Startup aims to bridge digital currencies, normal currencies, loyalty points with debit card
A startup is attempting to make it easier for people to pay for goods and services using digital currencies. Shift Payments, backed by Y Combinator, is testing a debit card which lets users spend Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as if it is a normal fiat currency, with a view to allowing customers to switch between virtual currencies, normal funds, and loyalty points in the future.
Reminds consumers Internet currency is a target for hackers, comes with additional cost
The US Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a warning on virtual currencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin on its website today. In the warning, the CFPB sounds off some well-known issues that generally circle around Internet currencies, such as the risk of hacking, fraud and lack of regulation in holding houses.
Network compromise redirected mining pool traffic to alternate server
Security researchers have discovered a vulnerability in the way cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, are stored in mining pools, allowing for funds to be stolen. Discovered by the Dell SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit, the exploit has allegedly already been used at least once, with one attacker said to have acquired approximately $83,000 using the technique.
Part of sea change in Apple policies
A Bitcoin trading app, Blockchain, has been allowed to return to the iOS App Store, reports note. The title was one of several removed from the App Store early this year during an Apple crackdown. The company's policy is normally to prohibit apps allowing activities which may be illegal in some countries. Although Bitcoin has become increasingly accepted, it still sits in a legal limbo in many regions.
Court order stops holding company from selling assets as part of CoinLab dispute
A US District Court judge in Washington state issued a restraining order yesterday, placing a temporarily restriction on the bitcoins.com domain from being auctioned off. Yesterday, Tibanne KK, the company owned by former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles, was ordered to account for and hold all assets. The order stems from a legal issue between CoinLab and Mt. Gox dating back to 2013.
Bitcoin added to currency conversion options in Google search
Google has updated its currency-based searches to include results for Bitcoin. Coindesk reports reports the search company is now working with digital wallet service Coinbase to track the price of the digital currency and perform currency conversion functions, just as Google Search does for other currencies. The same conversion can also be performed by the Google Search mobile apps.
Feds lean against Bitcoin, task may be monumental
The Bitcoin Foundation has launched an initiative to educate the US government on cryptocurrencies. The advocacy group has retained the Thorsen French Agency to "introduce Bitcoin and the foundation to Capitol Hill offices, demystify our favorite protocol, explain its benefits, and show that there is a community of serious, thoughtful people and businesses working to deliver those benefits to the United States and the world."
Internet electronics retailer starts taking Bitcoin through partnership with BitPay
Newegg, one of the Internet's largest retailers of all things electronic, announced today that it is now accepting payments with the Internet currency Bitcoin. In a release from the company, Newegg says that customers can begin using the cryptocurrency to pay more than 10.5 million products the company carries.
Currencies like Bitcoin, Dogecoin now legal to put into circulation in the state
Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed bill AB 129, regarding the definition of "lawful money," into law. The bill effectively ends a ban on alternative currencies in the state, meaning online currencies such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin and other cryptocurrencies can now be used in commerce transactions. The bill modifies California Corporations Code 107, which previously banned currencies that were "anything but the lawful money of the United States."
Mark Karpelès ends silence on downfall, worried about remaining customer funds
Since the announcement of the Mt. Gox bankruptcy filing in February, CEO Mark Karpelès has remained silent on his feelings and events surrounding the Bitcoin exchange. That changed this week when he gave an exclusive interview to the Wall Street Journal, indicating that he was "scared, frustrated and angry" upon learning the extensive losses the exchange faced.
Winners of seized property to be notified on Monday
The US Marshals Service has completed its auction of the Bitcoins it seized from the raid and shutdown of alleged online drug marketplace Silk Road. The 12-hour auction consisted of nine blocks of 3,000 bitcoin, and one block of 2,757 bitcoins. At current exchange rates, the auction was valued at $17.7 million dollars.
Coin Pocket is first App Store Bitcoin wallet after Apple altered App Store rules
Bitcoin apps taking advantage of Apple's recent rule changes concerning virtual currencies have started to appear in the App Store. Coin Pocket, a bitcoin wallet similar to others previously pulled by Apple before the company changed its policy, can be used to send and receive the currency, includes a "private key sweep" for quicker transfers, and adds a currency conversion checker.
Bitcoin pool seized during Silk Road takedown expected to fetch over $17M
The United States Marshals Service will be selling off the collection of Bitcoin it seized following the take-down of black-market drug site Silk Road. Almost 30,000 Bitcoins will be sold in the online auction on June 27th, with the pool estimated at current exchange rate prices to be worth a total of $17.91 million at the time of writing, down from the $27 million it was originally expected to fetch during initial reports of the sale in January.
