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.