Mellon Dynasty Banker: Bitcoin a Solution For a More Transparent Democracy

What’s the last thing you expect an entrepreneur from one of the most prominent multi billion-dollar banking families in the United States to say? Would it include bitcoin in any form?

Many would suggest the digital currency would be a banker’s worst nightmare, but Matthew Taylor Mellon II — presently the Chairman of the New York Republican Party’s Finance Committee — seems to be quite the fan.

In an interview with Forbes, the highly-successful business man suggested digital currency could be the future of democracy in some respects.

“I feel like citizens are fed up with banksters,” he told the Forbes reporter over lunch. “We need to live in a more transparent, free democracy. The more secretive America becomes, the more dangerous it is.”

The key to this transparent and free democracy, he says, involves bitcoin — which has grown significantly over the past eighteen months.

“The banks are going to be scratching their heads,” he added.

It’s not difficult to see why Mellon is so infatuated with bitcoin. In fact, he’s said to have invested $2 million in an incubator that allows bitcoin-related companies to start up and flourish. That incubator is called CoinApex.

“Matthew is the kind of guy who’s very smart about attracting very talented people to help him figure it out,” said J. Todd Morley, a friend of Mellon’s and founder of Guggenheim Partners. “I know he’s been studying Bitcoin and talking to senior people in the industry.”

It’s certainly an interesting story, and one that is becoming increasingly common as those in the banking industry recognize the promise of this digital currency.

Moreover, there’s no shortage of interesting developments that are taking place with regard to start-ups in the space, which acts as an attractive opportunity for the wealthy investor.

You may very well hear a lot more of this type of optimism in the coming months.

Read the full story published at Forbes.


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We know that Bitcoin.com is involved in a five-year deal with Blockchain.info, but what about the highly sought-after bitcoins.com domain name?

There’s now a chance to pick up the domain, with news today that the domain will hit the auction block later this month as part of Heritage Auctions’ Domain Names & Intellectual Property Auction, which will see the sale of a slew high-value of web addresses.

The domain was owned by Mark Karpeles, CEO of the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange, which took a devastating tumble into bankruptcy protection following the loss of investor monies earlier this year.

“We are hoping, with the sale of Bitcoins.com, to provide some relief to the people impacted by the Mt. Gox bankruptcy,” said Mr. Karpeles in a press statement, “and [we’ll] be putting at least half of the sale amount toward that purpose.”

The domain is expected to fetch a pretty penny (or should we say bitcoin?), given bitcoin’s explosive growth over the past eighteen months.

“Bitcoins.com is absolutely the best remaining, and available name for this new market,” said Aron Meystedt, who serves as Founder and Director of the Domain Names & Intellectual Property category at Heritage Auctions. “Bitcoin.com, the singular version, is owned and used by Blockchain.info, the world’s most popular bitcoin wallet, and Bitcoinwallet.com itself is also already tied up. For the right investor this is a golden opportunity.”

Bitcoins.com was one of the few valuable intellectual property items Karpeles and Mt. Gox held. Mt. Gox also held a trademark for ‘Bitcoin’ in both the European Union and Japan.

“The current market capitalization of all bitcoins in circulation is between $7 billion and $8 billion,” continued Meystedt. “Daily, there are millions of dollars in transactions in Bitcoins. This auction offers the opportunity to capitalize on one of the most significant developments since the inception of the Internet.”

The auction is slated to begin on the 24th of July and could fetch over $750,000, according to estimates. The opening bid will start at $185,000.

An interesting post today by the St. Kitts-Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program with regard to some news that made its rounds on the web a couple of months ago.

Just so you’re up to date, that news I’m referring to suggested that bitcoin enthusiasts and users could purchase Citizenship to St. Kitts and Nevis using only bitcoin — provided you had enough.

You could go several routes, which involve making significant investments.