Coinbase partnership allows travel booking company to accept online currency
Travel reservation company Expedia has jumped aboard the Bitcoin train to allow travelers to book their hotel stays with the virtual currency. Teaming up with Coinbase, Expedia will now show Bitcoins as a payment option up against other payment forms, such as credit cards and PayPal. Expedia joins the likes of Overstock.com and Dish Network in allowing their customers to pay with the Internet currency.
Agreement requires Erick Voorhees to surrender profits, pay $35000 in fines
Erik Voorhees, a co-founder of FeedZeBirds and SatoshiDice, has settled with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over charges related to selling shares of the two companies. Information from the SEC says that Voorhees had solicited the sale of shares in open channels as early as 2012, netting himself over $15,000 in profit in the process.
New rules simply require compliance with local laws
Apple has quietly changed rules at the App Store to allow for digital currency transactions to take place within apps, Reuters notes. The rules now state that apps "may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions." Apple hasn't identified which currencies it will allow.
Deal with Coinbase allows bitcoin transactions from customers
Satellite provider Dish is teaming up with Coinbase to allow its customers to pay bills with Bitcoins. The deal makes Dish the largest company to date to accept the Internet currency for service transactions. Dish's deal follows other such agreements with Coinbase including online retailers Overstock.com and Tiger Direct.
Karpeles owned Tibanne looking to package Japan, EU trademarks for $1 million
The holding company that has taken over the bankrupt exchange Mt. Gox is looking to offload its trademarks on 'bitcoin' and associated websites. The trademarks registered in Japan and the European Union are included according to a statement from an executive in the company. Tibanne hopes the packaged trademarks will fetch around $1 million in a sale.
Conviction tossed on inappropriate venue, Auernheimer demands recompense
The man accused of hacking personal information out of AT&T servers by the federal government, Andrew "weev" Auernheimer, is demanding that the US Government pay 28,296 Bitcoins ($13.9 million at today's exchange rate) for his time in federal custody. Auernheimer wrote on his Twitter account that "it is time, now that the fraud and violence committed against me has been exposed by the appeals process, to begin making amends to me."
Child star Brock Pierce slammed for heavy debt, sexual misconduct allegations
The Bitcoin Foundation is seeing an exodus of members in the wake of the appointment of heavy Bitcoin investor and former Disney child star Brock Pierce as the new director of the foundation. The departures, on the eve of the cryptocurrency's annual conference, are based on a variety of allegations, including misconduct allegations against Pierce from as early as 2000, in addition to other allegations of misconduct among foundation members.
Enhanced security, money laundering monitoring in free Circle Bitcoin storage
A start-up is attempting to make Bitcoin more accessible, by launching its own online bitcoin storage service. The Boston-based Circle allows users to purchase Bitcoin, store it in their account, and transfer to other Bitcoin accounts or users, with the service attempting to offer a more user-friendly approach when compared to other digital wallet services.
'PayPal of Bitcoin' recipient of largest digital currency capital investment
Entrepreneur Richard Branson has invested in a large Bitcoin payment service. Along with Yahoo founder Jerry Yang, Branson and compatriots have put $30 million into the Bitpay exchange, giving the service the biggest venture capital investment in crypto-currency's short life.
Investor alert issued to raise investor awareness of virtual currency risks
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued another investor alert on Bitcoin that follows on from a previous publication. Both warn potential investors of the risks of the virtual currency. Offering a long list to support their alert, the SEC draws more references to the Ponzi scheme nature of the currency, the probability of fraud and what the lack of regulation means.
CTTSO solicits vendors for program to aid military understanding of technologies
A division of the Department of Defense is investigating cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, for possible links to crime and terrorism activities, according to an article from the International Business Times. The Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office, a department responsible for developing and investigating counterterrorism abilities, created solicitation number N41756-14-Q-3272 in order attract vendors to aid military branches in understanding the developing technology.
Studio responsible for Tony Hawk games folds into Infinity Ward
Video game developers Neversoft and Infinity Ward will see their positions as independent studios under Activision Publishing come to an end, as the two studios merge under the Infinity Ward banner. Neversoft, mostly known for its work on the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series, helped Infinity Ward with the latest installment of the Call of Duty franchise game Ghosts. The Neversoft name will be retired after existing for almost 20 years. The studio was acquired by Activision in 1999.
Offer would conclude class action suit by US, Canadian customers
Bitcoin holders in the US and Canada, holding balances with now-shuttered Mt. Gox, are settling class actions against the exchange. The plaintiffs are agreeing to a proposal by investment company Sunlot Holdings to buy the exchange, and become part owners of the recovered exchange, according to court filings.
