Start of this week with today's top news stories in Money & Tech:
Bitcoin's price has stabilized back up to around $500 dollars, following a recent plunge to below $400 due likely to concerns over regulatory uncertainty in China, as well as extensive tax implications in the US. As trust in the bitcoin ecosystem returns, Sir Richard Branson reaffirmed his commitment to the digital currency in an article with Delta's SKY Magazine, calling it "the pioneer of a global currency."
Japan's first bitcoin ATM arrived at the warehouse of its new owners, import company Raimu, on Thursday. The company plans to install the Robocoin machine in Suzuka City soon. Raimu CEO Motonori Kan is optimistic, despite the recent blows to bitcoin's reputation, saying that they are excited "to be a part of one of the biggest inventions in history."
Ossian Smyth has become Ireland's first bitcoin-friendly politician, accepting the digital currency for his campaign in the upcoming local elections in seaside Irish town Dun Laoghaire next month. The Green Party candidate is running on a platform for greater political transparency, promising to publish every document or contract of public interest once he is in office, and praising bitcoin as "one of the most transparent ways of receiving donations."
"La Maison du Bitcoin" - which means "The House of Bitcoin" - will be France's first bitcoin center with its grand opening in the heart of Paris on May 13th. The center will be open weekdays to offer co-working space, weekly pitches and workshops to bitcoin-related startups, and will be the home for local bitcoin meetups, as well as its own bitcoin miner and bitcoin ATM.
In Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Cedar-Lee Road will soon become the second "Bitcoin Boulevard" in the world, following in The Netherlands' footsteps. Starting May 1, a total of 8 local businesses - including Sweetie Fry, Mitchell's Fine Chocolates, The Tavern Company, and Parnell's Pub - will all begin to accepting bitcoin.
Sunlot Holdings Ltd, the group of interested Mt. Gox investors, has launched a final attempt to save the bankrupt exchange. Their new website SaveGox.com asks for support from creditors to help prevent liquidation, and instead convince the Tokyo Court to reconsider the proposal for rehabilitation. The group fears that liquidation "would be good neither for Mt. Gox creditors nor bitcoin's reputation with the general public and regulators," hoping instead to "provide restitution to customers and restore faith in the digital currency." Members of the group have already confirmed that creditors owning over 70 percent of the exchange's lost bitcoins are in support of the revival plan.
The New York City Bitcoin Center will be home to a bitcoin themed music festival on Saturday, May 3rd, led by local New York musician Ross Mintzer. The event will be a celebration of humanity, music and cryptocurrency, intended "to create a platform for digital currency enthusiasts to bond." As Mintzer puts it, "In music we have freedom of expression. Bitcoin gives us that same freedom in finance, but I believe that's only the beginning."
CoSign Coin has launched their new Secure Bitcoin Escrow service, which uses multi-signature wallets and transactions to offer users protection from theft and fraud. The company has designed their new escrow service "to be as intuitive and user-friendly as possible," with the goal of bringing confident and secure multi-signature transactions into mainstream use.
We also got to sit down with CrowdCurity CEO Jacob Hansen recently to talk about his crowdsourced IT startup and their efforts to improve web security with cryptocurrency. Find that video here shortly.
Watch this news episode on the Money & Tech website at http://www.moneyandtech.com/apr21-news-update/