Benefits that come with citizenship to the island-nations include the following:

  1. Visa-free travel to 140 countries including Canada, the European Union, and Hong Kong
  2. 10 year multiple entry visa to the United States
  3. Tax advantages – no income, wealth, or inheritance taxes
  4. No residency requirement
  5. Lifetime citizenship for you and your family
  6. Citizenship confidentiality – your home country is not notified of your St. Kitts citizenship

But a recent post on the St. Kitts-Nevis Citizenship by Investment website issues a firm warning to those who may have such plans in consideration:

[blockquote style=”2″]Recent media articles have alluded to the acceptance of the virtual currency known as Bitcoins by the St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Unit for investment opportunities offered by our program. The Citizenship by Investment Unit would like to assure the general public that we do not recognize Bitcoins as legal investment currency for financial transactions within our Citizenship by Investment Programme. We further emphasize that we do not accept Bitcoins, have never accepted Bitcoins, and will not accept Bitcoins.[/blockquote]

The Program adds that they only process and accept applications from “Licensed Authorised Persons (Service Providers)”, and “transactions are conducted through internationally recognized banking institutions.”

Further, “These institutions adhere to international financial regulations and only handle traditionally acceptable currencies such as the United Kingdom Pound Sterling, the European Union Euro, the United States US Dollar and the Eastern Caribbean EC Dollar.”

The Citizenship by Investment Unit says they are conducting an investigation on the advertisements online, warning that “Any company found to be engaged in this practice in association with our program will have its license revoked and struck from the register of Authorised Persons (Service Providers).”

Of course, this doesn’t seem to really seem to stop services like PassportsForBitcoin.com, which would handle the investment on your behalf without getting you directly involved with the CIU, but at least you’ve heard what St. Kitts-Nevis has to say about it.

[textmarker color=”C24000″]Source[/textmarker] St. Kitts-Nevis CIU

Bitcoin security company Xapo has reportedly raised a whopping $20 million in Series A-1 funding from Greylock Partners and Index Ventures, we’re learning this Tuesday morning from various reports.

Other participants in the funding round included Jerry Yang (Yahoo! Inc. co-founder), Emergence Capital Partners, Max Levchin (PayPal co-founder), Yuri Milner.

The significant investment breaks a record in the digital currency space, effectively making Xapo the most invested in company operating in the space to date. Previous investors that poured in $20 million into the company include Fortress Investment Group and Ribbit Capital.

The company is said to be valued above $100 million at this point in time.

In addition to the investment, Reid Hoffman of Greylock and Mike Volpi of Index will be join as observers on the Xapo board.

Xapo Logo

“Looking ahead, we will continue to invest the funds in building our team and our suite of services,” Xapo CEO Wences Casares wrote on his company blog. “We are committed to developing the framework that allow bitcoins to be used by consumers in their everyday lives while also continuing to offer highly secure bitcoin storage for Wall Street funds, exchanges, and financial institutions handling bitcoins.”

“Throughout my career in consumer-focused financial technology, I have never experienced anything that has piqued the interest of the financial community – and my own – quite like bitcoin. I’m particularly impressed by how quickly the bitcoin ecosystem has started to evolve. It is clear that the industry is being led by a new generation of businesses, driven by experienced entrepreneurs focusing on security and usability and backed by world class venture capitalists like our investors,” he added.

The investment news is also accompanied with the news that the company is planning to launch their highly-anticipated bitcoin debit cards beginning later this month, which will allow users to spend their bitcoins as local currency like any other debit card.

The company says they’ve signed deals with financial institutions in the United States and Europe to make the cards work, but declined to reveal any names.

[textmarker color=”C24000″]Source[/textmarker] TechCrunch, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Xapo

Of all things you can buy with bitcoin, you can add quality and affordable vehicles to the list. Freshly announced: peer-to-peer vehicle marketplace Beepi is now allowing its users to purchase cars using digital currency — bitcoin, specifically. The company is also offering prospective vehicle buyers pre-approval for loans on those vehicles as they check-out.

“Adding bitcoin as a payment option and instant pre-approval for car loans are the next logical steps for Beepi, a company founded with a goal of eliminating friction at every step of the buying and selling process,” Tuesday’s announcement read.

“The $300 billion used car marketplace has experienced little to no innovation in decades and we’re excited to lead this change. Beepi first eliminated the hassle of working with car salesmen and now we’re taking the frustration out of payments,” said Beepi co-founder and CEO Ale Resnik.

