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Visa starts testing blockchain payments with major banks

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2016 has seen a positive shift in the adoption of Bitcoin which propelled the price to higher levels. Major global events like ‘Brexit’ have affected financial markets adversely. However, during this period of turmoil, Bitcoin proved its worth as alternative asset for investing. Due to its multiple applications, the currency is enjoying increased adoption and stability. This is most evidenced by Visa’s announcement earlier this week.

Visa confirms it is testing blockchain payments

Visa’s London-based innovation lab has announced its latest blockchain trial will focus on interbank payments. The Visa Europe Collab has revealed that it will partner with BTL Group (Toronto) to explore Blockchain applications. Their primary focus would be on interbank settlement system that leverages Blockchain and smart contracts. In statements, Hendrik Kleinsmiede, co-founder of Visa Europe Collab, said the two partners are now inviting European banks to participate in trials that would see them using the emerging technology for live payments to better explore its potential.

Kleinsmiede said:

“We’ll work closely together on the development and implementation of the PoC, ensuring that all participants come away with new knowledge and insight into the role that the blockchain could play in interbank settlements in the future.”

Bank of Canada Paper

Not only did The Canadian Senate have bitcoin expert, Andreas Antonopoulos, come and address them in Parliament, but they also continued to do more research.

The central bank of Canada has published a new working paper that suggests that digital currency exchange rates will become less volatile should adoption increase. The authors explore factors influencing digital currency exchange rates, which includes existing demand for payments, the day-to-day moves of market speculators and the belief among some buyers about future mainstream adoption. Ultimately, they conclude major price swings brought on by traders might subside if digital currencies see broader use for payments. Canada has been open to Bitcoin for a long time now.

Baidu bans Bitcoin

Baidu bans BitcoinWhile most of the news has been on the positive side, Baidu- China’s largest search engine has banned all advertising related to virtual currencies on online portals. China contributes to 30% share in the Bitcoin market and this move is likely to have a multiplier effect on the entire ecosystem. People’s Bank of China has banned the cryptocurrency in the past as a part of combating widespread financial corruption. This move by Baidu is speculated to be in line with the same notion. How  these events would be affecting the Bitcoin prices in the future is to be seen.

Sources

  1. Financial Times: Visa eyes new link in blockchain payments
  2. Nikkei: Bitcoin’s future in China uncertain after Baidu bans ads
  3. CoinDesk: Bank of Canada Paper: Bitcoin Adoption Could Stabilize Price

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