Like Gold, Bitcoin is Becoming the Ultimate Safe Haven Investment

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The relative stability of Bitcoin during periods of geopolitical uncertainties has allowed the digital currency to be considered by investors as a safe haven for the preservation of their wealth. Two major events in 2016 that quickly come to mind when considering the geopolitical risks borne by holders of fiat currencies, stocks, commodities and other financial elements are Brexitand the US elections. The fallout from these events saw the nations’ currencies and stocks plummet within very short periods of time. Safety first One of the most critical factors that investors consider is the safety of their investment. During periods of anticipated volatility, holders of local investments usually seek a safe haven for their wealth and value preservation. Recent events have shown that, like gold, Bitcoin is gradually assuming the role of a run-to hideout for value preservation. Michael Vogel, CEO of Netcoins, says: “In some circles Bitcoin is still considered a high-risk investment vehicle, while others consider Bitcoin to be the ultimate safe haven investment.” Digital currencies like Bitcoin were built from the ground up and designed for the era of information. Bitcoin allows value to be transacted directly, peer to peer, without an intermediary, hence it is not bound …

Smart Contracts Platform Symbiont Issues its First Cryptosecurity

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Smart contracts platform Symbiont has issued its first “smart security”. The announcement was formally unveiled at an event in New York today, during which the security was issued on the bitcoin blockchain. Symbiont aims to provide services in the nascent cryptofinance sector, and traces its roots to bothOverstock’s Medici project as well as theCounterparty project. Several developers, originally working on Medici, left that initiative earlier this year and later established Symbiont. Mark Smith, CEO and co-founder of Symbiont, said in a statement: “We are proud to be on the leading edge of this blockchain and distributed ledger movement. With interest in distributed ledger technology growing rapidly, financial institutions are exploring how to leverage it to improve the efficiency and security of trading and processing financial transactions.” The launch comes more than a month after the startup raised $1.25m in seed funding. The company is seeking to close a Series A round before the end of 2015. Image via Shutterstock

Bitcoin Lending Platform Bitbond Rakes in 600K Euro Investment

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Global Bitcoin P2P lending platform Bitbond has raised 600,000 euros in second tranche of angel funding. The platform’s total funding for the round has now reached 800,000 euros. The prominent angel investors this time included Florian Heinemann and Uwe Horstmann (Project A), Christian Vollmann (early investor in ResearchGate), and Felix Jahn (co-founder of Home24). Bitbond will utilize the funding to expand its customer base and make a highly pronounced impact on emerging markets. Bitbond, which was introduced in 2013, has processed over 600 loans with the number of registered customers touching 10,000 from over 120 countries. Radoslav Albrecht, founder & CEO of Bitbond said: “The additional resources will help us to continue realizing our mission which is to make lending and borrowing globally accessible. We are happy to have such experienced investors supporting us on this exciting journey.” On the development, angel investor Christian Vollmann commented that, “Currently over 50% of small businesses are underserved by banks and don’t have access to credit. Bitbond provides a technological solution to this problem. It’s great to see such an innovative approach being developed in the Berlin startup scene.” The International Finance Corporation of the World Bank estimates that the global credit gap …

P2P Lending Market Growth By The Numbers 2015

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Ever since the financial crisis in the U.S. happened, potential borrowers have been desperately trying to find better access to credit and at lower interest rates, in the meantime, retail investors have been seeking ways to grow their money more efficiently and receive higher returns on their investments. Banking institutions, who’ve been saddled with regulatory burdens, haven’t been able to fully meet the needs of either. Because of this gap in the market, much room was left open for the rapid growth of a new financial sector — peer-to-peer lending. Peer-to-peer lending platforms like Lending Club and Prosper Marketplace run online lending services that can quickly and automatically match borrowers seeking a loan to an investor willing to provide the funds for that loan at an attractive interest rate.         P2P Lending Market Numbers Infographic   Infographic credit to: www.LendingRobot.com   P2P Lending Growth Facts For 2015   The Peer-to-Peer lending industry is seeing significant growth, especially in developed countries with strong financial markets. P2P lenders in the US generated $6.6 billion in loans last year, up 128%. The US has one of the largest P2P lending markets in the world by loan volume, but the UK’s loan volume 72% larger on a per capita basis. Caused by low …

Wedbush Report Projects $400 Bitcoin Price By 2016

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The price of bitcoin can be expected to rise to $400 over the next 12 months, according to a new report by Wedbush Securities. Authored by Gil Luria and Aaron Turner, the report begins with the goal of forecasting the future value of shares in the Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), the first publicly traded bitcoin fund launched in March, ultimately concluding it will outperform its current $30.60 price to rise to $40 next year. In its calculations, however, Wedbush expands on its approach to valuing bitcoin based on its expected penetration of large target markets. The bitcoin payments network, it suggests, could end up powering 10% of online payments and 20% of global remittances by 2025 The report reads: “By aggregating the utilization of the various applications, we arrive at our $400 BTC price target, which translates to $40 per share of GBTC. This implies [roughly] $6bn market capitalization, which we would also describe an option on bitcoin supplanting some payment volumes from Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union, who combine for [less than] $300bn in market cap.” Wedbush indicated it sees bitcoin demand stemming from its increasing use in e-commerce payments, remittances and micropayments due to its ability to reduce costs …

VC Firm Block26 Makes First Bitcoin Bet on Airbitz Wallet

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Los Angeles-based venture capital firm Block26 has completed its first investment, contributing $450,000 to the ongoing seed round for bitcoin wallet provider Airbitz. Launched in June, Block26 has indicated it plans to focus specifically on blockchain and digital currency ventures, contributing to seed to later-stage rounds. Calling the funding the company’s “first big announcement”, Block26 principal Ni’coel Stark indicated that Airbitz is representative of the kind of companies in which her new venture firm is looking to invest. Stark told CoinDesk: “We’re really looking for nuances in the technology. Airbitz is an amazing wallet, it solves problems for consumers, but it’s so much more than that. We see opportunities beyond the wallet, the ability that they have to go into security, their contributions to the Internet of Things, altogether they really make them fascinating.” She went on to call Airbitz “underrated” compared to its competition due to its team’s ability to contribute to areas of the technology beyond simply creating quality mobile bitcoin wallets. “Block26 is attracted to what’s under the surface,” she added. Going forward, Stark indicated that Block26 intends to “innovate along with the space”, and that it plans to focus on a smaller selection of high-quality startups. …