Bitcoin transaction fees to be dramatically reduced

Posted on February 28, 2014

All Bitcoin transactions require that each transfer be confirmed by a Bitcoin miner. In order to make it worth the miner’s while to include the transaction in a mining block, miners are rewarded with small amount of Bitcoin called “transaction fees.” These fees are set by the core developers, and as the price of Bitcoin […]

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Vietnam’s central bank issues new Bitcoin warning

Posted on February 28, 2014

Following in the footsteps of Thailand, China and other countries in the region, Vietnam’s central bank issued a new warning on the dangers of Bitcoin today. The statement explained that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are not legal tender in Vietnam, and are not permitted as a form of payment within the country. The statement […]

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Report: Even Mt.Gox’s implosion can’t slow China’s Bitcoin “gold rush”

Posted on February 28, 2014

While Bitcoin prices eroded this week due to the worsening situation at the now-bankrupt Mt.Gox, demand in China appears to be surging. According to a report on the Wall Steet Journal‘s MarketWatch, China is currently experiencing a “gold rush” for Bitcoin. On Friday, while fans in Hong Kong embraced the opening of the first bitcoin […]

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Mt.Gox offically files for bankruptcy, annouces 850,000 BTC loss

Posted on February 28, 2014

Mt.Gox CEO Mark Karpeles ended weeks of speculation today, formally announcing at a press conference in Tokyo that his long-troubled Bitcoin exchange will be filing for bankruptcy protection. The filing claims that Mt.Gox has an outstanding debt of ¥6.5 billion, or roughly $63.6 million. Karpeles also confirmed the loss of roughly 750,000 customer Bitcoins, as […]

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Florida money-laundering case hinges on Bitcoin’s legal status as “money”

Posted on February 27, 2014

Earlier this month, two Florida men were charged with in an alleged Bitcoin-based money-laundering scheme. Today, an attorney for one of the men argued that the Florida law they were being charged under wasn’t applicable, noting that the law only applies to money issued by the U.S. or other countries. As a decentralized, completely virtual […]

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Japan proposes international Bitcoin regulation

Posted on February 27, 2014

Responding to questions about the closure of Tokyo-based Mt.Gox, Japan’s Senior Vice Finance Minister Jiro Aichi told reporters that international collaboration would be necessary to regulate the currency. Aichi added that Bitcoin does not fall under his agency’s jurisdiction, as it does not involve coins or notes issued by the Bank of Japan. Under that […]

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Coinbase crosses 1 million wallet threshold

Posted on February 27, 2014

In less than two years, Coinbase has gone from providing a humble 13,000 Bitcoin wallets to an eye-popping 1 million. The San Francisco-based company officially celebrated their millionth download earlier today. According to the official Coinbase blog, that’s a growth rate of 7,592.31%. Coinbase is actually the second Bitcoin wallet provider to cross the million […]

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Chairwoman Yellen: Federal Reserve has no authority over Bitcoin

Posted on February 27, 2014

“The Fed doesn’t have authority to supervise or regulate Bitcoin in any way,” Federal reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen said today. Speaking to the Senate Banking Committee, Yellen was asked about the virtual currency by Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who called yesterday for a Federal ban on Bitcoin. While she noted at the Fed was “looking […]

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Bitcoin ATM coming to largest mall in North America

Posted on February 27, 2014

The West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, recently unveiled a new Bitcoin ATM. The mall is the largest in North America, and serves as a major tourism destination in Alberta, with 30.8 million shoppers passing through its doors every year. The Robocoin-made ATM is the first in the region, and is owned and operated by […]

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Senator Joe Manchin calls for federal ban on Bitcoin

Posted on February 26, 2014

Is Bitcoin “disruptive” enough to the U.S. economy to merit a federal-level ban? According to U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), it is. In a strongly worded letter to the Treasury, Federal Reserve and other related financial agencies, Manchin called for the outright prohibition of “this dangerous currency” before it can harm American consumers. Manchin’s letter […]

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Mt.Gox subpoenaed by US Attorney’s office, may be under investigation in Japan

Posted on February 26, 2014

The worsening situation at Mt.Gox has caught the attention of the US Attorney’s office in New York. According to a story published in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, the federal prosecutors sent a subpoena to Mt.Gox asking the exchange to “preserve certain documents among other things.” While the US Attorney’s office has declined to comment […]

