Tag Archives: Currency

Is this the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning for Bitcoins?

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The worlds biggest Bitcoin Exchange, Mt. Gox, appears to have collapsed. 

Today Mt. Gox issued the following statement:

Dear MtGox Customers,

In light of recent news reports and the potential repercussions on MtGox’s operations and the market, a decision was taken to close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the site and our users. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will react accordingly.

Best regards,
MtGox Team

 

744,000 Bitcoins have been said to have been theft from Mt. Gox. Today’s average exchange price of a Bitcoin is approximately $500, making the total price of the stolen Bitcoins about $372,000,000.00. 

It is hard for some to imagine that an amount so staggeringly high could have been theft, prompting accusations of graft, as outlined here.

This is certainly the end of Mt. Gox, but not necessarily the end of Bitcoins Tradehill CEO Jered Kenna stated on Bloomberg news, “This is not a Bitcoin problem, it’s a Mt. Gox Problem…there are more secure exchanges…”

It remains to be seen how well Bitcoins will weather Mt. Gox’s collapse, but the digital currency continues to have support even from those who lost big. 

Erik Voorhees is one such causality of the collapse. He lost 550 Bitcoins in Mt. Gox, yet he is steadfastly supportive of the currency, as he stated in his widely read post on Reddit. 

 

 

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Major Bitcoin Exchange, Mt. Gox, Falls Below $100

The self proclaimed “Worlds Largest Bitcoin Exchange” has recently sent their buy price below $100 a Bitcoin. Mt. Gox’s downward spiral has been driving down the price of Bitcoins worldwide.

Mt. Gox’s crisis began on 7 February 2014, when the exchange halted withdrawals, citing technical issues.

Wikipedia:

“The company issued a press release on February 10, 2014 stating that the issue was due to transaction malleability: “A bug in the bitcoin software makes it possible for someone to use the Bitcoin network to alter transaction details to make it seem like a sending of bitcoins to a bitcoin wallet did not occur when in fact it did occur. Since the transaction appears as if it has not proceeded correctly, the bitcoins may be resent. MtGox is working with the Bitcoin core development team and others to mitigate this issue.””

The Mt. Gox Exchange has since reopened. Bitcoins were trading at $850 before Feb 10, 2014.

Many have speculated that Mt. Gox wasn’t ready to grow with the mounting interest in Bitcoins. Bigger players are entering the scene, which may alleviate the worries of Bitcoins holders.

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Apple Hates Bitcoins.

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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.

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

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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.

Bitcoin Goes Professional: NBA Team To Accept Bitcoins

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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.

Obama Supporters Now Accepting Bitcoins

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Obama Supporters Now Accepting Bitcoins

The race to elect the first pro-Bitcoin Politician is heating up, as groups on both the right and left are accepting Bitcoin contributions to back Bitcoin friendly candidates.

We reported on 12/31/13 Steve Stockman’s bid will be accepting Bitcoin donations for his Senate run. Democratic Super PAC, 1911 United has recently begun accepting Bitcoins as well as USD. Not only will they work to accept Bitcoin donations, but they want to go further, they state; “we want to throw our support behind a progressive candidate for office who supports Bitcoin, or as we say it, a “Bitcoin candidate”

It has been said that nothing motivates policy change faster than individual Politicians self motivations. With potential influxes of Digital Currency donations, Politicians will have to define Digital Currency policy to cash in.

FINCEN and the Legality of Creating Bitcoins in the USA

FINCEN on the Legality and Classification of Creating Bitcoins in the USA

Bitcoin mining company Milly Bitcoin asked for a ruling from FINCEN regarding whether or not companies which mine bitcoin will be legally classified as money transmission services. FINCEN responded “Activities that, in and of themselves, do not constitute accepting and transmitting currency, funds or the value of funds, are activities that do not fit within the definition of money transmission services and therefore are not subject to FinCEN’s registration, reporting, and recordkeeping regulations for MSBs” They went on to confirm that “To the extent that a user mines Bitcoin and uses the Bitcoin solely for the user’s own purposes and not for the benefit of another, the user is not an MSB under FinCEN’s regulations, because these activities involve neither “acceptance” nor “transmission” of the convertible virtual currency and are not the transmission of funds within the meaning of the Rule.”

This is good news for Bitcoin miners, and is a sign that FINCEN is adopting a moderate regulatory position on Bitcoin transactions which targets illegal uses of Bitcoin such as money laundering, but which does not consider the creation of the currency itself to be a crime. The creation of cryptocurrencies is technically illegal and could be prosecuted under title 18 U.S.C. 336, Sec. 336. which states “Whoever makes, issues, circulates, or pays out any note, check, memorandum, token, or other obligation for a less sum than $1, intended to circulate as money or to be received or used in lieu of lawful money of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.” However, this statute hasn’t been enforced in a published court opinion since 1899, a good sign for the budding currency.

Read more:
http://cointext.com/fincen-issues-bitcoin-friendly-ruling-for-miners/

http://www.communitycurrencieslaw.org/currency-laws/