When FBI sized SilkRoad, they seized also 174 000 bitcoins. Today 1 BTC is about 560 euro, so, we can imagine how much money FBI will profit from selling bitcoins.
NSA, CIA, FBI are coming in the world of digital currency, bitcoin, through company called Coinbase. This company offer online wallet for bitcoin users, similar to MtGox. Coinbase lets users to create a Bitcoin wallet and start buying/selling Bitcoin by connecting their bank account, now they have about 600 000 online wallets and they say daily 10 000 people sign up. In May they had 130 000 wallets, so, coinbase uses all investment to make marketing, even easteuropean medias publish article about Bitcoin almost every day. Coinbase is created in June 2012 by Brian Armstrong and later Fred Ehrsam became CEO too, Fred worked for Goldman Sachs. In Sept.2012 Coinbase received $600k in Seed funding and in May 2013 received $6.11M in Series A funding. In December Coinbase received $25M in Series B funding.
When I visited page About at Coinbase website, I had what to see. There is list of investors and I checked just 2 of them and the both worked for NSA.
Greg Kidd worked for Booz Allen which is sub-contractor of NSA, Edward Snowden worked also for Booz Allen.
Garry Tan is a Partner at Y Combinator and earlier he worked for Palantir. Palantir created Prism software for NSA, Palantir is worth $9 billion and in December 2013 they raised another $107.5 million. Their clients are NSA, CIA, FBI and banks. Investment bank Morgan Stanley & Co. earned a $7 million commission on the funding round. Palantir was founded in 2004 by Peter Thiel, the investor and PayPal co-founder, and Alex Karp. Its last funding round, of $196.5 million, was in September. Backers include Thiel’s Founders Fund and the CIA’s venture arm, In-Q-Tel.
Other investors are: SV Angel, IDG Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Y Combinator. Adam Draper, Ribbit Capital, Start Fund, FundersClub.
The newest investment in Coinbase, mentioned 25M in Series B funding, has been led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from investors Union Square Ventures and Ribbit Capital. This money will be used to attract more people to use Bitcoins. But again, partner manager in Union Square Ventures is Brad Burnham who is co-founder of advertising company Tacoda that spies our browsing habits the same as Google and Facebook, and he is manager at AT&T Intellectual Property which invest in business of interest for AT&T which again cooperate with NSA.
Last days American politicians started to tolerate bitcoins, if it is not conflicting with anti money laundering policy, it means politicians are now corrupted with help of this millions. The largest bank in the US, JPMorgan, has filed a patent for an electronic currency with many similarities to bitcoin, it means, bitcoin will get competition from very rich bank, JPMorgan doesn’t need to collect millions, they have it already, it means they can kill bitcoin with their new currency, but they will need time for that. Chinese politicians decided to refuse bitcoin although they didn’t forbid it, therefore bitcoin value dropped from 1000 Dollars to 700 bucks. But after this investment of 25M, its value will rise. And when they get more users of bitcoins, investors will profit because they can make fictive transactions at exchangers and they decide what is the value of bitcoin. When they invested 6M, BTC value jumped from 150 euro to 800 euro, we will see now how much it will jump after 25M investment. It will surely jump because in that speculative way, investors make big profit, but they must attract people to buy bitcoins, to use it. But when investors are right hand of NSA, I can be speculative the same as BTC and say: it is very possible that bitcoin software developers are paid to make lower level of anonymity of users of bitcoin.
Beside investors, and people are using BTC more as commodity than as digital currency, it means they keep BTC waiting that it changes its value so they can sell it and make profit. 80% of Coinbase’s 610,000 customers now holding bitcoins in their digital wallets, but not using them for conducting commerce.
But back to anonymity and NSA. MtGox already long time ago demanded verification of identity. Mt.Gox is a Bitcoin exchange based in Tokyo, it was established in 2009 as a trading card exchange, but rebranded itself in 2010 as a Bitcoin business and was, for a time, the largest-volume Bitcoin exchange. MtGox was originally created by Jed McCaleb in July 2010, and was sold to Tibanne Co. in Japan in March 2011. It is currently operated by Tibanne Co.Ltd. managed by Mark Karpeles. Several traders in the Bitcoin community are reporting severe delays to the point of outright non-payment when requesting withdrawal of funds from Mt. Gox since April 2013. On 2 May 2013 CoinLab announced that it was suing Mt. Gox for $75m for breach of contract. On 15 May 2013 the US authorities seized accounts associated with Mt. Gox after discovering that it had not registered as a money transmitter with FinCEN in the US. Now NSA investors overtook American market for bitcoins, so, people are under control.
Jed McCaleb (or Satoshi Nakamoto hahaha) is now making an alternative to Bitcoin known as Ripple. Ripple comes with its own digital currency called the XRP. Ripple Labs has taken $3 million in investments from venture capitalists such as Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures. They try to find companies willing to act as money transmitters for a brand new digital currency, bitcoin is there several years and they created network which Ripple must create now. Jed split from Ripple Labs back in July (he is still on the Ripple Labs Board of Directors). But he and the other two company founders collectively own 20 billion XRPs, so he stands to benefit a lot if everything works out.
Andreessen Horowitz is a $2.5 billion venture capital firm that was launched on July 6, 2009. Marc Andreessen, Ben Horowitz, John O’Farrell, Scott Weiss, Jeff Jordan, and Peter Levine are the general partners of the firm. I checked now just one of them and I found out O’Farel had earlier company Silver Spring Networks, O’Farrell led the company’s $90 million Series D fundraising led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers which is connected with NSA. Among others, his CV says that O’Farrell held general management, marketing and consulting positions in the Booz Allen Hamilton.