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Blockchain and bitcoin roundup: this week’s cryptocurrency headlines

Simplex hopes to make credit card purchasing of bitcoins easier

Simplex hopes to make credit card purchasing of bitcoins easier

It’s time for another cryptocurrency roundup. News comes think and fast in the world of bitcoin and blockchain so IBS Intelligence is here to guide you to the biggest stories that have happened in the past week.

Simples

Israel-based bitcoin start up Simplex has closed a $7 million funding round supported by a number of angel investors and bitcoin mining firms Bitmain and Cumberland Mining. The latest investment brings Simplex’s total funding to $8.4 million.

Simplex was founded in 2014 and aims to enable cryptocurrency exchanges to accept credit cards at no charge-back risk. The start-up is headed up by entrepreneur Nimrod Lehavi and former Paypal employees Erez Shapira and Netanel Kabala.

According to Simplex more than $3.5 million has already been processed using its systems since it went into a beta stage last year.

Lehavi, speaking to CoinDesk, said that the start-up aims to make credit card purchases of bitcoin faster while simultaneously reducing the risk of fraud.

Hotline bling

The developers of Uproov, an app that places timestamps on transactions in blockchain networks, has announced that is it going to be developing a blockchain-based app for telephone calls.

Named Call Recorder Blockchain, the app can record users’ phone calls in the background and save proof that the call was made at a certain time.

Once an audio file is created it’s hashed and given a unique key code. It’s impossible to change any part of the recording, says Uproov, as its key components are written into the blockchain. Similarly, no information about the call or its participants can be determined from the data, either.

The app will be ‘invaluable’ according to Uproov co-founder John Bulich, to anyone needing to rely on files in legal disputes.

Whether there will be a legal precedent set for evidence recorded in the blockchain in the next few years remains to be seen…

Something in common

53 nations united... Against bitcoin?

53 nations united… Against bitcoin?

The Commonwealth of Nations has called upon its 53 member countries to declare bitcoin a legal currency.

Despite sounding like a ringing endorsement of bitcoin, however, the recommendation arrives on the back of research that concluded that making bitcoin illegal does nothing to stop its trading.

The Commonwealth report also urges member states ensure that their law enforcement and government bodies are made aware of the types and styles of cryptocurrency, and that tighter regulations should be in place to avoid money laundering and fraud.

Countries ‘with the highest levels of internet penetration’ are the most at risk, it states, while bitcoin use is generally on the rise within 46 of the 53 countries within the body.

Terror in the blockchain

The European Commission, meanwhile, has decided that anonymous bitcoin and blockchain transactions are enabling the funding of terrorist groups across the globe and has called for an end to user anonymity.

Coming on the back of an ‘action plan’ written about fighting the financing of terrorist organisations, the Commission has said that terrorist groups are always looking for ways to move money without being detected.

Despite the plan not offering any evidence of virtual currency being used to finance terrorism, it calls for exchange platforms to be brought under the scope of the European Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

Essentially, this means that European exchanges would have to disclose who uses their services during which periods of time.

Cryptocurrency users are known for their valuation of privacy and probably won’t take kindly to the news. Bitcoin.org has already advised users to ‘use a new Bitcoin address each time you receive a new payment.’

Additionally, it adds, users can operate multiple wallets for different purposes: ‘Doing so allows you to isolate each of your transactions in such a way that it is not possible to associate them all together.’

Missed the headline last week? Don’t worry, IBS Intelligence has you covered – you can read our roundup of last week’s cryptocurrency headlines here.

By Alex Hamilton

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