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Question: Would u guys love to have one NEWS topic on this forum. With news about Bitcoin evry day?
Yes , i would love to.
I will maybe read it sometimes.
No that is stupid idea !

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Author Topic: BITCOIN NEWS EVRYDAY! From multiple sources.  (Read 50649 times)
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March 08, 2014, 03:01:36 PM
 #241

"I have nothing to do with Bitcoin," says Dorian Nakamoto in response to the Newsweek article"
Diana Ngo  07/03/2014




Thursday, March 6 , Newsweek published an article claiming to have uncovered the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the name or pseudonym behind the creation of Bitcoin protocol. A few hours later , while the community remained puzzled as to content and evidence of these claims, Satoshi Nakamoto Dorian Prentice (the person identified as the last person the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto ) attested in an interview with the agency World Press generalist Associated Press that he "had nothing to do with Bitcoin . " Meanwhile, on behalf of Satoshi Nakamoto Site P2PFoundation.ning.com then inactive since February 2009, back to life with a surprising comment :

I'm not Dorian Nakamoto .
http://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/dorian-nakamoto.jpg
 

Satoshi Nakamoto Dorian Prentice - AP Photo / Damian Dovarganes
Satoshi Nakamoto Dorian Prentice - AP Photo / Damian Dovarganes
Within hours, the article published by Newsweek has been a bombshell in the community. Revealing - Newsweek that claims to be - the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, Leah McGrath Goodman delivered us the story of his investigation to Temple City, California, whose story we did echo yesterday.

Newsweek cover Satoshi Nakamoto Article
Newsweek cover , " Bitcoin 's Face " - mag.newsweek.com
During their brief exchange , Nakamoto was no mention that it was actually the creator of Bitcoin , and until the crucial moment where he pronounced the sentence that would have been confusing the journalist :

I am no longer involved in there and I can not talk about it.

 

Dorian Nakamoto : "I am not the creator of Bitcoin . "

On the evening of Thursday, March 6 , while a horde of journalists besieging the home Nakamoto, it would be left with a reporter from the Associated Press for lunch.

Later, the Los Angeles Times reporter Andrea Chang, Dorian would have crossed Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto , the first time in a restaurant loan from his home in Los Angeles , and then in the elevator after his interview with the Associated Press: " I talked to him at the restaurant and in the elevator of the Associated Press, and he denied everything . In the elevator, he told me that he is not involved in Bitcoin . "

http://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/67-2014-3-14-cover.jpg
 

According to the article by the Associated Press, Nakamoto says many details about his past, including his career , are actually true, but the claim that it was Satoshi Nakamoto , the creator of Bitcoin was an error. On several occasions, Nakamoto would repeat :

I have nothing to do with it .


Interview with Satoshi Nakamoto Dorian Prentice by The Associated Press

Originally Beppu Japan, Nakamoto came to the United States in 1959, when he was a child . He speaks English and Japanese, but admits that his English is not "current" . When asked about the famous phrase that would have been led to believe it was Satoshi Nakamoto, he responds that there has been a misunderstanding :

I meant that I was no longer working in engineering. That's it. And even if this was the case , when you are hiring , you must sign a document and commit to not reveal anything during and after your time in the business .

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GrrtA6IoR_E#t=0

Satoshi Nakamoto on P2PFoundation.ning.com : "I 'm not Nakamoto Dorian . "

While Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto had to publicly declare that he was not the creator of Bitcoin , other information ignited our monitors.

After several years without any activity on his profile P2PFoundation.ning.com , Satoshi Nakamoto added in comments following the presentation of the Bitcoin project dated February 11, 2009, he was not Dorian Nakamoto .

Answer satoshi nakamoto p2pfoundation
Comment by " Satoshi Nakamoto " on P2PFoundation.ning.com
 
http://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/r%C3%A9ponse-satoshi-nakamoto-p2pfoundation.jpg
Assumptions , nothing but assumptions

Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto is actually the inventor of Bitcoin protocol but wishes to remain anonymous , is plausible.

The account Satoshi Nakamoto on P2PFoundation.ning.com was hacked to certify that Dorian Nakamoto is not the creator of Bitcoin , is also possible.

That Newsweek is either itself convinced that Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto Prentice was the genius behind the Bitcoin , all based on biased coincidences, is also a possibility.

In any case , one thing is for sure, this Newsweek article - based on unfounded allegations and biased - will shake the Bitcoin community.

We finally conclude with a few words of Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto Prentice :

My God [...] How long will it last another scandal?
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March 08, 2014, 03:05:48 PM
 #242

Introducing A Truly Innovative Altcoin: Huntercoin

 Caleb Chen  07/03/2014

Huntercoin Resources



Bitcointalk thread

huntercoin.info/

Huntercointalk

http://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/huc.png

What Is Huntercoin?

Huntercoin is a new altcoin that released at the beginning of February to little fanfare.  Huntercoin is based off of Namecoin and utilized a dual proof-of-work algorithm to process Huntercoin transactions with both SHA and Scrypt devices.  Huntercoin is meant to be merged mined with other altcoins and should be immune to fluctuations in hardware efficiency.

That isn’t even the most interesting part about Huntercoin mining.  Huntercoin blocks are 1 minute long, and every block releases 10 Huntercoins.  1 HUC goes to the miners each block, and 8.75 is distributed on the Huntercoin map.  The remaining 0.25 HUC goes to whichever Hunter has the crown.  The traditional mining scheme has been turned on its head by Huntercoin.  For the first time since the earliest days of Bitcoin, any individual can mine meaningful amounts of crypto without dedicated hardware.

Furthermore, Huntercoin is the world’s first MMO game that is decentralized and cannot be taken down, or censored, by any government or rating agency.

How Do You Play Huntercoin?
http://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/huntercoin-map.png
Huntercoin units can be created within the Huntercoin QT client, it costs 1 HUC plus tranaction fees to create one team of 3 units: 1 general and 2 soldiers.  The player must name his team and also choose a color: Red, Blue, Green, or Yellow.  Each of the different colors has a different spawn point on the diagonally symmetrical Huntercoin map.

Huntercoin blockchain data is visualized by this constantly syncing map
Huntercoin blockchain data is visualized by this constantly syncing map
To control units within Huntercoin, you send commands (transactions) and once they receive confirmations in the blockchain, they appear on the Huntercoin map.  Every block, every unit either stays still, moves, or self-destructs.  You can either set a waypoint for your unit to start moving towards, one block at a time, or you can set your unit to self-destruct and destroy all dissimilar colored units within a specified radius.

The goal in the game is to gather HUC, otherwise known as human-mining.  The actual process is using your hunters to pick up the HUC on the ground as they randomly appear on the map.  Once your hunter is holding HUC, it isn’t actually in your wallet until you return your hunter back to the spawn area.  Hunters can choose to seek HUC on the ground, or the crown; alternatively, many hunters will only hunt users that are carrying HUC using the self destruct function.

This simple combination of Bitcoin and a game has incredibly far reaching consequences; particularly, for the online labour market.  Unfortunately, Huntercoin is not yet ready to take the crypto world by storm.

Current Issues With Huntercoin

The current blockchain, which has stored 5 weeks worth of moves by thousands of Huntercoin players, is too large and unwieldy for some to download. Without an SSD, or extra work to create a ramdisk, the constant syncing of the Huntercoin game client currently takes up more time and computer resources than the average crypto enthusiast has.

One of Huntercoin’s major selling points is that any person could theoretically use any internet enabled device to mine Huntercoins through human-mining. While you don’t need a high-end AMD video card to mine Huntercoin at the moment, you do require an SSD or ram. This will soon change.

Future Solutions For Huntercoin

Snailbrain, the head developer of Huntercoin, recently announced that Huntercoin would have these new features in the “near future.”

Players will not need to download the block chain

Graphics can be improved

Will be an advanced alternative client (Mithrilman)

Will be able to play in Browser/Mobile Devices and Tablets – instant login anywhere in the world and more

Once the Huntercoin community overcomes the technical hurdles that they are currently facing, I believe that Huntercoin will really start to take off all around the world.  There are already fledgling Chinese and Romanian communities on Huntercointalk and at times the majority of the chat is not in English.  I look forward to future developments in Huntercoin and I suggest that you take a look at it!  Stay tuned to CCN for more Huntercoin news!
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March 08, 2014, 03:09:01 PM
 #243

Butterfly Labs Announces Two Two Week Delays… Along With Free Upgrades, Full Refunds, And 0.45W/GH

 Caleb Chen  07/03/2014


In an email sent out today to former and current Butterfly Labs customers, BFL publicized their newest update on their Monarch line of 600 GH/s PCI-e 1x cards.   Unlike their handling of their first batch of Bitcoin ASIC Miners, BFL has decided to couple this bad news with some good news. The two biggest announcements are drastically improved power consumption, and of course the two “two week delays.”

