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Former SEC chairman bullish on bitcoin, lends advice to companies – CNET

Arthur Levitt becomes one of Bitcoin’s highest profile supporters after signing on to advise payment processing company BitPay and bitcoin exchange Vaurum.

Former US Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt didn’t know much about Bitcoin when several Bitcoin companies asked for his advice.

But he quickly got excited about two particular companies — Bitpay, the largest processor of bitcoin payments, and Vaurum, an up-and-coming Bitcoin exchange being boosted by influential Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper. The companies announced Tuesday that Levitt is an official adviser.

BitPay, which launched in 2011, helps 40,000 business accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. Vaurum, founded in 2012, allows financial institutions to trade, store and offer bitcoins to customers.

Levitt’s involvement signals the bitcoin industry’s interest in making the digital currency attractive for the masses. Levitt thinks regulation will be key to Bitcoin’s success because it will help legitimize the currency. “The founders of these companies tend to be entrepreneurial, irreverent and probably feel that regulation should be avoided at all costs,” he said in an interview. “I understand where they’re coming from but I also believe that regulations really will do more to establish their credibility as an alternative. It’s got to be sensible, balanced regulation and it can’t be regulation that chokes them.”

Read the full story at: http://www.cnet.com/news/former-sec-chairman-bullish-on-bitcoin-lends-advice-to-companies/

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Bloomberg Video: Why You Can Trust the Tech Behind Bitcoin – The blockchain

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) — RRE Ventures’ James Robinson discusses the tech behind Bitcoin with Bloomberg’s Trish Regan on “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg) It’s all about the Blockchain. Also see the animated video about Bitcoin that was released by Into Bitcoin and partners on http://bitcoinproperly.org which is the very first to specifically address the technology behind […]

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This Polish Hospital Will Let Patients Settle Bills With Bitcoin

A private hospital in Warsaw, Poland, which is run by the Medicover Group, will soon let patients pay their bills in bitcoin. A bitcoin ATM planned to be launched at the facility in the near future should make that process even easier.

Tucson Dunn, director of the Hospital Division at Medicover Group, said that the chain places an emphasis on ensuring a transparent pricing policy for its existing and potential patients.

“What makes Medicover Hospital special in the new realm of bitcoin healthcare is that the hospital has a published bitcoin price list for every type of care,”

Dunn said, adding: “We led the development of the International Diagnosis Resource Grouping (DRG) price list which was adopted by the International Healthcare Commission. The iDRG price list is the most widely accepted international price list in the world, accepted by over 100 insurance companies worldwide.”

Working in collaboration with Szyszka, Dunn says he converted the International DRG price list to a bitcoin price list, dubbed the ‘BTC-DRG’ price list, making it the first international bitcoin healthcare price list.

Medicover is one of the leading healthcare companies active in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. Set up in 1993, the group is present in 10 of the region’s countries, including Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, Ukraine and Bulgaria, as well as in Germany, Turkey and Georgia.

In Poland, the group operates 30 healthcare facilities, of which nine are located in Warsaw, with a combined workforce of 1,400 doctors and 500,000 registered patients in its database. The group’s flagship outlet in the Polish capital has medical staff consisting of 170 doctors, 80 nurses and 20 radiology and ultrasound technicians.

The Warsaw-based hospital’s divisions include women’s health, obstetrics, children’s health, cardiology, internal medicine, surgery, as well as anaesthesiology and intensive care, providing a wide range of healthcare services, according to Medicover.

Read the full story at: http://www.coindesk.com/patients-can-pay-surgery-polish-hospital-bitcoin/

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Bitcoin 2.0 innovation. White paper “Enabling Blockchain Innovations with Pegged Sidechains”

Abstract from the white paper:

Since the introduction of Bitcoin[Nak09] in 2009, and the multiple computer science and electronic cash innovations it brought, there has been great interest in the potential of decentralised cryptocurrencies. At the same time, implementation changes to the consensus- critical parts of Bitcoin must necessarily be handled very conservatively. As a result, Bitcoin has greater difficulty than other Internet protocols in adapting to new demands and accommodating new innovation.

We propose a new technology, pegged sidechains, which enables bitcoins and other ledger assets to be transferred between multiple blockchains. This gives users access to new and innovative cryptocurrency systems using the assets they already own. By reusing Bitcoin’s currency, these systems can more easily interoperate with each other and with Bitcoin, avoiding the liquidity shortages and market fluctuations associated with new currencies. Since sidechains are separate systems, technical and economic innovation is not hindered. Despite bidirectional transferability between Bitcoin and pegged sidechains, they are isolated: in the case of a cryptographic break (or malicious design) in a sidechain, the damage is entirely confined to the sidechain itself.

This paper lays out pegged sidechains, their implementation requirements, and the work needed to fully benefit from the future of interconnected blockchains.

Read or download the white paper: http://www.blockstream.com/sidechains.pdf