Saturday, November 23, 2013

Xinhua Insight: Bitcoin rollercoaster hits China, challenging supervision / By Wang Wen / November 22, 2013

BEIJING, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — Bitcoin investors in China might have passed the most restless two nights of their lives as the virtual currency price rose from a little over 3,000 yuan (492.3 U.S. dollars) to nearly 7,000 and dropped back to 3,500 yuan from Tuesday to Wednesday on the country’s biggest trading platform.

High investment risks have begun to concern them, despite huge returns.

Bitcoin, a form of digital e-money stored in a virtual wallet, bypasses banks, allows users to remain anonymous and came to the Chinese public eye in April this year, when movie star Jet Li’s One Foundation received a donation of several hundred Bitcoin to help quake-stricken Sichuan.

The “currency” has been heating up ever since, especially when China Central Television reported on the evening news of October 28 that Canada has set up the first Bitcoin ATM machine. Investors went even crazier when the country’s largest Bitcoin trading platform, BTC China, received an investment of 5 million U.S. dollars on Monday.

The platform’s daily volume of business has exceeded 10,000 Bitcoin, or over 200 million yuan now.

While some applaud creativity and the revolutionary character of the “crypto-money,” many consider it a new kind of investment. Only a few noticed the high risks behind the Bitcoin craze and drew back, as industry researchers and insiders, economists and sociologists looked on. - READ MORE

Bitcoin: Hoping for the Best After Bernanke’s Endorsement / By Staff Report / November 22, 2013

The strange convergence of Bernanke, Hayek and Bitcoin … Every time Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke opens his mouth, the markets move. But few could have guessed that in an offhand remark he would add legitimacy to the Bitcoin, the virtual currency that competes with the American dollar as a reserve currency and an international trading medium. Yet that is what he did when he held out a friendly hand to the notion of fantasy currencies in a letter to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. Understandably, this improbable endorsement from the guardian of the mighty dollar sent the value of the Bitcoin soaring. – Reuters

Dominant Social Theme: Maybe bitcoin is the future of money after all.

Free-Market Analysis: Bitcoin is making its way forward as digital money. Perhaps, as we have speculated, it has been chosen to anticipate other such currencies and to be controlled if possible.

This opinion piece from Reuters explains the possibility of this control and also makes a stirring case for regulation of bitcoin.

Again, we are not surprised. The endorsement of Ben Bernanke may come as a shock to some but it is in line with what must happen if bitcoin is to become a favored digital currency.

Here’s more from the editorial:

Until recently, the Bitcoin was seen as a novel, experimental, somewhat piratical cyberspace Monopoly money that has proved useful in moving money around the world without the hampering and costly help of banks, which slow things down, waste days while the cash lingers in limbo, and take a hefty slice of every transaction.

Bitcoin’s headiest moment was as the currency of choice of the Deepnet black market website Silk Road, which sold everything from crack cocaine to child porn, and was closed down by the FBI last month. Bernanke sees far beyond the illicit uses of virtual currencies as a means of paying for contraband or shuffling hot money around without being traced. - READ MORE

Dutch Bank Rabobank is Blocking Customers from Buying Bitcoins

Dutch Bank Rabobank is Blocking Customers from Buying Bitcoins / By Marc van der Chijs / November 21, 2013 at 16:34 GMT

Editor’s note: Marc van der Chijs is a former Dutch serial entrepreneur in Shanghai turned venture capitalist in Vancouver. He lived and worked for over 13 years in China, where he co-founded popular online video sharing site He is a big believer in bitcoin.

It seems banks have started to realize that bitcoin could be a major threat for them.

In the US many banks don’t accept any bitcoin businesses as clients, possibly because of regulatory concerns and money laundering risks.

Individuals aren’t free from bitcoin banking issues either. CoinDesk reported recently that a Swedish bank froze a customer’s account for selling just 5 BTC.

Now it is the Netherlands’ turn. A bank has taken matters a step further and simply blocked most of its customers from buying bitcoins at exchanges.

According to an article in the Dutch press, Rabobank cancelled 99% of its customers’ transactions with bitcoin exchanges on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Rabobank did not give a reason for this, but a spokesperson for Dutch bitcoin exchange BTCNext said it was because transactions are seen as potential fraud. - READ MORE

Bitcoin Space Travel — Bitcoin for Boobs — No Bail for DPR

Bitcoin Space Travel — Bitcoin for Boobs — No Bail for DPR

November 22, 2013 -- Dallas, TX -- Dedicated to President John Fitzgerald Kennedy -- MadBitcoins: It's the cola. Here are Today's MadBits: Bitcoin prices continue to climb with Coindesk BPI reporting a Last of $723, a High of $742, and a Low of $651. Litecoin was up as well to $8 and 72 cents.

1.) Virgin Galactic Accepts Bitcoin for Space Travel, says Billionaire Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson

2.) Now You Can Swap Bitcoins for Boob Jobs in Florida

3.) Silk Road's Ross Ulbricht Denied Bail, Supporters Aim to Raise $500k for Legal Defence

Zapruder Film Stabilized
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Couple Lives on Bitcoin for 101 Days

The virtual currency bitcoin has been much in the news lately. Most of the news has focused on scams and swindles and ponzi schemes, but can you actually just simply live on bitcoin? Austin and Beccy Craig did and explain their experience on MoneyBeat.

The Battle Over Regulating Bitcoin

Bob Rice, general managing partner with Tangent Capital Partners LLC, discusses bitcoin regulation with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television’s “In The Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Is Bitcoin the Answer to the Digital Economy? (video)

Nov. 18 (Bloomberg) — Bloomberg Television’s “Lunch Money” Host Adam Johnson reports on the bitcoin phenomana. (Source: Bloomberg)

Jeffrey Tucker on the Prison-Industrial Complex, Silk Road, Occupy, and more (Ep 109)

Jeffrey Tucker, the Executive Editor of Laissez Faire Books, joins Guy Evans to discuss the fallout of Russell Brand's BBC Newsnight interview with Jeremy Paxman, an appearance that has provoked much discussion about the role and existence of government. Other topics of discussion include the prison-industrial complex, silk road, the Occupy movement, and more. Enjoy!

Jeffrey Tucker on the Prison-Industrial Complex, Silk Road, Occupy, and more (Ep 109)

Bitcoin Trades Over $1000 On BTC China Exchange And Crashes 30% … Then Rebounds / By Tyler Durden / 11-18-2013 20:38 -0500

Putting to rest fears that today’s Senatorial hearing on digital currencies would crater Bitcoin (if in the immediate term), moments ago the digital currency priced in USD on the Mt Gox exchange, rose to yet another unpredecented price, hitting $850 moments ago, or about 50% higher than where it was this morning.

But you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Because at the same time, the Renminbi-denominated price of Bitcoin on BTC China, has the digital currency at 6780CNY. At a USDCNY exchange rate of 6.09, this means a price over $1100 per Bitcoin.

Bitcoin = Drug trade? Angry US govt seeks to curb alternative currency (video)

The renegade crypto-currency that’s used to avoid the watchful eye of financial authorities, has made history yet again. Bitcoin’s value surged past 500 dollars this weekend after months of steady growth. But as the currency is scoring more and more points it keeps raising eyebrows in Washington, as Gayane Chichakyan reports.

Bitcoin = Drug trade? Angry US govt seeks to curb alternative currency