MasterCard patent reveals potential bitcoin incorporation

Posted on June 30, 2014

In a patent filed on June 19, credit card industry giant MasterCard hinted at a potential future adoption of bitcoin as a payment method. The patent, which outlines a “global shopping cart and a method for its use,” isn’t specific to bitcoin, and only mentions the cryptocurrency a handful of times, but it does clearly […]

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Report: Update from U.S. Marshals Service about Silk Road auction bidders

Posted on June 30, 2014

Representatives from the U.S. Marshals Service confirmed new details about the auction to CoinDesk, adding fuel to the fire of speculation about the results. The agency said that a total of 45 registered bidders participated in the auction, and that 63 bids were placed on the nearly 30,000 BTC seized from the Silk Road black […]

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Report: IRS says bitcoin not reportable on FBAR

Posted on June 30, 2014

Each year, investors with over $10,000 in foreign financial assets are required to filed a report with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The report, officially known as FinCEN Form 114: Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, is still widely known in investment and accounting circles by its previous name, Foreign Bank Account Report […]

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Bitcoin market holds breath for news about Silk Road auction

Posted on June 30, 2014

Over the weekend, speculation has been rampant about the results of the U.S. Marshal Service’s auction of nearly 30,000 bitcoin. Theories about the price point of each 3,000 BTC block, the intentions and identities of the bidder and the ultimate impact of the sale have flooded Twitter, Reddit, Bitcoin Talk and other popular bitcoin-discussion havens. […]

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Report: Bitcoin Job Fair sees “overwhelming” turnout

Posted on June 29, 2014

According to a report on CoinDesk, yesterday’s Bitcoin Job Fair in New York City’s Financial District drew a crowd of over 200 would-be bitcoin industry workers. The event was hosted at Bitcoin Center NYC, and was attended by 11 bitcoin-industry companies including Coinbase, BitPay, Coinbase and eGifter. Speaking with CoinDesk, organizer Alex Palantzas said that […]

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California Governor signs law making bitcoin “legal money”

Posted on June 28, 2014

Earlier this week, the California State Assembly sent Assembly Bill 129, which formally recognizes bitcoin and other digital currencies as legal forms of exchange, to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown. Brown signed the bill into law today, making California the first state to give such recognition and legal protection to bitcoin. Although the law […]

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Report: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may become bitcoin watchdog

Posted on June 27, 2014

In May, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) drafted a confidential report about the increasing need for meaningful digital currency policies. The GAO report suggested that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) be tasked with the job. The agency was created in the wake of the 2007 financial crisis, and is already tasked with handling thorny […]

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Prices recover as U.S. Marshals’ Silk Road auction begins

Posted on June 27, 2014

For the last two weeks, the bitcoin community has been abuzz about the auction of nearly 30,000 BTC by the U.S. Marshal Service. The bitcoin, seized last October from the now-defunct Silk Road marketplace, is being offered in 10 blocks. The “Dutch”-style auction is built around sealed-envelope system, removing most of the human drama from […]

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Report: Singapore’s government-owned investment company now “experimenting” with bitcoin

Posted on June 27, 2014

With around $172 billion in its portfolio, Temasek Holdings can afford to play around a little with its investments. Owned by the government of Singapore, the triple-A rated firm has a good track record for picking winners, bringing in a net income of $12.1 billion last year. The company recently opened an office in New […]

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Mt.Gox CEO Mark Karpeles breaks silence on failed exchange

Posted on June 27, 2014

There are few people in the bitcoin community in need of a public-relations makeover more than Mark Karpeles. As the sole person in charge of the code when Mt.Gox lost roughly $500,000,000 in customer deposits, Karpeles has become the target of ridicule, anger, death threats, lawsuits and criminal investigations. While all of that is completely […]

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Forbes: Bitcoin’s “backbone” controlled by “two young Slovenians”

Posted on June 26, 2014

It’s hardly a secret that one of the bitcoin community’s weakest links are its legacy exchanges. Less than six months ago, the failure of the then-biggest and best-known exchange, Mt.Gox, unleashed a tidal wave of negative coverage that still colors the public perception of digital currency. While a new generation of cryptocurrecy exchanges like Vault […]

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SecondMarket CEO says bitcoin approaching an “inflection point”

