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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 50679 times)
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February 20, 2014, 08:48:45 PM
 #41

Thailand Flip Flops on Bitcoin, Suggests Exchanges are Still Illegal

Pete Rizzo (@pete_rizzo_) | Published on February 20, 2014 at 20:34 GMT | Asia, Exchanges, Regulation

Just days after reopening its bitcoin buying and selling services to the general public, Thailand-based bitcoin exchange Bitcoin Co Ltd is once again being threatened by legal uncertainty.

Bitcoin Co Ltd reinstated its services on 15th February, after receiving a letter from its central bank that seemingly suggested it could legally do so.

However, representatives from the Bank of Thailand (BoT) have released new statements suggesting that Bitcoin Co Ltd “interpreted the letter to serve its own interests”, and that it perhaps acted improperly by reinstating its services.

The legality of Thailand’s bitcoin businesses has been in question now since last July 2013, when statements from the BoT in informal hearings caused the exchange to pause operations. The events caused widespread reports that Thailand had banned bitcoin to be issued around the globe.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Bitcoin Co Ltd managing director David Barnes said it has not been sent any messages by the BoT since receiving the letter in question. Further, he suggested he would hold off on taking any action until he received formal notice.

Said Barnes:

“We plan to continue operations as normal.”

Legal dispute

The Bangkok Post indicated that the BoT official it spoke to believes bitcoin exchanges do not fall under Thai law, which would mean that Bitcoin Co Ltd is not eligible to receive the license it needs to conduct business.

The newspaper explained:

“The letter also stated that even though the company allows its customers to trade bitcoins only for baht, it could not prevent customers from exchanging bitcoins for foreign currencies either locally or abroad.”

Given this interpretation, Bitcoin Co Ltd would be indirectly involved with foreign currency exchange under the Thailand Exchange Control Act of 1942, the paper said.

Still, such statements do not seem to reflect Bitcoin Co Ltd’s updated guidance to its community.

Barnes contends that prior to reopening, Bitcoin Co Ltd revised its terms and conditions so that it and its users complied with BoT guidelines.

The updated terms and conditions read:

“The customer must agree never to exchange bitcoins purchased from Bitcoin Co Ltd for any currency other than Thai Baht. The customer must also guarantee that any bitcoins the customer sells to Bitcoin Co Ltd have never been involved in exchange with any currency other than Thai Baht.”

Community reaction

Frankie Bishop, a representative from the Facebook group Bitcoin Thailand, said that he is not surprised that bitcoin continues to operate amid legal uncertainty. Citing the expression ‘this is Thailand’, he said he believes trading will likely continue in spite of the new statements.

Bishop said that the BoT has effective implied that bitcoin “does not fit anywhere”, under current Thai law, and that due to other pressing government matters, is unlikely to further clarify its position.

Explained Bishop:

“Thus, we could conclude that this sits in that area called the ‘Gray Area’.”

My toughs: Everything about Bitcoin is in that "Gray Area" !

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February 20, 2014, 08:50:17 PM
 #42

we already have press board

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February 20, 2014, 09:06:35 PM
 #43

we already have press board

I know but its so confusing , and hard to read evry news. I asked people what think about this. And u can look at poll, most of them want to see this working. I will try and see how its going. If that is not forbidden ?

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February 20, 2014, 09:15:31 PM
 #44

Bitstamp Restores Withdrawals Following Security Scare

Nermin Hajdarbegovic | Published on February 20, 2014 at 21:00 GMT | Bitstamp, Crime, Exchanges, News

Bitstamp is in the process of restoring full services to all accounts following an issue that prompted the bitcoin exchange to disable withdrawals to some users.

The move was a security precaution and the affected accounts have been notified of the problem.

Nejc Kodrič, Bitstamp’s CEO, told CoinDesk that some accounts have already regained withdrawal functionality.

Phishing fears

The decision to halt the withdrawals was made after Bitstamp detected an increased number of phishing attempts over the last few days.

Bitstamp says some clients had reported receiving suspicious emails. The correspondences were examined and were found to contain malware, so Bitstamp then took the ‘better-safe-than-sorry’ approach and temporarily disabled the accounts.

At the time of writing, no Bitstamp user has reported any missing funds. It is possible that the attack was completely unsuccessful, although it is still too early to say with certainty.

Bitstamp believes the attack was targeted at bitcoin users only, and its sole intent was to steal bitcoins.

Warning message

In an email sent to affected clients, the Bitstamp team stressed that the tech team’s response to the phishing attack was a necessary precaution given the risks of the situation, and gave advice on how to deal with any malware.

“As a precaution we have also applied this security measure to your account,” the exchange wrote. “If you have received any emails with suspicious content and have opened links or attachments, we highly recommend that you immediately contact a computer expert.”

Even if you think your computer is clean, it is probably best to play it safe, Bitstamp says:

“If you consider that your system was not affected, we kindly suggest you contact our support staff for further assistance.”

The company added that the decision to disable withdrawals is an inconvenience, but it should be viewed as part of the exchange’s important security measures, which were put in place to safeguard users’ accounts – and their funds.

Attractive targets

The Mt. Gox debacle is still in the news, and other exchanges – including Bitstamp – have also faced related and unrelated problems in recent days.

