Weekly Review: Blockchain Technology Back in Focus

Last week was all about Bitcoin's blockchain technology, making its presence felt in financial institutions and the venture capital world.

Last week was all about Bitcoin’s blockchain technology, the growing science making its presence felt in financial institutions and the venture capital world.

Another two banks, Deutsche Bank and LHV Bank in Estonia, are now reportedly looking into how blockchain technology can streamline their transaction processes. In the case of LHV, it is specifically looking at colored coins technology, piloting its ‘Cuber’ (Cryptographic Universal Blockchain Entered Receivables) product- a certificate of deposit.

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UBS offered a glimpse into its research, reportedly trialing a ‘smart-bond’, a ‘self-paying instrument’ with risk-free interest rates and automated payment streams.

This comes shortly after online retailer Overstock announced that it is issuing ‘cryptobonds’, also based on colored coins technology. The bonds are to be issued on its TØ.com platform, part of its Medici project. In an April filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Overstock disclosed plans to issue $500 million in digital securities.

Blockstream released its open source code for Sidechain Elements, one of the earliest iterations of sidechains technology envisioned for the transfer of digital assets.

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Counterparty spinoff Symbiont, whose developers contributed to the Medici project, got $1.2 million in funding, and said there more is to come. The startup aims to improve the transparency, liquidity and efficiency of capital markets through its ‘smart securities.’

Also securing funding was OpenBazaar, which got $1 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures and angel investor William Mougayar. The software operates as a p2p network, sharing a distributed database of its marketplace, and uses bitcoin as its currency for sales.

Another two of Australia’s ‘big four’ banks disclosed their interest in Ripple technology to speed up and bring down the cost of currency transfers, joining Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which announced its interest several weeks ago. Ripple has been already adopted by several banks for production use, coming ahead of Bitcoin’s blockchain technology that is still in its trial stages.

Ali Shukri Amin, a 17-year old from Virginia, pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to the terrorist group. He allegedly encouraged ISIS supporters on Twitter and advised them on how to fund terrorism with bitcoin. Previously, he wrote for digital currency news site CoinBrief. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

Bitcoin prices ended the week higher by 3.6% to $224.

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