|   Digital Currency


  |   Digital Currency


Top 10 Digital Currency Stories of 2015

The year 2015 has been quite remarkable for bitcoin and blockchain technology. While on one hand bitcoin continued its expansion, on the other several banks and fintech tech companies embraced blockchain technology. This year the cryptocurrency ecosystem also saw efforts from government authorities to regulate its operations. But not everything was all hunky-dory. While DD4BC attacks threatened the financial sector companies, bitcoin was severely criticized after the horrifying terrorist attacks in Paris.

Here is a list of top 10 digital currency stories of 2015 on EconoTimes:

1. Bitcoin Regulation In Japan

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has been gradually making progress on bitcoin regulatory framework. A draft proposal has been reportedly compiled that focuses on regulating virtual currency businesses in the country. It requires meeting of conditions such as mandatory registration of operators of virtual currency exchanges with the FSA, confirming the identities of clients by exchange operators in line with FATF requirements and many others.

2. Bitcoin and Blockchain tech ‘Tipping point’ by 2027

World Economic Forum, in its survey report titled, “Deep Shift: Technology Tipping Points and Societal Impact”, estimated that the “tipping point” for Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology is expected to occur in 2027. 58% of respondents expected this tipping point, 10 percent of global GDP, stored on blockchain, to have occurred by 2025.

3. Barclays signs deals with two blockchain tech startups

Barclays announced in October that it has signed two contracts with blockchain-based startup companies - Chainalysis and Wave. The bank’s interest in bitcoin and blockchain technology has been growing. It has set-up two bitcoin "labs" above old branches in Notting Hill and Old Street that are open to bitcoin and blockchain entrepreneurs, businesses, and coders. It has also joined the R3 blockchain consortium that aims to design and deliver advanced distributed/share ledger technologies to global financial markets.

4. Betting on blockchain more promising

Major banks and fintech companies have come forward this year making huge investments on blockchain research. They consider it as a technology that can completely revolutionize traditional banking system. At the same time, several banks and financial institutions have also invested in bitcoin-based companies. However, one cannot deny the fact that trust-issues with digital currency are a major setback and can hamper its growth going forward.

5. MasterCard Invests in DCG

This was perhaps one of the most surprising news of the year. After strongly opposing digital currencies for quite some time, MasterCard finally invested in Digital Currency Group. Besides MasterCard, the DCG funding round also received support from Canadian Bank CIBC, New York Life, TransAmerica Ventures and many others. 

6. Bitcoin Investment trust shares retreat

BIT’s shares are the first publicly quoted securities solely invested in and deriving value from the price of bitcoin. On Bitcoin Black Friday (Nov 27), the shares closed higher by 11.96 percent at US$47.00 in a short-term trading, after reaching an intraday high of $51.50. This seemed to be in response to the bitcoin’s rally the previous day to $370 on Bitstamp. The following Monday, shares rose to a high of $54.00, but lost momentum and turned red, closing at $45.00. It currently trades at $62.88 at the time of writing.

7. Ebay files for two cryptocurrency patents

eBay has filed two cryptocurrency-related patent applications – a "Distributed Cryptocurrency Unauthorised Transfer Monitoring System" and a "Distributed Cryptocurrency Reputation System". The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published in October the applications that were submitted on 18th April last year.

8. Gemini pricing model troubles bitcoin traders

Gemini bitcoin exchange launched officially on 08 October, 2015. Bitcoin traders told CoinDesk that Gemini's pricing model charges both buyers and sellers on each trade. They argue that this could potentially drive away retail traders – a segment vital for improving liquidity.

9. Bitcoin extortionist group DD4BC 

A group of cybercriminals, calling themselves DD4BC, threatened bitcoin exchanges, gaming sites and financial institutions with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in order to extort bitcoins. The first such attack observed by Akamai was in September last year and since April 2015, the team identified 114 DD4BC attacks, including more aggressive measures that target company’s reputation through social media.

10. World’s leading investment banks eye bitcoin and blockchain technology

Wall Street giants such as Visa, Nasdaq and Citi Ventures invested $30 million in Chain.Com, a San Francisco-based blockchain developer platform that works with financial institutions to develop ways to trade and transfer financial assets using blockchain technology. Goldman Sachs supported Circle Internet Financial, a bitcoin financial services startup. Barclays has set-up two bitcoin "labs" that are open to bitcoin and blockchain entrepreneurs, businesses, and coders.

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