 

A few weeks ago, I wrote about CoinTerra’s new GSX I PCI-e Bitcoin ASIC, claiming that it was CoinTerra’s response to the BFL Monarch.  Well, clearly Butterfly Labs has responded.

The Bad News

When Josh Zerlan originally posted the update to BFL forums on 3/5/2014, he announced that there was an issue with the chips that would take 5 weeks to remedy.  The issue is in the top metal layer in the multi-layered ASIC chip that is the core part of the BFL Monarch.  This time around, BFL has presented the issue as soon as it appeared and coupled it with a stomach-able solution.

While BFL and their Bitcoin ASIC mining competition are still trying to get the most out of the 28nm ASIC chips they’ve designed, KNC has announced more progress on their 20nm chips.

The Good News

BFL has always had a lead on the competition in W/GH and many were very skeptical about the promised W/GH ratings promised by BFL when they first announced their Monarch product line back at the end of 2013.  However, from the testing on their prototypes, they seem to have realized their promised W/GH figure and exceeded it by 20%.  0.45 W/GH makes BFL’s offering twice as power efficient as all of their 28nm competition.  It seems that BFL’s long employ of Bitcoin mining versed engineers has paid off.
http://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/upgraded-imperial-monarch.gif
To take the sting away from another month of delays, BFL is offering full refunds and “delay compensation.”  Depending on exactly when you placed your order, you will receive a six month refund guarantee (in USD) or double the hardware ordered.  Also, all customers that bought the Monarch before the price decrease at the end of November are receiving a free upgrade to an Imperial Monarch, which is an upgraded 1/TH card, albeit with a +/- 20% variance.

Using top of the line chips, BFL hopes to offer 1 TH/s (+/- 20%)
Using top of the line chips, BFL hopes to offer 1 TH/s (+/- 20%)
 

BitSafe Update

In the email update to its customers, BFL also included an update on BitSafe.  BitSafe is BFL’s answer to the issue of physical Bitcoin Wallet security.  At this point in time, they are not taking pre orders and are still working out kinks in their third revision of the prototype before mass production begins.  BFL has been working on this BitSafe for over a year and has even stated that they might scrap preorders for this product all together and just go with stock sales.  Trezor wallets still have not shipped and Bitcoiners are still at the edge of their seats waiting for an affordable and user-friendly physical Bitcoin wallet.  For more information on the BitSafe Bitcoin Hardware Wallet, please visit BFL’s website.
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March 08, 2014, 03:10:43 PM
 #244

The Problem: How to police crypto?
 PJ Delaney  08/03/2014


We have a problem

There is a problem with cryptocurrency. A big problem, and that problem is that many members of the general public see it as just another scam. Why do they believe this? Well, the fiasco at Mt Gox is one reason, the well publicised losses at Fortress are another, Flexcoin and Poloniex are just two more and then there are the cryptocoins they can buy on sites such as eBay, completing the transaction just days before the value drops and yet another pump and dump scheme reaches its climax.
Crypto is certainly getting bad press and to be fair it does deserve much of that press. We have established a virtual economy on the basis that there is a certain level of distrust and that level of distrust can be utilised acts to confirm and verify (police) our behavior. Mt Gox ‘lost’ 850,000 bitcoins and Flexcoin and poloniex lost smaller, though still unacceptable, amounts.  The average citizen, living their lives innocent of algorithms and scripts, will hear of cryptocurrencies and what they hear is generally far from positive. Bitcoin is rising in value again and that is one positive, a positive in a desert of bad news. We must take ownership of the problems of cryptocurrency and then act to address them.

 

Where we are

Mt Gox must know, or at least should know if there are in any way competent, where the lost bitcoins went. They must have the addresses of wallets. Flexcoin, certainly, has the addresses of two wallets that accounted for much of its losses. We are, as a community, by definition, technologically aware; therefore there is a strong possibility that a dedicated, active, mining pool could target those transactions, assuming that the full information was made available to them. They could then act to recover quantities of cryptocoins. There would need to be a payment in the form of a percentage of the coins recovered and that payment would be made prior to the return of the coins to their owners. We would now have an effective police force that can target and tackles criminal activity within our community. This ‘force’ would act without borders, performing a deep mining function, to initially recover misappropriated coins. There could well be other functions of such a group and one of these functions could be to offer a level of advice and assessment of alt coins. let’s be quite clear: Altcoins may well have the capacity, in my opinion, to be the future, as an ever more popular Bitcoin become moribund with the greater level of smaller and smaller transactions. However, unless Bitcoin tackles transaction speed then we are forced to accept that alternative cryptocurrencies must be considered. Bitcoin may well become the gold standard that supports the new cryptocurrencies.

 

The way ahead

To appease the general public we must consider the tackling of fraud in whatever guise it may appear:

Fraudulent manipulation of scripts to facilitate criminal withdrawals.
Tackling those pump and dump coins.
Auditing systems and scripts to tighten procedures
Highlighting and eliminating problems before criminals have the opportunity to exploit them.
Ensuring contracts for cryptocurrencies are fulfilled and honored.
Clearly these functions are fulfilled by every country in the world, on a non crypto level, to protect their own currency and financial transactions. There is another issue however, Are we willing to centralise some of the functionality of crypto? Clearly a digitally encrypted currency system that was set up to be self-regulating, based on the fact that there is a certain level of distrust, that depends on that mutual distrust to function to verify transactions, was fine as long as we continue to believe that the people we distrust are actually fundamentally honest. However, a determined criminal, with technical ability can manipulate, and has manipulated, the systems in place to their own benefit. We cannot allow fraud to continue on the level it has in the past. I leave you with the question: How much autonomy, if any, are we willing to give up in order to tackle fraud?
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March 08, 2014, 03:21:01 PM
 #245

Why The Bitcoin Industry Must Recognise Its Responsibilities
Michael Jackson (@overdrev) | Published on March 8, 2014 at 14:47 GMT | Analysis, Bitcoin protocol, Mt. Gox, Regulation

Michael Jackson is a software engineer, entrepreneur and venture capital investor at Mangrove Capital Partners.

The most significant issue affecting the adoption of cybercurrencies is the safety of bitcoin holdings.

This is a fundamental deficiency of what is a software-defined asset, totally accessible instantaneously and online. In short, bitcoin’s very characteristics make it too easily accessible for criminals.

Last week we saw Mt. Gox cease to exist, this week Flexcoin. Both closures caused by errors in the companies’ systems, but with likely no recourse for their customers.

We will see more companies go under in this way, without a doubt. So if bitcoin is to widely adopted, the customer must be better protected.

Consumer protection

With existing currencies, you know that if a bank goes down, you are protected and will likely be refunded. In this case, you can say, the balances in the bank (which are effectively virtual too) are zeroed and then reissued by the central bank.

There exist other examples of consumer protection too. In the case of the travel industry, operators pay into a central pool that can be used for compensation in the event of a travel company collapsing. Those that pay into the pool are able to use the consumer protection badge, giving consumers the assurance they need to pay up front for their holidays.

Industry-backed consumer protection schemes are not new. In order to ensure consumer protection and regain trust, we need a similar scheme for digital currencies. By working together to define the criteria for accepting businesses into the scheme and sufficiently vetting each business, the same could be done for bitcoin.

Traceable coins

Of course, some environments are simpler than others. Charter holidays are relatively straightforward while bitcoin is, in practice, much more complex.

The protocol means that while it is easy enough to prove that you own a bitcoin, it is much harder to prove that the original bitcoin has disappeared and that a refund is therefore due.

Bitcoins held by Mt. Gox have seemingly disappeared, but they may still reappear. The bitcoin industry therefore needs a central body capable of cancelling the relevant bitcoin and the same would have to apply to any digital currency.

Some may argue that bitcoin is an ideology as much as a product – an ideology that would be totally destroyed if a governing body was given the power to control it.

Case study

However, the Internet itself has proven huge decentralized projects can be workable. If there are disputes regarding Internet governance or protocols, they can be escalated so that decisions are made for the greater good of the Internet.

In this case, this is possible because the web is such a large, diverse entity with no single self-interest.

