Report: Silk Road bust resulted in boom for “dark net” markets

Posted on April 30, 2014

According to a new report titled “Busted, Not Broken” from the Digital Citizens Alliance, last year’s bust of the Silk Road online black market by federal authorities had the opposite of the intended effect. Time reports that instead of shutting down the “dark net” trade network after the arrest of Ross “Dread Pirate Roberts” Ulbricht, […]

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FinCEN: Bitcoin escrow services and cloud-based miners are not money transmitters

Posted on April 30, 2014

In a letter released yesterday, the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) further clarified rules for bitcoin escrow services and cloud-based mining operations. The letter (PDF) issues a new ruling that neither form of business fits the requirements of a money transmitter service as detailed in the Bank Secrecy Act, and as such would not […]

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Top Washington lobbying firm adds bitcoin to list of issues

Posted on April 30, 2014

D.C.-based lobbying firm Peck Madigan Jones is no stranger to influencing how lawmakers view the world of finance. With a client list that includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Insurance Association, Wells Fargo Securities and MasterCard, the bipartisan firm makes no secret of its ability to sway the thinking, and the voting, of […]

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Bloomberg adds bitcoin price ticker

Posted on April 30, 2014

Bitcoin’s steady march towards Wall Street passed another milestone today, as Bloomberg added a price ticker the virtual currency to its Bloomberg Professional service. The subscription-based service reaches more than 320,000 investors and financial professionals across the globe, adding an additional level of legitimacy for a currency widely considered to be “hacker money” only a […]

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Feds sell $3 million of seized Silk Road bitcoins

Posted on April 29, 2014

In August of last year, Netherlands-based drug trafficker Cornelis Jan Slomp was arrested at Miami International Airport in a sting operation targeting users of the now-defunct Silk Road online black market site. Slomp recently plead guilty to illegally importing and distributing a massive amount of drugs from March 2012 to August 2013, including 104KG of […]

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Report: MIT students raise $500k in bitcoin to distribute to student body

Posted on April 29, 2014

When the fall semester classes start at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) later this year, the student body will be completely composed of bitcoin users. Two MIT students, Dan Elitzer and Jeremy Rubin, have raised around $500,000 in bitcoin for a project designed to create the first campus-wide bitcoin ecosystem at a major American […]

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Mexico’s Fundación Satoshi Nakamoto joins Bitcoin Foundation

Posted on April 29, 2014

Latin America has a long history of economic instability, forcing many countries in the region to be almost entirely dependent on the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency. Latin America is also a huge piece of the U.S. remittance market, with the 17 North and South American nations in that group accounting for $41 billion […]

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Yelp unveils support for bitcoin-accepting businesses

Posted on April 29, 2014

After a business decides to test the waters of bitcoin payments, it still faces a significant challenge: Letting people know about it. While it is true that many businesses experience a bump in publicity and interest shortly after accepting bitcoin, apart from window decals and stickers near a cash register, there are few ways to […]

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Report: Economists consider the merits of “banning” the banks

Posted on April 28, 2014

There is little serious debate that the modern banking industry bears little resemblance to its historical origins. Although the popular conception of banks is that they hold customer funds and issue loans from those deposits, the reality is that modern banks are in a very different business. Today’s banks are mostly in the business of […]

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Report: Is the People’s Bank of China too big to correctly handle bitcoin?

Posted on April 28, 2014

Is the People’s Bank of China too big to create appropriate bitcoin regulation? According to a guest post on BitcoinBlog.de, that may be the case. Chinese IT entrepreneur Zhang Weiwu has a decade-long history of working with authorities in the country, and believes that bitcoin’s recent woes with the Chinese central bank is less a […]

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Canada to rule on a “case-by-case basis” for bitcoin taxes

Posted on April 28, 2014

Following their southern neighbor’s lead, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently issued new guidance on how virtual currencies will be taxed in the country. The document cites related Supreme Court of Canada rulings relating to the Income Tax Act, and indicates specific tax precedents for both personal and business activities, further reinforcing bitcoin’s unique status. […]

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Nevada and Maryland authorities issue new bitcoin advisories

