Apple Hates Bitcoins.

Image

Today Apply has removed the Blockchain wallet from their App Store. Blockchain was the last remaining Bitcoin Wallet available in the App Store.

Apple has, apparently, given no reason to Blockchain for the removal. The App had over 120,000 downloads and is widely used to transfer Bitcoins P2P.

Blockchain was the last App for using an iPhone to exchange Bitcoins. Blockchain is very popular at physical Bitcoin exchanges like the Satoshi Square held at the Bitcoin Center NYC (40 Broad St.).

Many iPhone owners who hold Bitcoins are upset at the news. One iPhone user has gone so far as to smash his iPhone and post the video to youtube.

Blockchain via a posting on their site, cited a popular Apple quote:

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward.”

Blockchain then added:

“Perhaps Apple should have added a disclaimer: “As long as the ‘rebels’ don’t threaten our profit margin”. The rebels no longer run the show at Apple Inc; the bean-counters are now firmly in charge.”

Some have speculated that Apple is shedding Bitcoin Wallets to build their own payment system. The Wall St. Journal reported about Apple’s mobile payment systems on 1/24/14.

Advertisements

Hello Bitcoin, Goodbye Western Union?

Image

Original Story: AllAfrica.com

Kipochi

A new Bitcoin transmission mobile app, Kipochi, has been launched. The Danish founder, Pelle Braendgaard, is targeting Foreign Labors who wish to send their remittances home without paying the large transfer fees they have been previously subjected to. The average fee a migrant pays to transfer money home now is around 12%.

Kipochi’s Bitcoin wallet is free, as is transmitting bitcoins from person to person.

Braendgaard hopes to allow shops function as exchange agents and he will take 1% of the transaction’s fee. There is no word on the percentage these hypothetical shops would charge for the exchange to national currencies.

Kipochi claims to have representatives in Kenya, Nicaragua, Spain and Malaysia.

BitPesa

BitPesa is a Kenyan startup is taking advantage a trail regulatory approval. They currently handle around 7,000 transactions per month. BitPesa exchanges the senders currency to Bitcoins to the recipients’ currency. There is a 3% fee on each transaction.

Western Union who charges about 6% on a $200 transaction currently holds 30% of the remittance market.

$150,000 (201.9 Bitcoins) grafted from Wisconsin man.

20140204-220744.jpg

Reported by By Christena T. O’Brien of twincities.com (see original) .

34 year old Software Engineer, Jamie Russell, hoped to exchange digital Bitcoins for physical Bitcoin tokens, complete with tamper proof strips which concealed the digital keys. His concern was that his original Bitcoins in their all digital state were not secure enough.

In a twist he was swindled by a man purporting to make his digital coins physical. The Alleged UK based man, David Williamson, carried on a internet dialogue with Russell for over a year, gaining his trust. It wasn’t until after the theft that Russell learned that Williamson had stolen Bitcoins from various other victims.

After Russell transferred his Bitcoins to Williamson he received tracking numbers for items which were never sent.

Williamson ceased communicating with Russell, who has lost the six figure dollar amount of the digital currency.

This event feeds into criticisms of Bitcoins security especially when transferring to unknown parties.

Bitcoins thrive on their ability work person to person without needing a third party such as a bank or credit institution. Although third parties take costly fees for money transfers, they do offer security and the possibility for recovering stolen funds. In this case Russell can only hope that Williamson is tracked down and prosecuted. Russell stated that even if Williamson is captured, “I’m not expectant that I’m going to get any money out of him.”

Are Bitcoins legal in your country? Here’s Forbes’ comprehensive list of national stances.

world-map

Forbes’ Kashmir Hill has comprised a list of countries and their tentative stances on Bitcoins. All of the major players appear here

The list can be found here: link to Forbes

Here are a few highlights:

  • Japan: Despite being the home for years to the long-time monster exchange of Bitcoin, Mt. Gox, Japan is silent on the issue.
  • New Zealand: Kiwis are all good with Bitcoin as long as it is not turned into a physical note or coin.
  • Nicaragua: American banker, Greg Simon, recently bought a 1,200-square-meter plot of land in San Juán del Sur, one of the most important tourist areas in Nicaragua, for 80 bitcoins, currently the equivalent of about US$72,000.”
  • Russia: Using it to buy things there could be illegal given that the Russian ruble is the exclusive means of payment in the Russian Federation per the law.
  • Taiwan: Has cautioned investors and businesses away from Bitcoin.
  • China: While people there are free to buy and sell it, financial institutions have been warned away.
  • Germany: Has rules for Bitcoin, treating it like a foreign currency
  • Argentina: Although bitcoins are not specifically regulated, they are increasingly being used in Argentina.”
  • U.S.A.: Bitcoin’s future is currently being debated.

Maine State Senate Candidate Eric Brakey accepts bitcoin campaign contributions

Maine State Senate Candidate Eric Brakey wants to see bitcoin go mainstream. He made the announcement that his campaign will begin accepting bitcoins at the Bitcoin Center NYC, stating “If you’re interested in helping Bitcoin go mainstream, and making sure that politicians aren’t going to write laws against digital currencies, there’s no better way then to start donating to their campaigns.”

FBI to Sell Silk Road stash, but not Ulbrights personal bitcoins

Silk_Road_Seized

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced today that they will sell about $28 million dollars worth of bitcoins (29,655 bitcoins in total), which they seized from the Silk Road in Sept 2013, an action which further legitimizes the currency.  There is no word yet on what will happen to the bitcoins seized from the personal wallets of Ross Ulbricht, AKA Dread Pirate Robert the second, the man who was running Silk Road when it was raided by the FBI.  This could mean one of two things.  The official statement released by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York states that “Ulbricht has filed a claim in the civil forfeiture action, asserting that he is the owner of the Bitcoins found on his computer hardware, and contesting the forfeiture of those Bitcoins.”  However, it’s possible that the FBI just doesn’t have access to Ulbrichts personal hoard.  If Ulbricht was practicing good security measures and either memorized his private keys or printed them out and hid them without ever keeping the private keys on an internet connected computer, the FBI would have no way of accessing his bitcoins.

Read the official release here:

http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/January14/SilkRoadForfeiture.php

Bitcoin Goes Professional: NBA Team To Accept Bitcoins

Image
logo illustration by Invisible Money Documentary

The Sacramento Kings have announced that they will begin accepting Bitcoins.

In a release from the Kings, starting March 1 it will be possible to purchase official merchindice and game tickets using Bitcoins. This would make the Sacramento Kings the first domestic professional sport team to accept digital currency.

Team owner, Vivek Ranadive spoke to ESPN, telling them, “…acceptance of Bitcoin is one step closer to allowingn fans to keep their wallets at home, thanks to what will eventually be a ticketless and cashless environment at the arena.” He went on to say “My kids would go to games and ask why we didn’t accept Bitcoin.”

This would reinforce Ranadive’s promise to lead the Kings into the future through emerging technologies.

The team will not hold a wallet themselves, rather convert the digital currency earnings to USD via intermediary, Bitpay.