Thursday, June 13, 2013

Andreas Antonopoulos – Bitcoin Neutrality – Bitcoin 2013 Conference

Andreas Antonopoulos discusses Bitcoin neutrality at the Bitcoin 2013 Conference on May 18, 2013, in San Jose, CA, hosted by the Bitcoin Foundation. For more information on donating or joining as a member, please visit

Andreas Antonopoulos – Bitcoin Neutrality – Bitcoin 2013 Conference

Say hello to the world's first Bitcoin baby - conceived after fertility treatments were paid for in the digital currency

Say hello to the world's first Bitcoin baby - conceived after fertility treatments were paid for in the digital currency - - New Bitcoin World, Latest Bitcoin News, Free Bitcoins info.jpg
Dr C. Terence Lee, a California fertility specialist and Bitcoin enthusiast, convinced one set of parents to use the currency by offering a big discount for his services.

PUBLISHED: 03:02 GMT, 11 June 2013 | UPDATED: 03:02 GMT, 11 June 2013. Meet the world's first baby bought with Bitcoins after the fertility treatments which led to her conception were paid for with the cult digital currency.

That's according to Dr C. Terence Lee, a California fertility specialist, who helped the child's parents pay for fertility treatments using Bitcoins.

The OB/GYN doctor, an Bitcoin enthusiast, is trying to encourage more patients to pay for his services using the currency.

The doctor appears to be one of the first to accept Bitcoins for medical services at his office in Brea.

Dr Lee enthused about his love of the currency during a talk at the Bitcoin 2013 conference in San Jose on May 17.

He told CNN Money: 'I thought it was interesting - people supporting it as a way for the common man to take back hold of finance. - Read more here:

Bitcoin isn't PRISM-proof

If you're looking for an untraceable e-commerce platform to avoid NSA snooping, Bitcoin probably isn't going to suffice.

By Colin Neagle, Network World. June 12, 2013 02:32 PM ET. Network World - In the aftermath of the revelation of PRISM, the NSA spying program that collects user data from nine major U.S. tech companies, many have highlighted alternate options from organizations that are not known to be cooperating with government surveillance efforts.

Among those alternatives, Bitcoin has been pegged as a more private payment option. At, which lists alternatives to all the services that fall under the PRISM umbrella, Bitcoin is the only listed alternative to online payment services, such as PayPal and Google Wallet.

10 scary facts about Bitcoin

Bitcoin ATM is 'horrible for money laundering', says co-creator

But users should know that Bitcoin is not as anonymous as it seems, and while there is no evidence that Bitcoin services are collaborating with federal agencies, information on Bitcoin transactions is readily available to them on the Internet.

A 2011 study conducted by University College Dublin researchers Fergal Reid and Martin Harrigan concluded that although anonymity has been one of Bitcoin’s main selling points, “Bitcoin is not inherently anonymous.” - Read more here:

Five Reasons You Should Not Use the Internet

Bitcoin - Five Reasons You Should Not Use the Internet - Freedom and Privacy - NSA, CIA PRISM.jpg
Vitalik Buterin | On 11, Jun 2013. The sudden rise of the internet may not be the biggest news story in the past fifteen years, but it was certainly the most entertaining. Over the course of only a year the value of technology stocks has doubled, only to crash right back down within months. Suddenly, it felt as if we were back in the tulip era. But what is this strange technology that is behind all of this unexpected public attention? A cure for cancer? A solution to the problems of poverty and world hunger? No. As it turns out, the underlying technology is basically a clunky, inferior version of a phone, and is primarily used by terrorists and prepubescent children with nothing better to do with their lives than send each other images of cats. However, since this technology has been all the rage in the past few weeks, its supposed “advantages” deserve a thorough debunking, and those who have so far been fortunate enough not to get caught up in the hype deserve a thorough understanding of just how pernicious and evil the underlying ideology of this “invention” is. To that end, I have gathered up the fundamental flaws behind the internet’s design and will summarize them all in the rest of this article.

1. The Internet Provides No Listener Protection – so far, all of the methods that we use to get our information are based on strong, socially recognized hierarchies of trust. If you read a sentence in a magazine, of hear someone speaking on TV, those words have been carefully rehearsed, sent through multiple layers of scrutiny and fact checking, and the speaker knows that if they make any claim that is false they can be sued under a robust framework of defamation law. Decency laws protect you from having to listen to anything containing harmful or psychologically traumatizing words. If you are a crazy libertarian, the presence of this kind of control may horrify you – but, but, that’s authoritarian, you might argue. It’s centralized! What if you want to say something controversial or obscene or outright false to listeners who “voluntarily” turn on their televisions to some channel specifically because they want to receive it? In reality, however, these protections are necessary.