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Kraken puts hold on USD transactions

Posted on February 26, 2014

Cryptocoin exchange Kraken announced today that it was putting a temporary halt on transactions in the U.S. dollar, and offering a 2% bonus to users who switch their existing balances to euros. Speaking with CoinDesk, a Kraken customer support representative explained the decision as the result of slow and delayed USD withdrawals. According to Kraken’s […]

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New statement Mt.Gox CEO Karpeles sheds no light on developments

Posted on February 26, 2014

There has been very little information to come from Mt.Gox in recent weeks, and what details have emerged from the troubled exchange have generally come in the form of leaks or unconfirmed reports. While there have been occasional, fragmentary reports from Mt.Gox CEO Mark Karpeles, they’ve offered little insight into the situation at Mt.Gox. Today’s […]

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Central Bank of Cyprus: “Bitcoin is not illegal”

Posted on February 26, 2014

Speaking with the Cyprus Mail, a representative of the Central Bank of Cyprus confirmed that Bitcoin is perfectly legal in the country. “Bitcoin is not illegal, but at the same time neither is it subject to control or regulation,” said an unnamed spokesperson for the central bank. The timing of the confirmation is key, as […]

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Falcon Global Capital bids on seized Silk Road Bitcoins

Posted on February 25, 2014

When the FBI took down the original Silk Road operation last October, it also seized 29,655 Bitcoin from the site. At peak prices, the seized coins were worth $35.5 million, but thanks to the volatility of the current market, they’re currently worth less than half that amount. Last month, the US Attorney’s Office of the […]

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BTC.sx suspends suspends trading following Mt.Gox shutdown

Posted on February 25, 2014

Bitcoin margin-trading platform BTC.sx announced today that it was suspending all services “until further notice” following the apparent shutdown of trading partner Mt.Gox. The UK and Singapore-based company made the announcement to customers via email. The email claims that all BTC.sx customer funds are secure, and that the company will honor all withdrawal requests and […]

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SecondMarket to open dedicated Bitcoin exchange

Posted on February 25, 2014

Online illiquid asset marketplace SecondMarket recently announced plans to launch a dedicated Bitcoin exchange. The New York-based company has long traded in products like private company stocks and auction‐rate securities, but in recent months has been developing a strong virtual currency division. The new exchange would spin out this 11-member team and other assets into […]

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Report: Pony botnet virus lifts $220,000 from digital wallets

Posted on February 25, 2014

IT security company Trustwave claims that at least $220,000 in Bitcoin and other virtual currencies has been stolen from digital wallets through the Pony botnet. In a blog posted yesterday, the Chicago-based security services provider claims the Trojan virus-based attacks can steal funds from over 30 types of wallets. According to our data, the cyber […]

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Mt.Gox offline, rumored to have lost 744,400 BTC

Posted on February 25, 2014

Last night, Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox went offline, feeding rumors that the troubled company was planning to announce bankruptcy. Shortly after the site went down, a document titled “Crisis Strategy Draft” surfaced on Bitcoin forums, seemingly originating from Mt.Gox. The document claims that 744,400 BTC (roughly $350 million) were stolen from the site by hackers […]

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Report: 100 Bitcoin ATMs coming to Spain over next three months

Posted on February 24, 2014

According to a report published on Cryptocoins News, Spain will go from having one lone Bitcoin ATM in a Barcelona mall to having over 100 throughout the country. The ambitious plan is collaboration between ATM manufacturer PayMaQ and distributor Bbank, who aim to take advantage of Spain’s current lack of Bitcoin regulation. Under Spain’s current […]

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Australian government watching all Bitcoin-to-AUD conversions

Posted on February 24, 2014

In a report published earlier today on ZDNet, a representative from the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) confirmed that the Australian government are tracking every visible conversion of Bitcoin into and out of Australian dollars (AUD). The anti-money laundering agency’s CEO, John Schmidt, made the statement while giving a statement before Australia’s Senate […]

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J.P. Morgan report examines Mt.Gox woes

Posted on February 24, 2014

In a report released today, investment banking giant J.P. Morgan examined the recent “saga” of troubled Bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox. Authored by Morgan’s head of foreign exchange strategy, John Normand, the one-page report is a follow-up to their more general profile on Bitcoin released earlier this month. The contents of the report itself seem to be […]

