What was another quiet week in the world of cryptocurrency was in fact indicative of the likely direction where it is headed: the blockchain.
Bitcoin exchange itBit hosted an exclusive, invite-only for Wall Street’s elite in New York. The “Bankchain Discovery Summit” seems to have featured a possible blockchain-powered software solution made for financial institutions. Such a step would be a major one for a discipline still considered in its infancy, yet developing at a rapid pace and attracting the attention of the world’s premier banks.
A distributed ledger system is envisioned to revolutionize the way securities transfers and currency exchanges are carried out. As well, it is the subject of research for non-financial applications such as land title records and intellectual property.
Also in New York, American Banker hosted a conference dedicated to the blockchain, attracting a diverse crowd including bankers, digital currency startups and legal/regulatory professionals.
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Barclays is one of the latest major institutions to reveal its interest in the technology. In a recent paper, the bank asserted that industry adoption of the technology is not a matter of if, but when.
Ethereum, which may hold promise as the underlying tool for creating smart contracts and other blockchain-powered applications, officially launched. The first tool, a command line version of Frontier, is now available, and the genesis block of Ethereum’s blockchain was generated.
Back to the darker days of cryptocurrency, former MtGox CEO Mark Karpeles was arrested 18 months after the bitcoin exchange collapsed. He is accused of falsifying account data and misusing customer funds. The investigation may eventually shed light on how 850,000 bitcoins disappeared from the exchange.
Bitcoin prices ended the week lower by 2.6% at $280.50, while litecoin fell 9.6% to $4.14.