Savegox website pops up, proposing case to resurrect Mt. Gox
A seemingly grass-roots effort has been launched to save bankrupt Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. The "savegox" website has cropped up, launched by an unnamed group of investors, with the goal of providing "restitution to customers" and as an added benefit to "restore faith in the digital currency." Approximately 750,000 Bitcoins belonging to customers and 100,000 coins belonging to the exchange, valued at over $450 million dollars as of March 1, were said to be lost in the hack when the Mt. Gox systems were breached unnoticed over the course of several years. Mt. Gox says there was a also $27.4 million discrepancy in its bank accounts as of Monday.
CEO Mark Karpeles questioned by six employees about expenses, cash flow
The problems with shuttered and bankrupt Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox may have been evident to employees as early as two years before its well-publicized meltdown. Six employees reportedly confronted CEO Mark Karpeles over money-handling in the organization, with the group alleging that customer funds were being diverted improperly to other expenses, such as a 3D printer, and a modified car imported from the UK for the CEO.
Bitcoin miners required to declare earned virtual currency
The Internal Revenue Service has declared that Bitcoin should be classed as property for tax purposes, and not as a currency. The ruling, which clarifies the tax-related standings for its supporters, can be applied to virtual currencies, with the US government agency also stating that owners may need to pay more tax or deduct a loss depending on what happens to the value of the currency as it is owned.
Beijing-based exchange freezes accounts and halts withdrawals
Another Bitcoin exchange has run into financial problems, following in the wake of other recent turmoil surrounding the currency after the collapse of Mt. Gox. Vircurex, based in Beijing, is faced with insolvency, causing the company to immediately halt withdrawals. Starting March 24, the company will put a freeze on all customer accounts.
Discovery casts doubts on loss claims, accounting standards
The recently-shuttered and allegedly bankrupted Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange has now said it has "found" nearly a quarter of the total "stolen" Bitcoins stored in a "wallet" -- the term for a digital file used to store the virtual currency -- that the company was no longer using. The 200,000 coins found represent some $115 million of the $470 million (in current trade value) lost by customers when the exchange closed down.
Filing intended to stave off at least two lawsuits in US
As expected, following its Japanese bankruptcy disclosure, troubled Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the US. The filing will temporarily halt US-based lawsuits. The filing will allow potential investors to look at the exchange without legal ramifications, as well as give the exchange time to resolve some of the problems that cropped up over the weekend.
Documents posted purport 951,115 BTC still in accounting documents
Enraged Bitcoin holders are beginning to take the ongoing dispute with shuttered and bankrupt exchange Mt. Gox into their own hands. On March 9, hackers seized Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles' Reddit account, posting what it alleged was proof that the executive was retaining much of the crypto currency that he claimed was lost to "transaction malleability." Additionally, what may be a separate group offered for sale what was alleged to be a 20GB stolen database from Mt. Gox, which it claimed had personal details of all of its users, including scans of passports used for identity verification.
Third high-profile loss in a week may cause further instability in BitCoin
Yet another Bitcoin exchange has shut down. Flexcoin has shuttered, after disclosing that hackers appropriated 896 Bitcoins from its "hot wallet" on a computer facing the Internet. Customers whose coins were stolen will likely recieve nothing, with a small percentage of users whose coins were in a "cold wallet," not Internet-accessible, have already had their coins reimbursed.
Total Bitcoins loss said to be 850,000 due to system weakness
Troubled Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan on Friday, breaking the silence on the company's position since suspending trading on February 24. The firm admits that it may have lost nearly half a billion dollars worth of the virtual currency when its systems were compromised by hackers. Mt. Gox is said to have $64 million in debts.
Tied to cracked downloads of popular software
A Mac trojan aimed at stealing Bitcoins -- known as OSX/CoinThief -- has been found attached to pirated copies of more mainstream apps, says security firm ESET. Initially the malware was bundled exclusively with Bitcoin-related tools, but ESET says it has now found CoinThief in cracked versions of titles like Angry Birds, BBEdit, Pixelmator, and Delicious Library.
Crisis strategy draft 'more or less' legitimate, confirmed by Mt. Gox CEO
While the Mt. Gox "crisis strategy draft" seems to actually be legitimate, further doubt on the future survivability of shuttered BitCoin exchange has been cast by both US and Japanese regulatory agencies and law enforcement. Departments from both countries have either already issued subpoenas, or are starting to look into the facts leading up to and surrounding the recent shutdown, which could cost users and the company itself over $350 million.
Gox domain purchase, leaked relaunch document point to potential recovery
Headlining BitCoin's struggle for wide acceptance is the saga of Mt. Gox, once the premier exchange for the crypto-currency. Overnight, the exchange went completely down, giving rise to fears of the loss of millions of dollars of the currency. However, somewhat unexpectedly, domain investor Andy Booth has confirmed the sale of the Gox.com domain to Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles, in parallel with the public release of what appears to be a pitch for investors in the exchange to relaunch Mt. Gox as simply "Gox" and offer limited withdrawals as it generates revenue to recover the exchange and repay investors.
