Weekly Blockchain Update

Barclays officially supports bitcoin businesses

  • Barclays is now supporting Circle, a Goldman Sach’s backed bitcoin start-up

  • Circle will be backed by Barclays to store, transfer and exchange Sterlings for their customers

  • This partnership was made possible through the British Treasury offering the first E-Money Licence to a bitcoin company and is seen as a “major milestone”

  • It is the first big partnership between a British bank and a bitcoin start-up


Bitcoin industry investments improved last quarter

  • $160 million was invested in the bitcoin industry during the first quarter of 2016

  • This marks the second most active investment quarter during the last two years


Research paper from Federal Reserve declares bitcoin a legitimate competitor to fiat currency

  • A new research paper co-authored by an economics advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia finds that bitcoin can compete with fiat currencies

  • Banks and currency creation have historically been linked because of logistical reasons

  • A major factor for this development is due to the rise of the internet

  • The free flow of information has removed the logistical barriers previously in place which enables bitcoin to compete

  • “We will argue that the Internet has broken the logistical barrier.” The paper concludes


Research firm finds the Australian banking sector to lose AU$13bn in revenue to fintech

  • Frost & Sullivan’s latest research paper finds that by 2020, the Australian fintech sector will grow by AU$4bn

  • Additionally, their findings suggest that Australian financial services could lose as much as AU$13bn in revenue

  • The shift will come from cheaper decentralized alternatives than the traditional banks

  • They conclude that banks are increasingly exposed to disruption if they do not decentralize their suite of banking products


Puerto Rico suspends future debt repayments

  • The Senate passed a bill to impose a debt moratorium on future debt repayments

  • As a result, Puerto Rico’s bonds tumbled

  • Further, to ensure the survival of the island’s banking system, regulations were put in place to restrict the outflow of capital