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区块链国际资讯

比特币交易额超亿 开启历史新纪元

比特币这个世界上最著名的加密数字货币,似乎将在年底前创下新记录:交易额突破1亿欧元。截止12月23日一早,比特币交易额已经达到9970万欧元,不出意外的话在接下来两天这一新纪录就会诞生。对于这种没有中央银行或政府信用支持的虚拟货币而言,这实在是不俗的成就。

支付系统处理器公司BitPagos在阿根廷,拉美以及欧洲有着众多的合作伙伴。该公司首席执行官兼创始人Sebastián Serrano认为:"毫无疑问,比特币是2015年最强势且发展最快的货币。"

自2009年1月诞生以来,比特币产业发展可谓势如破竹。前6年交易总额累计达5000万欧元,而2015年1年的交易额就足以与之持衡。

今年"黑色星期五"前夜便见证了比特币单日交易量的最高纪录——286万欧元。按照今日平均汇率换算,相当于超过了10亿美元。

对于比特币交易平台Bitex.la的高管Nubis Bruno来说,比特币的未来的发展仍然值得期待:"比特币和其他颠覆性的技术一样,也遵循接受曲线的规律,"但同时,他还警告称"在人们学会如何使用比特币并贯彻执行之前还有很长的路要走。"

另一方面,"提供比特币服务的企业要有足够的时间来发展成熟,而且监管部门也要逐渐减少对待比特币的政策不确定性。"

纽约证券交易所在五月份发布了一项比特币价格指数,这明确展示了其对比特币交易的支持态度。纽交所主席Tom Farley表示:"我们的声誉和地位将使得我们成为比特币价值的全球指数提供者,以服务整个市场。"

信誉对于比特币来说至关重要,"因为它是一种没有银行或者政府实体支持的货币,整个网络的运转都需要靠使用者的接受度和信任度维系。"

投资者看好比特币

2015年比特币不仅仅是交易额在增长。投资者向比特币初创企业注入了超过10亿美元的资金,几乎是去年的三倍。一些全球顶尖金融机构也在其中,比如BBVA银行、高盛、美国运通、万事达卡,甚至包括半导体制造商高通。

1月份,仅比特币交易平台 Coinbase一家就成功获得7500万美元投资,也刷新了此前比特币公司的记录。但是它很快被21 Inc.赶超,后者从天使投资者处获得了1.16亿美元投资。九月份该公司宣布:推出第一台为比特币交易网络特别定制的电脑。

区块链技术成为焦点

2015年,比特币最受关注的方面并不是获得的投资或是价格,而是区块链技术(这种记录每一笔比特币交易的基础分类账)。

开发者、活跃用户以及企业家都在思索交易网络是否应该限制交易数量,来避免未来的可扩展性问题。比特币不受任何人的控制,因此达成这项共识至关重要。

不仅专业人士在探讨这项关键技术,银行系统也对采用区块链技术表现出了兴趣——不是采用比特币,而是用该技术使得银行的交易更加有效并降低成本。业界巨头比如JP摩根、瑞士信贷银行和苏格兰皇家银行都决定斥巨资打造合作关系,以建立自身的区块链体系。

英国的巴克莱银行投资了三家区块链初创企业。德意志银行的一位管理人员说,区块链技术将在金融领域掀起一场变革,由于"该技术的执行速度比证券结算快得多,而且你可以看到它能够降低银行为每一次交易需持有的资本。"

但是Bitex.la的Bruno认为,目前自相矛盾的概念比如"私人的区块链或者抛开比特币的区块链"也是金融机构尝试适应新环境这一过程中的表现。他表示,比特币公司应当建起沟通的桥梁,并且展示出比特币对于整个行业的巨大推动作用。

即使比特币技术仍处于初始阶段,它仍然有潜力改变包括金融业在内的很多行业。例如Honduras正寻求在区块链技术的基础上实现土地所有权登记,而还有一些公司也正在开发去中心化的出生登记和婚姻登记的技术。

Bitcoin, the world's most famous cryptocurrency, is poised to reach a major milestone before the end of the year: 100 million transactions. As of the morning of December 23, it sits at 99.7 million, with the landmark due in the next two days, and for a virtual currency that has the support of no central bank or government, it's a remarkable feat.

"Without a doubt, bitcoin was the strongest and fastest-growing currency in 2015," says Sebastián Serrano, CEO and co-founder of payments processor BitPagos, which has thousands of partners in Argentina, Latin America, and Europe.

Since its inception in January 2009, bitcoin's growth has skyrocketed. While the first 50 million transactions took place during the first six years, the rest took place in 2015 alone.

This year's Black Friday eve saw the highest volume of bitcoins traded in as single day, 2.86 million. That is over US$1 billion, based on that day's average exchange rate.

For Nubis Bruno, entrepreneur and CPO at bitcoin trading-platform Bitex.la, bitcoin's performance was to be expected: "It's following the adoption curve of other disruptive technologies when it comes to promotion." However, he warns that there is "a long transition phase for people who discover bitcoin before they learn how to use it and do so."

Also, "businesses offering bitcoin-related services have had enough time to mature, and regulatory agencies are gradually reducing uncertainty about how they will treat bitcoin."

In a clear demonstration of support, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) launched a bitcoin price index in May. "We are now going to use our name, reputation, and stature as a global index provider to give bitcoin values that the rest of the market can look to," announcedNYSE's President Tom Farley.

Reputation is a crucial component of bitcoin, "because it's a currency that does not depend on any bank or state entity, what gives the network its strength is users' acceptance and trust."

Investment Funds Eye Bitcoin

It wasn't only bitcoin transactions that increased in 2015. Investors injected more than US$1 billion into bitcoin start-ups, almost tripling last year's funding. Some of the world's largest finance players ventured into bitcoin: BBVA bank, Goldman Sachs, American Express, Master Card, and even semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm.

In January, bitcoin exchange Coinbase alone managed to collect US$75 million, the biggest yet for a bitcoin firm. But it was quickly dethroned by 21 Inc., which obtained $116 million from angel investors. In September, the firm delivered: it launched the first computerspecifically designed to interact with the bitcoin network.

All about the Blockchain

The most discussed aspect of bitcoin in 2015, however, was neither the funding nor its price.Blockchain, the underlying ledger that keeps track of every bitcoin transaction, was the subject of much debate in the community.

Developers, activists, and entrepreneurs alike pondered whether the network should limit the number of transactions to avoid scalability problems in the future. No one controls bitcoin, so reaching a consensus on changes is critical.

But not only insiders debated the essential technology. The banking system showed interest in adopting the blockchain, not the currency, to handle their transactions more efficiently and cheaply. Giants like JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, and Scotland Royal Bank decided to invest heavily in creating a partnership to set up a "private blockchain."

British bank Barclays funded three blockchain start-ups, and a Deutsche Bank official said the blockchain could "revolutionize finance," given that "the speed of execution is so much faster for securities settlement. [And] you can see how it could reduce the capital that banks have to hold against each trade."

But Bruno of Bitex.la believes all the buzz about "contradictory concepts such as private blockchains or bitcoinless blockchains" is the result of financial institutions trying to adapt to a new environment. Bitcoin firms should "build bridges and present [bitcoin] as a benefit for the whole industry," he says.

Even though it's still in its infancy, blockchain applications have the potential to change much beyond the world of finance. Honduras, for instance, is seeking to build a blockchain-based land-titles registry, and other firms are developing solutions to notarize birth certificates andmarriages without the need for a central authority.


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