They ensure that children get safe programs suited to meet their delicate psychological needs, and protect them from learning about the ravages of reality right up until the moment they are kicked out of their house to go to college and enter the jungle of drugs and sex and independent politics as soon as they hit 18. They make sure that so-called news “sources” spreading misleading and fallacious information are either prevented from doing so entirely or are, at the very least, quickly discovered and made to answer for their lies. Without these protections, anyone could go out and say anything about any person and company and have untold consequences on society and the financial markets as everyone blindly believes what they are saying and retweets the news; with the checks and balances that traditional media provides, such things can never happen. - Read more here:

Bitcoin Millionaires Become Investing Angels

Bitcoin Millionaires Become Investing Angels - New Bitcoin World, Latest Bitcoin News, Free Bitcoins info, ASIC Mining Info, Bitcoin videos.jpg
Early investors in Bitcoin got rich. Now they are the cryptocurrency’s most powerful gatekeepers.

By Tom Simonite on June 12, 2013. Every time you spend bitcoins to buy a drink at Evr, a swanky bar in midtown Manhattan that accepts the digital currency, you make its co-owner, Charlie Shrem, just a little bit richer.

And that’s not only because a chamomile sour costs $17 (or 0.16 bitcoins). It’s because whenever someone new uses bitcoins, the electronic currency’s value tends to increase. Shrem has bought thousands of bitcoins for about $20 each, starting in 2011. Since then, the digital coins have soared in value to $109.

That’s turned the 23-year-old into a millionaire and into one of a handful of early bitcoin investors who’ve decided to sink their windfalls back into the bitcoin economy, starting their own companies and investing in others.

“Infrastructure is what we need,” says Shrem. “We’ve gotta build, build, build–financial software, exchanges, and different payment products.” In addition to his investment in the bar, Shrem founded Bitinstant, a company that makes it possible to buy bitcoins at Kmart and 7-Eleven, and is a member of BitAngels, an investment group created this year to help Bitcoin startups evolve from garage operations into real companies.

Bitcoin angels like Shrem don’t have pockets nearly as deep as entrepreneur-turned-investors who’ve made it big in Silicon Valley—some of whom, like Steve Case and Vinod Khosla, have net worth in excess of $1 billion. But their influence is substantial. As conventional investors begin to show interest in Bitcoin startups, it is small-time tycoons like Shrem who are acting as gatekeepers and ambassadors.

“The early guys are the ones that run everything,” says Shrem. “In this space, how long you’ve been around matters.” - Read more here:

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90 Days or Bust | Plan B 10

We bring on one of the dynamic duo who want to Kickstart 90 Days on Bitcoin documentary project, called Life on Bitcoin.

90 Days or Bust | Plan B 10

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Did PRISM Cause Bitcoin’s Value to Fall?

Did PRISM Cause Bitcoin’s Value to Fall  - New Bitcoin World, Latest Bitcoin News, Free Bitcoins info, ASIC mining, ASIC bitcoin miner.png
MIKE WHEATLEY | JUNE 12TH. What with the NSA and PRISM hogging the headlines lately, Bitcoin appears to have slipped off the radar somewhat. Yet the cryptocurrency has seen a fairly dramatic drop in its value since the spying allegations emerged, falling from a high of $118 on June 7 to just $89 on June 9, prompting some BTC watchers to suggest that it could be linked to last week’s revelations.

The geeks over at CoinDesk were the first to notice the correlation. In their report, they point out that Sundays are typically the quietest day of the week as far as Bitcoin trading goes, but this time around the volume of trades far surpassed recent highs, while the price dropped significantly. Admittedly, the link between PRISM and Bitcoin’s price is a bit tenuous, but at the same time it does look to be a fairly plausible explanation for its sudden decrease in value. - Read more here:

Bitcoiners Down Under: Crypto-currency in Australia

Bitcoiners Down Under Crypto-currency in Australia - New Bitcoin World, Latest Bitcoin News, Free Bitcoins info, ASIC Mining Info, Bitcoin videos.jpg
Published On June 12, 2013 at 09:58 BST | By Alice Truong. To prepare for a bitcoin meetup in Sydney, Jason Williams has been scrounging to find a bar that will accept the cryptocurrency. No such luck, though. Nonetheless, he’s looking forward to connecting face to face with his fellow Aussie Bitcoin enthusiasts over beers on June 19. Ahead of the event, the gathering has even caught the eyes of investors who are keen on funding the next big Bitcoin startup.

