Why Last Week May Have Been Bitcoin’s Best Yet

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Why Last Week May Have Been Bitcoin’s Best Yet
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Due to bitcoin’s price decline over the past two years from its late 2013 highs, many analysts have written off the new form of digital cash as nothing more than a fad. Although it’s true that the price is much lower than it was back then, the reality is the growth of Bitcoin as a platform for online value transfer has continued. This past week saw three major announcements take place that prove the technology is as strong as it’s ever been.

[Read More: Purse CEO Andrew Lee: ‘People Will Learn to Use Bitcoin Just for Our Discounts’]

Goldman Sachs Says the Blockchain Could Disrupt Everything

The first bit of big news in Bitcoin from last week came from Goldman Sachs. In a report issued to their clients, the world’s largest investment bank claimed, “The blockchain could disrupt everything.”

Although many will point out Goldman Sachs may not be referring to the Bitcoin blockchain with this wording, the reality is that the investment bank included specific references to Bitcoin in their report. Having said that, Goldman Sachs is also interested in the growth of private blockchains and permissioned ledgers.

Many Bitcoin entrepreneurs, including Digital Currency Group CEO Barry Silbert and Xapo CEO Wences Casares, have denounced the concept of private blockchains.

[Read More: Circle’s Sean Neville: Blockchain vs Bitcoin Debate is a ‘Little Bit Silly’]

Visa Demos a Bitcoin Remittance Prototype

While the largest investment bank in the world is talking about how the blockchain could disrupt everything, the largest payment processor in the world is working on actual applications of the technology. CoinDesk went hands on with Visa Europe’s Bitcoin remittance app last week, and the demo went through the process of sending money from London to Kenya via the Bitcoin blockchain. BitPesa is also included in the app as a third-party service, which allows the recipient of funds to convert their bitcoin to fiat currency.

[Read More: Barclays: We’re Experimenting with Both Permissioned and Permissionless Blockchains]

In a previous interview with CoinDesk, Epiphyte CEO Edan Yago explained why Visa Europe chose to test remittances on the Bitcoin blockchain (as opposed to another, alternative blockchain). In his view, the network effects, security, and openness found with Bitcoin make it the correct option for enterprise clients.

Obama’s Former Deputy Press Secretary Joins Bitfury

One last piece of big Bitcoin news that came out last week was the arrival of Jamie Elizabeth Smith as the new global chief of communication at Bitfury. Smith is a former deputy White House press secretary under President Obama. The new Bitfury employee discussed her reasons for joining the company in a blog post about the future potential of the Bitcoin blockchain. In addition to her work at the White House, Smith has also worked at Edelman, which is the largest public relations firm in the world.

[Read More: To Ban Bitcoin, Governments Would Have to Ban All Forms of Communication]

Smith is now the second person interested in Bitcoin to be attached to the Obama administration. Previously, Princeton Professor and Bitcoin Researcher Ed Felten was named Deputy US Chief Technology Officer.

Still Not a Mainstream Moment

Although these three pieces of news from last week are quite a boon for Bitcoin, it should be noted that this is not necessarily the technology’s mainstream moment. Bitcoin Foundation Chief Scientist Gavin Andresen recently made this point at Web Summit. He explained:

“I think [Bitcoin] is still an experiment. And I think it will remain an experiment until it becomes boring, until there’s not a cover article in The Economist about this exciting new technology, until it’s buried somewhere in the back page where it just talks about yet another project that’s launching somewhere in the world. And I hope we get there. I think we will get there.”

Featured image via Georgie Pauwels.


Kyle Torpey is a freelance journalist who has been following Bitcoin since 2011. His work has been featured on VICE Motherboard, Business Insider, RT’s Keiser Report, and many other media outlets. You can follow @kyletorpey on Twitter.

About Kyle Torpey

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