Just now, it is not clear where the responsibility lies and it is important that the open-source nature of bitcoin is preserved – where the only self-interests are those that are building applications and services on top of the cryptocurrency.

The Bitcoin Foundation has the right structure and it could have the jurisdictional capability to reproduce and refund currency.

With many of those involved having significant self-interests – half of them own exchanges of their own – this could be a good thing, as they will be motivated to regain the trust of bitcoin users.

New challenges

As is often the case with bitcoin, asking one question raises many more. Yet while there is still so much to be worked out, many of the challenges arising are not ones that haven’t been overcome before.

Similarly, there are many other technologies that were once unproven or unpopular, but are now multi-billion-dollar industries. It’s clear, however, that it will require effort, investment and trust between the various different components to take bitcoin forward.

Without renewed effort to gain consumer trust, this industry may die before it even reaches childhood. All bitcoin companies need to collect a levy, used to compensate unfortunate consumers. Some would call this a tax. Maybe bitcoin isn’t so far from the real world after all.

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March 08, 2014, 03:22:15 PM
 #246

Why Isn’t Your Business Accepting Bitcoin?
Arianna Simpson (@ariannasimpson) | Published on March 8, 2014 at 13:50 GMT | Analysis, Companies, Merchants


Arianna is a bitcoin enthusiast and investor, who organizes a bitcoin meetup group in New York.

Bitcoin has been blowing up the news lately, mostly with bad press stemming from Mt. Gox’s recent collapse.

If you’re a business owner who is considering accepting the digital currency, this may be causing heart palpitations. Despite the temporary market unrest, there are huge opportunities for merchants to benefit from accepting bitcoin – I’ve outlined a few below.

Cost

Credit card fees usually run around 2 to 3%, which can make a considerable dent in the profits of businesses operating on low margins. With bitcoin, you can pay substantially lower fees (~1%) without needing a huge volume of transactions as leverage with the credit card company.

And that’s only if you transfer your money back into local currency – if you keep it in bitcoin, you can essentially avoid fees altogether.

It’s true that as your business scales, you can negotiate lower fees from existing credit-card companies. But let’s be honest: if you’re an entrepreneur, do you really want to spend your time haggling over a fraction of a percent with a rep in a call center on the other side of the planet? Didn’t think so.

There’s nothing quaint about it. You’re trying to build a company, and this isn’t a Moroccan spice market.

bank

If you’re using a service like PayPal, you’re generally being charged a fixed rate of $0.30 per transaction, plus a percentage transaction fee based on volume. Bitcoin enables peer to peer (or individual to merchant) transactions on a very small scale, making micropayments much more viable than they previously had been, and transactions can be completed for less than half of the cost.

Let’s take a simple example in which you have a business with an annual revenue of $1m. Your credit card processor currently charges you 2% per transaction, or $20,000. If you switch to a bitcoin payment processor, say Coinbase or BitPay, you can get very close to 1%. You just cut your bill in half, and saved $10,000 by essentially doing nothing.

I can think of a lot of things I’d like to do with $10,000, and giving it to a credit card company isn’t one of them. Personally, I think it’s a toss up between a hobbit home or a water thrusting jet bike.

Safety from exchange rate risk

There’s no question that bitcoin has been volatile. It still is, and it would be shocking if it weren’t – very few big ideas reach maturity in a span as short as five years.

Personally, I view dips in price as opportunities to buy more, but if the possibility that your money could be worth half as much tomorrow keeps you up at night, that’s understandable. The delightful thing is that you needn’t actually hold any of the bitcoin you receive as payment. Most merchants who currently accept it set prices in their local currency and get paid in their local currency. Voilà!

Bitcoin operates as the “payment rails” – it’s the medium through which the transaction takes place, but you don’t have to expose yourself to any exchange risk.

International sales

Bitcoin transactions allow you to expand your markets to basically anywhere, so long as you’re willing to ship there (if you’re selling a physical product). You can accept payments from anywhere. Since there’s no intermediary bank, you don’t have to deal with waiting for ~3 days for the transaction to complete.

NYC

You can also avoid transfer limits and outrageous fees. As they currently stand, international transactions are a hassle, and there’s a great deal of room for bitcoin to help streamline the process (Timothy Lee of the Washington Post wrote a good piece on this).

No chargebacks

Chargebacks are quite a headache, and dealing with them can sap a considerable amount of time and energy that could be better spent growing your business. Bitcoin transactions are irreversible, which means that you needn’t worry about chargebacks.

Publicity

It’s still early enough in Bitcoin’s adoption that there are press stories to be written about “the first xxx” to accept bitcoin in a given city or town. Free press—Why not? This shouldn’t be your main rationale for taking bitcoin, but it’s something of an added bonus; leverage the exposure to expand your customer base.

These shoppers are also likely to be new customers who may be trying your product or service just because they can pay for it with bitcoin, and that’s your chance to hook them in via a great experience.

Ease of use

Bitcoin isn’t hard to deal with, and it’s only going to get easier. Please don’t buy into the argument that bitcoin is some complicated, mysterious thing and because you don’t fully understand it, you can’t use it.

I would posit that if you polled 1,000 college-educated Americans and asked them to describe in detail how a phone, TV, or refrigerator works, the majority wouldn’t be able to do so.

I certainly encourage everyone to become educated on bitcoin before taking the plunge, but a deep technical understanding of cryptographic hashing or how the block chain works is not necessary.

There are a number of companies that are already making it quite easy for you to accept bitcoin. Two that I have used personally, and therefore feel comfortable recommending, are Shopify and Coinbase.

If you use Shopify as a platform for your e-commerce sales, integration is a breeze. You can add it just as simply as you would Paypal or Visa. Coinbase is also super simple to integrate, and offers a solid degree of customization. As an added perk, merchants get the first $1,000,000 in transactions free of charge.

Sales

There is a myth in circulation that people tend to save bitcoin as an investment or a form of speculation rather than spending it, but there’s increasing evidence that it’s actually being used as a transactional currency.


show-me-bitcoin

This is not surprising, because as the number of merchants accepting it grows, people have more opportunities to spend it, which then leads more businesses to accept it, and so on. The bottom lefthand section of the infographic above shows an enormous increase in the number of people who spend bitcoin shortly after acquiring it.

People are willing to spend bitcoins –  you might as well encourage them to do so at your business.

The number of companies offering B2B services build on the Bitcoin protocol is still fairly small, but there’s already a solid core of reputable, safe ones to choose from.

As the network effect widens and more people start accepting bitcoin, you’ll be increasingly able to benefit from the new currency, and even today there’s very little downside and a lot of upside to accepting Bitcoin. And after all, don’t you want to go buy that water thrusting jet bike?

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March 08, 2014, 08:07:08 PM
 #247

Vertcoin Most ‘Active’ Coin

 Thomas Seneca  08/03/2014



In the search for investment coins, one may choose to search for those that are undervalued.  Valuation can be a tricky issue, but fortunately there are some numbers available that we can use to better inform our judgements.  In principle, when looking for the best value we would be looking for the coin that is doing the most with the least market cap.  In other words, we may search for the most active coins PER market cap.  This should yield us coins that are being used extensively, but may have so far have escaped being ‘invested in’.  This method may not always work, But neither does any method always work, or we would already be rich.

In this article some simple measures of activity per market cap are graphed to give us some idea of what coins may be more active than others.  It should be noted that this data varies, a lot, sometimes inexplicably.  For example, the number of transactions can vary significantly without any clear market reason.  The same goes for the total money sent.  We can remember when Dogecoin had 4 times its market cap sent each day.

Our first measure is the amount sent in USD per day per $1,000 of market cap.  Obviously if a coin has a lot of money sent each day, meaning it is being used a lot, and yet a small market cap, then it might represent a good value according to our formula.  Following is a chart of amount sent in USD per day per $1,000 of market cap:
Amount in dollars sent per day per dollar of market cap
We can see that Litecoin leads with $0.23 sent each day per one dollar of market cap.  In other words, 23% of market cap is sent each day.  Dogecoin follows with 18%, and Vertcoin follows with 10% of market cap sent each day.  When investing in any currency, we are betting that it will be used to send money.  These three coins lead the list in this category.

Our second measure of ‘activity’ is going to be the number of transactions in a 24 hour period per $1,000, in market cap.  This is similar to the last measure, but in this case we could get a high level of activity even if all the transactions represented small amounts.  Following is a chart of transactions per day per $1,000 in market cap:
transactions per day
Number of transactions per day per $1,000 in market cap
From the coins that made it in the first round we see Vertcoin again followed by Dogecoin.