China has been stealing the limelight on the international Bitcoin scene for its recent spike in downloads of the original Satoshi client. However, Bitcoin has had a small but consistent stronghold in Australia for a few years now. The Land Down Under ranked number eight globally in downloads in May, the same rank as last year at that time.

As an early adopter, Max Kaye had viewed Bitcoin as an “unstoppable technology” akin to BitTorrent and Tor. The Sydney resident first transacted in bitcoins in December 2010, convinced of the cryptocurrency’s security after reading about it in Slashdot.

“Immediately it occurred to me that it was something to get involved with and learn about, because if it took off it would be so very significant,” he said. And take off it did. Since Kaye first discovered Bitcoin, the currency’s value had grown by leaps and bounds, ballooning from 21 cents (US) to more than $100 today. - Read more here:

Let's Talk Bitcoin - Ep 15 – Trust But Verify / By Adam Levine / June 11, 2013

Shownotes for Episode 15 – Trust But Verify

  • Bitcoin Lead Developer Gavin Andresen on Origins, Expectations, Projects & Pitfalls
  • Feathercoin Lead Developer Peter Bushnell on how they’re putting the Fun back in Mining
  • Bitcoin Powered Tor & Wi-FI Nodes
  • Alan Reiner, Lead Developer of Armory Wallet on Microbilling

Adam B. Levine
Stephanie Murphy, PhD
Andreas M. Antonopoulos

Israeli banks resisting bitcoin exchanges

Israeli banks resisting bitcoin exchanges - New Bitcoin World, Latest Bitcoin News, Free Bitcoins info, ASIC Mining Info, Bitcoin videos.jpg
Published On June 11, 2013 at 12:30 BST | By David Gilson. It’s no secret that Bitcoin represents a huge change in the way we exchange money and that this challenges established financial institutions. That has led to a noticeable amount of push-back from banks and governments.

While the decentralized nature of Bitcoin means it cannot be shut down by any government or financial institution, such organizations can make it difficult for people to purchase the digital currency in the first place. That would effectively restrict access to the cryptocurrency. It appears that is happening to some degree in Israel, as reports from the Israel Army News website and users on the Bitcoin Forum indicate.

Reports from the Israel Army News website and users on the Bitcoin Forum indicate that Israeli banks are unofficially restricting access to virtual currencies by denying bank transfers to known exchanges. Even though the Google-translated version of the Israel Army News report is less than perfect, it appears that banks are limiting transactions between Israeli residents and known Bitcoin accounts, and in some cases even refusing them. - Read more here:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bitcoin won't hide you from the NSA's prying eyes

Bitcoin won't hide you from the NSA's prying eye - New Bitcoin World, Latest Bitcoin News, Free Bitcoins info, ASIC Mining Info, Bitcoin videos
11 JUNE 13 by KADHIM SHUBBER. Revelations about the US government's internet surveillance programme Prism appear to have sent the price of bitcoins plummeting.

Specifically, the unveiling on 9 June of 29-year-old Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, as the source of the leak coincided with a sudden drop in the value of bitcoins, as this CoinLab article details.

Like any freely traded commodity, the change in Bitcoin price reflects the sentiments of the market, individuals buying and selling the goods.

The price has since recovered slightly, but with some misguidedly suggesting Bitcoin as a Prism-proof way of conducting transactions, the sell-offs could be a sign that users are concerned about the US government's ability to track their bitcoins.

Despite the popular misconception, Bitcoin is not truly anonymous. Granted, it's easier to trace a purchase made using a debit card and than one made using bitcoins, but as some businesses are discovering, the bitcoin infrastructure relies on public metadata about transactions. Metadata that could be used to help identify you. - Read more here:

Provo couple to document 'Life on Bitcoin'

Provo couple to document 'Life on Bitcoin' - New Bitcoin World, Latest Bitcoin News, Free Bitcoins info, ASIC Mining Info, Bitcoin videos.jpg
By Jed Boal, Deseret News. Published: Monday, June 10 2013 11:15 p.m. MDT. PROVO — Can a soon-to-be married couple live their first 90 days of wedded bliss using virtual currency?

