Bitcoin Above the Clouds, Former Treasury Secretary at Barry Silbert’s Service, and Regulation. Cryptospace News, April 23-30


Bitcoin’s new price achievement, important news from the industry’s stakeholders, novelties at exchanges and platforms, blockchain’s continuing development, regulation news and many other things – covered in ForkLog’s weekly overview.

Bitcoin Price

Bitcoin continued ascending this week, and reached this year’s highest mark at $470.16 on Tuesday, April 26. However, significant fluctuations followed the peak, so, after inevitable correction, the exchange rate dropped to $436,99 on Thursday.

However, bulls eventually prevailed, so the price consolidated around $450 by Friday morning, and continued consolidating throughout the day. On Saturday morning, bitcoin is traded at around $454.

The Week’s Focal Point

Digital Currency Group has made the headlines this week again. First, Barry Silbert’s company has partnered with such companies as Western Union, HCM International, and several other investment companies, managers and funds, including Gibraltar Ventures, OMERS Ventures, Horizon Kinetics, Kingsbridge Wealth Management, and Wood Investment Partners.

Additionally, the company introduced two new board members and hired two new advisors, who are none other than Larry Summers, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin Core developer.

BitFury’s Repositioning

BitFury, the world’s leading company in mining equipment manufacturuing, has announced it expands its services. Development of the services, as the company states, will enable it to position itself as a multi-purpose digital assets company. In a short while, BitFury intends to offer a wide range of software solutions, including software and hardware equipment for companies, governments and individuals.


Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp made the headlines this week with its European license granted by the government of Luxembourg. After signing relevant agreement, Bitstamp will be entitled to launch regulated and licensed services across all 28 member states of the European Union. In addition to that, Bitstamp announced it added BTC/EUR trades.

Wednesday, April 27, Bitsquare developers have released their decentralized exchange in beta. Bitsquare is distinctive for complete absence of intermediaries in exchanging process. ForkLog contacted the project’s leader Manfred Karrer to find out more about decentralized exchange’s internal logic, security issues, and the project’s current state and future goals.

Meanwhile, Japan-based exchange BitFlyer has announced it raised 3 billion yen of investment (around $27m), which it intends to use in the company’s further expansion.

Other good news include addition of Ethereum and Dash at BTC-e, and long-awaited restoration of ShapeShift, which had been hacked a few weeks earlier and lost around $230,000. Finally, Hong Kong-based exchange Gatecoin added and DigixDao tokens, both of which are Ethereum-based projects. also presented something good to its users by adding option of instant withdrawal to Visa and MasterCard cards. Finally, US-based users of Coinbase now have more opportunities as well, as now they are able to instantly buy cryptocurrency with their cards. The company states that foreign users will soon have the same option.


Cryptoplatform Lisk has officially presented the project’s launch data. Earlier it was scheduled for April 11, however, later it moved to late April / early May. Later on, the developers had to revise even those plans. Now the team seems to have finally determined when to start. Thet promise Lisk will officially launch on 24 May 2016.

Emer Group has released their app development platform Blockchain Engine on April 25. A bit later, they presented further details as to the project’s contents.

Some of our readers would surely be interested in plans of blockchain system Expanse. ForkLog talked with its developers to throw a bit of sunshine on key aspects and features of the project.

Finally, BlockNotary’s team has announced the forthcoming release of a construction kit for blockchain-based identification tools. The project dubbed BlockNotart Dashboard would enable users to customize client identification at all phases of the process.

Beyond Bitcoin

34 companies from around the world, including Microsoft Japan and ConsenSys, as well as several technology companies and startups, have announced they establish Japan’s first-ever blockchain association dubbed Blockchain Collaborative Consortium. The organization seeks to bring investment to relevant startups, as well as to maintain collaboration within the industry.

EdgeVerve Systems, Infosys’s subsidiary company, has released a new software product dubbed EdgeVerve Blockchain Framework for banks and financial institutions. The product is set to further implement blockchain-based solutions in global finance.

Russia’s National Settlement Depository in cooperation with UK-based DSX Technologies has developed and tested a blockchain-based e-voting system for bondholder meetings.

The European Parliament Against Cryptocurrency Regulation

A landmark voting at the European Parliament passed a report calling for milder regulation of blockchain-based financial services. The report recommending member states to restrict themselves from direct regulation of cryptocurrency, including bitcoin, was approved in a majority vote.

A week earlier the European Parliament held a conference on relevant topic of regulating cryptotechnologies. It featured a wide range of opinions, most of which, however, were supportive of cryptocurrencies. In particular, Lithuania’s representative Antanas Guoga stated that most politicians calling for bitcoin regulation had in fact never actually used it, so they are trying to regulate what they do not clearly understand. To solve this problem, Guoga offered the attendees to start a wallet so that they could have an idea of how it works.

UK Sees No Threat in Bitcoin Wallets

Her Majesty’s Treasury also published a report, which disclosed the government’s plans to expand its anti-money laundering and terrorist funding combatting efforts. The rules are pretty strict, however, they would not cover bitcoin wallet providers.

The document also states that law enforcement agencies, academics, and officials all agree that degree of illegal activities in digital currencies networks is low. This might have justified the resulting decision in question.
General policy undertaken by British authorities further proves that the approach is not accidental. It is further covered in our editorial feature “For Queen and Country and Bitcoin“.


Fintech Week 2016 was announced this week. The event scheduled for May 17 to 22 with Kyiv as its venue, is expected to become big and remarkable. It will feature conferences on fintech, blockchain technology, and cybersecurity, as well as “battle of startups” and a blockchain hackathon.

Another announcement is related to bitcoin’s legal status in Ukraine. A roundtable dedicated to discussing and resolving a unified approach towards legal perception of cryptocurrencies is also scheduled for late May. Legal problems faced by the industry in the light of absence of regulatory framework are covered in our interview with Nestor Dubnevych, one of the roundtable’s initiators.


Only time will tell whether this term survives, but anyway, it has become a hallmark of Belarus’s first-ever cryptocurrency meetup. A detailed report from the event is present in our exclusive coverage from the country’s capital of Minsk.

Bitcoin in Estonia

ForkLog continues exploring cryptocurrency landscapes of the world, this time covering one of the Baltic states, Estonia. We talked with founders of local BTM company Decrypto Denis Kudryashov and Alexei Galkin.
Have a sunny weekend!

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