Bitcoin in the Headlines is a weekly analysis of bitcoin media coverage and its impact.
The bitcoin and blockchain industry have a new major newsmaker: distributed ledger startup R3CEV.
Leaving behind a week filled with impressive funding rounds, the coverage over the last few days has been largely dominated by the company’s partnership with nine well-known banks including JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.
Journalists from across the world jumped at the chance to cover the news – perhaps still a sign that mainstream media will deem industry events newsworthy if traditional finance is involved.
In stark contrast, more negative news events received less attention, and were far more focused on the other half of the blockchain – bitcoin, the digital token for which the blockchain acts as a ledger.
BitPay’s phishing attack – which resulted in the loss of $1.8m – received less widespread, but more derisive coverage. Elsewhere, reports about Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles’ charge with embezzlement carried over from last week.
R3CEV’s big score
The news that nine of the world’s biggest banks had partnered with distributed ledger startup R3CEV caught the attention of the Financial Times’ Philip Stafford, who began his piece emphasizing the group’s intention to drive the adoption of blockchain technology.
“Nine of the largest investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Credit Suisse, are planning to develop common standards for blockchain technology in an effort to broaden its use across financial services.”
Stafford continued to note that the blockchain, which he described as bitcoin’s underlying “computer network”, had caught the eye of the financial services industry in the past six months for “its potential to overhaul the sprawling and complicated network of bank payments and settlements”.
Interestingly, the journalist’s assertions follow on from Blythe Masters’ comments during a panel at Consensus 2015 – CoinDesk’s inaugural conference held in New York last week – where she noted how distributed ledger technologies could serve to eradicate the pain points affecting the financial industry and its ecosystem.
The article, which then went on to give an overview of the financial industry’s interaction with blockchain technology, also noted:
“Banks, exchanges and settlement houses are exploring ways to harness the much-hyped technology to reshape many of their daily operations, from upgrading old back-office systems and outsourcing billions of dollars in costs to automatic execution of contracts.”
Efforts from Wall Street
The Wall Street Journal‘s Paul Vigna was also quick to point out Wall Street’s increasing interest in blockchain technology:
“This year has seen a number of efforts on the Street, from both startups and established banks, to use blockchain as the basis of new platforms and products.”