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Bitcoin News Round Up May 22 2016

This week’s aggregated bitcoin news on bitcoin from across the web

CRYPTO EXCHANGES

Coinbase Rebrands, adds Trading Support for Ether

Licensed Bitcoin exchange Coinbase, this week announced support for trading Ether, the cryptocurrency that fuels Ethereum, as from May 24. Coindesk reported the Goldman Sachs backed exchange is also rebranding its logo and name, according to a spokesman, Adam White

“In addition to better highlighting the exchange that Coinbase is becoming we’re rebranding as GDAX, which stands for Global Digital Asset Exchange.”

GDAX was prompted to incorporate Ether after customer requests and Ethereum’s seeming success in blockchain development. The startup has also build out services on Ethereum such as wallets.

Gatecoin Hong Kong Exchange Crypto Assets Hacked

Gatecoin revealed it had been under attack from hackers over the course of May 9 – 12th. The exchange’s hot wallet system was breached and left exposed to attack by hackers. In the process, 15% of Gatecoin’s crypto assets disappeared, amounting to a loss of $ 2 million. After discovery, Gatecoin’s team partnered with Tehri security for a post hack forensic audit. Their results, outlined in an official statement, revealed 180,000 ETH and 250 BTC was lost to hackers

“The malicious external party involved in this breach, managed to alter our system so that ETH and BTC deposit transfers by-passed the multi-sig cold storage and went directly to the hot wallet during the breach period”

BLOCKCHAIN TECH

Bitcoin Blockchain use case in Medical Trials

The Economist ran a story on leveraging the bitcoin blockchain for securing the integrity of medical records. Greg Irving, from University of Cambridge, trialed the use of bitcoin’s tamper proof public ledger to check the integrity of results from medical trials. By using the underlying technology of the digital currency, the reporting of clinical trials is enhanced. Dr. Irving

believes the method could prevent “hidden outcome switching”, the egregious and statistically flawed practice of secretly changing the focus of a clinical trial to fit the results.”

Currently, US regulators require trials be registered on a publicly accessible central database clinicaltrials.gov.

BITCOIN IN AFRICA

Bitcoin in Kenya as an Alternative to Cash

Kenya has recently had its banking system shaken up by multiple cases of bank runs. The east African country’s new Central Bank Governor, an ex-IMF banker, has clamped down on a rogue financial institutions. The Daily Nation print edition ran an OpEd touting bitcoin as an alternative means of wealth storage, drawing parallels to surging cash withdrawals as 2 banks went under forced receivership.

Just last week’s, Kenya shillings weekly trading volumes on peer to peer exchange localbitcoins hit a new all time high at 7,000,000 KES. Alongside Nigeria and South Africa, Kenya is one of Africa’s leading Bitcoinmarkets.

HISTORY

$ 4.4 million Bitcoin Pizza day anniversary

May 20, is commemorated every year by the Bitcoin community. On this day, back in 2010, the first purchase of a real world good using bitcoin was completed, a Papa John’s pizza paid for with 10,000 BTC. Arguably, the most expensive pizza in the world, the record of this transaction are permanently recorded on bitcoin talk forum.

User Lazlo, posted a 10,000 BTC bounty for delivery of 2 large pizzas at his home in Jacksonville, Florida. A user in Europe responded, by ordering 2 large pizzas from Papa Johns via a phone call, marking the world’s most expensive million dollar pizza.

REGULATION

Russian Bill to Ban Bitcoin faces upheaval

An attempt by Russia’s Ministry of Finance to criminalize issuance of money surrogates, that includes digital currencies such as bitcoin, has been withdrawn after an objection by the country’s Ministry of Justice. While Russia’s legislature, the Duma has deliberated on the divisive matter, opinion seems largely split on how to treat use of blockchain technology that relies on underlying currency tokens.

Legal opinion suggests the draft bill was poorly crafted. As per Coindesk,

The [Finance] Ministry has not provided [the] appropriate justification for criminalization of cryptocurrencies and its public danger (as an essential criterion for criminalization). The draft is broadly worded, therefore, wide range of activities regarding e-currencies can potentially fall within proposed ‘money surrogates’ definition.”

FUNDING ROUNDS

Ethereum’s Decentralized Autonomous Organization raises $117 million

The DAO, a new type of entity whose structure and model is a break from traditional corporate structures, raised $117 million this week. The funding round drew media attention because the organization is purely based on smart contracts, runs on blockchain software and corporate governance is based on consensus. Regardless, it is a bold milestone for a new era of reimagining corporations. For example, according to bitcoin magazine,

“The DAO has a distributed open governance structure, which seems to leave a door open to hostile takeovers by 51 percent attacks.”

The profit making DAO will evaluate potential projects to fund based on its consensus model that evaluates proposals by its shareholders. As with most new technology, DAOs will have to go through an iterative test process to prove its viability. So far, opinion is split.

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