Bitcoin and cryptocurrency news round-up: 4 January 2018

Harry Tucker 4 January 2018 NEWS

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What you need to know

Australian banks are looking for tighter regulation, BBVA responds to Ripple's leak controversy and Stellar Lumens is up over 40%.

1. BBVA has responded to finder amid its Ripple leak controversy.

Large Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) has responded to leaks by a former employee that claimed the bank was testing Ripple, however it wasn't fit for purpose. Ripple responded to finder on the back of these claims, confirming that the bank has been testing Ripple, sending money between Europe and Mexico. It also said that its results from the tests showed how technology like Ripple could positively impact financial services.

2. Australian banks want to tighten cryptocurrency regulations

Over the last few weeks, exchanges such as CoinSpot have halted deposits of AUD, claiming that Australian banks have been "unwilling to work" with the cryptocurrency industry. Analysts are claiming this week that these battles between exchanges and Australian banks won't stop until there is more regulation into the industry. Banks are fearful of fraudulent activity, with transactions flowing at speeds and amounts that they don't normally see, raising many red flags for them. Some exchanges have gone out of their way to work within a self-regulatory framework, with the likes of eToro even requiring users to pass an ASIC test before investing. CoinSpot still claims that it will have AUD deposits back at some point early this month.

3. Stellar Lumens has continued its run

Stellar's XLM is up over 40% in the past 24 hours to $US0.85, pushing it above Litecoin on market cap, and now sitting at a total of US$15 billion. Since just Christmas its price is now up over 120%. IBM has announced it is using Stellar to develop a cross border payment system for big banks, allowing transactions between different currencies to settle in seconds, not days.
List of exchanges that allow you to buy Stellar Lumens (XLM)

4. The RSK beta is bringing smart contracts to Bitcoin

Formerly known as Rootstock, RSK is launching its bitcoin smart contracts platform today. The platform could be significant for bitcoin, giving the currency another use other than being essentially digital gold. It's also needed to help keep bitcoin relevant with the likes of Ethereum and Ripple which are both growing.

5. FanDuel is giving away bitcoin to fantasy football winners

Popular daily fantasy sports platform FanDuel just announced what it is calling The Bitcoin Bowl, where over the course of the NFL playoffs where punters can be paid with bitcoin rather than cash. It's launching two contests - the first will be a single entry free contest where the winner takes home 1 BTC. The second will be a tiered payout system with multiple $3 entries. In this one 1st place will get 2 BTC, 2nd place will get 0.5 BTC, and both 3rd and 4th place will get 0.25 BTC. These dollar figures aren't tied to a USD value either, meaning no matter that the value of BTC is to USD, the winners will receive the same amount of BTC.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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