The Bitcoin Foundation has joined the fight to extend the 45 day comment period for the BitLicense proposal released by the New York Department of Financial Services. An open letter penned by Global Policy Counsel Jim Harper on Tuesday requested that the NYDFS release some of the research and analysis conducted during its initial drafting, stating “The Bitcoin community has a lot to offer in comments on the proposed regulation, but it will not be able to comment cogently unless the benefits summarized here are actually articulated in a publicly released document.” The Foundation followed up with a press release update on their website today confirming that the NYDFS had responded mere hours after the letter went out, and has promised to deliver all requested information to the Fouundation within 20 days. The press release also points out that, “If the agency takes the full 20 days to respond, the materials will be available just days before the close of the original comment period on the regulations, which was the minimum 45 days allowed by New York law. The NYDFS has signaled that it will extend the comment period on its sweeping, controversial draft digital currency regulation.”
U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne bought his first bitcoins today at the Innovate Finance event in London, giving an accompanying speech about his plans to examine the potential for digital currencies in the UK, in the hopes to make Britain the global center for financial innovation. As Osborne put it, “It’s only by harnessing innovations in finance, alongside our existing world class knowledge and skills in financial services, that we’ll ensure Britain’s financial sector continues to meet the diverse needs of businesses and consumers, here and around the globe, and create the jobs and growth we all want to see in the future.” Netagio CEO Simon Hamblin couldn’t agree more, saying “Mr. Osborne’s comments are very encouraging and we have long awaited some direction from the Government and Regulators. This is an exciting time to drive greater innovation in the financial services industry, for Bitcoin businesses, retail and institutional investors and merchants. The UK’s offshore jurisdictions are already strong supporters of alternative currencies and by bringing together a common approach, this could position the UK as one of the leading centres for digital currency innovation.”
Electronic transaction processing provider Global Payments today announced a new referral partnership with bitcoin business solutions provider BitPay, agreeing to refer to BitPay any of their over 1 million merchants worldwide which are interested in accepting bitcoin payments. As marketing and communications senior VP Amy Corn explains, the main driver behind this decision was to “meet the cross-border demands of our global merchants by presenting a great opportunity for bitcoin acceptance, and allowing both companies to reach more customers in emerging markets.”
Leading Chinese bitcoin exchange OKCoin has announced the addition of a new futures trading platform, offering its users the ability to hedge their risks by “locking in” future prices to buy their coins. This arrangement legally binds the two parties involved at this predetermined price between a given date, helping to reduce the risk of potentially high price volatility common in the Bitcoin market. The futures trading platform will remain in beta for two weeks before going full live, as the next step in OKCoin’s long-term plan to add more professional features and attract more serious traders to its platform.
Popular social networking site Reddit is looking to hire cryptocurrency engineers. According to the website’s listing on Lever, Reddit is seeking “”a couple engineers with extremely strong discrete mathematics or computer science backgrounds to explore new technology applications and infrastructure involving the blockchain and cryptocurrency.”” It’s unclear what exactly Reddit has in mind for these new hires, but it is encouraging to see them exploring the space, especially considering the site’s sizable cryptocurrency communities, such as on the r/bitcoin and r/dogecoin subreddits.