Now being spread through Bitcoin programs found on download.com
The newly-detected OS X malware dubbed "OSX/CoinThief.A," a "trojan horse" that disguises itself as a copy of a legitimate app, has spread to other Bitcoin applications. SecureMac, an anti-virus software seller, discovered the original implementation of the malware disguised as a pre-compiled version of an open-source Bitcoin tool. It has now been seen pretending to be other Bitcoin apps, some of which are available on Download.com.
Arrested for money-laundering, suspects intended to buy stolen credit cards
A recent set of arrests and raid in Miami involving a website that allowed buyers to purchase Bitcoins anonymously has exposed problems with the digital currency that may spell trouble in the long-term for Bitcoin users -- a tendency, like the shuttered Silk Road, to use the service for illegal ends. Three men have been arrested under Florida's anti-money laundering laws, using Bitcoin exchanges to move high-dollar amounts in and out of the system, intending to anonymously buy stolen credit card data.
Company allows price-tracking Bitcoin apps, but no transactions
Maintaining a reasonably-consistent policy it has introduced in dealing with Bitcoin- and other virtual currency-related apps, Apple on Wednesday removed the Bitcoin "wallet" app Blockchain from the iOS App Store, citing only "unresolved issues" -- probably referring to the quasi-legal status of the digital currency -- as the reason for the ban. The app's developer claims over one million users across various platforms, but the app was the last remaining Bitcoin-related program that continued to offer trading of Bitcoins on iOS, where it claimed 120,000 users.
Agency said to be mulling auction
The US Marshals Service may soon be tasked with liquidating $26.5 million worth of Bitcoin that was seized last year during the Silk Road takedown. Federal prosecutors in New York recently finalized the forfeiture of 29,655 Bitcoins from the Silk Road servers, while another 144,336 Bitcoins--worth approximately $129 million--awaits formal forfeiture as the government proceeds with its prosecution of alleged Silk Road founder Ross William Ulbricht.
Overstock to begin accepting digital currency
Overstock.com, one of the larger Internet-based retailers, will begin accepting payments in Bitcoin, the most popular of a growing number of digital currencies. The New York Times reported this week that the retailer plans to begin accepting the currency by June of this year, and Overstock is currently evaluating third-party Bitcoin transaction facilitators. Overstock plans to have selected a firm to process its Bitcoin payments by the middle of next month.
MTV releases Android app offering full TV show episodes, bonus content
MTV has released an Android app on Google Play for its programming, bringing it in line with the version for iOS devices. The free app lets users watch recently-broadcast TV shows on a mobile device, though only after the user has authenticated a cable subscription with the app, reports Android Community. Other users can watch smaller video clips, see extra show content, view show-specific Twitter feeds, and read music and fashion news.
Potential for money laundering, tricky regulation causes China Bitcoin setback
The Bitcoin virtual currency has received a setback on its path to widespread use, after China's central bank advised against its use by the country's investors and banks. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) warned financial institutions that they should not trade in Bitcoins due to the potential risks associated with the currency.
Hard drive with 7,500 bitcoins lost in landfill
An IT professional in the United Kingdom is scouring a landfill site for a specific computer part he threw away, along with a bitcoin fortune. James Howells of Newport, South Wales, disposed of the drive without realizing the value of its contents earlier this year, with the 7,500 bitcoins on the drive worth around $7.5 million at the currency's present value.
Money transmission licensing an issue for virtual currency exchange
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has seized a total of $5 million from major Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. Court documents reveal that the seizures stem from the suspicion by the courts that the exchange was transmitting money without a license, with the seizure of funds a more plausible explanation for a two-week US dollar withdrawal hiatus by Mt. Gox.
Bloomberg said to be internally testing Bitcoin ticker for terminals
Bloomberg is reportedly testing a ticker for Bitcoin, for use on its terminals. The ticker, listed as XBT according to BTC Geek, is currently available only to Bloomberg employees, and is said to use at least two bitcoin exchanges as sources for its pricing. Though not usable by Bloomberg terminal customers, the apparent tracking gives more legitimacy to the virtual currency, and could be offered in the future.
SEC suit against Bitcoin hedge fund forced district court ruling
Bitcoin is a recognized currency that is subject to the laws of the United States, according to a federal judge ruling over a lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against a Bitcoin hedge fund owner. Judge Amos Mazzant in Texas declared Bitcoin as "a currency or form of money," paving the way for government regulation in the virtual currency.
Two-week downtime to implement new exchange system completed
Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has re-enabled withdrawals in US dollars, following a two-week hold on payments. The resumption of normal service comes at the same time as the virtual currency exchange announces new relationships with "several new banking partners both in Japan and around the world," with more agreements also in progress