The company has chosen Atlanta-based BitPay to process the payments — allowing them to instantly convert to United States dollars.

[ot-video type=”youtube” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAsy74HbDqE”]

“Integrating with bitcoin is a natural extension of our promise to deliver the easiest way to purchase a car in the 21st century,” Resnik said.

Users looking to take advantage of the feature will find the bitcoin icon in the payment options section of the check-out screen. Beepi says they are even offering up a $1,000 rebate to the first three buyers who buy a car and pay for it using bitcoin, provided the vehicle has a value of over $10,000.

“The automotive industry is at the forefront of bitcoin adoption and we see that trend continuing to grow with companies like Beepi leading the way. The beauty of ecommerce and sites like Beepi is that the inventory of all cars is accessible across the country for purchase as well as expanding the base of potential customers including those who hold bitcoin and are looking for things to buy,” said Tony Gallippi, BitPay’s executive chairman.

There’s a lot of developments taking place in the Financial Technology sector, and banks and other financial institutions are recognizing this. Many of these institutions are closely monitoring developments in the space, one of which happens to be the growth of digital currency.

One such company happens to be Credit Suisse, who’s backing a FinTech Fellowship program that aims to find entrepreneurs and leaders who will help guide the financial sector into our ever-immersive digital world.

Joined by AlphaCard, Australian insurer Suncorp and UK Trade & Investment, the support is for The Anthemis Fellowship is a 12-month program that is not surprisingly run by the Anthemis Group.

Three fellows will be starting the program in September, where they will spend four months at Anthemis offices in London, UK. They will then be spending four months at one of Anthemis’s portfolio companies, and finally another four months at a major financial company.

One of the fellows is attempting to build out portfolio management models. Another is attempting to create a social fundraising platform. And the third (Justin Drake), perhaps most interesting to us in the community, is an engineering consultant who’s planning to write a detailed book on bitcoin.

“Credit Suisse is passionate about being at the forefront of the transformative change enabled by digital systems and models,” said Credit Suisse managing director Sarah Wilkinson. “The Fellowship initiative from Anthemis is unique in its focus on manufacturing the digital talent that will be so critical to this innovation, and we’re very excited to be part of this initiative.”

“The transition from the industrial age to the information age is driving a secular shift to a world of accelerating change and structural uncertainty,” acknowledged Sean Park, co-founder of Anthemis.

“The Anthemis Fellowship is our modest contribution to creating a new paradigm in professional development, one that we aspire will become a model for finding and developing the future leaders of 21st century finance,” he adds.

We’ll certainly have to keep track of Drake’s journey, and we’ll have more information as developments become available.

[textmarker color=”C24000″]Source[/textmarker] Financial News

Digital currency tech firm PeerNova has reportedly received a pre-Series A investment by cyber-security expert Ashar Aziz, according to a Tuesday morning announcement.

Aziz founded FireEye, a malware protection system, in 2004 and served as the company’s CEO until 2012. Today, he’s serving on FireEye’s vice chairman of the board and chief strategy officer.

“As cyber threats proliferate and get more sophisticated, I believe that crypto-ledgers like Bitcoin’s block chain will play an increasing role in recording the exchange of valuable assets,” he said in a statement relating to his investment.

“I personally invested in PeerNova because they have a strong product vision and a management team with a proven track record. Secure, cryptographic platforms like PeerNova’s can transform the way in which we transact with each other globally.”

PeerNova is well known for their enterprise-scale mining solutions, but with this investment, will help the business continue expansion into other areas.

“There is no denying that the true innovation is the block chain, a highly secure transaction ledger that underlies bitcoin,” said PeerNova CEO Dr. Naveed Sherwani. “At PeerNova, we are focused on building a peer to peer platform that leverages block chain’s unique properties for enterprise and consumer applications. We are very excited to count Mr. Aziz as one of our investors as it validates this vision and the work we are doing.”

Interestingly enough, PeerNova did not mention the amount of the investment in their announcement today. NEWSBTC attempted to reach out to the California-based company in attempts to get more information, but did not receive a response before time of publishing.

In 2014, CloudHashing and HighBitCoin, LLC merged to form PeerNova.