Posted on April 28, 2014

Authorities in Nevada and Maryland have issued new warnings and advisories on bitcoin, indicating a growing state-level awareness of virtual currencies. The Financial Institutions Division of the Nevada Department of Business and Industry released a “consumer and investor guidance” statement on virtual currencies, while Maryland’s Department of Labour, Licensing and Regulation published an advisory titled […]

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Report: Bitcoin alcohol sales “effectively banned” in Ohio

Posted on April 27, 2014

According to a story published last week in the Cleveland, Ohio, paper The Plain Dealer, merchants in the proposed “Bitcoin Boulevard” in the Cleveland Heights neighborhood will not be able to accept virtual currency for alcohol. According to the story, state officials claim that bitcoin’s status as a commodity, rather than a currency, are to […]

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French officials confirm bitcoin is taxable

Posted on April 27, 2014

Although bitcoin currently has no legal status in France, the French Ministry of Economy and Finance has confirmed that any revenue from digital currency in the county is subject to taxation. Speaking with French news outlet Le Monde, a representative from the Ministry explained that there was no obligation to declare bitcoin earnings specifically, and […]

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BTC China suspends yuan deposits

Posted on April 27, 2014

Following a post on the China Merchants Bank website late last week, Chinese bitcoin exchange BTC China announced that they are halting all deposits in yuan. In a post on BTC China’s Weibo social networking account, the exchange claimed the move was made “out of consideration for user security and stabilization operations.” It’s not clear […]

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Report: Bitcoin adoption growing in Africa

Posted on April 25, 2014

According to a USA Today report, Africa might become the next hotbed of bitcoin activity. With a hugely unfavorable remittance market on the continent, and fees that commonly rise as high as 12%, Africa is primed for massive changes in how international money transfers are handled. It’d be a huge loss for Western Union if […]

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Vault of Satoshi re-enters U.S. bitcoin market

Posted on April 25, 2014

In early March, Canadian virtual currency exchange Vault of Satoshi pulled out of U.S.-based transactions citing the “increasingly hostile” regulatory environment. In the last few months, VoS has focused on building up its Canadian and international presence, and gaining some official banking status after being granted a Money Services Business License last month. Yesterday, the […]

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Mining malware found in Google Play apps

Posted on April 25, 2014

At least five apps with bitcoin-mining malware were discovered in the Google Play store yesterday. San Francisco-based mobile security company Lookout announced that the “BadLepricon” mining malware was found hidden inside free live wallpaper apps. Google removed the apps shortly after the announcement. In a blog post about their discovery, Lookout explains how the malware […]

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Bitcoin price dives $50 on new China rumor

Posted on April 25, 2014

Bitcoin prices fell by roughly $50 late last night following a story on China’s Caixin news service that the People’s Bank of China had privately warned banks and payment companies to close the accounts of bitcoin-related businesses. According to a translation posted to Reddit, PBoC officials met with representatives from several large banks, Tenpay, PayPal […]

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Mt.Gox posts update to bankruptcy proceedings

Posted on April 24, 2014

The Mt.Gox bankruptcy moved another step closer to resolution today, with the official appointment of attorney Nobuaki Kobayashi as trustee for the failed exchange. Mt.Gox changed its filing in a Tokyo court earlier this month, dropping plans for a proposed rehabilitation due to an “extremely large” number of creditors and a massive logistical challenge getting […]

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Many clues to bitcoin’s future in CoinDesk’s State of Bitcoin

Posted on April 24, 2014

Every quarter, CoinDesk releases a “State of Bitcoin” report highlighting trends in the bitcoin industry. While much of the individual charts and details are common knowledge to anyone who follows virtual currencies, it’s extremely useful to see the entire quarter’s trends in a single, well-sourced document. There’s no getting around the fact that Q1 2014 […]

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Bitcoin-championing retailer Overstock reports 9% revenue boost in Q1

Posted on April 24, 2014

Although bitcoin is unlikely to have played a major role in Overstock.com’s significant first-quarter earnings uptick, it’s good to know that one of the rare major online retailers to advocate for virtual currencies seems to be doing just fine. Overstock’s quarterly report was published today, showing a strong 9% growth in both revenue and gross […]

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Xapo unveils new, potentially game-changing bitcoin-based debit card