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“Bitcoin Bank” Neo opens in Cyprus

Posted on February 24, 2014

Earlier today, the offices of “bank like” Bitcoin service provider Neo opened in Cyprus. The company provides many of the financial services of a bank, such as savings and business accounts, as well as providing access to funds through a debit card-like system powered by their sister company, Bee. The launch is already being hailed […]

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Mt.Gox CEO Karpeles resigns from Bitcoin Foundation, wipes Twitter feed

Posted on February 24, 2014

Mt.Gox CEO Mark Karpeles quietly resigned from the Bitcoin Foundation yesterday. The resignation, which was effective immediately, was confirmed today by Bitcoin Foundation spokesman Jinyoung Lee Englund, speaking with the Reuters news agency. Immediately following the resignation, Mt.Gox also deleted the entire contents of it Twitter feed. There has been no comment from Mt.Gox about […]

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Report: Goldman Sachs weighs in on Bitcoin

Posted on February 23, 2014

Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs has made an initial assessment of Bitcoin, deeming it “a bit dangerous” as a commercial offering. In a report leaked to TechCrunch, the bank claims that “it has become hard to separate the effect of hype surrounding the currency from its fundamentals.” The Goldman report cites the lack of a […]

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Jordan’s central bank blocks financial companies from using Bitcoin

Posted on February 23, 2014

The Central Bank of Jordan initiated a new policy this week blocking financial companies from using Bitcoin. The bank’s Executive Director, Maha Bahu, informed The Jordan Times yesterday that the CBJ had released new rules to all banks in the Kingdom prohibiting them from dealing in all virtual currencies, and in Bitcoin in particular. The […]

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Senate Chairman gives nod to Bitcoin regulation task force

Posted on February 22, 2014

In what is likely to be seen as a step towards increased U.S. regulation of virtual currencies, the Chairman of the US Senate’s Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), Senator Tom Carper (D-Del), endorsed the creation of task force on the topic by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. The “Emerging Payments Task Force” […]

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Tokyo police shut down Mt.Gox protest

Posted on February 22, 2014

Yesterday, police broke up the small, loosely organized protest outside Mt.Gox’s offices in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. Police told the protestors that the demonstration was illegal, and warned them not to return without a “demonstration license.” According to protest organizers, the police were called by other tenants of the building who had grown tired of the […]

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Overstock CEO: Bitcoin Isn’t Just A Publicity Stunt

Posted on February 21, 2014

Overstock.com’s CEO Patrick Byrne was profiled on Forbes today, speaking at length about his views on the future of Bitcoin. One of the most interesting revelations is that Byrne personally cashed out “several million dollars worth” of gold to convert to Bitcoin. This appears to directly contradict speculation that Overstock and other companies were adopting […]

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BitPay’s new payment protocol may make Bitcoin shopping easier

Posted on February 21, 2014

Bitcoin payment service provider BitPay just unveiled a powerful new tool for simplifying merchant transactions. The Bitcoin Payment Protocol enables users to simply “click on a payment link, or scan a QR code, and the wallet software offers two simple choices to the user, pay or don’t pay.” Current Bitcoin payment systems generally require users […]

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Bank of Thailand: Bitcoin may or may not be illegal

Posted on February 21, 2014

Last week, the Bank of Thailand issued a statement reversing its previous stance that trading in Bitcoin violated national law. This announcement prompted Thailand’s only Bitcoin exchange, Bitcoin Co Ltd, to resume trading in baht, the national currency. Yesterday, Thailand’s central bank issued a new statement that effectively reverses their last stance, once again calling […]

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As Mt.Gox drops below $100, the speculators circle overhead

Posted on February 21, 2014

The situation on the troubled Mt.Gox keeps getting worse. Early Friday morning, the price of Bitcoin dropped to $91.50 on the Tokyo-based exchange, well below the $550 average seen across other major exchanges. Although prices on Mt.Gox have been declining steeply since the exchange locked down user transactions earlier this month, falling below the $100 […]

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Winkdex: Winklevoss Twins debut new Bitcoin price index

Posted on February 20, 2014

The Winklevoss twins may well be the best-known faces of Bitcoin investment, and they’re hoping to leverage that small amount of fame with the launch of their new blended price index, the Winkdex. The “Winklevii” plan to use their new index to price assets in their upcoming Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust. Winkdex.com is powered by Math-based […]

