Bitcoin: special focus

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Cryptocurrency space – the final frontier for money. Below is the voyage of starship Euromoney. Its mission: to explore strange new digital currencies, to seek out new payments systems and gateways, to boldly go where no financial magazine has gone before...


Electronic currencies are no longer the sci-fi babble of, say, Star Trek – Bitcoin has blasted across cyberspace, followed in its wake by the likes of OpenCoin, Litecoin, Namecoin, Feathercoin, SolidCoin, WebMoney and Ven, to name a few.

Their success to date has turned the worlds of currencies and payment systems upside down, but an information deficit and regulatory concerns are still tempering corporate adoption.

Here is the latest coverage by Euromoney:

Fintech creeps up on the capital markets
November 2016

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The application of fintech to wholesale banking is, to date, less clear than in retail financial services, where peer-to-peer lenders, start-up remittance companies, crowdfunders and robo-advisers are quickly picking up market share from the incumbents. It is more likely that fintech startups will collaborate with and sell to the incumbents in capital markets than disintermediate them. But they will still transform those markets and the business leaders.

Celent calls on central banks to issue their own digital currencies
October 2016
Celent has called on central banks to issue their own digital currencies to help raise inflation and reduce systemic risk

Fintech 2016: Wirex brings blockchain to personal banking
April 2016
Start-up is growing fast; bitcoin leg cheapens FX conversion.

Banks begin blockchain payment integration
April 2016
Banks are taking tentative steps to integrating blockchain technology, but so far they have focused on following established payment processes.

Fintech 2016: Safello bridges crypto and fiat currency
April 2016
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Acting for now as a secure exchange between conventional and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, Stockholm-based Safello is developing what it sees as a ground-breaking transaction browser.

FX: Cryptocurrency trading venues snowball
March 2016
The emergence of new trading venues marks a notable advance in the development of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, although exchanges vary in their product offerings.

Fintech: Blockchain moves from hullabaloo to hard graft
December 2015
In the second half of 2015 hype around the potential for shared ledger technology to transform banking rose to a peak. Now comes the hard work as banks and fintech companies seek to put test cases into actual use. As the first practical applications begin to emerge, Euromoney surveys the banking market to ask what’s next for the blockchain.

Rival blockchain services test corporate appetite
November 2015
Interoperability rather than exclusivity appears to be the likely path to success for corporate blockchain services.


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Getting to grips with blockchain
November 2015
Banks have suddenly cottoned on to the power of the blockchain technology beneath Bitcoin. Inside their own treasuries and innovation labs, and increasingly in collaboration, banks are testing uses for rebranded distributed ledgers to replace their costly, proprietary systems. 

Blockchain questionnaire
November 2015
Have the banks been caught up in the hype around blockchain, or will it transform the financial system in the years ahead? Have your say, by participating in the questionnaire accompanying Euromoney's investigation.

Regulation: The benefits of blockchain
November 2015
Banks are suddenly obsessed with potential of the distributed ledger in financial markets, but regulators must make sure it is used in ways that remove collusion and wrongdoing.

Bitcoin: Jury is still out on derivatives
October 2015
Bitcoin is riding high after a recent European Court of Justice ruling that users in Europe are not liable to pay value-added tax when trading the cryptocurrency. But regulators worldwide are divided on whether it is a commodity or a currency and are still probing the advent of bitcoin derivatives as exchanges flourish to satisfy traders' demand for a wider range of products.

Crypto currencies: Bitcoin options come a step closer
June 2015
Opportunity for banks same as in FX; Goldman investment 'a positive signal’.

Exit Bitcoin, enter block-chain technology
January 2015
Negative publicity around cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has deflected attention from the potential of the underlying technology to facilitate real-time – and therefore much cheaper – international payments.

Bitcoin market starts to mature
October 2014
Interest and use of cryptocurrency bitcoin has undergone a meteoric rise in the past year, but it is now moving away from speculative investments into the real world of cross-border business transactions.