Last week, Bitstamp was targeted by a massive DDoS attack, along with a few other exchanges. As with the current issue, it was forced to suspend processing bitcoin withdrawals, but it quickly recovered and resumed regular service.

On a more positive note, most exchanges appear to be very resilient to the frequent DDoS and targeted phishing attacks. It comes with the territory, it seems, and it is reassuring to see that most sites spring back to full service in a matter of hours.

My Toughs: Great to here that one of the best (my opinion) btc exchanges resolved all issues and back in businesses. Only gox fuckup remains and we should expect price rise in next few days.

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February 21, 2014, 11:21:44 AM
 #45

Gavin Andresen to Bitcoin Companies: Support Open Source
Danny Bradbury (@dannybradbury) | Published on February 21, 2014 at 04:11 GMT | Bitcoin protocol, News, Technology

Lead developer Gavin Andresen chided the commercial bitcoin community for not getting involved enough in core bitcoin development and testing this week. In a mail to the bitcoin developers list updating the community on some bug fixes in the code, he called companies out for not giving back.

The mail started out serenely enough, as a general update on what the team has done to fix some immediate transaction malleability issues in the reference version of the bitcoin client software. But it had a sting in the tail:

“Testing and code review is, as always, the bottleneck for getting out a release with these changes. We have a chronic problem with people running bitcoin services on top of the core code waiting until there is an ‘official’ release, and then assuming that somebody else has done the hard work of reviewing and testing the changes.”

“YOU SHOULD NOT BE MAKING THAT ASSUMPTION!” he added, arguing that companies calling procedures in the bitcoin software might trigger some unlikely bug.

When a software engineer speaks in all-caps, you can tell that they’re frustrated.

A tough month

It’s been a tough month for the core development team. Mt Gox’s cessation of bitcoin withdrawals, which it blamed on a long-known flaw in a software component used by the bitcoin network, bought to light a range of problems associated with double spending.

While by no means fatal, they were irritating enough for the Bitcoin Foundation to address them in a public statement.

“When a software engineer speaks in all-caps, you can tell that they're frustrated.”

The latest missive highlighted some immediate work that had been done on the bitcoin wallet to change the way that it handled these issues.

They had been low priority, Andresen said, because they were “edge cases”, meaning that they wouldn’t happen in the normal course of operation.

They would only occur if users did unsupported things. In any case, he said, they were fixable using what he described as a “heavy-handed workaround”.

But software engineers generally like things to be nimble, and elegant, and so the team got to work on it. It resulted in three broad fixes, which would help to ‘de-confuse’ wallets that didn’t know whether their coins were spendable or not.

On of the fixed blocked one of the easiest ways to mutate transactions on the bitcoin network, and Andresen said that many big mining pools were already running this patch.

Time to give back?

But the community has to play ball, Andresen said, by helping to test the fixes out, rather than just running services on top of the latest version of the code and hoping that the team had fixed problems for them.

“Or, in other words: do not treat the core development team as if we were a commercial company that sold you a software library,” he wrote. “That is not how open source works; if you are making a profit using the software, you are expected to help develop, debug, test, and review it.”

BitPay, the payment processor that employed core developer Jeff Garzik last May, was quick to respond.

“Every serious bitcoin company should employ a core dev,” said CEO Tony Gallippi. “Jeff has been fantastic and continues to spend most of his time working on bitcoind and the bitcoin core, and much of the upstream developments that BitPay needs to succeed.”

Peter Gray, co-founder of Canadian company Coinkite, which makes an online wallet to support its bitcoin debit card and POS system, explained that his firm uses its own implementation of the bitcoin protocol in custom-built software, and doesn’t rely on the core bitcoin RPC interface that Andresen describes.

Nevertheless, Gray believes Andresen has a point:

“I do think that Gavin is right to complain about these companies which rely so heavily on open source and don’t contribute back,” he said. “My hope is those same companies are supporting the Bitcoin Foundation financially, and the Foundation, in turn should be funding full time programers and testers.”

Responsibility

Should the Bitcoin Foundation be partly responsible to help ensure the health of the core protocol and reference clients, by encouraging input from industry? The Foundation didn’t return CoinDesk’s request for comment, but Garzik did.

“The Bitcoin Foundation itself is somewhat limited by community ethos. Few people want to centralize a large number of key engineers at the Bitcoin Foundation, which then comes into accusations of ‘controlling bitcoin’ rather than simply being one-of-several bitcoin advocacy organizations,” he said.

Wendell Davis, the founder of Mac OS X-based wallet Hive, admitted that his company hasn’t contributed to the bitcoin source tree:

“Gavin is completely correct of course; they are not a vendor and should not be expected to deliver like a vendor.”

He continued to liken bitcoin to Linux. If Red Hat – which profits from the open-source operating system – didn’t contribute both QA and source improvements, Linux would be far less secure, and more buggy.

“That said, speaking from the perspective of a very small company like Hive (which by the way uses bitcoinj rather than bitcoind, which Gavin is responsible for), it is usually a non-trivial matter to thoroughly go about this kind of work, when you already have your hands full enough at your own ‘layer’,” argued Davis.

Perhaps that’s the problem – bitcoin is a startup currency, in the early stages of disrupting an entire economic model. Lots of people are busy trying to build out its commercial infrastructure.