Finally, for our last measure we will use the number of active addresses used in the last 24 hours per $1,000 dollars in market cap.  See chart:

active addresses per day
Number of active addresses per day per $1,000 of market cap
In this case, Vertcoin leads with 2.3 active addresses per $1,000 in market cap followed by Dogecoin with 0.86.
From the charts we see that Vertcoin is winning in both transactions and active addresses while it shows well in the category of amount sent per day, all relative to its fairly small market cap.  So you may be wondering, What is Vertcoin and are there any other reasons to invest in it?

Vertcoin was designed similar to Litecoin for the purpose of being resistant to ASIC mining.  Vertcoin carries this evolution one step further by increasing the memory requirements required for mining as time goes forward.  Here is a quote from their paper:

“Vertcoin has now been released as the logical evolution of Litecoin and introduces what’s known as Adaptive N-Factor.  The N-Factor component of Scrypt determines how much memory is required to compute the hashing functions.  Vertcoin N-factor increases the memory requirements with time to stay one step ahead of any possible ASIC development.”

The advantage of all this is that, without the excessively centralized mining of high power computing centers, the network is more distributed reducing the possibility of a 51% attack.

Whatever the technical advantages of the coin it currently tops the most active list followed by Litecoin and Dogecoin.  If the active list proves useful, we will produce further installments.
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March 08, 2014, 08:10:09 PM
 #248

Apple Forces Fancy to Remove Bitcoin Payments From its App

 Neil Sardesai  08/03/2014

By now everyone knows that Apple isn’t too fond of Bitcoin. The company has removed every single Bitcoin wallet application from the iOS App Store, with Blockchain being the last one. The reason for Apple’s anti-Bitcoin stance isn’t entirely clear. It’s possible that Apple doesn’t want to deal with the legal issues of a currency whose regulatory status is unclear and inconsistent in most countries. For instance, when Coinbase was removed from the App Store, Apple’s reasoning was that apps must “comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users.” On the other hand, conspiracy theorists claim that Apple wants to have its own “iMoney” digital payments system, and wants to eliminate the competition – Bitcoin. However, it’s not like Bitcoin-related apps aren’t available on the App Store. Just searching for “bitcoin” returns 242 results, though almost all of them are price tickers. It just seems like any app that deals with Bitcoin transactions is frowned upon, with Pinterest rival Fancy being the latest casualty.

Removed Bitcoin per Apple's request
Removed Bitcoin per Apple’s request
Back in January, Fancy began accepting Bitcoin payments for its “crowd-curated catalog of amazing goods.” Fancy isn’t like Amazon with millions of products to choose from. Instead, the site features a much smaller selection of unique products that interest the community. Just over a month after accepting Bitcoin, Fancy’s iOS and Android apps were updated to supported Bitcoin payments, which were done through Coinbase. But just one week later, the app was updated to “[remove] Bitcoin per Apple’s request”. The Android app remains unaffected.

But Why?
http://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/photo-2-169x300.png
After hearing this news, many were quick to bash Apple for various reasons. Some claimed that this is another example of Apple’s tightly-controlled, walled-garden approach to iOS. However, this argument doesn’t really make sense. The closed platform approach was designed to prevent users from unintentionally bricking their devices, which is one of the reasons iOS is so popular. Even the most technologically illiterate people can use iOS with ease. Having Bitcoin as an optional payment system within certain apps should be ok with the current App Store guidelines, because users who don’t know what Bitcoin is would simply ignore the option and go for the traditional credit card payment route.

Another argument is that Apple hates Bitcoin because it can’t make any money off of Bitcoin transactions. While it’s true that Apple takes a 30% cut in In-App Purchases, many apps such as Amazon just rely on manual credit card entry, which bypasses the Apple tax. Furthermore, apps such as Square Register and Square Wallet allow users to make and accept credit card payments without Apple taking any cut in the transaction. So the fact that Bitcoin payments don’t make Apple any money seems like another invalid argument, since many apps that deal with credit card transactions also don’t make Apple any money.

It’s difficult to really pinpoint Apple’s rationale here, since Bitcoin payments wouldn’t harm the company in any way. But it seems like Apple has chosen to side with traditional payment methods for the time being.
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March 10, 2014, 01:50:57 AM
 #249

Mt. Gox Hackers Claim to Release Transaction Details, CEO’s Personal Data
Jon Southurst (@southtopia) | Published on March 9, 2014 at 23:08 GMT | Companies, Exchanges, Mt. Gox

Hackers (or disgruntled insiders) claim to have released a 700+MB file of Mt. Gox operational information and transaction data, including one sheet claiming the exchange could still have a balance of over 951,116 BTC.

One of the hackers managed to post the data on Gox CEO Mark Karpeles’ own blog, then announced the feat on Reddit. Karpeles’ site has since gone completely offline and Reddit moderators deleted the original post. At press time the mods were engaged in a cat and mouse game with other community members who re-posted the original quote and several links claiming to be mirrors of the stolen data.

Revenge

In a profane rant, the original announcement said:

“It’s time that MTGOX got the bitcoin communities wrath instead of Bitcoin Community getting Goxed. This release would have been sooner, but in spirit of responsible disclosure and making sure all of ducks were in a row, it took a few days longer than would have liked to verify the data.”

“Included in this download you will find relevant database dumps, csv exports, specialized tools, and some highlighted summaries compiled from data. Keeping in line with fucking Gox alone, no user database dumps have been included.”

“Repost and share this info before it’s gone. Lots of people, including us, lost money and coins.”

Of primary interest to others was a file called ‘trades_summary’, which purported to show Mt. Gox’s balances in all available currencies. This showed a balance of 951,116.21905382 bitcoins, with an accusation that Karpeles was lying about his company having no bitcoins to return to customers.


Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 7.39.15 AM

Many have pointed out that, even if the data is genuine, it could only represent the amount Mt. Gox believed it had in its reserves before shutting down, rather than an actual amount, and is not evidence of actual reserves.

Also included in the dump were a collection of .csv files detailing transactions and trades, Mark Karpeles’ own CV and a document containing two separate ‘home addresses’ of his in Tokyo.

The directories contained several executable files that readers would be well advised not to open on internet connected computers, no matter how many online commenters claimed their authenticity. Supposedly they are Mt. Gox’s own proprietary back office tools, though CoinDesk has not verified this and original files could have been altered before being posted on mirror sites.


screenshot

Reddit users claim to have verified the data by examining spreadsheet material and looking up their own account balances.

Forbes reported that another post on the bitcointalk forums (also since deleted) claimed to have 20GB of stolen Gox data on a hard drive that they were willing to sell to cover their bitcoin losses. This supposedly included all user information, including photo ID scans from customer applications.

CoinDesk is monitoring this developing story and will post any new and relevant information if it becomes available.

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March 10, 2014, 01:51:42 AM
 #250

Current Criticisms of Bitcoin Are at Least 10 Years Too Early
Scott Rose (@scotty321) | Published on March 9, 2014 at 12:36 GMT | Analysis

Scott Rose is a professional actor, host, writer, and comedy improviser living in Austin, Texas, and was one of the top professional speakers for Apple Computer at its events nationwide for six years. He is the creator of the viral hit video series Shit Apple Fanatics Say. He recently released his video series Shit Bitcoin Fanatics Say. Follow him on Twitter @scotty321.

The mainstream media often overlooks all the amazing and positive developments that are happening in the bitcoin world, as well as the incredibly innovative and supportive community that is building around bitcoin. To paraphrase Mark Twain: “The reports of bitcoin’s death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Any criticisms of bitcoin at this point are at least 10 years too early. Bitcoin is in its infancy. Criticizing bitcoin today would be like criticizing email in 1985, which was the first year that I started sending emails. That was at least a decade or more before the world really caught up and email started becoming ubiquitous.

Early email

I was trying to get everyone that I knew onto email in the 80s, but it was too early. The technology hadn’t matured enough yet. People’s eyes just glazed over when I told them about email. It made absolutely no sense to anyone I knew at the time, nor did there seem to be any reason for email.

It sounds so silly to even say that now, but it was truly a completely foreign concept that seemed to have absolutely ZERO value proposition at the time. Even if you could come up with some fanciful reason to send an email, who were you going to email anyways? Barely anybody had an email address!

