist largely within their own ecosystems.
When Not If? Banks Strike Optimistic Tone on Blockchain Impact

When Not If? Banks Strike Optimistic Tone on Blockchain Impact

"We are in the process of developing a new operating system for the planet." The remark, issued by Barclays' vice chairman of corporate banking, Jeremy Wilson, perhaps summed up the scope and tenor of discussion at the Blockchain for Finance conference yesterday. Held in Dublin, the event played host to participants more at home in suits than hoodies, though the mood was no less enthusiastic than if it was packed with developers.
Mastercard Hints at Plans for Blockchain Settlement System

Mastercard Hints at Plans for Blockchain Settlement System

A new patent application from global card issuer Mastercard indicates that the company may be looking to integrate blockchain into its payments infrastructure. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a new application from the financial giant this week that outlines a solution for a "uniform settlement system" – one that would help ease some of the friction involved with business-to-business payments.
Germanys Central Bank: Consumers Wont Use Blockchain for Payments

Germanys Central Bank: Consumers Wont Use Blockchain for Payments

Germany's central bank has published a new research paper centered on distributed ledger tech (DLT), exploring its use for payments, securities settlement and more. Researchers from the Deutsche Bundesbank wrote in the paper that the tech "offers a number of benefits on account of the distributed storage of data" – highlighting both the potential opportunities as well as some of the practical challenges any application might create. In an English-language explainer published alongside the paper (the original version is in German only), the German central bank noted that it doesn't see much of a role for the tech in consumer payments, arguing: "The Bundesbank’s experts see little prospect of DLT being put to widespread use in the field of individual and retail payments given the current state of the art.