Rising Bitcoin adoption emboldens crypto-enthusiasts
September 2014
Despite the volatility in its price and its still-limited practical use, an increase in the number of merchants accepting Bitcoin in recent months has ignited optimism among digital-currency proponents.

CureCoin: A cryptocurrency aiming to beat cancer
August 2014
The CureCoin Forum has teamed up with Stanford University to launch a new ethical cryptocurrency that aims to find cures for common, life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, by bringing together science and the craze for cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin: big in emerging markets
February 2014
Surveys suggest that virtual currencies look a safer bet than local stocks and property.

Bankers’ lobby weighs Bitcoin threat
January 2014
Regulators have woken up to the currency’s potentially huge impact on the global payments system, given the decentralized, virtual and anonymous nature of the peer-to-peer network.

China leads fresh regulatory response to Bitcoin bubble
December 2013
Successive interventions by China’s central bank to rein in trading of Bitcoins in recent weeks have not only knocked the cryptocurrency hard but seemingly helped legitimize its existence.

Bitcoin: banks are beginning to believe the hype
December 2013
The emergence of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is beginning to pose a real threat to banks’ dominance of the multi-billion global payments business. Banks are still trying to figure out how best to respond. Some are a bit further ahead than others.


Year of the Bitcoin set to end on a low after China clampdown
December 2013
The Bitcoin rollercoaster has lurched down as BTC China said it would no longer be accepting renminbi deposits, triggering a massive sell-off across most cryptocurrencies. But Bitcoin believers remain unbowed. Here is a round-up of the most bullish projections.

Meet Monetas, the latest in Bitcoin-inspired payment platforms
September 2013
The genesis of cryptocurrencies has revolutionized the payments space, tearing down the technological boundaries of what is possible and creating a swath of new platforms to move money around faster and cheaper.

Taking a chance on Bitcoin
August 2013
Banks are trying their best to avoid doing business with Bitcoin exchanges, but some hardy institutions are actively seeking them out.

Bitcoin infrastructure evolving to enable greater use for payments
August 2013
Escrow services crop up but lack of mainstream financial intermediaries might be an obstacle to bitcoin’s evolution into a mainstream currency.

Worlds apart: banks and Bitcoin convergence unlikely anytime soon
July 2013
Banks remain disinterested or wary of Bitcoin but there is a growing acknowledgement that the digital currency’s popularity cannot be overlooked indefinitely, if a recent gathering of the faithful is anything to go by. From trade to settlement, Bitcoin offers plenty of opportunities – and threats – for banks.

Bitcoin: to use or to hoard, that is the question 
July 2013
Bitcoin faces an uphill battle to satisfy the conventional functions of money as a medium of exchange, store of value and a unit of account, participants say at a leading conference on the digital currency this week. 

Explosion of digital currencies such as Bitcoin creates regulatory headache 
June 2013
Like it or not, electronic currencies are here to stay, challenging traditional payment channels. Euromoney surveys the contenders for digital dominion as security and regulatory challenges bite. 

First Bitcoin, now Google-backed OpenCoin: a new disintermediation threat for banks 
June 2013
The success of electronic currencies such as Bitcoin has turned the worlds of currencies and payments systems upside down. The latest player to join this game is OpenCoin, which in April received seed capital from a consortium of venture capitalists, including Google Ventures. Rather than becoming merely another payments system, OpenCoin is looking to be a paradigm-changing payments system that disintermediates traditional bank platforms. 
Bitcoin: a threat to the transaction banking industry? 
May 2013
Transaction bankers should wake up to the competitive threat that is Bitcoin, which, in theory, offers a multitude of benefits for multinational companies. Nevertheless, an information deficit and regulatory concerns will continue to temper corporate adoption of the digital currency, analysts say. 
Technology & innovation: special focus
From cloud technology to cashless payments, digital currencies to social media, mobile banking to FX robots... financial institutions worldwide are looking to lead technological advances while also trying to keep up with them. And as well as the cost of innovation, many organizations are finding much of their technology budgets focused on dealing with regulatory burdens. Here is the latest coverage from Euromoney.