The question is, how many of them have the time or the funding to support the core technical one? And what happens if the pressure continues to fall upon a small cadre of hard-working, largely unpaid developers?

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February 21, 2014, 11:24:11 AM
 #46

Mt. Gox Bitcoin Price Falls Below $100, its Lowest Level Since July
Pete Rizzo (@pete_rizzo_) | Published on February 21, 2014 at 04:15 GMT | Exchanges, Mt. Gox, Prices

The price of bitcoin on Mt. Gox dropped below $100, hitting a low of $91.50 on 20th February.

Data from Bitcoincharts indicates it was the lowest total observed on the exchange since 22nd July when the lowest price was $89.80.

The announcement comes amid increasing criticism from the bitcoin community about the exchange and its questionable behavior that has included ignoring protestors, blaming the Bitcoin protocol for its implementation issues and somehow managing to create an aura of suspicion and uncertainty around even its physical address.

Earlier this week, Blockchain.info chief security officer Andreas Antonopoulos went so far as to label Mt. Gox “clownish” and “incompetent” as part of the latest episode of the popular podcast Let’s Talk Bitcoin, which was dedicated to dissecting problems at the exchange.

The developments are just the latest in a string of setbacks that have spawned community outrage at both the exchange and CEO Mark Karpeles in the last few weeks. Some community members have even called for Karpeles resignation from the Bitcoin Foundation in light of the recent developments, though the organization has not yet weighed in on the gathered petitions.

Prices stable elsewhere

At press time, the uncertainty around Mt. Gox and its solvency seemed to be affecting other exchanges, though only marginally.

Prices at both BTC-e and Bitstamp were roughly $400 greater than those at Mt. Gox. The figures are particularly stunning, given the exchange’s reputation for high prices compared to other exchanges.

BTC-e opened at $542 on 20th February and at press time had fallen to $539. Similarly, Bitstamp dropped from a high of $561 to $553 at press time.

Community reaction

News that Mt. Gox had fallen under the $100 mark was quick to arrive on reddit, with many community members debating the right investment strategy as well as the motives of Mt. Gox in the wake of the most recent setback.

Some maintained that the market would soon rebound sharply once the situation was resolved, while others suggested the resulting negativity surrounding the market would push fringe bitcoin users away, perhaps for good.

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 10.54.44 PM
However, notably there seemed to be a growing opinion that Mt. Gox’s low bitcoin prices may actually be a better reflection of bitcoin’s value.

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 11.15.02 PM

This minority cited that fact that prices were at or near current prices before China’s influence on the market and the swell of optimism that came with bitcoin’s rising prices toward the end of 2013.

My toughs: I think they caused enough problems to bitcoin and they should cut the losses and CLOSE !

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February 21, 2014, 11:25:30 AM
 #47

Top UK Payments Body Weighs in on Bitcoin’s Future
Joon Ian Wong (@joonian) | Published on February 21, 2014 at 10:00 GMT | Europe, News, Regulation

The Payments Council, the organisation that sets strategy for payment mechanisms in the UK, has issued a statement saying that it is “neutral” on bitcoin, though it sees “opportunities” for digital currencies.

In response to questions from CoinDesk, the Payments Council said that it had been tracking the progress of digital currencies “with interest”, and that bitcoin was one of many “competitive offerings” that are emerging in the UK.

The organisation appeared to be relatively positive on the future of digital currencies:

“As shopping habits are increasingly moving across borders and continents, it seems certain that there will be real opportunities for virtual currency providers who are outside of traditional domestic banking systems.”

The council’s statement also noted that digital currencies, like other payment services, would be driven by consumer demand.

The council appeared to be using the terms ‘digital currency’ and ‘virtual currency’ interchangeably in its statement. CoinDesk refers to bitcoin as a ‘digital currency’.

About the council

The Payments Council is the governing body for UK payments systems and services. As such, its task is to lead the development of future payment systems and regulate the accountability and transparency of existing systems. It is a voluntary organisation with a membership comprising banks and building societies, including HSBC, Nationwide Building Society, Citibank and others.

Among the schemes that the Payment Council operates is the LINK ATM scheme, which ensures cash cards issued by banks, building societies and other institutions can be used across different ATMs. Almost all of the UK’s ATMs are connected to the LINK network.

The council sets rules on the security of transactions, customer data and fees charged.

Common interests

The council has an interest in promoting speedier Internet transactions. Under the Faster Payments Scheme, launched in 2008, Internet and phone payments for individuals and businesses in the UK saw transaction times reduced from three working days to several hours.

The system was designed to allow quick transactions for amounts of less than £100,000 (US$166,680).

The council is now working on a UK-wide mobile payments scheme that will allow consumers to send secure payments to mobile phone numbers instead of a bank account number. The council promises that this process will be “as easy as texting”. Some 90% of UK current accounts will be able to do this when the scheme is launched this spring.

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February 21, 2014, 05:07:03 PM
 #48

Watch Bitstamp, BTC-e and Mt. Gox Prices in Real-Time on CoinDesk
CoinDesk (@coindesk) | Published on February 21, 2014 at 16:37 GMT | Exchanges, News

new-price-tool
We have updated our bitcoin price data page so you can now not only track the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index in real-time, but you can also check out the up-to-the-minute prices from the world’s largest exchanges: Bitstamp, BTC-e and even Mt. Gox.