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NY financial regulator Ben Lawsky talks Bitcoin on Reddit

Posted on February 20, 2014

Earlier today, New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) superintendent Ben Lawsky participated in a Bitcoin-themed Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit, offering a window into the state’s plans for future regulation of the cryptocurrency. Lawsky made headlines last week after sketching out a regulatory framework that would include a “BitLicense” for those doing business […]

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Central Bank of Brazil releases warning on virtual currencies

Posted on February 20, 2014

The Banco Central do Brasil issued a warning today about virtual currencies. The Brazilian central bank joins a chorus of skeptical voices in the banking industry, including Canada, Israel, India and China. The Brazilian bank’s statement outlines concerns familiar to anyone following cryptocurrencies, namely the lack of regulation, high price volatility and concerns about the […]

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Second U.S. Bitcoin ATM launches in Boston

Posted on February 20, 2014

Welcome to the start of the U.S. Bitcoin ATM boom. Following shortly after yesterday’s launch of the first such ATM in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bitcoin startup Liberty Teller powered up their Lamassu machine in Boston’s South Station. The busy subway station is Boston’s largest, and sees an estimated 25 million travelers a year pass through […]

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Mt.Gox plummets to $130

Posted on February 20, 2014

For the first time since last October, Bitcoin prices on Mt.Gox fell to $130 today. By comparison, prices on the other major exchanges have dipped only to around $570. The Mt.Gox price divergence has grown increasingly wide in the last week following the lockdown of withdrawals from the troubled Tokyo-based exchange, as well as growing […]

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Is PayPal building a Bitcoin-friendly wallet?

Posted on February 19, 2014

Speaking with Bloomberg TV yesterday, eBay CEO John Donahoe dropped interesting tidbit of information about PayPal’s plans for integrating digital currencies. Responding to a question from Street Smart‘s Matt Miller about looming competition from Bitcoin, Donahoe said: You can use digital currencies in the PayPal digital wallet, that’s in fact what PayPal is doing … […]

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Bank of Montreal closes Cointrader’s accounts

Posted on February 19, 2014

On Monday, Vancouver-based Bitcoin exchange Cointrader announced in a blog post that their corporate and customer account have been closed by the Bank of Montreal. The decision by Canada’s forth-largest bank follows recent negative comments about cryptocurrencies from Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. Flaherty’s comments noted that Bitcoin and related currencies represented a “threat” to […]

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Blockchain CEO donates $10,000 in Bitcoin to University of Puget Sound

Posted on February 19, 2014

In 2007, Nic Cary graduated from at Washington State’s University of Puget Sound with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Business Leadership Program. In the seven years since his graduation, Cary has done alright for himself thanks to savvy investments in Bitcoin. Now the CEO of Blockchain.info, Cary decided to make a fitting donation […]

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New warning on cryptocurrencies from Israeli regulators

Posted on February 19, 2014

Israel’s two major state financial regulators issued a joint statement today warning urging caution on “decentralized ‘virtual currencies’ (such as Bitcoin).” The statement from the Israeli Ministry of Finance and Bank of Israel (BoI) doesn’t introduce new regulation in the country, but it does serve as an indicator of current government thinking about Bitcoin and […]

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First U.S. Bitcoin ATM launches in Albuquerque

Posted on February 19, 2014

The race to bring the first Bitcoin ATM to the U.S. is over. Earlier today, Enchanted Bitcoin activated their Lammasu-made Bitcoin ATM at the Imbibe cigar bar in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The news comes on the heels of yesterday’s announcement of Austin and Seattle-bound machines by rival Bitcoin ATM manufacturer Robocoin. According to a report […]

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PassportParking brings Bitcoin to parking meters

Posted on February 18, 2014

North Carolina-based company PassportParking recently announced plans to include Bitcoin as a method of payment for their parking-payment apps. The company, which currently operates in 35 states, has partnered with BitPay to test their new payment model. Customers currently use the PassportParking app, available on both iOS and Android, to pay for metered parking spots […]

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CNN Money: A $50,000 Bitcoin?