Posted on April 24, 2014

One of the biggest frustrations for bitcoin users is the lack of cryptocurrency-accepting merchants. Even if you have a fortune in bitcoin, actually using it in everyday life ranges from being a huge hassle to completely impossible. Bridging the gap between the existing world of bank and credit-card based currency and bitcoin is the billion-dollar […]

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Report: More than 50% of Silk Road 2.0 hacking victims repaid in full

Posted on April 23, 2014

In mid-February, Silk Road 2.0 announced that it had lost nearly 4,500 BTC (around $2.6 million) to a transaction malleability attack. As the unofficial successor to the original Silk Road marketplace, which was busted by federal authorities in October of 2013, Silk Road 2.0 was already suffering from serious credibility issues. Not surprisingly, many assumed […]

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New details revealed about “BitSat” orbiting bitcoin nodes

Posted on April 23, 2014

In early April, bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik dropped a few hints that major updates were in the works for the proposed “BitSat” program. The system would put at least one bitcoin node in orbit around the Earth, creating a one-to-many connection for blockchain updates that would be immune to a range of terrestrial peer-to-peer attacks […]

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Dorian Nakamoto thanks the bitcoin community for donations

Posted on April 23, 2014

In the weeks since a Newsweek cover story by Leah McGrath Goodman claimed that bitcoin’s mysterious creator was 64-year-old computer engineer Dorian Nakamoto, the general consensus is that the once-venerable magazine got it wrong. Instead of unmasking Satoshi Nakamoto, it appears that Newsweek harassed a financially struggling man with severe health issues, making his life […]

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National Stock Exchange announces partnership with bitcoin trading platform Atlas ATS

Posted on April 23, 2014

Bitcoin’s steady march towards Wall Street crossed another milestone today as bitcoin trading platform Atlas ATS announced a deal with the National Stock Exchange (NSX). Although the New Jersey-based NSX is one of the smaller national stock exchanges, averaging less than 1% of the U.S. stock-trading volume, it has the significant advantage of being a […]

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Will bitcoin donations become a factor in the next election cycle?

Posted on April 22, 2014

The Federal Election Commission has carefully avoided making a definitive statement on the legality of bitcoin donations to political candidates. Late last year, the FEC went so far as to say that it would be investigating bitcoin donations before the next mid-term elections, but offered no insight about how current donations should be handled. With […]

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Danish political party adopts blockchain-based system for internal voting

Posted on April 22, 2014

Denmark’s Liberal Alliance may not be a dominant force in Danish politics, but it is miles ahead of the rest of the political world when it comes to technological innovation. In the tiny town of Hvidovre, the local division of the party will be using a new internal voting system based on bitcoin’s blockchain technology […]

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MEVU debuts proof-of-concept wearable bitcoin wallet

Posted on April 22, 2014

Much like how cryptocurrencies are reshaping the definition of money, wearable technologies are rethinking how the real and digital worlds interact. Startup wearable tech company MEVU recently unveiled a new, proof-of-concept bracelet that tracks wrist movements. It’s first real-world application is to serve as a bitcoin wallet that can approve purchases with little more than […]

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‘La Maison du Bitcoin’ to open in Paris in May

Posted on April 22, 2014

French bitcoin entrepreneurs Thomas France and Eric Larchevêque recently announced the launch of La Maison du Bitcoin (‘The House of Bitcoin’), a cryptocurrency technology and culture hub located in the heart of Paris. Slated to open on May 13, the center will include a meeting, workshop and co-working space for bitcoin startups, as well housing […]

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Vault of Satoshi goes beyond audit, announces full proof-of-solvency

Posted on April 21, 2014

In only a few short months of operation, Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Vault of Satoshi has built a reputation for professionalism in an industry still seen by many as the “Wild West” of finance. Last month, the exchange received a full money transmitter license, giving it equal status under Canadian law to a standard international currency […]

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After Heartbleed bug, OpenSSL project now accepts bitcoin donations

Posted on April 21, 2014

Earlier this month, the Heartbleed bug sent a chill of terror across the entire internet. As IT managers across the globe raced to update their servers with the patched version of OpenSSL to keep passwords and user data safe, the terror in the bitcoin world was particularly intense as billions of dollars in bitcoins were […]

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Report: Mt.Gox CEO Karpeles had sole control over exchange’s code and accounts

Posted on April 21, 2014

kkIn an article filed on Reuters today, reporter Sophie Knight paints a complex portrait of Mt.Gox CEO Mark Karpeles. Far from a criminal mastermind or con man, Karpeles is depicted as man who is “shy and fearful of confrontation” whose “escapism into virtual worlds was accompanied by what some former associates describe as a lack […]

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Is the Silicon Valley Bitcoin Job Fair a sign of things to come?

