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This Week in Bitcoin: Global payments and acquisitions

Ulbricht in life sentence appeal

After receiving a life sentence without the possibility of parole in May 2015 following his conviction on 7 charges related to narcotics distribution, conspiracy, and computer hacking, Ross Ulbricht’s defense is seeking a new trial. Questioning the legality of some of the searches and seizures conducted during the federal investigation, Ulbricht’s defense also claimed his rights to a fair trial and due process were denied and that the court hid key evidence in the actions of convicted federal agents Carl Mark Force IV and Shaun Bridges.

Netflix CFO on challenges of international payments

Speaking at a question and answer session for investors, Netflix CFO David Wells commented on the potential for bitcoin to help with some of the challenges faced by companies in multinational markets. “We’ll see where we go from here in the next 10, 15 years from a payments perspective, because countries still want to hold on to their monetary policy. But [it] sure would be nice to have bitcoin, in terms of a global currency, that you could use globally,” he said. The remarks come after Netflix’s earlier 2016 announcement of expansion of its service by 130 countries.

Blockchain doesn’t mean bitcoin…yet

Weighing in on the trend for prominent banks investing in blockchain technology to pursue private blockchain options, founder and president of Bitwage Jonathan Chester explained his position on the ultimate dominance of bitcoin’s blockchain:

It will likely not have an immediate affect on the bitcoin market.  However, it will in the long term.  Startups and smaller companies will likely not be able to access the private blockchains created by wall street directly and will turn to public blockchains.  Seeing as the bitcoin blockchain is the most secure and most invested in public blockchain, with over $1 billion in investment and around a $6.5bn market cap, startups will likely turn to the bitcoin blockchain.  With better settlement mechanisms, startups working with the bitcoin blockchain will challenge the banks with superior services.  Banks, having become more comfortable with blockchain technology, will seek out better settlement mechanisms to compete with these startups or acquire them.  Either way, the banks will get involved with the bitcoin blockchain, or perhaps another public blockchain should one have more liquidity.  When that happens, I can’t see the bitcoin markets going down.

CoinDesk acquired by Digital Currency Group

Leading bitcoin news media company CoinDesk was acquired by DCG, one of its most prominent investors, on Jan 13.

“We’ve watched the publication grow and establish itself as a leading source of journalism in the industry. In addition, they’ve done a phenomenal job of branching out into new areas like research and events…[the acquisition] aligns with our overall strategy to bring awareness of digital currency and blockchain tech to mainstream consciousness,” said Ryan Selkis, DCG’s director of growth.

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Dan Bainbridge

Dan Bainbridge is the founder of and He writes about bitcoin focused marketing strategy on this blog, and day to day strategises the growth of the Bitcoin Aliens media portfolio. He likes surfing and swimming.