Aussie Government Regulates
In an effort to crackdown on money laundering and terrorism financing, The Australian government have instituted regulations in the digital currency sector. The regulations include increasing the power of the Australian Transactions and Reporting Analysis Center (AUSTRAC) by bringing digital currency providers under AUSTRAC’s jurisdiction.
This is the first time that digital currency exchanges will fall under government regulation in the southern continent, however it is not the first country to do so. In April, Japan made Bitcoin into a legal payment method – just one of many steps being taken across the globe to move Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies into the mainstream.
Ether Now in Consumer
The digital currency platform Blockchain now allows users to manage both Bitcoin and Ether from the same wallet. By adding Ether to consumer wallets, users no longer need to manage multiple accounts or switch wallets when making transactions with the two currencies. Additionally, Blockchain integrated their platform with ShapeShift, a digital asset exchange, to allow Bitcoin/Ether trading to happen from a single location. This means users can trade funds to or from Bitcoin or Ether within a single wallet. The funding for these improvements was raised back in June, with heavy hitters like Lakestar and GV – formerly Google Ventures – contributing to part of the $40 million Series B funding.
ShapeShift Adds KeepKey
ShapeShift, the aforementioned digital asset exchange, acquired KeepKey, a Bitcoin hardware wallet maker, in a cash deal. This acquisition will allow ShapeShift users to trade assets stored on KeepKey devices, from the device interface, directly over the ShapeShift API. KeepKey supports a variety of digital currencies beyond Bitcoin, including Ether, Litecoin and Dash, amongst others.
Even with the new ownership, KeepKey will continue to be manufactured and distributed by the original makers. ShapeShift has further confirmed that the KeepKey product line will remain the same, and that the acquisition will not change the KeepKey brand in any way.
Trading to Global Currencies
Bitstamp, the European Union’s first licensed digital currency exchange, will now support trading for ETH/BTC, ETC/USD and ETH/EUR, representing an important step forward into the integration of cryptocurrency into the traditional financial world.
The Luxembourg based exchange platform teamed up with online bank Swissquote just one month ago, in order to add a full-slack solution for trading BTC/EUR and BTC/USD to it’s platform. According to a statement from Bitstamp, Ether is being included as well due to a strong demand from customers and the cryptocurrency community.
Payza, a payment platform, is also trying to simplify conversion from cryptocurrency into cold hard cash. Payza will now allow its users to add Bitcoin funds directly onto a Payza card, which is similar to a conventional debit card and can be used online, in stores and at most ATMs. This one-step process to convert Bitcoin into USD is available for any Payza account holder, in more than 190 countries.