Posted on April 19, 2014

On Saturday, May 3, the Plug and Play Technology Center in Sunnyvale, CA, will be swarmed with tech talent looking to break into the bitcoin world. The Bitcoin Job Fair will feature booths from big-name bitcoin businesses like BitPay, Circle, Kraken, Xapo and Counterparty, all flush with venture capital cash and looking to expand their […]

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Former Deputy Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau endorses bitcoin

Posted on April 18, 2014

During a segment on Bloomberg TV’s “Street Smart,” Raj Date, former Deputy Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, gave a clear nod to digital currencies like bitcoin. Date noted that the creation of a faster, more secure financial network is a huge boon for consumers. The thing I like about innovation in consumer finance, […]

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Ron Paul says there should be “no restrictions” or taxes on bitcoin

Posted on April 18, 2014

There are few figures in recent American politics as controversial as former U.S. Congressman Ron Paul. The noted libertarian-leaning Republican from Texas has long been an opponent of the Federal Reserve banking system, and has advocated for more “private money” in the world economy. Although not a supporter of bitcoin per se, Paul has regularly […]

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Malware causes wallet woes for LocalBitcoins

Posted on April 18, 2014

Person-to-person bitcoin-exchange and escrow service LocalBitcoins has had a rough couple of days. On Wednesday, reports began to surface on IRC and the site’s forums that user wallets had been compromised. Standard protections, such as long passwords and two-factor authentication, seemed to have no effect on the hacks. Posts on the LocalBitcoins blog confirm that […]

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Neo & Bee staff tell their side of the story

Posted on April 18, 2014

The story of would-be “bitcoin bank” is sure to become the stuff of cryptocurrency legend. From the high-profile launch of the company in Nicosia, Cyprus, to the dramatic collapse of the company only a month later, at every turn the Neo tale has been filled with drama, mystery and intrigue. Was founder and CEO Danny […]

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OKCoin and CHBTC report some bank accounts closed

Posted on April 17, 2014

China’s rumored April 15th “bitcoin ban” may not have materialized, but that doesn’t mean things have stabilized for the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges. Earlier today, major Chinese exchanges OKCoin reported that its accounts at the China Construction Bank had been closed, while the owner of smaller exchange CHBTC had his personal account (which had been serving […]

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Report: Africans “hurt” by high remittance fees

Posted on April 17, 2014

If there is a single real-world problem that bitcoin could solve, it’s the overwhelming cost of sending money internationally. According to investors like Barry Silbert, it may be bitcoin’s role as an alternative remittance provider that catapult the cryptocurrency into the mainstream. At the moment, remittance fees average between 7 to 9%, creating a real […]

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Report: $100 daily investment in bitcoin over the past year would yield 183% return

Posted on April 17, 2014

Reddit user “jratcliff63367” recently posed an interesting question: What if you had invested $36,600 in bitcoin over the last year at a rate of $100 per day? What would the result of this dollar-cost-averaging approach? His answer was a total of 203 BTC bought over the year, with a profit of $67,119. That’s a whopping […]

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U.K.-based technology reseller CeX to offer bitcoin for used goods

Posted on April 17, 2014

Online marketplace CeX is something of a clearinghouse for used technology and entertainment products. If you live in the U.K. and have a used smartphone, a bunch of dust-gathering DVDs or an old DSLR camera, CeX lets you trade it in for cash. Starting this week, you can also swap out your used possessions for […]

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Blockchain announces open nominations for the Blockchain Awards

Posted on April 16, 2014

The Bitcoin Foundation and Blockchain.info are partnering to launch the Blockchain Awards to “celebrate innovation and excellence in the Bitcoin community.” The initial round of awards will go to people and projects in ten categories, with nominations being open to the public. The current list of awards are: Most Impactful Charity Most Creative Video Most […]

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Report: Colorado marijuana vending machines will accept bitcoin