That's what Austin Craig and Beccy Bingham want to find out. The Provo couple is doing a social experiment with cryptocurrency and filming their "Life on Bitcoin" for a documentary.

"I'm always up for an adventure, and we're starting off our lives together," Bingham said. "Why not start out doing something different and unique?"

Bitcoin is the first decentralized, peer-to-peer digital currency. It was introduced on the Web in 2009. Bitcoins are kept in an online wallet. As of Monday afternoon, one bitcoin was worth $104, but the value fluctuates.

"The idea is to push the outer limits of what's possible with bitcoins," Craig said. "A lot of what this documentary is going to be is us figuring it out and having a camera along with us."

They put together a video for their kickstarter page, where they are raising money for the documentary. But for their furniture, rent, groceries, travel, gas, restaurants and even medical expenses, they can only use bitcoins. - Read more here:

ABC 4 Utah News at 6pm: Life On Bitcoin

BitAngels interview with David Johnston — The next bitcoin startups

Interview With David Johnston of BitAngels -- Future Bitcoin Startups

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with David Johnston, the executive director of BitAngels, which is a network of investors that was sporadically formed a couple of weeks ago during a San Jose technology conference to create the first ever angel investment network for Bitcoin startups.

David hopped on Skype with me after having just flown into Mountain View, California for the week, where he was staying at an AirBnB location he dubbed the “Zen Pad”.

“AirBnB is part of the share economy,” he stated enthusiastically. “You rent out your place to travelers and they pay you like a hotel. Normally cheaper in my experience and nicer accommodations in good locations. There was a bar of chocolate and bottles of water waiting for me, I’ll put it that way. Amazing what the Internet and a free market can come up with – no more barriers we can just talk directly with one another person to person, much like Bitcoin.”

BitAngels began as a small idea – sort of a side bar during the technology conference – that somehow turned into the Project X of startup investment organizations. - Read article here:

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60+ Investors Band Together To Form BitAngels, The First Multi-City Angel Network & Incubator For Bitcoin Startups

Let’s Talk Bitcoin! Ep. 14 – In Search of Goldilocks

Shownotes for Episode 14 – In Search of Goldilocks

  • Listener Mail: “Microtransaction Powered Social Networks”
  • Constance Choi, Legal Council at Payward brings us up to speed on DC, Fincen & Treasury
  • The Retroactive Bitcoin Paywall
  • Counterintuitive – Smaller amounts equal larger transactions?
  • 1 Megabyte blocks, Good or Bad?
  • Who needs Banks? Zach Harvey of the Lamassu Bitcoin Vending Machine
  • Full Node Clients vs. Lite Clients – Are Federated Servers the future?

Adam B. Levine
Stephanie Murphy, PhD
Andreas M. Antonopoulos

Google, Facebook et al: If You Really Cared About Freedom and Privacy

Google, Facebook et al If You Really Cared About Freedom and Privacy - NSA, CIA PRISM.jpg
Vitalik Buterin | On 08, Jun 2013. The past few days we have seen shocking revelations from the sphere of digital communications. The Guardian published a leaked top-secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over the metadata (caller, receiver, time, location, duration) of all phone calls made through Verizon’s networks (and not tell anyone about the order’s existence), and the site also verified the authenticity of a leaked slide presentation about PRISM, a program through which the NSA was collecting data including emails, chat messages, photos and stored data from nine major corporations. The White House has now admitted this and President Obama himself has seen it fit to deliver a speech defending the surveillance. Much less recent, but equally shocking, is the fact that, as Business Insider reminds us, the US government has the right to demand the disclosure of any email more than six months old – no warrants required.

Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg and other CEOs have rushed out to defend their companies against the more extreme allegations, saying that they have never heard of PRISM until today and reminding users of their strict commitment to only complying with those government requests that they are legally required to. One poster on Hacker News noticed that the defenses are all suspiciously similar, perhaps suggesting some kind of coordination either before or immediately after the leak. But this, while interesting, is beside the point; what these events show more than anything else is that, in this day and age, simply complying only with those court orders and subpoenas that follow the correct legal procedures and being open about as much as legally possible is not enough. This may seem absurd at first glance; it is obviously ridiculous to expect established large corporations to brazenly violate court orders and federal laws simply to preserve a few individuals’ privacy. But Google, Facebook and all of the other companies that run the critical technological infrastructure that we use today also have a third option: deliberately act to make their services mathematically unsubpoenable. - Read more here:

Crypto-currencies are changing the security landscape

Crypto-currencies are changing the security landscape - bitcoin, asicminer, free bitcoins, asic miner, bitcoin asic, asic bitcoin, bitcoin miner, free, bitcoin, butterfly labs
Tech4Biz | 07 Jun 2013. It is impossible to defend against online attacks without understanding who is attacking and their respective motivations, but the emergence of crypto-currencies has the potential to fundamentally alter the security landscape.
According to Mikko Hyppönen, chief research officer, F-Secure, because of the different methods of attack from different attackers it is more important than ever to understand who is doing what.

