Bitcoin Finance News Roundup - 27th April 2015

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A sharp ten dollar rally on Tuesday could not be sustained and the price still seems to be trending downwards.

  • Price news

Seven-day average price: $229.29 End of week market cap: $3.1 billion

(Prices quoted according to Coindesk Bitcoin Price Index)

There was quite a few things happening in the exchange space this week:

Exchange News

Mt Gox users can now submit claims for lost funds. Users of Mt Gox that had funds trapped in the exchange after its collapse last year have been given reason for hope that at least some of their funds will be returned. A notice was released this week instructing users to file claims through the site. US exchange Kraken is also providing a channel to submit claims, while offering incentives for the creditors to move their trading to Kraken. Considering that analysis has shown that most coins were stolen between 2011 and 2013 (as reported last week), I would expect that if the claims are honoured users will only be receiving a small fraction of the original value of their funds.

ItBit apply for banking license. Originally established in Singapore, bitcoin exchange ItBit moved its headquarters to New York last year to bring the exchange closer to the world’s financial centre. An application for a banking license is another statement move and suggests that they will be diverging their service offerings away from just USD/BTC trading. The decision on the license is expected in less than two weeks.

New Chilean bitcoin exchange. Another bitcoin exchange popped up in South America this week, this time in Chile. The exchange, SurBTC, even received a grant from the Chilean government. With the exchange finally operational after a year of trying to get a bank account (one of the biggest challenges for any bitcoin exchange), it sounds like the founders hope to expand aggressively throughout South America. On first impressions the platform looks great, and if they can realise some real demand in Chile then they could be one to watch.

New Australian bitcoin exchange. Taking a different route, DWVx have chosen to adopt the AlphaPoint white-label exchange technology to power their exchange, rather than build their own engine. It’s early days yet, but the site is quite clearly not built to the same level of professionalism as SurBTC, or their main competitor in Australia, iGot. The founders quote their location in Western Australia as being their main competitive advantage, which seems dubious to say the least considering the global nature of an internet business.

Tether USD now trading on Shapeshift. USD-backed cryptocurrency USD₮ from Tether is now supported by crypto-only exchange Shapeshift. Previously users on crypto-only exchanges were unable to utilise the stability of a fiat currency, but now through fiat-backed crypto-currenies such as USD₮ they can move ‘virtual’ USD in and out of the exchange with ease.

Huobi-Tsinghua partnership. Huobi have announced a partnership with China’s top university Tsinghua. Huobi will be collaborating with professors and students at Tsinghua to help them assess the implications of the rise of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, but the announcemnt is light on details on the direction of the research.

Full disclosure: Neil Woodfine is an employee of bitcoin exchange OKCoin and is invested in bitcoin. The views expressed above are purely the author’s own and do not represent any organisation. None of the above should be considered as investment advice.

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