While exchanges have come and gone from the CoinDesk BPI over time, we understand a single average doesn’t suit everyone. Once on the price page, just check the boxes of the exchanges you want to view, click ‘Update Chart’ and data from the relevant exchanges will appear on the graph.



updated-coindesk-price-page

At the moment, you can view individual prices from Bitstamp, BTC-e and Mt. Gox, but we plan to add more exchanges in the future.

When you hover your cursor over the chart, a box will appear detailing the price on each exchange at that particular time/on that particular date.

The graph enables you to view price data from any period in bitcoin’s history since July 2010, when the price on Mt. Gox was a mere $0.07. You can also see when the CoinDesk BPI came into effect (1st July, 2013) and when the price on Gox plummeted way below that recorded on the other exchanges and the CoinDesk BPI (earlier this month).



gox-falls-below-bpi
The bitcoin price on Mt. Gox fell below that on Bitstamp, BTC-e and the Coindesk BPI earlier this month.
If you want to download the price data you are looking at, just hit the yellow ‘Export’ button and you can select your preferred format from the drop-down list, for example a PNG image or a PDF document.

Make sure you check out our Bitcoin Price Ticker Widget too. We welcome any feedback you have in the comments, or feel free to email contact@coindesk.com.

My toughs: Wow, this is rely cool. Well done CoinDesk

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February 21, 2014, 06:05:54 PM
 #49

we already have press board

I know but its so confusing , and hard to read evry news. I asked people what think about this. And u can look at poll, most of them want to see this working. I will try and see how its going. If that is not forbidden ?

I like this more because there are more news per page.(Less loading pages clicking waiting etc)
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February 21, 2014, 06:18:53 PM
 #50

we already have press board

I know but its so confusing , and hard to read evry news. I asked people what think about this. And u can look at poll, most of them want to see this working. I will try and see how its going. If that is not forbidden ?

I like this more because there are more news per page.(Less loading pages clicking waiting etc)

Exactly and when u want to read news u just read and scrolling for next news, no need for looking at only names of threads searching for newest and so on. Feel free to add ur news that i did not posted. Then on 01. March when i start new thread much better organised than this but doing same thing i will chose one of u who posts here to be my coworker Smiley . Also i will do some give aways . That thread will be awesome u will see . I have great ideas for it .

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February 21, 2014, 06:47:01 PM
 #51

Has This Company Found a Workaround for Mt. Gox Withdrawals?
Joon Ian Wong (@joonian) | Published on February 21, 2014 at 18:42 GMT | Companies, Exchanges, Mt. Gox, News

A new market will allow Mt. Gox customers to trade funds in their exchange accounts for bitcoin, effectively allowing bitcoin withdrawals despite an official freeze.

The service, Bitcoin Builder, has also created an arbitrage opportunity for traders who wish to exploit the growing spread between the price of bitcoin on Mt. Gox and other major exchanges.

According to the market’s founder Josh Jones, some 14,500 BTC (about $8.1m) worth of trades have been executed since it was set up on 11th Feb.

A widening spread

Bitcoin Builder works by taking advantage of the widening spread between the price of bitcoin on Mt. Gox and other exchanges. The spread has grown as Mt. Gox’s withdrawal freeze stretches on. At the time of writing, for example, 1 BTC was trading for $123.56 on Mt. Gox compared to $566.20 on BitStamp.

Traders on Bitcoin Builder can sell bitcoins in their Mt. Gox accounts on the Bitcoin Builder market at the prevailing price. One bitcoin in a Mt. Gox account was trading for 0.38 BTC on Bitcoin Builder at the time of writing.

If the same bitcoin from Mt. Gox could theoretically be traded on another exchange, like BitStamp, it would be worth just 0.22 BTC. In other words, selling Mt. Gox bitcoins on Bitcoin Builder yields a 73% premium over the theoretical open market rate. Jones said:

“I was in the withdrawal queue for Mt. Gox when all this happened. I was basically a user who wanted an exchange like this to exist myself.”

Bitcoin Builder works because Mt. Gox is still allowing transfers between accounts on the exchange. To sell bitcoin, users must therefore send coins to Bitcoin Builder’s Mt. Gox account. They will then receive bitcoin in a wallet of their choice.

Only users with ‘verified’ or ‘trusted’ accounts at Mt. Gox can make transfers to another account on the exchange. The new exchange charges 2% for each transaction.

Bitcoin Builder also allows traders to buy the discounted Mt. Gox bitcoins. These traders must deposit coins with Bitcoin Builder and then receive Mt. Gox bitcoins that are held in Bitcoin Builder’s account on the exchange.

Traders on Bitcoin Builder must also submit identity documents before they can start making transactions.

The Gox question

Trades on Bitcoin Builder hinge on Mt. Gox’s future. Customers who are selling their Mt. Gox bitcoins on Bitcoin Builder are taking a 78% discount on the price of their coins in exchange for the certainty of holding funds that are not subject to Mt. Gox’s withdrawal restrictions.

Although the exchange has said the withdrawal freeze is due to technical problems and that it will be lifted soon, customers appear to be losing their confidence that the exchange will do as it says. This is reflected in the plummeting price of bitcoin to US dollars on Mt. Gox.