On top of this, email was extremely slow (dial-up modems at 1200 baud) and extremely expensive ($300 to buy your modem, then CompuServe cost $30 per hour, and there was no such thing as composing an email offline – if you were typing up an email, you were paying).

Email was also extremely complicated (my email address was a set of numbers like “78704,6572″ and you could only email me if you were using the CompuServe service yourself), and people thought email was just a fad (some local computer shop owner yelled at me over the phone when I asked him to email me a price list, telling me that he would never waste his time on email because it took 20 times longer than a phone call).

On the contrary, I loved email because I worked as a 13-year-old writer for Enter Magazine, one of the first computer magazines, and they bought my modem for me and paid for my CompuServe account. Because they were paying, I was logged on three or four hours per day. They required that all my magazine articles be emailed to them via CompuServe.

Maturity

There were a bunch of legitimate reasons to criticize email in 1985, because it wasn’t fully mature yet. Bitcoin isn’t fully mature yet either, but it is evolving rapidly.

“There were a bunch of legitimate reasons to criticize email in 1985, because it wasn't fully mature yet.”

When bitcoin evolves to a certain point, the masses will suddenly wake up to an incredible future that empowers all of us in ways that we can’t even imagine today.

In the 80s, people had absolutely no idea how important email would become, and today, we still don’t even know what bitcoin will become in the future.

Like I say in ‘Shit Bitcoin Fanatics Say: Video #1′, currency is just the first app of the bitcoin network. The genie is out of the bottle now, and there’s no going back.

Bitcoin is so much in its infancy right now that we truly haven’t even begun to see anything yet. All the best brains in technology are talking about bitcoin now, can you even imagine what the future will hold?

Hearing about bitcoin

I first heard mumblings about bitcoin in late 2012, but I didn’t really pay much attention to it at the time. It didn’t really click for me that bitcoin was something special until early 2013, when I learned that WikiLeaks was still able to receive donations via bitcoin – even though all the major credit card companies had prohibited them from receiving donations.

Next I read about the Cyprus banking shenanigans, where they arbitrarily took money out of everyone’s savings and froze accounts for large withdrawals. That’s when the lightbulb turned on in my head. I suddenly realized the value of a decentralized currency. I suddenly realized what it meant to be outside the control of a central authority that can censor whatever it decides it doesn’t like. I suddenly realized that bitcoin represents freedom.

I suddenly realized that many of the qualities that I stand for in my life (such as integrity, honesty, transparency, peace, and freedom) can all be reinforced and supported by a decentralized network like bitcoin. As I say at the end of Video #1, I really am in this to change the world. I am the starry-eyed dreamer who sees the ideals in all of this.

But even just from a currency point-of-view, the gears really started turning in my head. I started questioning everything, like why do I have to constantly exchange currency every time I travel to a foreign country? And why are my credit cards charging me exorbitant international fees and unfair exchange rates every time I make credit card purchases in other countries? And why are my clients still sending me checks via postal mail and then I have to wait while my bank puts holds on large deposits? And why do I have to work around banking hours? And is my US dollar really funding wars I don’t approve of?

Those questions were just the tip of the iceberg. Bitcoin made me start questioning everything. And the questions will continue for a lifetime.

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March 10, 2014, 01:53:18 AM
 #251

Forget Bitcoin vs Fiat, Welcome the Hybrid Economy
Sean Neville (@psneville) | Published on March 9, 2014 at 17:00 GMT | Analysis, Bitcoin protocol, Exchanges, Law, Merchants, Regulation

Choosing bitcoin
Evangelists and skeptics alike tend to frame digital currency protocols and state fiat currencies in stark conflict, but the promising moderate view sees them coexist as mutual optimizations of one another.

Bitcoin doesn’t need to replace fiat currencies in order to be successful – it merely needs to optimize away the pain of (and expose new value in) transferring currency.

Conversely, fiat currencies don’t need bitcoin to fail or see it regulated into the shadows in order to ensure continued sovereign coin sustainability; traditional economies can instead assimilate digital currency protocols to grow a stronger, safer, less expensive and more valuable hybrid economy.

Optimizing traditional currency

BankDespite the complexities of cryptographic trust and the protocol’s potential beyond transfers alone, the payments advantage is simple: more of our money reaches its destination, safely and without exchange of personal information, quickly and without potential for future reversals. We have more control over our own money.

For a digital age, sending money remains unreasonably expensive, slow and insecure. Fraught with risk, the payments path is policed by gateways that levy tolls at each tightly controlled yet still insecure step along the way.

Banks levy fees for transfers cleared by a central bank; mere access to the closed network rails requires a fee. The ‘APIs’ and ‘protocols’ to accommodate these transfers usually equate to batch uploads of files via SFTP — welcome to the 1970s, ripe for protocol overhaul.

Meanwhile, credit card networks levy interchange fees for authorizing and executing debits from issuing banks — which themselves also exact a toll – on top of the tolls required by payment processing gateways and intermediary services. Most of the fees exist not for value-add, but, a) to compensate for authorization and administrative fraud, and, b) for access to private card network rails. The distributed trust protocols of the bitcoin system eliminate both altogether.

Adam Shapiro of Promontory Financial Group illustrated that sending $1,000 USD to a merchant requiring that equivalent in euros would cost $50 via credit card and as much as $80 via bank wire, while the same payment would cost around $15 if exchanged in/out of bitcoin at both ends of the transaction.

Even in scenarios in which consumers don’t see such fees directly, merchants could be given incentive to pass along transaction savings to those customers. Mainstreamers would then flock to digital currency’s viral utility, low cost and security, rather than to make a deliberate political statement or speculative investment. That benefits everyone in the ecosystem, even those advocates who look at bitcoin very differently.

While the existing clearing houses may see short-term threat in losing these fees, they stand to gain far more in the long term through new business opportunities. Greater value exists in innovation above the network layer, and the cost of operating the network layer itself should diminish. The new protocols and distributed ledger want to do far more than merely transfer numbers, which presents opportunity for companies old and new alike.

In light of recent breaches, the security and push model is worth highlighting: Consumers do not need to provide personal information (let alone keys or card numbers) to a merchant, and the merchant does not need to hold it. You can’t hack or steal what isn’t there in the first place.

Further, note that in Shapiro’s scenario, the same KYC and AML (Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering) policing would be just as possible for bitcoin as it would be for traditional credit or wire transactions, given the use of bitcoin for only one transaction between two gateways in that example (assuming the gateways, as banks or as money services backed by banks, comply with those regulations).

In some ways, this is a typical and predictable Internet story. The days are numbered for exacting a toll merely for access to network rails used to move information from one place to another.

In domains of content, communication and media, business process automation, search and so many others, the Internet wants access to the network to be free, or very close to free. We don’t expect to pay a fee for sending an email, for example. This is not so true in the domains of finance and payments, yet.

That is now changing, and it’s inevitable that fees move to value-added layers above the rails, to layers that expose new opportunities from payments to smart contracts to programmable money and more. That innovation starts with optimizing the transfer of money, not by replacing state money altogether.

Optimizing digital currency

Fiat vs bitcoinFiat currency optimizes digital currency as well, even beyond the obvious case of enabling payments to merchants who don’t (or won’t) accept digital currency:

Traditional currencies offer a volatility solution for merchants more concerned with payment for goods and services than speculative investment.

Bitcoin currently trades at low volume through a handful of exchanges, similar to a single small-cap stock, so it’s natural for volatility to exist. This should improve, but for the purpose of payments specifically, a merchant can nearly ignore volatility by trading out of bitcoin into fiat at pegged value. Most bitcoin merchant services shelter their clients from intra-day bitcoin volatility so long as they trade back into fiat by close of business.

Taxation and supporting communal nation-state schools and infrastructure is another obvious value that state currencies provide, and this includes taxation on earnings related to bitcoin as well.

“Bitcoin may prove to be more like NCSA Mosaic is to Google’s Chrome – an early informative breakthrough instead of what we’re all actually using 20 years later”

Any definition of bitcoin as a protocol, a payment vehicle, a currency or an asset must be fluid in order to be accurate, as the definition varies by context and time. As a protocol-currency-asset, however, it can, if held, result in material gains (or losses) subject to taxation.

Gateways into fiat offer a simple means of applying tax at exchange points rather than attaching tax complexity to the protocol itself. Instead of attempting to apply taxation to a world of digital currency, existing taxation on the fiat side might account for digital currency as part of money flowing through the hybrid economy.