Posted on June 26, 2014

Speaking on yesterday on Bloomberg TV’s Street Smart, SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert claimed that the bitcoin industry is nearing a positive “inflection point” after downward-trending six months. Silbert was on the show to discuss SecondMarket’s buyers’ syndicate for the U.S. Marshal Service’s auction of nearly 30,000 BTC seized from the Silk Road, but the conversation […]

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CEO says Western Union would use bitcoin if regulated as a “proper currency”

Posted on June 26, 2014

In an interview yesterday with Bloomberg TV’s Street Smart, Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek said his company would be open to implementing some form of bitcoin integration if the cryptocurrency is approved by regulatory authorities. When asked about how seriously Western Union viewed bitcoin as a threat to their business model, Ersek didn’t appear to […]

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BlockScore raises $2 million in VC funding

Posted on June 26, 2014

Identity-verification startup BlockScore announced today that it has raised $2 million in seed-round funding. Originally designed to provide a verification service for bitcoin ATM systems, wallet providers, miners and exchanges, BlockScore is one of the first startups to attempt to make the leap from the cryptocurrency market to the mainstream. The seed round investors include […]

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Popular bitcoin wallet Hive unveils new HTML5 web wallet with litecoin support

Posted on June 25, 2014

Not all that long ago, Hive was seen as little more than a user-friendly wallet program for the Mac OS. Like many things Apple, it was largely unknown beyond a core user base, and rarely mentioned in the list of popular bitcoin wallet clients. That changed in May, however, when Hive opted to switch platforms […]

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Report: Electronic Transactions Association says bitcoin has a “right to exist”

Posted on June 25, 2014

Speaking with the Wall Street Journal‘s MoneyBeat blog, Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) CEO Jason Oxman weighed in on the rapid development of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment platforms. As a trade organization representing payment giants like Mastercard, Paypal, Amazon, Google and AT&T, the ETA’s position on bitcoin carries significant weight. What is that position? […]

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Swiss authorities claim bitcoin is too “insignificant” to regulate

Posted on June 25, 2014

In a new report published by Switzerland’s Federal Council, regulators claim that the “economic importance of virtual currencies as a means of payment is fairly insignificant at the moment.” The report claims that bitcoin and other digital currencies will have a marginal effect on the Swiss economy for the “foreseeable future,” and no influence on […]

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Is NASDAQ creating a bitcoin exchange?

Posted on June 25, 2014

The New York Post reported today that the NASDAQ, one of the largest stock exchanges in the world, is quietly building a bitcoin exchange. With regulators at the New York Department of Financial Services widely expected to publish new rules for bitcoin exchanges by the end of summer, the tech-friendly NASDAQ is in a strong […]

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BitcoinJ developer Mike Hearn claims protocol development in “crisis period”

Posted on June 24, 2014

As the developer of the cross-platform Java library BitcoinJ, Mike Hearn knows a thing or two about the status of the overall bitcoin protocol. Until recently, Hearn was a developer at Google, but he recently decided to take the relatively risky step of moving into bitcoin full time. During an interview with the Epicenter Bitcoin […]

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Relaunched ZipZap brings bitcoin buying to 20,000 retail locations

Posted on June 24, 2014

In March, San Francisco-based bitcoin payment startup ZipZap was forced to halt its ambitious plan to bring retail-level bitcoin-buying to a huge network of brick-and-mortar businesses. As the price of bitcoin became increasingly erratic following the collapse of Mt.Gox and the fear that Chinese authorities were on the verge of banning cryptocurrencies, ZipZap’s payment processing […]

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California on the verge of making bitcoin “lawful money”

Posted on June 24, 2014

Even in a state that is home to many of the best-known bitcoin startups in the world, digital currency still exists in something of a legal gray area. Transactions not backed by the U.S. dollar have a different legal status under California law, are there are a variety of disincentives and penalties for using alternative […]

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Report: “Futile” mining botnets on the rise

Posted on June 24, 2014

In its latest security report, McAfee Labs turned its attention to bitcoin mining malware. While botnets for bitcoin and various alt-coins is on the rise, McAfee’s analysis claimed that even highly powerful networks of zombie machines were ineffective at mining. Even allowing for zero cost for hardware and power, most cryptocurrency algorithms long ago passed […]

