56. Is Bitcoin back?

52min listen

On this week's episode, Sarah sits down with Joon Ian Wong and Aaron Stanley to talk about the latest movements in the blockchain space. We also have a fantastic interview by Colin G Platt with Marieke Flament.

Sarah's with Joon Ian Wong Managing Director for Europe and Asia at Coindesk and Aaron Stanley, Strategic Communications Lead at Sweetbridge to talk about the latest news, including:

Police Confiscate some Bitcoin, Coinbase gets political, and Return of the Bitcoin

We kick things off with Surrey police force obtaining 295 bitcoins last October after arresting a Latvian man, who has since been convicted for money laundering and sentenced to nine years in prison. Police since sold the assets for around $1.5 million - back then, the price of a bitcoin was around $5,000. The sale has been ruled as legitimate and the police force is allowed to keep 18.8% of the proceeds for its operational budget.

Then we move on to the bitcoin price has climbing above the $8,000 mark for the first time since mid-May, what's pushing up the price, and what's going on with the rumours of a bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF). Next up, we take a closer look at MyEtherWallet, the most popular crypto wallet service on the internet. It's getting a mobile app in a bid to increase security for users. MEW Connect, is an iOS app that allows users to access their wallet through MyEtherWallet but without the need to type their private key. Instead it uses a QR code and it's free, with 600,000 visitors per day the beta demand is likely to be high.

We continue on with VCTRADE, the world's first bank-backed cryptocurrency now opening to the public. Owned by SBI Holdings, the Japanese bank launched its in-house crypto trading platform last month. Launch comes nearly two years after SBI Holdings first announced it would build the exchange in October 2016. The platform received an operating license from Japan's financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency, late last year. The service is now fully open for users aged from 20–70 who reside in Japan. Debut was delayed as the firm worked to raise levels of internal security following a massive $533 million hack at the country's Coincheck exchange in January.

Then we move on to exciting news from Google. Google announced a partnership with the New York-based startup Digital Asset, which makes tools to build blockchain-based apps. Google wrote in a blog post that its Cloud customers can “now explore ways they might use distributed ledger technology (DLT) frameworks” through early access to Digital Asset software aiming to provide developers with a full stack solution so they can unleash the potential for web-paced innovation in blockchain.

Next up, Coinbase has formed a political action committee (PAC) to raise money to spend on US elections. Under American federal law, an organization is classified as a PAC if it collects donations worth more than $1,000 from its members and channels them into campaign funds with the intention of influencing an electoral process. The biggest motive for Coinbase is access to the politicians that have substantial influence over financial regulatory policy.

Finally, we discuss BitTorrent Inc. being acquired by TRON Foundation. BitTorrent Inc, the parent company behind the popular file-sharing client uTorrent, has confirmed its acquisition by the TRON Foundation. The TRON foundation has its own cryptocurrency and the idea is apparently to create. We take a look at what this means for blockchain and if crypto may go the way of BitTorrent, exciting technology that's used for a whille before being supplanted.

And our Tweet of the week this time comes from @SmartereumTV

Colin G. Platt catches up with Marieke Flament, Europe MD and CMO of Circle to talk about the tokenisation of everything.

All this and more on this week's episode of Blockchain Insider. And if you enjoyed our tweet of the week why not send us your best tweets? See if you can get a shout out on the show!

We hope you enjoy the show and, as ever, don't forget to subscribe!

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This week's episode of Blockchain Insider was produced by Petrit Berisha and edited by Holly Blaxill.

Special Guests: Aaron Stanley, Joon Ian Wong, and Marieke Flament.