Trust is a sensitive topic. On the digital currency side, trust is strong and decentralized for transactions, but that doesn’t mean trust of specific parties is altogether absent.

Whether it’s trust of the peer review and open development meritocracy of the core implementation code, or trust of a custodial service to manage keys, or trust of a piece of local software to manage wallets, or trust of an exchange service to protect fiat gateway and personal information; except for the actual transaction validation and confirmation, some trust of strangers is still implied, even in bitcoin.

When it comes to trust of such parties in the world of state, a long line of laws and regulations is designed to protect consumers. Although large institutions have famously breached that trust, formal consumer protections more often than not do protect consumers from fraudulent charges and provide a ‘lender of last resort’.

The same is not quite true of digital currency, as the loss or theft of keys is more akin to the loss of cash than to a fraudulent charge.

It’s not a simple matter of whether to trust digital currency vs traditional banks or card networks, but a matter of which one to trust, for what specific purpose, at what time and for what amount. Taking control of our own money involves making responsible decisions about trust.

Digital currency’s push model, identity protection features, decentralized transaction clearing and easily-audited open ledger make it trustworthy for payments, especially as its transaction throughput increases.

At the same time, custodial implications for exchanges, service providers and software developers can make traditional institutions trustworthy partners for other kinds of asset storage for mainstream users. Money can happily flow between both.

Gateways to a new world

Gateway to a new worldGateways throttle the flow. In a hybrid economy, customers and merchants alike must be able to get into and out of digital currency quickly, easily and securely.

In a pure payment scenario, a customer wants to acquire bitcoins using fiat instantly, execute a payment immediately after acquiring them, and, at some point shortly thereafter, the merchant wants to acquire fiat in exchange for those bitcoins. This is not the only valid scenario, but it’s helpful as a lens for discussion.

A gateway enabling that scenario must meet several challenges. For mainstream users, the gateway cannot be a trading desk, exposing an order book and price spikes to users through a bid/ask metaphor; the transition must feel seamless in design.

This entails some short-term credit risk for the gateways. Bitcoins credited to customers immediately can be spent and never recovered, while the credit card charges used to acquire the bitcoins can be reversed.

Also, in a scenario in which fiat is traded for bitcoins, bitcoins are transferred from one address to another, and then immediately traded back into fiat – bitcoin is not always much of an optimization because the one transaction may not always be sufficient to overcome the fees at the two gateways.

The threshold at which paying digitally becomes valuable fluctuates across use cases for different domains, and for different goods and services within domains.

When multiple bitcoin transactions occur before trading back into fiat, the optimization increases. The more transactions introduced into the digital chain before exchange into a gateway, the greater the increase in value of bitcoin (as for any full reserve model applied to increasing transaction velocity against a finite resource) and the greater the optimization through fee avoidance — but the AML risks also increase.

Moreover, if the gateway holds fiat on behalf of customers, then the gateway must be a bank. If the gateway merely transfers and does not hold fiat funds, then the gateway must have a banking partner.

Partnering with a bank is no trivial task. Bank risk departments can be far more conservative than state regulators. Transacting bitcoin from one address to another, whether for remittance purposes or for the exchange of goods and services, cannot always enforce KYC, AML or anti-fraud rules. Banking partners are either comfortable with these cash-like traits or they’re not. These days they’re mostly not, and this hinders gateway innovation considerably.

So mainstream gateways will need to manage short-term credit risk, potentially on a per-individual basis, while also simplifying the forex trading function, optimizing gateway fees, satisfying a banking partner and addressing AML policies – all while speeding up exchange and transaction throughput. A tall order. Capable, responsible, experienced innovators required.

Although the challenges for such a gateway are great, the reward is even greater: transform disparate economies into a global hybrid economy and grow digital currency into lasting evolution rather than shadowy revolution.

It will require some time, and in the end it’s possible that bitcoin may prove to be more like NCSA Mosaic is to Google’s Chrome, an early informative breakthrough instead of what we’re all actually using 20 years later, but that would still equate to smashing success and world-changing innovation, and it’s illogical and unwise to bet against innovation.

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March 10, 2014, 11:14:53 AM
 #252

‘BOOST:Bitcoin’ Event Draws a Crowd in Hong Kong
Jon Southurst (@southtopia) | Published on March 10, 2014 at 10:07 GMT | Companies, Events, News

Over a hundred people, including a large number of absolute beginners, turned up to an event in Hong Kong last week to promote the use of bitcoin for consumers and businesses in daily life.

Co-sponsored by Singapore-based payment processor startup CoinPip, the Hong Kong event, known as RISE:Bitcoin, featured its own mini trading desk (or ‘Satoshi Square’) to help newcomers set up wallets and make their first transactions with guidance from more experienced users.

Future similar events, like one in Kuala Lumpur near the end of March, will be called BOOST:Bitcoin.

There was also a “Bitcoin 101” talk for beginners. Helping bring everything together were two local bitcoin community enthusiasts, Jehan Chu and Leonhard A Weese.


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Merchants such as pancake maker Mr. Bing and Coffee Alchemy were also there to accept bitcoins, offering both a Hong Kong dollar price and discounted price for people paying with bitcoin.

Growing phenomenon

Bitcoin meetups, Satoshi Squares and information sessions are fairly commonplace these days – with the Silicon Valley and Los Angeles events regularly drawing a large crowd. But the BOOST:Bitcoin meetup was notable for attracting over 100 for perhaps the first time in Asia, and being a special event mainly aimed at novice users.

So what’s a Singapore startup doing organizing bitcoin promotions in Hong Kong?

CoinPip co-founder and ‘Chief Crypto Enthusiast’ Anson Zeall says he “knows both Hong Kong and Singapore inside and out, but Hong Kong has a way bigger bitcoin market than Singapore does right now, looking at transactions on the exchanges.”

“Hong Kong has a stronger foothold in understanding bitcoin because of the problems of the pegged Hong Kong dollar/USD. People have been looking for alternatives. And Hong Kong people like to take risk, it’s just in their nature.”

“Unfortunately that startup scene there is not as friendly as Singapore. So working in Singapore, expanding in Hong Kong is the best combination.”

Template for future events

Zeall also said CoinPip now has an event template in place and the company is happy to help out if anyone elsewhere wants to host something similar.

Although his company provided the payment system for the BOOST:Bitcoin event, he said it’s not necessary for participating merchants at this event or any future ones to be CoinPip clients, as the company can accept payments and convert to local currency on the spot.


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“The most fulfilling part is buying and spending bitcoins and newcomers that don’t have bitcoins will experience what it is like too,” Zeall said.

CoinPip helps out by suggesting the most suitable types of merchants should be approached for events, what financial logistics are necessary and how the day should be run in general.

Hong Kong bitcoin innovations

The Special Administrative Region of China is shaping up to be a bitcoin hub. Its autonomous government runs a low-tax jurisdiction aimed at easing financial services and attracting startup businesses from around the world, and authorities have also signalled they will not be interfering in bitcoin business.

The very night before the BOOST:Bitcoin event recorded another landmark as local exchange Asia Nexgen (ANXBTC) opened the world’s first ‘bitcoin shop’.

The 400 square-foot physical outlet has a walk-up counter where users can convert cash to bitcoins face-to-face, on condition they show photo ID and proof of address as Hong Kong residents.

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March 10, 2014, 12:29:01 PM
 #253

Leading Middle East Music Streaming Service ‘Anghami’ Embraces Bitcoin
Nermin Hajdarbegovic | Published on March 10, 2014 at 11:21 GMT | BitPay, Merchants, News

Anghami, the leading mobile music streaming platform in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has announced that it will start accepting bitcoin payments.

Anghami says it is the first music service in the world to accept bitcoin, although a number of smaller music services have announced plans to accept the currency over the past couple of months.

For its part Anghami will start accepting bitcoin subscription fees and incorporate bitcoin into its ‘freemium’ model. The service is available on all major mobile platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry, as well as Nokia’s Asha and Symbian platforms, which are big in the emerging markets.

Alternative payment methods

In addition to bitcoin, Anghami is also using prepaid cards, telecom billing and PayPal, so it is no stranger to the world of alternative payments. However, the company points out that bitcoin offers the lowest transaction fee of all the methods currently available. It has chosen BitPay as its payment processor.

“Bitcoin is still in its early days – especially in the Middle East. But just like everyone was sceptical that streaming [was] the future of music, we believe that Bitcoin is the future of payments,” Anghami’s co-founder Elie Habib said. “Moreover, Anghami being a mobile service, paying via your digital bitcoin wallet is a no brainer.”