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British dependency Jersey wants to become a “Bitcoin Island”

Posted on June 23, 2014

With a population of just under 100,000, you might not expect that the tiny island of Jersey would be a major hub for international business. Yet, almost half of the island’s £3.7 billion annual national income originates in the financial services sector. Like many self-governing island nations, Jersey has made an industry of creating very […]

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BTC China’s Bobby Lee explains bitcoin’s current status in China

Posted on June 23, 2014

BTC China CEO Bobby Lee has been at the front lines of the People’s Bank of China’s (PBoC) efforts to suppress bitcoin right from the start. Through it all, he’s managed to keep his exchange open even as his competition has scaled back their operations, changed their business models or closed completely under PBoC pressure. […]

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Report: Congressman Jared Polis vows to protect bitcoin

Posted on June 23, 2014

When it comes to political advocates for bitcoin, U.S. Congressman Jared Polis is at the front of the pack. As a member of the House of Representatives, Polis might not have the policy sway of a senator, but he has already proven that he’s willing to use what influence he has to keep bitcoin from […]

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Report: GHash.io’s Jeffrey Smith talks about the 51% problem

Posted on June 23, 2014

Few organizations in the bitcoin community have been the subject of such heated debate as GHash.io. On the one hand, GHash has created one of the most user-friendly, efficient and low payout-variability pools in the cryptocurrency world, leveraging their own dedicated cloud mining system to encourage high rewards for independent contributors. On the other, GHash […]

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Coinbase offers “bits” option, instant BTC buyback and new mobile site

Posted on June 22, 2014

It has been a very busy week for Coinbase. On Wednesday, the bitcoin payment processing giant unveiled their new mobile site. The move comes as Coinbase gave its official nod of approval to an unofficial iOS app entering the iTunes App Store. With bitcoin’s future on iOS still dependent on each company being in Apple’s […]

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In the wake of mining centralization worries, PetaMine takes vote on switching to P2Pool system

Posted on June 21, 2014

Bitcoin cloud mining company PetaMine controls about 1150 TH/s of hashing power, accounting for just under 1% of the current network hashrate. The company has generally pointed its miners at mega-pool GHash.io, but with that group recently coming under serious criticism for having more than 51% of the total network’s hash rate, PetaMine’s organizers have […]

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Report: Updated Gyft iOS app allows bitcoin payments

Posted on June 20, 2014

For many active bitcoiners, Gyft is solution to a major problem: Buying things with bitcoin at places that don’t accept cryptocurrency. The company provides digital gift cards for some of the best-known brands and retailers in the world, such as Whole Foods, Burger King, CVS and Game Stop. The company even returns 3% of the […]

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Unofficial Coinbase iOS app gets nod of approval from Coinbase amid user controversy

Posted on June 20, 2014

Only a few short weeks ago, a flood of fully functional iOS wallet apps coming into the iTunes App Store would have been seen as exactly the kind of problem bitcoin needed. At the time, Apple seemed openly hostile to any fully functional cryptocurrency application, removing even popular apps by some of the most reputable […]

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Report: Swiss regulators approve bitcoin ATM network

Posted on June 20, 2014

Regulators in Switzerland have approved a plan by bitcoin ATM operator SBEX SA to launch their planned network of machines across the country. Earlier this month, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) halted plans by another bitcoin startup, Bitcoin Suisse AG, pending a legal review. With the regulatory issues seemingly resolved, SBEX can now […]

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Updated Blockchain.info shows greater range of mining pools

Posted on June 20, 2014

Last week, a single mining pool, GHash.io, briefly gained over 51% of the hashing power of the entire network. Although several core developers have claimed that a true 51% attack is extremely unlikely, and that the centralization of mining power isn’t the huge problem it has been presented as, this did little to slow the […]

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Report: Bitcoin-friendly British MP says corporate currencies will replace cryptocurrencies

Posted on June 19, 2014

Conservative Member of Parliament Douglas Carswell is no stranger to the concepts of cryptocurrencies. In fact, he’s generally seen as one of the few advocate for bitcoin in the British government, even though he has called himself “a bit of a Bitcoin sceptic” when it comes to the digital currency’s long-term prospects. Last year, Carswell […]

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Report: Bolivia’s central bank bans bitcoin

Posted on June 19, 2014

In a move aimed at protecting its national currency, the boliviano, Bolivia’s central bank official prohibited the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies today. Although the policy was created by El Banco Central de Bolivia back in early May, it has only recently become known to the general public following a story by Spanish-language news […]

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Report: Japan opts to leave bitcoin unregulated

Posted on June 19, 2014

Japanese lawmakers announced yesterday that they would not be implementing regulations on bitcoin or other virtual currencies for the time being. The announcement from Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the ruling government party in the country’s Parliamentary system, won’t be official policy until additional hearings are completed. Speaking with Reuters, LDP lawmaker Takuya Hirai said: […]

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Bitcoin Foundation begins push for Unicode symbol

Posted on June 19, 2014

Last week, the Bitcoin Foundation announced a plan to finally solve one of the digital currency’s nagging problems: The lack of a Unicode-approved symbol. Although bitcoin has officially used the symbol of a capital “B” with two vertical strokes through it (in the style of the U.S. dollar), that symbol doesn’t exist in the Unicode […]

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Argentinian startup BitPagos raises $600k in seed round investment

Posted on June 18, 2014

Latin America-focused bitcoin payment processor BitPagos raised $600,000 in its first round of seed funding. Investors included well known bitcoin advocates Tim Draper and Barry Silbert, as well as contributions from venture capital funds Pantera Capital and the Boost Bitcoin Fund. BitPagos participated in the Boost VC accelerator program last year, where it raised over […]

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Report: Leaked U.S. Marshals list may reveal Silk Road bitcoin bidders

Posted on June 18, 2014

Last week, the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) announced the auction of roughly 30,000 bitcoin seized from the Silk Road online marketplace. With a deposit of $200,000 required to bid, the auction was effectively open only to institutional-level buyers. Given the closed-envelope nature of the auction itself, the odds of finding the names of the bidders […]

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Mt.Gox Chapter 15 bankruptcy filing approved by U.S. judge

Posted on June 18, 2014

The complex and glacially slow international bankruptcy process for shuttered bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox made significant progress yesterday when Judge Stacey Jernigan have final approval to the company’s Chapter 15 filing. The decision will allow Nobuaki Kobayashi, the court-appointed trustee in the Japanese case, to move forward with his investigation, as well as consider potential bids […]

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BitPay to sponsor NCAA college football bowl game

Posted on June 18, 2014

Bitcoin’s mainstream profile is likely to make a major leap forward this December when the NCAA’s St. Petersburg Bowl launches with a new sponsor. Atlanta-based bitcoin payment processor BitPay has purchased the naming rights to the game, which will now be known as the “Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl.” The 2014 game will be broadcast on […]

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Bloomberg adds WinkDex to ticker

Posted on June 17, 2014

Although the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust is still making its way through the SEC maze, the “Winklevii” do have some good news to share. The duo’s “blended bitcoin price index,” better known as the WinkDex, was added to the official Bloomberg price ticker today. Bloomberg subscribers can view the index under the symbol WINKBTCO. While the […]

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Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik talk about the BitSat orbiting bitcoin node

Posted on June 17, 2014

In April, bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik revealed plans to launch a small, orbiting satellite acting as a blockchain node. The fittingly dubbed “BitSat” would act as a one-to-many connection, helping to protect the bitcoin network from a variety of possible peer-to-peer attacks and network outages. Thanks to advances in launch and satellite technology, each orbiting […]

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TigerDirect rolls out bitcoin support for Canadian shoppers

Posted on June 17, 2014

Earlier this year, online discount electronics retailer TigerDirect joined the then-small club of mainstream businesses to launch a bitcoin-payment option. Given that TigerDirect’s tech-loving core customer base has quite an overlap with the bitcoin community, the move was hugely popular, with the company seeing over $1 million in BTC-only sales in the first two months. […]

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Report: 30 bitcoin ATMs to open in Vancouver

Posted on June 17, 2014

The launch of a single bitcoin ATM is still relatively big news in the cryptocurrency world. At the moment, the machines are uncommon even on the streets of large cities, and practically unheard of in smaller ones. In Vancouver, Canada, a bitcoin startup called Quadriga CX has announced plans to make virtual currency ATMs as […]

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Payment processor Digital River integrates bitcoin payments

Posted on June 16, 2014

Digital River may not be as well known as PayPal, but the Minnetonka, Minnesota, online payment processor is a giant in the world of business-to-business payments. The company processed $30 billion in online transactions in 2013, with most of that coming from very large clients like Microsoft, Spotify, Logitech, Trend Mirco and Citrix. Although it […]

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Report: BitGo raises $12 million in new investment

Posted on June 16, 2014

Many in the bitcoin development world have claimed that 2014 will be the “Year of Multi-Sig.” Until today, that seemed like little more than wishful thinking by security focused coders. With $12 million in new investment, multi-signature wallet provider BitGo can make the case it’s at least the month of multi-sig. According to a report […]

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GHash.io issues statement about 51% situation

Posted on June 16, 2014

Over the weekend, bitcoin mega-pool GHash.io controlled more than half of the network’s hashing power. Given that bitcoin was designed to be decentralized, with no particular party having any significant authority over the network, this was a deeply troubling development. Even worse, the GHash situation was a clear demonstration that bitcoin was unambiguously vulnerable to […]

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Bitcoin startup DigitalBTC launches on Australian Securities Exchange

Posted on June 16, 2014

The latest addition to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) may give an indication of things to come for bitcoin investment later this year. Starting today, Australia-based bitcoin services provider DigitalBTC has become the first cryptocurrency company to be traded on a major world exchange. Although DigitalBTC’s business model is based primarily on bitcoin mining, rather […]

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Report: Chinese Payments Association moves to block all bitcoin activity from banking sector

Posted on June 15, 2014

Earlier this year, the People’s Bank of China did almost everything within its power to discourage large-scale trading in bitcoin. When threats and warnings didn’t work, it forbade bitcoin companies from using the country’s payment system. Exchanges soon found ways around this, working with third-party processors to obscure payments. When bitcoin prices and trading again […]

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GHash fallout prompts BitFury to pull 1.5PH/s from pool

Posted on June 14, 2014

Industrial bitcoin mining company BitFury announced today that it has moved 1.5 petahash from the GHash.io pool following widespread concerns of hashrate centralization and growing fears about the potential of a 51% attack. The company maintains two high-powered mining facilities in Iceland and Finland, taking advantage of those countries extremely low energy costs. Should the […]

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Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen weighs in on centralized mining and the GHash situation

Posted on June 14, 2014

Back in May Bitcoin Foundation Chief Scientist told a crowd at the Bitcoin2014: “I still don’t care about mining [except] in the way it affects user experiences.” In the past two months, however, the situation has changed. Writing for the official Bitcoin Foundation blog today, Andresen expressed deep concerns about centralized mining and the impact […]

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Report: The King’s College accepts tuition payments in bitcoin

Posted on June 13, 2014

According to a report on CoinDesk, New York City’s The King’s College announced today that it will begin accepting bitcoin for tuition and other expenses. The small, private Christian liberal arts school has partnered with payment processor Coin.co to handle the transactions. Only a handful of colleges across the world currently accept bitcoin payments. The […]

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Bitcoin price tanks as U.S. government announces auction of 30K BTC from Silk Road

Posted on June 13, 2014

The U.S. Marshal service announced today that it will be auctioning off nearly 30,000 BTC seized from Silk Road accounts last year. Worth more than $17.5 million, the bitcoin will likely sell for a considerable discount from the market value. Interested parties must commit a refundable deposit of $200,000 from a U.S. bank by June […]

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Bitcoin ATM maker BitAccess admitted into tech startup accelerator Y Combinator

Posted on June 13, 2014

There are few tech incubator programs as prestigious as Y Combinator. The program has provided seed funding and business development guidance for some of the best-known startups of the last decade, including Dropbox, Airbnb and Reddit. In the bitcoin world, Y Combinator is perhaps best known as an early backer of Coinbase, easily one of […]

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Mining pool giant GHash.io reaches 50% of bitcoin hashing power

Posted on June 13, 2014

Yesterday, mining pool giant GHash.io controlled fully half of the hashing power of the entire bitcoin network. For a distributed network that relies on trustless consensus, having the majority of the “voting” power controlled by a single mining pool is more than a little problematic. Most notably, it opens up the bitcoin network to the […]

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