Bitstamp receives a banking license for the EU, and The DAO project has been launched. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 17:
- United Kingdom-based Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp became the first licensed cryptocurrency exchange in the European Union as it received a license from Luxembourg’s Ministry of Finance to operate as a payment institution. With the new license, Bitstamp will be able to do business in all 28 countries of the EU. The only exchanges with similar licenses so far are ItBit and Gemini in the United States, which were both granted a banking license in New York State in 2015. With the license, these exchanges can operate legally in all 50 states. Bitstamp’s license thus marks a major milestone for Bitcoin exchanges in general and in Europe in particular.
- The Ethereum project “The DAO” is finally live. The term DAO stands for Decentralized autonomous organization, which is concept that could potentially revolutionize governance models. For 28 days, there will be a DAO token “crowdsale” of which the cap only depends on the total number of Ether invested. Every token gives the holder voting rights and proportionate control over the digital assets held by The DAO. In less than a day after the sale opened a total of almost $4 Ether has already been converted to DAO tokens.
- Two months after IBM announced it was bringing blockchain services to the IBM Cloud, and that it had also “made nearly 44,000 lines of code available to the Linux Foundation’s open source Hyperledger Project” (while enabling Internet of Things (IoT) data on blockchain using its Watson IoT Platform as well) the IT giant has now announced a new set of blockchain services running on IBM Cloud and Docker, along with standards to run those services to meet security and regulatory compliance. As such, IBM is laying the groundwork for those looking to get involved in working with blockchain technology.
- Even though Russia tries to do everything it can to stop Bitcoin, the country appears to be embracing blockchain technology as Russia’s central securities depository, the National Settlement Depository, has already successfully finished developing and testing an e-proxy voting system running on a distributed ledger. Voting has been one of the most popular blockchain use cases lately. Among others, students at West Virginia University (WVU) recently proposed blockchain-based voting, and also Nasdaq was looking to enable blockchain-based e-voting for shareholders of companies listed on Nasdaq’s Tallinn Stock Exchange.
- The launch of The DAO propelled Ethereum’s currency forward, leading to an increase of almost eight percent in the price of Ether compared to last week. The current exchange rate is $9.08 per ETH. At the same time the Bitcoin rally started to lose steam, although the digital currency did manage to add another percent to its value this week. The price of BTC briefly touched $465 before dropping to a current exchange rate of about $449 per coin.