Posted on February 18, 2014

Could Bitcoin actually be worth around $50,000? A story on CNN Money by Fortune‘s David Z. Morris suggests that this might not be too far off. Speaking with Susan Athey, professor of economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Morris notes that Bitcoin is only a few steps away from having that valuation. Morris […]

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Low-Cost Bitcoin ATMs on the way

Posted on February 18, 2014

Yesterday, Helsinki-based Bitcoin marketplace LocalBitcoins.com announced the development of their first Bitcoin ATM. The machine is set to retail for around $2,750 (€1,990), making this the least expensive such device yet announced. The ATM allows both buying and selling of Bitcoin of fiat currency from any LocalBitcoin-held wallet, and is capable of at least some […]

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Seattle and Austin to get first U.S. Bitcoin ATMs

Posted on February 18, 2014

With new Bitcoin ATMs being announced on an almost daily basis for cities like London, Vancouver and Singapore, it was only a matter of time before the U.S. got in on the action. If Robocoin has its way, Seattle and Austin will be the first cities in the U.S. to have access to this still-experimental […]

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Report: Bitcoin price plunge could have been much worse

Posted on February 18, 2014

How bad have the recent Bitcoin price drops been for the overall market? Not as bad as they would have been six months ago, according to a report from investment firm Wedbush Securities. The 16-page report, titled ‘Bitcoin: Watch the Innovation, Not the Price,’ claims that the Bitcoin market has actually shown a surprising resilience […]

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More Bitcoin ATMs coming to London, Singapore

Posted on February 17, 2014

Residents in London and Singapore can expect to see new Bitcoin ATMs in city cafes next month thanks to Vancouver-based “Bitcoin Store” Bitcoiniacs. The company is planning on globally expanding the model already in use at the their Waves Coffee House location, combining a small brokerage office next to a Bitcoin ATM. According to an […]

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Coinplug releases new apps for South Korean market

Posted on February 17, 2014

South Korean Bitcoin exchange Coinplug has released three new Android apps to help spur adoption of the cryptocurrency in the country. Coinplug’s trio are familiar tools for the Bitcoin faithful: a wallet, a trading app and a self-contained point of sale (POS) system for merchants. These appear to be the first Bitcoin apps created specifically […]

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Thailand’s central bank approves Bitcoin exchange

Posted on February 17, 2014

In August of 2013, the Bank of Thailand released a strongly worded letter explaining that Bitcoin was an “illegal” form of currency in the country. Even though Thailand’s central bank lacked the authority to actually make trading in Bitcoin a crime, the disapproval was strong enough that public trading in Bitcoin was effectively halted in […]

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Swedish Bitcoin exchange Safello gets $600K investment

Posted on February 17, 2014

Although Swedish Bitcoin exchange Safello is relatively new to the European market, it appears to have gained the attention of some major investors. Notable Bitcoin venture capitalists Erik Voorhees, Roger Ver and Blockchain.info CEO Nicolas Cary recently signed deals to provide some $600,000 to the company, which has only been active since August of 2013. […]

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Mt.Gox claims withdrawals to resume soon

Posted on February 17, 2014

In a statement released earlier today, Mt.Gox announced plans unfreeze customer accounts “soon.” The announcement follows a terrible week for Mt.Gox, as Bitcoin prices on the troubled exchange tumbled to $220 over the weekend, over $400 lower than the values on the other major exchanges. On Saturday, Mt.Gox froze internal trading on the site while […]

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Suspicious SPAM: The 1 Satoshi Mystery

Posted on February 16, 2014

While the transaction malleability bug, DDoS attacks and massive problems at Mt.Gox have snagged many headlines this week, another mystery has been on the minds of Bitcoin experts: What’s with the flood of 1 Satoshi (0.00000001BTC) transactions being sent to random wallets? Bryan Chaffin at The Mac Observer takes a look at the situation, and […]

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Plummet: Mt.Gox Bitcoin value drops below $250, may be hacked

Posted on February 16, 2014

Bitcoin values at troubled Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange plunged below $250 today, well under the $620 average seen on most other exchanges this morning. Given the rough week that Mt.Gox has had, the exact cause behind the latest price drop is difficult to pinpoint. One strong candidate, however, is the growing rumor that Mt.Gox itself was […]

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Feds lose $31 million from seized Silk Road Bitcoins

Posted on February 15, 2014

In October of last year, the FBI seized 144,336 Bitcoin from accounts belonging to the Silk Road black market site. By the start of 2014, those coins were valued at around $114 million. Unfortunately, Bitcoin’s value has taken quite a hit in recent months, resulting in a net loss to the Federal government of nearly […]

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