"It is completely different to try to defend your organisation against a cybercriminal gang who are attacking to make money," said Hyppönen, "compared to trying to defend against a nation state espionage attack. That is completely different to defending your organisation against Anonymous or a movement like that who are neither of these and are not interested in making money or espionage but as a means of protest or to make a point. They are all completely different to each other, using different mechanisms and tools."

"These are the main groups into which I divide current attacks, the criminals, the activists and the governmental activity."

However, those motivated by profit are changing their activities and this could have a dramatic impact for the IT security industry.

Hyppönen said that the growing use of crypto-currencies, such as Bitcoin and Litecoin, have meant that many criminals have changed their activities and are now able to make money from compromised computers without the need for user interaction.

In the past, criminals often targeted a user's PC to get Paypal passwords, banking credentials or credit card details. But now, many hackers and criminals are simply targeting machines to create or enlarge botnets. - Read more here:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Compliance Through Alliance – BTC Global Introduces Crowdsourced Bitcoin Regulation

Jun 6 2013. Is crowdsourced regulation for bitcoin startups the future of the industry? When you are in the business of dealing with a new (relatively speaking) digital currency that the world knows little about, and even those of the general public that have heard of bitcoin, usually add the words ‘money laundering’, creativity is a necessary ingredient. This is especially true when adapting bitcoin financial services such as merchant solutions and currency exchanges with existing banking and money transfer laws.

While early bitcoin startups paid more attention to ‘spreading the word’ and security than to financial regulations, that point of view is quickly changing. Thanks to an increase in value during the first part of 2013, the market cap of bitcoins peaked at over $2 billion. Even after a subsequent drop, bitcoin prices have held steady above $100 recently, trading at a current $121. This has led to greater media attention and government scrutiny. Specifically, established firms have come under fire for failure to pay attention to anti-money laundering laws. As a result, companies that had managed to stay in business even after suffering from security breaches, suddenly found themselves shutting down after their bank accounts were frozen. Even MtGox, the largest of bitcoin exchanges, who reportedly has a strong relationship with its local banking partners, is facing difficulties following the closure of its US subsidiary’s account as well as Australian funding arrangements.

Seeing the landscape change, today’s bitcoin startups are beginning to take regulations and banking relationships more seriously, and viewing them as a necessary annoyance. However, while firms are taking more precaution, it comes at a cost. Explaining the difficulties, Steven Morrel, Co-Founder and CPO at BTC Global expressed to Forex Magnates that to really make sure you are covering yourself in terms of regulation, firms needs be registered in each country or state they do business in. As such, Morrel added that this means “employing lawyers and paying for fees in each state or country. It’s a huge difficulty for startups.” - Read more here:

Apple to create virtual currency ‘iMoney’

Apple to create virtual currency ‘iMoney’ - bitcoin, asicminer, free bitcoins, asic miner, bitcoin asic, asic bitcoin, bitcoin miner, free, bitcoin, butterfly labs
Published On June 7, 2013 at 07:51 BST | By William McCanless. Yesterday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Organization published a patent application from Apple for – wait for it – iMoney. Apple looks to get into the digital currency game in a way similar to Amazon Coins. The patent is a combination of virtual currency and digital wallet technology. It allows users to store money in the cloud and make payments with their iPhone.

Some possibilities for the patent include making money by viewing ads, where the user will receive tokens of iMoney that can be applied toward their mobile carrier costs or redeemed for Apple products and services. There may also be NFC - Near Field Communication - technology in the mix to communicate with point-of-sale terminals, which is something Apple has resisted adding to the iPhone for a long time. NFC allows smartphones to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them in close proximity.

Many people consider this as Apple trying to nudge into the digital currency arena, after already refusing to support mobile Bitcoin wallets or apps that allow Bitcoin trading, causing many Bitcoin enthusiasts and users of alt-currency to switch over to Android. - Read more here: