Shift’s bitcoin-backed debit card beta issues new round of invites

Posted on September 26, 2014

Last month, San Francisco-based bitcoin startup Shift Payments announced plans to release a new debit-card system that would enable users to pay with traditional bank accounts, as well as bitcoin and Ripple wallets. Backed by tech-industry kingmakers Y Combinator, the card promised to serve as a next-generation bridge between digital currencies and traditional banking by […]

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U.S. military meets with bitcoin industry insiders

Posted on September 26, 2014

Could bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies be used to aid terrorist groups? That’s the question officials from the U.S. Special Operations Command asked members of the bitcoin industry this week in a meeting Tampa, Florida. While not an entirely secret event, the Virtual Currency Workshop was a closed-door conference seeking to determine the potential for anti-American […]

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OKCoin becomes biggest USD/BTC exchange

Posted on September 25, 2014

Only a week after exiting beta testing for its new bitcoin-to-dollar exchange platform, China’s OKCoin has skyrocketed past Western exchanges in terms of volume. As CoinDesk reports, the USD/BTC trading pair on the site had a volume of 16,342 BTC yesterday, handily beating Bitfinex’s 15,552 BTC volume, as well as Bitstamp’s 14,463 and BTC-e’s 6,556. […]

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BitPay announces major protocol update for Bitcore and Copay

Posted on September 25, 2014

Perhaps in advance of their looming PayPal partnership, the engineers at Atlanta-based bitcoin payment processor BitPay have been hard at work updating Copay and Bitcore — their open-source, multisig wallet platform and bitcoin core implementation, respectively — to become as “featureful as possible.” The new updates, announced today, bring a range of new options and […]

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Two U.S. banks to test Ripple protocol

Posted on September 24, 2014

Ripple Labs announced today that their bitcoin-friendly alt-coin system will soon be offered to the customers of two small U.S. banks. The Ripple system is part of a new low-cost, real-time international payments service offered by CBW Bank of Topeka, Kansas, and Cross River Bank of Teaneck, New Jersey. The integration is the first time […]

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PayPal announces partnerships with BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin

Posted on September 24, 2014

One of the biggest concerns about PayPal’s rapidly approaching integration with bitcoin-based payments has been liquidity. The eBay-owned payment processing giant handled around $180 billion in transactions last year, roughly 30 times bitcoin’s total market cap. If PayPal aims to bring bitcoin payments to the masses, even a relative giant in the space, like Coinbase, […]

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Square CEO hints bitcoin integration on the horizon

Posted on September 23, 2014

In an interview with CBC News, Square CEO Jack Dorsey dropped an interesting hint about his company’s future relationship with bitcoin. Speaking about concerns that Square might face stiff competition from the forthcoming Apple Pay mobile point-of-sale system, Dorsey said: “We’re building a register so that sellers can accept a credit card, so they can […]

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GABI hedge fund announces first bitcoin purchases

Posted on September 23, 2014

The Jersey-based Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Fund (GABI) announced yesterday that it was in the early stages of deploying the fund’s assets into bitcoin. The company spent the whole of August and much of early September acquiring customers for its initial offer period, and appears to have closed that initial round in the last few […]

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Greenpeace partners with BitPay to accept bitcoin

Posted on September 22, 2014

International environmental nonprofit Greenpeace announced today that has partnered with BitPay to begin accepting bitcoin donations. The organization is in a unique position to benefit from bitcoin’s international and decentralized nature, as the it is wholly funded by direct individual donations rather than corporate sponsorship or government support. As a result, Greenpeace donations are typically […]

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UK-based gold and bitcoin exchange Netagio passes ISAE 3000 audit

Posted on September 22, 2014

The first bitcoin-related company to submit to an audit under the standards of the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) has passed with flying colors. Netagio, a small bitcoin and gold exchange based in the U.K., recently announced the results of an ISAE 3000 review conducted by international auditing firm BDO. Netagio claims this to […]

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BitOcean launches two-way bitcoin ATM

Posted on September 21, 2014

Beijing-based bitcoin ATM maker BitOcean announced the release of a new, two-way machine this week. According to a report on CoinDesk, the kiosk-style ATMs are designed to compete against similar Robocoin and Lamassu machines. In addition to allowing users to buy and sell bitcoin directly from the the ATM through a “bank level experience,” the […]

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Coinbase announces new API for multisig accounts

Posted on September 21, 2014

One of the biggest concerns with third-party bitcoin services like Coinbase is this: Who controls the private keys? If you host your own wallet on a mobile device or PC, or even have a printed paper wallet, ultimately you control when and how BTC moves from your private address to another. That’s not the case […]

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Bitcoin mining difficulty set to rise 18% next week

Posted on September 19, 2014

As bitcoin’s price continues to decline, miners have gotten even more bad news. The projected difficulty is currently expected to jump 17.94% on Thursday, climbing from roughly 29 billion to 35 billion. The network hashrate, the key factor in determining difficulty, has grown dramatically in recent days, rocketing up from 213 Petahash per second to […]

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Bitcoin Savings and Trust fraudster fined $40 million

Posted on September 19, 2014

In July of 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Trendon T. Shavers with defrauding investors in a bitcoin-targeted Ponzi scheme. Shavers claimed to have created a bitcoin-based arbitrage system, the Bitcoin Savings and Trust (BTCST), and promised investors 7% interest per week on their BTC loans. Instead, the BTCST was a classic Ponzi […]

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Following central bank decision, Bitcoin Foundation Bangladesh halts activities

Posted on September 19, 2014

Earlier this week, Bangladesh’s central bank issued a new warning strongly suggesting that bitcoin use was now a criminal offense in the country. Bank officials later told news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) that anyone found guilty of using or selling bitcoin in the country could be sentenced to up to 12 years in jail. Bangladesh […]

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Bitcoin’s price isn’t falling alone — commodities across the board in steep decline

Posted on September 19, 2014

It’s all too easy for the bitcoin community to lose sight of the bigger investment trends. For almost all of bitcoin’s history, is has existed in a bubble, completely removed from the forces that drive forex trends and commodity prices. As we mentioned yesterday, that era appears to be coming to an end. Bitcoin’s price […]

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BitPay showcases updated API

Posted on September 18, 2014

The competition between Coinbase and BitPay looks like it has spilled over to the API battlefield. Yesterday, Coinbase released Toshi, an open-source bitcoin node with a JSON API for developers. Today, BitPay responded with their own API update, packed with new features, updates, and fixes. Not to be outdone, the BitPay API is built on […]

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Bitcoin startup CoinPlus raises over $220,000 in seed round

Posted on September 18, 2014

Bitcoin payment-processing and currency exchange startup CoinPlus announced yesterday that it had raised €172,500 ($220,000) in its seed funding round. The Luxembourg-based company launched in early July following legal clarifications of bitcoin’s status in the country by the Commission de surveillance du secteur financier (CSSF) in February. No list of investors has been published, and […]

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UPDATE: Instabill offers services to Isle of Man bitcoin startups

Posted on September 18, 2014

Earlier this week, bitcoin startups on the politically independent U.K. holding of Isle of Man were faced with potentially catastrophic news. The island’s primary treasury service provider, Capital Treasury Services (CTS), announced it was severing its relationship with all digital currency businesses. It has since been revealed that the CTS decision was made under pressure […]

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Bitcoin price continues steep, mysterious decline

Posted on September 18, 2014

Until late last week, bitcoin prices had been hovering in the $475 range, down a bit from the $500 to $650 range seen since May. That changed on Saturday, when the bottom seemingly dropped out from the BTC price, sending it on a steep decline to around $428 (at time of writing). While price volatility […]

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Coinbase releases open-source bitcoin node for developers

Posted on September 17, 2014

As the software underpinning the bitcoin network, Bitcoin Core is admittedly great at a lot of things. It allows millions of machines to make countless transactions in a never-before-seen way. As a reference client, clearly defining the protocol and acting as the highest standard for how bitcoin truly works, it has no equal. That doesn’t […]

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DigitalBTC and Cryptsy to launch mining contract exchange

Posted on September 17, 2014

If a new deal between alt-coin exchange Cryptsy and Australian bitcoin mining company digitalBTC is any indication, tradable mining contracts could soon become bitcoin’s next boom market. CoinDesk reports that the partnership will result in a new trading platform, dubbed digitalX Mintsy, will offer tradable mining contracts and allow users to lease time on their […]

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$2 million raised in seed funding round for bitcoin API startup Gem

Posted on September 17, 2014

Los Angeles-based bitcoin startup Gem announced the completion of a $2 million seed funding round to enhance its security-platform API. The funding deal has been in works since June, and was led by First Round Capital and Tekton Ventures. The Gem project clearly has plenty of support, with additional seed round funding coming from RRE […]

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Roger Ver announces anti-hacker bounty site

Posted on September 17, 2014

This morning, bitcoin evangelist Roger Ver announced the launch of a new site intended to help law enforcement agencies take down online criminals and malicious hackers. Although the technology behind the site is new, the idea is very, very old. In effect, Ver has created a marketplace for the bounty hunters of the digital age. […]

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Bitcoin use now a “punishable offense” in Bangladesh

Posted on September 16, 2014

In a new warning issued yesterday by the central bank of Bangladesh, any transaction in “bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is a punishable offense.” According to a report by Agence France-Presse (AFP), bank officials said that anyone found guilty of using or selling bitcoin in the country could be sentenced to up to 12 years […]

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Banking access severed for bitcoin companies on Isle of Man

Posted on September 16, 2014

Bitcoin startups on the self-governing British possession of Isle of Man have a major new issue to overcome: Banking access. CoinDesk reports that Capital Treasury Services (CTS), the major financial services connector between Mann’s rapidly growing digital currency industry and banks on the British mainland, has been severed. CTS is a subsidiary of Capital International […]

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Circle teases new iOS and Android apps

Posted on September 16, 2014

Even though they’re still in an invite-only beta test, bitcoin-brokerage Circle clearly has plans to break into the mainstream in the near future. CoinDesk reports today that the company gave an exclusive preview of their new iOS and Android apps at the CoinScrum meetup in London yesterday, giving several hints about Circle’s near-future plans. CEO […]

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Speculation increases that an independent Scotland could adopt bitcoin as national currency

Posted on September 16, 2014

On Thursday, Scottish citizens will make a monumental decision: Remain a part of the U.K., or go it alone as an independent E.U. nation. As the debate rages on in Scotland itself, and referendum becoming too close to call, many experts have found themselves considering the very real possibility that Scotland will sever its 307-year-old […]

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Canada’s bitcoin-focused Vogogo becomes a publicly traded company

Posted on September 15, 2014

Calgary-based bitcoin payment processing and regulatory compliance company Vogogo announced today that it will be trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange’s Venture Exchange (TSXV) under the ticker symbol “VGO.” Although not strictly a bitcoin company, Vogogo made headlines recently for raising $8.5 million to develop a new bitcoin payment system, possibly intended to become Canada’s […]

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Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex launches cloud-mining contracts

Posted on September 15, 2014

Hong Kong-based bitcoin exchange and derivatives platform Bitfinex announced a new product today: Cloud-based mining contracts. The contracts are being offered in a limited quantity during the “live beta” phase of testing, allowing Bitfinex’s team to “tweak” the product as needed after the initial tranche of 100 TH/s mining power. Should the offering prove successful, […]

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Online black marketplaces Silk Road 2.0 and Agora struggling against “very sophisticated” DDoS attacks

Posted on September 15, 2014

Two of the largest bitcoin-using online black marketplaces, Silk Road 2.0 and Agora, have spent most of the last week fending off “very sophisticated” distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks by an unknown entity. In both cases, the attacks have resulted in service interruptions, with both sites currently offline. Both marketplaces already use highly advanced security measures, […]

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Nonprofit giant United Way partners with Coinbase

Posted on September 15, 2014

In terms of donations received, the United Way Worldwide is the largest privately held nonprofit organization, raising over $5 billion per year. With over 1,800 offices in 45 countries, and with 2.8 million volunteers, United Way is also a titanically large and truly global organization. As of today, it also accepts bitcoin through a new […]

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Russia may formally ban bitcoin in 2015

Posted on September 14, 2014

There are few places in the world where bitcoin’s legal status is more unclear than in Russia. In February, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said that “money substitutes” such as bitcoin are explicitly illegal. In July, the Bank of Russia (the country’s central bank) said that digital currencies “should not be rejected” and said it […]

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What is Overstock’s “top secret” bitcoin project?

Posted on September 14, 2014

Something very big appears to be in the works at Overstock.com. Details are few, but at least two key facts are known: It’s a “top secret project” requiring a “high degree of discretion,” and it’s very clearly being built with cryptocurrency in mind. According to a series of job postings made on the company’s Careers […]

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Bitcoin Shop management agree to waive salaries for six months amid stock price woes

Posted on September 12, 2014

Digital currency-dedicated e-commerce site Bitcoin Shop seems to be going through quite a rough patch. The website, launched last September as a bitcoin-friendly alternative to Amazon, announced on Wednesday that its entire management team would be waiving a significant portion of their salaries for the next six months. The publicly traded company claims that the […]

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High-profile deal for 1000 U.S. bitcoin ATMs falls through

Posted on September 12, 2014

In July, Germany-based bitcoin ATM maker BitXatm announced a partnership with a Los Angeles-based startup named CryptVision that would bring 1,000 Sumo Pro ATMs to the U.S. and Canada. The deal would have been a windfall for BitXatm, which was still struggling to break into the U.S. market, and would have made CryptVision the largest […]

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Tim Draper’s “pessimistic” 3-year BTC price target is $10,000

Posted on September 12, 2014

In an interview with CoinDesk published today, venture capitalist and Silk Road auction winner Tim Draper had some very bullish things to say about the price of bitcoin. “I guess the markets aren’t seeing what I am seeing,” Draper said. “An entire economy is being rebuilt. I have a price target of $10,000 in three […]

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Commodity Futures Trading Commission approves first bitcoin swap

Posted on September 12, 2014

The bitcoin derivatives market just took a giant step forward. Reuters reports that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the federal regulatory body responsible for preventing fraud in futures contracts, gave full approval to a new bitcoin-backed swap created by TeraExchange. The new derivative allows clients to lock in a dollar value to their bitcoin […]

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Coincheck aims to bring full-service bitcoin platform to Japan

Posted on September 11, 2014

Is bitcoin finally gaining traction in Japan? Even before the collapse of Mt.Gox, the country has been equal parts skeptical and disinterested in the cryptocurrency concept. In June, the country’s ruling party issued a statement claiming that there was no need to create bitcoin regulation, referring to the Japanese bitcoin industry as a “sprout.” If […]

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Overstock becomes first major company to enable global bitcoin payments

Posted on September 11, 2014

Last month, Overstock.com claimed it was on the verge of adding a bitcoin payment option to their O.co global retail site. After a 10-day delay (the launch was planned for September 1), Overstock quietly enabled the BTC-payment system early this morning. Although Overstock is hardly the first company to accept bitcoin payments from anywhere in […]

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Canadian payroll company Wagepoint extends BTC payments to U.S.

Posted on September 11, 2014

Earlier this month, Ontario-based payroll firm Wagepoint made headlines for becoming one of the first organizations to enable direct bitcoin payments to employees. At the time, Wagepoint’s BTC payroll service was limited to Canada, but according to an interview published by CryptoCoinsNews, the company has expanded the option to their U.S.-based clients. According to the […]

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The Bank of England releases extensive new report on bitcoin’s potential impact in the U.K.

Posted on September 11, 2014

The Bank of England released a pair of cryptocurrency-related articles today, prompting waves of commentary throughout the global financial press. The articles, pre-released from the BoE’s forthcoming Quarterly Bulletin 2014 Q3 report, focus on defining bitcoin’s core innovation — the trustless, distributed ledger better known as the block chain — and on examining the economics […]

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Coinbase announces international expansion, now available in 14 countries

Posted on September 10, 2014

One of the biggest hurdles for would-be international bitcoin users is the lack of an easy-to-use, newcomer-friendly and widely trusted service to buy, sell and store bitcoin with. For the last two years, this hasn’t been much of an issue thanks to the existence of popular bitcoin services provider Coinbase. If only there was some […]

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FBI claims no illegal techniques used in Silk Road case, security experts disagree

Posted on September 10, 2014

On Friday, the FBI released a 58-page filing outlining the various investigation techniques used to unearth the details that ultimately resulted in the closure of online black marketplace Silk Road and the capture of its alleged mastermind, Ross “Dread Pirate Roberts” Ulbricht. The filing, written by FBI agent Christopher Tarbell, was a response to a […]

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U.K. bitcoin ATM operator says £38,000 processed in one month

Posted on September 10, 2014

The Bristol Post reported today that a single bitcoin ATM located in a health food store has processed more than £38,000 ($61,000) in one month of operation, strongly suggesting a growing interest in cryptocurrency in the region. The Superfoods store hosts a two-way bitcoin ATM built by RoboCoin, and managed by regional operator Satoshipoint. The […]

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Coinbase finally chimes in on BitLicense, calls it “redundant”

Posted on September 10, 2014

As the deadline for public comment on the proposed New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) “BitLicense” rules approaches, some of bitcoin’s biggest players are finally making their opinions known. Circle, Xapo and the Bitcoin Foundation have all weighed in on the topic in the last two months, but the true giants of the bitcoin […]

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BTChip releases new smartcard-based USB bitcoin wallet

Posted on September 9, 2014

It sounds like an offline cryptocurrency user’s dream device: A multi-signature enabled, smartcard-based, USB connected hardware wallet able to native support both bitcoin and altcoin wallets. It’s as thin as a credit card, and roughly the size of a house key. And for €20 (roughly $25), it can be yours. The new joint venture from […]

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First bitcoin ATM opens in Argentina

Posted on September 9, 2014

The first public bitcoin ATM in Argentina opened recently in a Buenos Aires suburb. Given that bitcoin ATMs have been popping up like wildflowers all over the globe in the last few months, this might not seem like big news. In a country in the middle of a deep economic crisis and an estimated inflation […]

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BitPay opens new European headquarters in Amsterdam

Posted on September 9, 2014

In a new post on the BitPay blog, the Atlanta-based bitcoin payment processor gave an inside view of their just-finished Amsterdam digs. The company is currently involved in a major push into the rapidly growing European market, having experienced a massive growth spurt in merchant adoption in the last year. BitPay claims to have seen […]

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Satoshi Nakamoto’s email compromised, one hacker possibly identified

Posted on September 9, 2014

Yesterday evening, a person using the email address long associated with mysterious bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto sent the following message to Bitcoin Talk administrator Michael “theymos” Marquardt: “Michael, send me some coins before I hitman you.” Almost immediately, Marquardt took to the Bitcoin Talk forum to warn the bitcoin community that Satoshi Nakamoto’s email had […]

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UPDATE: “PayPal making a move to embrace Bitcoin” says Braintree CEO

Posted on September 8, 2014

The rumors are true: PayPal is integrating bitcoin payments into their One Touch mobile wallet system using technology developed by their subsidiary Braintree. Speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco today, Braintree CEO Bill Ready said that the company will soon be integrating bitcoin payments via a partnership with Coinbase. Not hedging his bets, Ready made […]

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OKPay surrenders $6 million in held customer funds to Mt.Gox

Posted on September 8, 2014

Last month, early-adopting bitcoin payment processor OKPay was ordered by a British Virgin Islands court to surrender $6,014,910 in held customer deposits to defunct bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox. OKPay had hoped to return these funds directly to customers, but legal challenges by Mt.Gox’s Trustee Fund have held the funds in a “limbo” within Mt.Gox’s OKPay account […]

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Blockchain.info adds Marco Santori as global policy counsel

Posted on September 8, 2014

The Wall Street Journal reported today that Blockchain.info has retained Marco Santori in a new role as global policy counsel. Santori is well known within the bitcoin industry, and currently serves as the chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation’s regulatory affairs committee. In addition to his legal work for the Bitcoin Foundation, Santori also writes about […]

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Braintree expected to announce Coinbase partnership today

Posted on September 8, 2014

According to tech industry news website Re/code, PayPal subsidiary Braintree will soon announce that it has entered into a bitcoin-payment processing arrangement with Coinbase, possibly as early as today. Braintree’s service is widely used by a variety of tech startups, including openly disruptive, peer-to-peer services like Uber and Airbnb, which are seemingly ideal adopters for […]

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New PayPal video strongly suggests bitcoin adoption on the horizon

Posted on September 8, 2014

This morning, the official PayPal YouTube channel uploaded new video titled “PayPal Voices,” focusing on the increasingly peer-to-peer nature of transactions in an increasingly decentralized economy. But a single line of the video’s text holds huge ramifications for the bitcoin community, as well as the future of digital currency. Roughly eight seconds into the video, […]

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