Bitcoin platform launch opens up cryptocurrency options

A platform launched in London this week is to allow companies to conduct business in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, cutting out traditional banks just days after JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon described Bitcoin as a ‘fraud’

Dimon gave a speech on Tuesday in which he described the cryptocurrency as ‘worse than tulip bulbs’, adding he would ‘fire in a second’ any JP Morgan trader who was trading bitcoin.

‘It's against our rules and they are stupid,’ he said. ‘It's just not a real thing, eventually it will be closed.’

The CommerceBlock platform launched in London today will see companies able to engage in ‘frictionless’ movement of funds, with proof and verification of payments represented on the blockchain.

Blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions. Instead of everyone keeping their own records, it is mutual, with everyone involved sharing the same ledger of transactions. It operates by consensus, so if all parties agree that a transaction is legitimate, it is then added to the chain and cannot be altered after the fact.

The ability to track business transactions has traditionally been underpinned by the banks, but they do not do so for cryptocurrencies. For Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, CommerceBlock undertakes this role, although businesses can choose to transact using a mixture of traditional fiat and crypto currencies.

The platform is designed to fit any blockchain or multiple blockchains simultaneously if a transaction uses more than one cryptocurrency. It is also designed to invoice in cryptocurrency, create contracts, manage trade flows, record bills of laden, issue assets and hedge currency risk.

Nicholas Gregory, CEO of CommerceBlock, said: ‘This removes the final obstacle to widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies and we expect this sector to explode in the coming years, and London to take a pioneering role in the way cheaper, faster financial solutions made possible by cryptocurrencies will finally enter the mainstream.’

Following Dimon’s comments, Swiss cryptocurrency start-up Eidoo took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal, claiming: ‘Maybe Jamie will fire you, but you'll be free to trade in the crypto-world.’

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like ethereum have seen rallies this year due to rising interest from institutional investors, and some favourable regulation in countries like Japan. Today, one Bitcoin is worth £3,684 or $4,811. However, just last month, the currency dipped to £2,533 per Bitcoin.

Report by Calum Fuller

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