Skip to content

Bank of England Accelerates Work With Bitcoin

Adoption of Bitcoin and its underlying technology on various fronts has been on the rise in the past few months. Mainstream financial organizations are realizing how efficiently Blockchain Technology can provide them with transformative solutions. Consequentially, the growing adoption has resulted in the prices of Bitcoin breaking the two year highs in September. The recent organization to hop onto the Blockchain train is Bank of England. Let’s look into how Bank of England plans to define Blockchain innovation:

Bank of England to accelerate Blockchain work

blockchain_31Bank of England’s newly opened FinTech accelerator is seeking additional ways to explore blockchain tech. During an event in London, the chief cashier, Victoria Cleland, discussed the central bank’s efforts on enhancing applications. The plans centered on financial technology, including the founding of a startup accelerator focused on financial applications. During these projects, Bank of England is seeking to study concepts such as distributed ledger-based digital currency.  The organization is already looking to move beyond its currently disclosed projects.

Cleland said:

“[Distributed ledger technology] is still in its infancy, and there are numerous questions that need exploring. The Bank has already undertaken a proof-of-concept using this technology and we are looking for new opportunities through our FinTech accelerator.”


Hong Kong to set up Fintech Innovation Hub

A security guard walks past a directory board of Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) in Hong Kong December 20, 2012. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Joining the list of Monetary authorities that are embracing blockchain, Hong Kong Monetary Authority has established a Fintech Innovation Hub.  A supervisory sandbox that will permit banks to conduct proof of concept trials would couple the Fintech Innovation hub. The major aim of the hub is to provide services with efficiency.  This move clearly highlights the country’s attempts to boost the development of Fintech in the financial services sector. In a speech at a summit in Hong Kong, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Norman Chan, said that the Fintech Innovation Hub ‘allows regulators to provide early inputs to the trial works before the actual implementation.’ He also believes that while that this Fintech innovation hub would cater to small and big institutions alike. The central idea is to service the whole industry by providing technologies that are quick and collaborative.

Hence major monetary authorities are embracing the underlying technology for disruptive solutions. This adoption would lay the foundation for the nascent Bitcoin ecosystem. With increasing application of the currency and its driving technology, the prices would surely enjoy the positivity for some time to come.

Big Four enter the Bitcoin game: Deloitte Sets up Bitcoin ATM

Bitcoin’s price has seen a surprise boost during the second week of September. Not only did it’s price hold above $600, but has now managed to jump above the $620 levels overnight. Let’s take a closer look into some of the fundamentals that could have been the cause for prices to go up.

Deloitte Launches a Bitcoin ATM

Deloitte Bitcoin ATM
Michael Perkin tests the new BTM at the Deloitte Toronto office

On Wednesday ‘Big Four’ accounting firm Deloitte has opened and is now operating its first bitcoin ATM. The opening was quiet and took place in the downtown Toronto offices of Deloitte’s Rubix blockchain division. The bitcoin transaction machine, or BTM, is now all set to exchange digital currency for Canadian dollars.

The move by Deloitte to house a bitcoin ATM is primarily their to let its employees interact with the blockchain. The head of  Strategy and Execution at Rubix by Deloitte, Iliana Oris Valiente, said, “We see this as being an important milestone for us as an organization. It’s a move to improve accessibility and hands-on learning as first step toward greater blockchain adoption.” Bitaccess, an Ottawa-based company, manufactured the BTM and it can accept up to 1,000 bills in multiple currencies.

Italy to tax Bitcoin as currency

Italy’s top tax office is treating bitcoin as a form of currency. Agenzia della Entrate, Italy’s top tax authority, released new information this month about its treatment of digital currencies. Recently EU court ruled that value-added tax (VAT) would apply to transactions executed using the technology. The development is in line with the same ruling and would give Bitcoin the status of a currency. Italian tax officials are applying income tax to speculative uses of bitcoin, or events in which money is made during a sale or purchase. While this indicates a mainstream adoption, there are other looming factors which are flagging concerns. Analysts believe that the ruling creates a new layer of uncertainty for businesses working with the digital currency.

Accenture and EY’s Blockchain competitions

In a bid to brainstorm and fabricate implementation of Blockchain Technology, companies are hosting challenging exercises for longer durations. These exercises aim at creating blockchain solutions to real time problems confronted by Financial Institutions. Accenture is hosting its 5th annual 12- week FinTech Innovation in London. The lab intends to help startups with product and business development. Startups attending the lab will focus on fintech applications such as blockchain technology, Internet of Thingsdevices, security and risk management, and digital media. In regards to distributed ledgers, the multinational firm predicted the technology would have a significant impact on business.

EY is also throwing a six-week challenge, except this event is on distributed ledger technology. The EY Blockchain Challenge will have startups focus primarily on two distinct industry services: digital management for the entertainment sector, and energy solutions. Entrants will have access to EY’s client mentors, educational workshops, press exposure, and networking with institutional executives.