Fellow co-founder Eddy Maroun pointed out that bitcoin is getting “major backing” from entrepreneurs and technologists worldwide. He added that Anghami is sending a message that it believes in bitcoin and that it wants its user base of digital enthusiasts to get on board.

Anghami launched in late 2012 and so far it has managed to attract four million users, mostly from the MENA region.

Bitcoin and digital media – a match made in heaven?

Although bitcoin has received a fair amount of coverage lately, the focus still appears to be on wild price fluctuations, turbulence in the bitcoin ecosystem and various sideshows like the events which unfolded in California last week.

While the attention is focused on headline grabbing stuff, the industry is starting to look seriously into the potential of digital currencies in the content industry. Earlier this year PriceWaterhouseCoopers published a very bullish report on bitcoin’s prospects in the entertainment industry.

The Chicago Sun Tribune’s bitcoin pseudo-paywall has also attracted a lot of attention from publishers worldwide. In essence, bitcoin’s low transaction fees and potential for micropayments have the potential to change the way content is monetized.

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March 10, 2014, 01:32:53 PM
 #254

Blockchain Rolls Out Bitcoin Payments App for Merchants
Nermin Hajdarbegovic | Published on March 10, 2014 at 13:05 GMT | Blockchain, Lifestyle, Merchants, News

Blockchain.info has launched a new payments app designed specifically for merchants. Blockchain is by far the most popular bitcoin wallet and just two months ago the company reached its one million milestone.

However, its new offering is a very different beast. The Blockchain Merchant app is designed to allow merchants to accept bitcoin payments at practically any retail location. The app integrates with your wallet and it can be set up to receive payments in a few easy steps.

Nic Cary, CEO of Blockchain.info, explained: “Merchant adoption is something we are very passionate about. We want to build beautiful, simple to use applications for anyone to get started with Bitcoin.”

Easy as 1,2,3

Once the app is installed the user needs to add the receiving address, business name and currency of choice. The user then enters a description and price for items being purchased and the app generates a QR code, allowing the customer to scan it and send the payment.

blockchain-merchant-app

As Blockchain.info explains:

“Our goal was to design an app that would make accepting Bitcoin simple and easy for any business owner. Simply download, install and open the app; set up your 4-digit PIN [...]; add your Bitcoin receiving address, name of your business and currency preference; turn push notifications on and then click save.”

How does it compare?

So what are the selling points? Well, since the app is free, they aren’t exactly selling points, but Blockhain says it has a number of advantages over traditional payment methods and competing bitcoin solutions.

As soon as it is installed and set up, the app can start receiving bitcoin payments instantly via the Blockchain API. There are no fees on payments and the app is already getting good reviews on Google Play. The biggest complaint coming from early adopters and reviewers appears to be the relatively limited choice of currencies.

The application should run on all Android devices running Android 4.0 or a more recent versions.

Of course, the elephant in the room is Coinbase. The company pioneered bitcoin merchant apps, but truth be told bitcoin merchant apps are still very niche. The Coinbase Merchant app still has fewer than 5,000 downloads, which doesn’t sound like much – and it isn’t.

Bitcoin POS (point of sale) and mPOS (mobile point of sale) solutions are still few and far between, but in theory they do offer a number of distinct advantages over traditional payment solutions, including the fact that they are free, offer 0% transaction fees and don’t require specialized hardware.

Apple is still not allowing bitcoin apps on iOS, which is bad news for many merchants who rely on iOS POS solutions, usually on iPads.

However, Cary has a plan: “We’re going to be giving away android tablets as we roll it out around the world. There are already half a dozen on the way to Paris and we’ll announce new launch cities over the coming weeks.”

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March 10, 2014, 02:58:34 PM
 #255

Mt. Gox Files for Chapter 15 US Bankruptcy Protection
Pete Rizzo (@pete_rizzo_) | Published on March 10, 2014 at 14:49 GMT | Companies, Exchanges, Mt. Gox, News

Troubled Japan-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection, an ancillary form of bankruptcy that will complement its primary Tokyo District Court claim issued on 28th February.

US Chapter 15 bankruptcy provides specific protections in cases of cross-border insolvency, and is based on UN model law. Both Japan and the US have adopted Chapter 15 bankruptcy in an effort to better protect the interests of shareholders and maximize the value of debtor assets in cross-border bankruptcies.

At the time of its filing, Mt. Gox claimed an outstanding debt of ¥6.5bn ($63.6m), and indicated that 850,000 bitcoins had been lost or stolen from its exchange.

This is just the latest development in the ongoing legal case against Mt. Gox. Shortly after its original Japan filing, a US class action suit was mounted by Colorado-based Edelson law firm, which specializes in technology cases. The lawsuit is seeking damages, alleging that Mt. Gox was negligent for failing to provide adequate security to its customers.

Edelson did not respond to comments requesting more information on how this filing could affect its case.

What is Chapter 15 bankruptcy?

Upon qualifying for Chapter 15 protection in the US, certain relief could become available to Mt. Gox, including the granting of an “automatic stay” that would prevent creditors from seizing its US assets, though Mt. Gox would have to request such an arrangement in writing. The presiding bankruptcy judge would have the final say on granting the relief.

For more information on Chapter 15 bankruptcy filings, read a full overview here.

Next steps

Following the filing, a recognition hearing will typically be held within 30 days to determine whether the case is a “foreign main” or “foreign non-main” proceeding, distinctions that would affect the handling of the case. Mt. Gox may not necessarily have protection in the interim period before the hearing.

After the determination is made at the hearing, Mt. Gox would be able to carry out its main purpose in filing, which can include liquidating assets, approving its sale or assigning its leases in the US.

Mt. Gox indicated recently in a post on its website that it planned to restructure and restore the business in order to increase repayments to its creditors.

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March 10, 2014, 03:58:48 PM
 #256

Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales to Discuss Bitcoin Acceptance with Board Members
Emily Spaven (@emilyspaven) | Published on March 10, 2014 at 15:46 GMT | Companies, Merchants, News

Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, plans to discuss with the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Directors the possibility of the famous Internet encyclopaedia accepting bitcoin.

Wales has been experimenting with digital currency, recently setting up a bitcoin wallet with Coinbase and posting his wallet address on Twitter.



Blockchain shows that, since Thursday (6th March), the wallet address has received around 5 BTC, which is currently worth around $3,104.

Wales said he will “of course” donate all of the bitcoins he has received to Wikipedia.

In a Reddit post, the entrepreneur said:

“I’ve been watching bitcoin for a long time, of course, and I thought it past due to test it as a consumer – how hard is it, how confusing is it, etc.”

Wales’ Reddit post continued: “I’m planning to re-open the conversation with the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Directors at our next meeting (and before, by email) about whether Wikimedia should accept bitcoin.

Implications

He explained that one reason Wikimedia hasn’t yet added bitcoin as a funding method is that doing so “has a lot of implications”.

“We know, for example, and you will likely find this counterintuitive, that the more payment options we give people, the less they donate,” he added.

Wales suggested Wikipedia could simply set up an account on Coinbase and publish its wallet address on social media, without integrating it into Wikipedia’s donation screens.

“The BTC community is pretty close-knit and generous, so that’d probably work pretty well,” he concluded.

Currently, Wikipedia accepts donations in a variety of currencies via a number of payment methods, including credit/debit card, PayPal, bank transfer and cheque.

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March 10, 2014, 04:58:33 PM
 #257

Philippines Regulator Issues Warning on Digital Currencies
Nermin Hajdarbegovic | Published on March 10, 2014 at 16:38 GMT | Asia, News, Regulation

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, has issued a warning on bitcoin which echoes similar statements issued by regulators worldwide over the past few months.

BSP acknowledged that digital currencies like bitcoin are “now being exchanged in the Philippines” but stressed that they remain a relatively risky investment.

Additionally, it warned that digital currencies and digital currency exchanges are not regulated by national regulators and thus consumers would not be protected from losses if an entity holding digital currencies went under.

No shortage of concerns

BSP pointed out that there is no assurance that any digital currency would be stable or exchangeable. The value can be highly volatile and digital currencies can be used for illicit purposes, it stated.

In terms of consumer advice, the bank outlines “things to think about before buying, holding or trading”, including: loss of value, theft, lack of consumer protection and the possibility of having assets frozen. The bank stresses that exchange platforms are unregulated and that there is no protection for investors in case of failure:

“At present, there have already been a number of cases where virtual currency exchange platforms have gone out of business or have failed.”