Then there are the arbitrageurs who are able to exploit the spread between prices at Mt. Gox and other exchanges so long as the withdrawal freeze stays in place.

These traders may be depositing fiat into a Mt. Gox account in order to buy more discounted bitcoins and then offloading them on Bitcoin Builder. With bitcoins in hand, they can then make a profit selling on another major exchange.

However, if Mt. Gox were to announce more serious problems — such as insolvency, for example — then Bitcoin Builder’s trading volume would vanish. Jones said:

“If Mt. Gox really is insolvent, or if they somehow freeze Bitcoin Builder’s account, or if they say that some of these bitcoins turned out to be fake because of transaction malleability, then there’s going to be a lot of angry people [on Bitcoin Builder].”

Jones himself is betting that Mt. Gox is solvent and that it is indeed suffering from the technical problems it claims it is experiencing.

“There is a saying, ‘never attribute to malice that which can adequately explained by incompetence’. Mt Gox is not Google or Apple. But they are a real company and Karpeles has made loads of money over the last few years. So he’s not just going to shut it down,” Jones said.

About Josh Jones

Josh

Jones claims he knows a thing or two about running a high-growth technology company with an inexperienced team – which is what Mark Karpeles is being accused of at Mt. Gox.

Jones is one of four co-founders of Dreamhost, a web hosting company that was formed when the group were computer science majors at Harvey Mudd College in California.

The company was founded in 1997 and now has revenues of $45m, according to Jones. Like Mt. Gox, the firm raised funds from professional investors.

“I just think [Karpeles] is just really bad at PR. At Dreamhost I’ve had PR disasters myself. We made a billing error and we over-billed people millions of dollars, and we weren’t as apologetic as we should have been. Immediately, it was like, oh, that didn’t go down well!”

Jones stepped away from operational duties at Dreamhost in March 2010. He said he sold his shares in the company in November, but he uses his track record with the web-hosting firm to prove that Bitcoin Builder should be trusted by its customers.

“That’s why I put my LinkedIn profile and my real identity on the Bitcoin Builders site. I started the LA Bitcoin meet up, I ran Dreamhost. People were already trading on forms, and I was like, man – people are just trusting some dude on a forum. So people are trusting me,” he said.

Jones said he did not know Karpeles personally, except for an email exchange two years ago when Bitcoin Builder was initially launched as a tool to allow automated bitcoin buying on Mt. Gox.

He said Karpeles had emailed him suggesting ways they could make the tool more efficient and split the revenue. Jones then proposed investing in the then-nascent exchange, but Karpeles never responded.

Potential risks

Trust has to be abundant when trading on Bitcoin Builder. For example, customers selling their Mt. Gox bitcoin must transfer their coins to the Bitcoin Builder account with no guarantee that they will receive coins in return.

Bitcoin Builder processes withdrawals daily, at 11pm Pacific Standard Time. Customers selling bitcoin therefore potentially have to wait for an anxiety-laden 24 hours before their wallets outside Mt. Gox are credited.

One Bitcoin Builder trader, who runs a ‘bitcoin hedge fund’ in New York City, says he was reassured by Jones’ transparency about his identity. The trader, who wished to remain anonymous, said:

“[Jones] is a public person with a reputation and a career — so I am willing to believe that he is not a scammer. Like anything, you make sure everything works first with a small amount.”

The trader said he had purchased more than 300 Mt. Gox bitcoins through Bitcoin Builder.

Jones is running Bitcoin Builder by himself at the moment, having written all the software that the site runs on. He is considering adding more features, like leverage and automated withdrawals.

In the meantime, the exchange is doing booming business, and providing a valuable opportunity for Mt. Gox customers to get their funds out.

My toughs: Wow... This could actually work !

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February 21, 2014, 07:52:12 PM
 #52

Off topic: Is this rely FBI wallet ?
https://blockchain.info/address/1FfmbHfnpaZjKFvyi1okTjJJusN455paPH
 Looks like they have biggest amount of btc stored in wallet .

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February 21, 2014, 08:41:18 PM
 #53

BitPay Updates Wallet for Smoother QR Code User Experience
Pete Rizzo (@pete_rizzo_) | Published on February 21, 2014 at 19:34 GMT | BitPay, Companies, News

Georgia-based bitcoin merchant processing provider BitPay has announced the launch of the Bitcoin Payment Protocol, a wallet update designed to eliminate the “human error in making a bitcoin payment”.

In the official announcement, the company said the update would reduce friction at the point of sale by eliminating the need for consumers to copy the address and amount into their wallet. At checkout, users who scan a QR code or click to initiate payment will only be presented two options, pay or don’t pay.

Though this may sound like a small improvement, Stephen Pair, CTO and co-founder of BitPay, explains these errors can create inefficiencies that can bog down the payments network.

“We see common errors that people make. Some people pay too little or too much to a BitPay invoice, so that creates a payment exception that requires a support ticket.”

These leftover payments not only detract from the customer experience, however, they also have broader implications for how BitPay interacts with the mining community.

Notably, the update comes just one week after it launched Bitcore, an open-source project for app developers, and as the company is onboarding more merchants than ever.