Posted on April 16, 2014

In recent article in Denver Post-owned marijuana-industry publication The Cannabist, the first batch of soon-to-launch pot vending machines will be built to be bitcoin friendly. The machines are being marketed under the brand name ZaZZZ, and are intended as an ancillary service for use in marijuana dispensaries. The machines aren’t quite as simple to use […]

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Forensic linguists claim Nick Szabo is the real Satoshi Nakamoto

Posted on April 16, 2014

Student researchers at the U.K.’s Aston University Centre for Forensic Linguistics have released a new analysis of the bitcoin whitepaper written by the seemingly pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. Their conclusion? Bitcoin’s “probable creator” law and technology blogger Nick Szabo. The study compared the writing styles and language use of more than a dozen potential authors, including […]

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Mt.Gox files for liquidation

Posted on April 16, 2014

After nearly two months under bankruptcy protection, defunct bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox has officially ended all plans to rebuild. Earlier today, Mt.Gox’s attorney’s asked a Tokyo court to allow the company to begin the liquidation process. The move comes as a blow to the exchanges former customers, many of whom hoped a buyer for the company […]

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Bitcoin bummer: WalMart drops Gyft

Posted on April 15, 2014

Only last month, bitcoin-friendly mobile gift-card app Gyft announced a major coup: Retail giant WalMart had joined their program. In a matter of seconds, users could convert their bitcoin stockpiles into real-world goods, completely sidestepping the need to convert funds to local currency. Not surprisingly, the move was hailed as a milestone in bitcoin history. […]

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Charlie Shrem formally indicted on money laundering charges

Posted on April 15, 2014

Earlier this month it was reported that BitInstant co-founder was in plea deal talks with Federal authorities following his arrest in connection the now-shuttered Silk Road marketplace. Those talks appear to have broken down, and Shrem, 24, has been formally charged with multiple money laundering crimes. Shrem’s arraignment is scheduled for April 29. If convicted, […]

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Game on! “Take My Bitcoins!” brings bitcoin to the game show universe

Posted on April 15, 2014

One of the best things about innovation is that you get to make up your own rules. In Mike Rotman’s case, creating a streaming, bitcoin-themed game show meant that he didn’t have to worry about pitching his idea to a network. Instead of running the gauntlet of TV industry gatekeepers, Rotman and his team simply […]

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Bitcoin breaks $500 after rumored China deadline passes

Posted on April 15, 2014

According to the rumor posted last month by China’s Caixin financial news service, April 15 would be a day of reckoning for bitcoin exchanges across the country. Accounts would be closed, and remaining funds seized. Customers would be unable to deposit new funds to buy bitcoin, and exchanges would be unable to deposit earnings in […]

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Amazon says it has no plans to integrate bitcoin payments

Posted on April 14, 2014

As mid-size online merchants like Overstock and TigerDirect experiment with bitcoin-based payments, digital retail giant Amazon remains unimpressed. Speaking with Re/Code, Amazon payments head Tom Taylor said that the demand for bitcoin doesn’t match the hype. Obviously it gets a lot of press and we have considered it, but we’re not hearing from customers that […]

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Report: Facebook preparing to launch digital currency

Posted on April 14, 2014

The Financial Times reported yesterday that Facebook is quietly building a new electronic mobile money service. The system, which would launch in Ireland and be governed under the European Economic Area (EEA), would allow for “passporting” of user funds and essentially turn Facebook into an online remittance service. If approved, Facebook’s system would allow users […]

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Blockchain.info now hosts 1.5 million wallets

Posted on April 14, 2014

It took Blockchain.info nearly two years to cross the threshold of having 500,000 user wallets. When the web-based wallet provider passed a million wallets in early January, it was seen as a huge milestone for the bitcoin community. Today, Blockchain blew past another marker with barely a mention: 1.5 million user wallets. Even with a […]

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Bitcoin price on the upswing as China feared crackdown fails to materialize

Posted on April 14, 2014

For the past six weeks, fear of a looming crackdown on bitcoin-related banking accounts in China has pushed cryptocurrency prices down across the board. Bitcoin, which was trading in the $630 range even in the immediate aftermath of the Mt.Gox fiasco, plummeted to under $360 last week amid speculation that the People’s Bank of China […]

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