The risk of theft is real and digital wallets are not entirely safe, while at the same time consumers who purchase goods and services for bitcoin cannot rely on consumer protection regulation in case something goes wrong. Volatility is another concern, as is the fact that nobody can guarantee exchange, it stated.

Lastly the misuse of digital currencies can lead to criminal investigations and asset freezes – even investors who acted in good faith can have their assets frozen as part on a wider investigation (ie in case authorities opt to close an exchange platform).

No immediate effect

Like other regulatory warnings on digital currencies, the BSP statement is unlikely to have much of an effect on the country’s bitcoin user base. Although the Philippines isn’t bitcoin’s biggest community, the country remains a very interesting market for a number of reasons, mainly remittances.

Back in January a team of bitcoin enthusiasts launched BuyBitcoin.ph, an exchange geared toward remittances. With good reason – there are an estimated 2.2 million Filipino expats in Asia and the rest of the world, and their contribution to the local economy is huge.

In 2013 alone they wired more than $13.9bn to the island nation. To put this in perspective, the country’s GDP is around $250bn. Eliminating transfer fees in the remittance process could be a boon for many expats and their families back home.

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March 10, 2014, 06:53:04 PM
 #258

eBay Patent Filing for Currency Exchange System Included Bitcoin
Pete Rizzo (@pete_rizzo_) | Published on March 10, 2014 at 18:28 GMT | Companies, Law, News, Technology

A second eBay patent application has surfaced on the US Patent and Trademark Office database – further highlighting the online marketplace’s interest in digital currencies and digital currency processing systems.

Named ‘System and Method for Managing Transactions in a Digital Marketplace’, the application follows its “gift token” patent revealed on 19th December last year. Filed in December 2011, six months before its gift token filing, this document names bitcoin specifically.

The patent details eBay’s plan to create a currency module configured to manage the exchange of digital currencies, one that might require eBay to maintain or access an exchange rate for conversion.

Reads one patent section:

“The currency module 308 allows a user to trade one form of currency for another form of currency. [...] The digital currency may be used to pay for real-world financial obligations (e.g., bills) as well as for virtual-world obligation.”

The news supports the notion that eBay has been aware of, and thinking strategically about, digital currencies for some time.

eBay currently encourages the sale of virtual currencies on its Classified Ads platforms in the US and the UK, though it permits the sale of such items elsewhere on its site provided they are housed in physical items like hard drives or USB sticks.

Patent lists bitcoin as acceptable currency

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 11.21.49 AM

The processing system would not be just for bitcoin alone, but rather a long example list of currencies that could be used on the proposed system.

This included US dollars, eBay bucks, now-defunct Facebook credits and bitcoins:

“A non-exhaustive and example list of currencies capable of being exchanged may include frequent flyer miles, loyalty and reward points (e.g., credit card reward points, hotel loyalty points, retail loyalty points), virtual currency, cash, Bitcoins, Facebook credits, eBay bucks, cash-equivalent currency (e.g., gift cards, travellers checks, cashier’s checks), and any other form of currency.”

Payment system 122, as detailed in the filing, would in turn allow bitcoin users to potentially “accumulate value in a commercial currency” on the site that would later be redeemed for goods and services on the eBay network.

eBay’s bitcoin speculation continues

The patent filing marks the second time in recent weeks that eBay has hinted its broader plans may include digital currencies, and adds to the growing history between the company and the digital currency.

Though he may have been speaking more broadly about digital forms of payment, eBay CEO John Donahoe has indicated as recently as 19th February that PayPal could pursue a digital wallet that holds multiple forms of currency.

Donahoe has been one of the more outspoken executives when it comes to addressing bitcoin. Last November, the exec stated he believes digital currency will become a “very powerful thing” that could one day factor into PayPal’s plans.

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March 10, 2014, 08:53:49 PM
 #259

French Finance Minister Calls for EU Action on Bitcoin Regulation
Pete Rizzo (@pete_rizzo_) | Published on March 10, 2014 at 20:34 GMT | Europe, Law, Regulation

France’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Pierre Moscovici, issued a call on 4th March for European regulators to collaborate on digital currency regulation as part of an effort to ease the concerns of financial institutions and policymakers.

In statements to the press, Moscovici has indicated he intends to request that EU member states discuss the matter at the EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), the organisation that sets the EU budget and monitors the financial markets in member states.

Said Moscovici:

“This is an imperative topic to be treated not only at national level but also at European level.”

Moscovici also revealed that his own government agency has been studying the issue for a year through the efforts of an inter-ministerial working group.

The working group is set to disclose its findings in April 2014 in a report that will add to France’s contributions to ECOFIN’s broader research efforts.

Regulation in France

France has been one of the more active EU nations on matters relating to digital currencies so far in 2014, issuing guidance that bitcoin exchanges need to register before operating domestically on 29th January, and holding Senate hearings on the topic on 15th January.

The 29th January ruling, however, did not regulate all bitcoin activities in France. Delphine Amarzit, a representative of the French Treasury has suggested that digital currency transactions that don’t involve fiat money may also need to be examined due to this limitation.

The Bank of France previously ruled that bitcoin is “neither legal tender nor a means of payment”, a ruling that is contributing to uncertainty on how regulation in France can go further in regulating the currency. The only “legal” currency in France is the euro.

Global impact

The news that the EU may soon issue more guidance is particularly significant given the number of nations that have expressed that they are looking to it for leadership.

For example, the Central Bank of Lithuania told CoinDesk in February it would look to the EU for regulatory guidance, while Greece and Hungary have used past statements by the European Banking Authority to inform its citizens about the risks associated with digital currencies.

As such, any determinations made by ECOFIN as part of the research are likely to have a far-reaching impact on the global community as it seeks to better understand how to put controls on the digital currency.

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March 10, 2014, 09:01:42 PM
 #260

Cryptocurrencies are ‘Inevitable’, Says Google’s Jared Cohen
Nermin Hajdarbegovic | Published on March 10, 2014 at 19:21 GMT | Analysis, News

Jared Cohen
Although Google hasn’t yet made any moves related to digital currencies, the search giant’s Director of Ideas Jared Cohen believes they are here to stay.

Speaking at SXSW – the annual interactive conference and festival held in Austin, Texas – Cohen said it is still unclear how digital currencies will develop, as they are a “pretty new space”, reports TechCrunch.

Jared said the future of digital currencies like bitcoin is clear:

“It’s very obvious to all of us that cryptocurrencies are inevitable.”

No plans… yet

While Google’s entry into the space would be a watershed moment for digital currencies, Jared’s statements should not be interpreted as Google’s endorsement of digital currencies.

Google Ideas is not exactly a skunkworks kind of organisation tasked with developing new projects. It is an interdisciplinary think tank based in New York City and has nothing to do with product development.

Cohen was tapped to head Google Ideas by Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt in 2010 and his statements do carry some weight, though.

Furthermore, although Google Ideas is not tied to Google’s core business, it is still a part of Google’s Business Operations and Strategy group and is not merely a philanthropic endeavour.

However, Cohen has a few ideas concerning cryptocurrencies that won’t go down well with all members of the bitcoin community.

Value in regulation

Cohen sees a lot of value in bitcoin, but he also warns that lack of regulation is a challenge, saying:

“There’s a danger to it not being regulated in some form.”

Cohen added that there is an ongoing debate about bitcoin regulation that will undoubtedly continue as bitcoin “plays out”.

However, it should be noted that the bitcoin regulation debate has been going on for years, but it has yielded very little in the way of realistic proposals, let alone actual regulation.

New Napster?

Cohen also cautioned that bitcoin may be just one model of a practical digital currency – likening it to Napster. We still don’t know how it will develop, he said.

Cohen appears to view bitcoin as a precursor to other digital currencies, but he doesn’t appear to be too certain about it. In the end, he merely repeats the question we are all too familiar with:

“Is bitcoin the model, or the master of cryptocurrencies?”

If bitcoin is merely a model that can be expanded and built upon, alternative digital currencies could be created along similar lines, backed by various organisations, from financial institutions to corporations.

The altcoin craze proves there is plenty of room for development and innovation, but for big players altcoins are not nearly as interesting as bitcoin.

On the other hand, if bitcoin continues to expand unchallenged, any new digital currency hoping to replace it would face an uphill struggle, as bitcoin’s infrastructure grows and matures with time.

The window of opportunity is slowly closing.

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