BitPay has estimated that it now brings on 1,000 new merchants a week.

Reduced consumer friction

BitPay said that the new update improves the usability of QR codes for bitcoin payments by supporting BIP 73, an enhancement to the payment protocol BIP 70. BIP 73 seeks to reduce the density of QR codes.

The company said that this will ensure its QR codes work better in low-light settings and at longer distances. Further, they come with advantages for first-time users, as they are also normal HTTP URLs that can send instructions to devices.

The Payment Protocol makes improvements to ease merchant-seller disputes, too, as it supplies a refund address along with each payment.

Explained BitPay:

“This approach to refunds works on the block chain, with any wallet software, and does not require the buyers to have a BitPay account.”

For a more on BIP 73 and its technical improvements, you can find a detailed overview here.

A market for transaction fees

BitPay explains that the big picture behind the update is that it eliminates the Bitcoin mesh network that had previously helped communicate transactions between both senders and recipients and originators and the mining community.

Explains Pair:

“With the payment protocol, you communicate the payment from sender to recipient directly [...] so the wallet can send it to BitPay and then BitPay broadcasts it on the mesh network.”

This direct communications path, Pair said, helps BitPay account for nodes that may require certain fees in to maintain their profitability.

Pair went to on to detail how this would take the guesswork out of determining the fees for a transaction to get included in a block, help to develop a market around processing transaction fees and allow BitPay to better ensure these transactions can be sent through a block within a desired timeframe.

“Creating a true market for transaction fees, is really where the market needs to evolve,” Pair said.

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February 21, 2014, 08:42:38 PM
 #54

Bitcoin Investor Syndicate Breaks into AngelList Top 10
Pete Rizzo (@pete_rizzo_) | Published on February 21, 2014 at 20:30 GMT | Investors, News, Startups

A bitcoin syndicate cracked AngelList’s top 10 for the first time on 21st February, just one month after it was initially formed.

Created by bitcoin venture capitalist Brock Pierce, who founded ExpressCoin, GoCoin, KnCMiner and Robocoin Asia, the syndicate now ranks eighth in terms of its total monetary backing, with $501,250 from 23 backers.

Syndicate backers include BitAngels Fund managing director David Johnston, SilkRoad Equity co-founder Matthew Roszak and 500 Startups venture partner Sean Percival and SIM managing partner W Bradford Stephens.

The syndicate will support 12 bitcoin-related startups this year, with an average of $50,000 being awarded to each company. Companies must contribute to digital currency in order to be eligible for the funds.

Angels can join the syndicate with a minimum investment of $5,000.

The announcement comes amid increasing investor activity in the virtual currency space. Notably, SecondMarket’s Bitcoin Investment Trust recently passed 80,000 BTC in holdings, while Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss just this week submitted a revised filing for a public bitcoin ETF.

How AngelList syndicates work

AngelList allows any angel investor or fund to form a syndicate, and for backers to then invest alongside them so that they can collaborate on future deals.

As explained by AngelList, “backers get access to dealflow, leads get carry and startups get access to capital”. Backers pay 5-20% carry per deal to the syndicate lead, and 5% to AngelList for facilitating the deals.

Investors are first screened through a verification process, and a special purpose vehicle LLC is created for each investment. Due to US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations, only 99 investors can participate in the syndicate, meaning that Pierce’s fund has already reached one-quarter of its maximum capacity.

About the investors

In addition to Pierce, the syndicate includes a noted cast of virtual currency investors. For example, Percival is an advisor for San Francisco-based wallet provider Blockchain.info.

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February 22, 2014, 12:51:13 AM
 #55

New Documents Show Goldman Sachs is Discussing Bitcoin
Pete Rizzo (@pete_rizzo_) | Published on February 21, 2014 at 22:52 GMT | Companies, Investors, News

New York-based global investment banking giant Goldman Sachs has completed an initial assessment of digital currencies that concluded they are currently too volatile for serious investors.

The news comes from noted online news source TechCrunch, which says it obtained a copy of an internal discussion document from a contact at Goldman Sachs.

The excerpts posted by the media outlet provide evidence that Goldman Sachs is currently looking into the currency, though it is uncertain about its benefits. The bank even went so far as to suggest that it remains confused by the uproar surrounding virtual currencies.

Said one excerpt:

“2013 was the year when Bitcoin became a mainstay in mass media, to the extent that it has become hard to separate the effect of hype surrounding the currency from its fundamentals.”

While the bank’s major findings noted a laundry list of the virtual currency’s shortcomings, it acknowledged some of the potential benefits of bitcoin. In particular, it noted bitcoin’s ability to remove processing costs from micropayments and to provide “anonymity, security and a natively digital experience to online transactions for consumers”.

The news comes just weeks after JPMorgan weighed in on bitcoin with a more formal report that labeled digital currencies as “vastly inferior to fiat currencies“.

Notable findings

Ultimately, the report concluded that bitcoin is not yet suitable for merchant use due to its price volatility. This was a criticism also held by JPMorgan, which suggested that this risk outweighed the benefits of any potential savings.

On the matter of consumer use, Goldman Sachs determined that “there are more speculators in bitcoin versus participants in e-commerce”. The comments indicate the bank believes bitcoin needs to attain a greater level of liquidity before it becomes useful as a currency, though reports suggest that this shift may already be occurring.

Indeed, the bank found that bitcoin lacks a number of other attributes that could make it attractive to investors:

“There is no liquid derivative market for Bitcoin; nor a large market of B2B suppliers which companies can use for spending Bitcoin.”

Opportunities

The report summaries suggest that Goldman Sachs believe bitcoin to be far from a point of mass adoption, but that significant opportunities could one day exist in the ecosystem for investors.

The document said:

“As a full suite of financial services build up around Bitcoin, there will be numerous (mostly commission- based) revenue opportunities investors can focus on, including providing exchanges, wallets, payment processing, lending, derivatives and other services.”

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February 22, 2014, 12:34:54 PM
 #56

Japanese Police Shut Down Protest at Mt. Gox
Jon Southurst (@southtopia) | Published on February 22, 2014 at 09:36 GMT | Companies, Exchanges, Mt. Gox, News

The small group of protestors outside Mt. Gox in Tokyo were moved on late yesterday by Japanese police, and warned not to return without a ‘demonstration license’.

Organizer Kolin Burges said the police were called not by Mt. Gox, but one of the building’s other tenants who had reportedly had enough of the protestors’ week-long presence at the building.

Mt. Gox management was also said to be irritated by the ongoing sit-in, claiming “security problems” caused by the protest and other technical issues were slowing its progress at fixing its bitcoin withdrawal problem. The company had previously posted a notice on its support page claiming to be moving location.



The protests received attention from both bitcoin fans and the Japanese media
This effectively ends the protest in its current form, since the group is unlikely to secure the license. For the most part the protest consisted only of two people, though they had been joined at other stages during the week by curious bitcoiners and financial media reporters. One of the Japanese language signs the pair was holding invited locals to join in and gave the street address.

Growing numbers

Burges said there were around 10 people standing near the building when police arrived. He explained:

“We went to the police station for a license and were told that for a demonstration license you need to move along a pre-planned route, with start and end points. So it looks like we cannot get a license and can’t go back there.”

Anyone walking through Tokyo on any given weekend is bound to encounter a rally or two, many of which do not appear to be moving, and which can be quite rowdy. The most common demonstration themes are anti-nuclear power or North Korea, plus the infamous loudspeaker buses operated by the far-right uyoku. The Russian, Chinese and US embassies are popular rallying points, and all have a permanent riot squad presence.

Burges indicated he still wanted to continue the protest in some form, but would have to think of other tactics. A physical presence may or may not be involved, though it is generally considered unwise to tempt fate with the Japanese police after a warning.



The price of a bitcoin on Mt. Gox continues to slide, even falling below the $100 mark at one point and hovering around that amount since. Most price aggregators, including CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index, have removed Mt. Gox from their averages. The average global price is a comparatively robust $564, but still much lower than the $900 or so before the current problems began to get attention.

Protest images credit: Abasa Phillips

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February 22, 2014, 12:39:48 PM
 #57

New Banking Task Force to Study Digital Currencies
Jon Southurst (@southtopia) | Published on February 22, 2014 at 10:40 GMT | News, Regulation, US & Canada

The Chairman of the US Senate’s Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) which investigated digital currencies in November has responded positively to the creation of a new state bankers’ task force to perform its own study into what sort of regulation is necessary.

The new “Emerging Payments Task Force” comes from the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), a national meeting group of regulators from all states “dedicated to advancing the state banking system” in the US at a federal level. It aims to study the impacts and potential consumer protection issues arising from new payment method technologies, including bitcoin, among several others.

HSGAC Chairman Senator Tom Carper (D-Del) issued a press statement earlier approving the move, saying he wanted to ensure governments “are adequately protecting consumers and addressing lawbreakers without hindering innovation”.

“That’s why I am encouraged that the Conference of State Bank Supervisors is paying attention to this evolving technology and looking for ways to better coordinate oversight to protect consumers and local communities.

While there is still more work to be done, this is an important step. I encourage federal and state agencies and local entities, including banks, to further their collaboration so consumers and businesses can understand the rules of the road and be well served by them.”

Digital currency stakeholders

The Task Force will speak to a “broad range of stakeholders” in the virtual currency and payments sphere, including state and federal regulators, people in the industry, and other experts. It too believes there must be enough regulation to protect participants but not at the expense of progress.

“State regulators welcome a robust and focused dialogue about the benefits and risks of innovations to payment systems,” said CSBS Chairman and Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions Commissioner Charles A. Vice. “We seek an environment where technological innovation can be developed, but also regulated in a clear manner.”

The Task Force will include state regulators from nine states, including Superintendent of New York State Department of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky, who oversaw that Department’s recent hearings into digital currencies and who also promotes special ‘BitLicence’ money transmitter regulations specific to such systems.

On its website, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors introduces itself thus:

“Our regulator membership sets us apart from other Washington organizations. Our strength lies in bringing all state banking departments together to present a unified voice in Washington. Through CSBS, state bank regulatory agencies continue to champion a system that offers competitive chartering options and efficient and effective – and local – supervision.”

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February 22, 2014, 02:06:05 PM
 #58

Commentary on a Bitcoin Infographic
by RUBEN ALEXANDER on FEBRUARY 12, 2014



#1 Bitcoins can be destroyed

To my knowledge I didn’t think they could be destroyed. I thought they could be lost forever and effectively made inaccessible by forgetting a password to an encrypted private key or destroying a hard drive. In those instances, the blockchain will always have a record of a lost Bitcoin. They can be moved around, divided, escrowed, but I was pretty sure they could not be destroyed. I spoke to Luke Dashjr, a bitcoin developer and creator of a decentralized mining pool named Eligius, and he brought up an interesting case where Bitcoins can be destroyed:

“They [Bitcoins] can, and have been destroyed completely, though doing so requires the explicit cooperation of a miner. Miners are not required to claim transaction fees (or the block subsidy, for that matter) and failure to claim them results in their complete destruction.”

#2 Edison’s Paper

Here is a link to his paper. It was written out of frustration with the introduction of the dollar system and newly created Federal Reserve system made in the early 1900s. There were other papers by Keynes and Strover that argued for a fiat based bank controlled financial system, but those authors were often labeled “inflationists”.

The system he wrote about was to preserve the well being of farmers and to be based on commodities they handled and could access easily. He writes about an example where the government could issue an interest free mortgage for $750 to farmers for $1,000 worth of wheat. To sell the wheat, the farmer would need to pay the government back the $1,000, but half of the value would be in cash and the other half would be the mortgage certificate allowing the government to sell the wheat at market prices.

#3 Top Holders

I didn’t believe Satoshi had 1.15 million Bitcoin, so I decided to follow the Genesis Block and see if I could verify this amount. The address associated with the first block reward was 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa, which shows a total balance of close to 65 Bitcoins. I immediately wanted to make sure these numbers were in Bitcoin, so I went back and reviewed the claim that the Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT) had 53,000 Bitcoins. According to the investor presentation at the BIT website, they actually secured 73,359 BTC in the fall of 2013, which were worth 62 million dollars at the time. The figures for the top holders are in Bitcoin, but some numbers may be incorrect.

After a few minutes of link hopping, I arrived at a familiar post by Sergio D Lerner claiming that Satoshi had over 1 million Bitcoins. He has these graphs as proof.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/I2kWPrW9XBysyle2UKwn5d0V2lu9cpDOu5LTMxS5PDDGqTWxfq5qPjf4sk9hp5oxBturRMznqCbwxyGZOYS5AU3LtTpOHMincWkvSJd6z-XMDnCwc3nf6_9m3w
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/IysGWNiYp3m8yM7QvfR2v-gJwhYT9y7HCPqlc84BmLQdcCOipQaX7Q7XNT9y9hUL6yMd2LY9Q3dxyjEl6-Qvf8g1w22fUlOD5gjKzi1hpjderauE6lSZzPU4Mg

Lerner qualified this post and his images with a disclaimer saying, “Disclaimer: I can’t assure with 100% certainty that the all the black dots are owned by Satoshi”, but Sergio has had accurate and insightful articles in the past. He talks about Ethereum a bit in this post.

#4 Is Coinye dead?

I know most people won’t care if this altcoin has a pulse, but I checked and although the pulse is faint, Coinye is still living and breathing. It is being exchanged, it even has a tipping bot on reddit and youtube. And it is most certainly being mined. The Cease and Desist notices have crippled Coinye, but, if you will, it still is alive.

I am very interested in Coinye, because it is the first time a Cryptocurrency has been directly attacked. Other altcoins have been very inexpensive lessons for Bitcoin, like Terracoin’s 51% attack and Florincoin’s introduction of transaction messages.

Luke found a few more errors in the infographic that I’ll include here.

#5 Bitcoin transactions are instant;

Only confirmation takes an hour on average (contrasted with 6+ months for CC payments and a day for most wire transfers).

#6 Do countries really require disclosing private keys?Huh

This still remains to be seen, but I have seen any information to confirm any country requires a cryptocurrency user to disclose their private keys. Even the FBI, after the Silk Road raid, hasn’t touched DPR’s stash of Bitcoins.

#7 Tracking Bitcoins (and heists) is much simpler than tracking any other currency, even if not always “easy”.

As is, the blockchain does make tracking Bitcoins much easier than using cash. Once an association is made between an individual and a public address, then all other transactions can be followed.

#8 Bitcoin is just as susceptible to money laundering etc. as every other currency, no more and no less…

Contrary to the previous point, if someone wanted to move a large amount of money in one country and access it in another, the blockchain is probably the fastest way to do so. There also also developments such as stealth wallets and the Dark Wallet project in the works that would make it even easier for a Bitcoin owner to hide their tracks.

I’ve contacted the author of the infographic and notified them of the items to be corrected.
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February 22, 2014, 02:13:07 PM
 #59

#59 - This might be true , but it is all more or less speculation. Maybe "Sathoshi" sold his coins piece by  piece at exchanges, or maybe some of exchanges are "His" . I think we will never know Sad .

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February 22, 2014, 04:45:06 PM
 #60

#59 - This might be true , but it is all more or less speculation. Maybe "Sathoshi" sold his coins piece by  piece at exchanges, or maybe some of exchanges are "His" . I think we will never know Sad .

Well, we know one person mined a lot of bitcoin, in the beginning... Probably Satoshi


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