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."
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
Complaint to cease and desist money transfers sent to Bitcoin support organization
The California Department of Financial Institutions has attacked the Bitcoin virtual currency, by sending a cease and desist letter to the Bitcoin Foundation. The group, which serves to standardize, support, and promote the Bitcoin protocol, was sent the order to stop late last month due to alleged monetary transmissions without proper licensing.
Increased number of transactions forces exchange to upgrade systems
The world's largest Bitcoin exchange has suspended withdrawls in US dollars for a two-week period, following hefty delays in transactions. Mt. Gox, a Tokyo-based exchange for the virtual currency, is preventing withdrawls while it performs upgrades to its systems, due to the increased volume of transactions it performs for its users.
Reasoning for court ordered shutdown unclear
According to OKCupid founder Chris Coyne, Bitcoin exchange site Mt. Gox has seen its access to payment service Dwolla shut down by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Coyne posted the email he received from Dwolla, stating that due to the order by the arm of the US Government, Dwolla cannot complete the ordered transfer to the exchange.
Google chief talks phones and robots at MWC 2012
Google chief Eric Schmidt during his evening keynote at Mobile World Congress this year made a swath of predictions that focused heavily on low-cost smartphones. When asked when Android would make its way to basic feature phones, he noted that Android was already going that route. Device builders were working on Android phones that would cost in the $100 to $150 range within the next year, and that it was likely they would drop down to $70.