Saturday, February 1, 2014

Chinese New Year Bitcoin Ban: End of Days or Empty Threat? / By Alistair Charlton | January 30, 2014 15:26 PM GMT

When Chinese New Year takes place on 31 January the country’s bitcoin users may have little to celebrate, as restrictions announced a month earlier come into force with the potential to cripple crypto-currency use.

News spread in December that China’s Central Bank would soon prevent financial institutions and payment processing companies from handling bitcoin, effectively outlawing the exchanges used to convert local currency yuan into bitcoins, and visa versa.

Absolute clarification on where this leaves China’s bitcoin businesses is difficult to come by, but that hasn’t stopped bitcoin forums and conferences the world over expressing panic and confusion.

Some bitcoin owners claim nothing will change, while others predict 31 January will mark the end of bitcoin, with any coins in China permanently locked behind a central bank-controlled firewall. - READ MORE

Bitcoins in Argentina: A New Safe Haven? / by Tess Bennett / 30 January 2014

It is estimated that between 5,000 and 6,000 Argentines use bitcoins, making it the largest community in Latin America. According to the Fundación Bitcoin Argentina, around 50 to 60 local businesses accept the currency, and there are several hundred bitcoin miners.

Rodolfo Andragnes, vice-president of Fundación Bitcoin Argentina, says that the popularity of Bitcoin can be explained in part by the country’s economic past and present.

“Argentina is very attentive to all these kinds of things. As a country we, all Argentines, have suffered financial crises many times… They see in Bitcoin an opportunity to avoid the problems that we suffer here,” says Andragnes. - READ MORE

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sweden Likely to Regulate Bitcoin as an Asset / January 23, 2014 / by Morpheus

An official from the Swedish Tax Agency has revealed it is drafting rules for bitcoin users and programmers that would treat bitcoins as assets.

In an interview with Bloomberg released 22nd January, Swedish tax official Olof Wallin spoke about the proposal, stating why he believes bitcoin fails to meet Sweden’s definition of a currency:

“Currencies are traditionally tied to a central bank or geographic area,” Wallin stated.

Because of this distinction, Wallin said Sweden is likely to regulate bitcoin “like art or antiques”. Under the proposal, bitcoin would fall under the same asset class as antiques, copyrights, jewelry and stamps, and be subject to capital gains taxes.

Wallin stated that Sweden is also considering whether to tax bitcoin miners as businesses, stating only that his agency is considering its position on the matter. - READ MORE

Forbes Launches First E-Book In Its 2014 Series – Secret Money:Living On Bitcoin In The Real World / By Forbes Staff / 1-16-2014 @ 10:12AM

New York, NY (January 16, 2014) – Forbes announced today the release of the first title in its 2014 e-book line, Secret Money: Living on Bitcoin in the Real World, by Forbes senior online editor Kashmir Hill. The new e-book, produced and distributed by Vook, describes how to live on Bitcoin, the increasingly popular digital currency that enables people to send money around the world semi-anonymously and without transaction fees. Forbes editor Kashmir Hill explains the origins and peculiarities of Bitcoin and the community that has sprung up around it, while documenting the challenges of surviving for an entire week on the digital coin.

Forbes Media Chief Product Officer Lewis D’Vorkin said, “Forbes is committed to giving its staffers and contributors the right tools to reach new audiences. Kashmir’s e-book shows off her expertise and flair for covering Bitcoin’s recent rise in stature, while clearly laying out how the digital currency works. She should know—she lived on it for a week! We couldn’t be happier to lead off our e-book line in 2014 with Secret Money: Living On Bitcoin In The Real World.” - READ MORE

New Report Details Bitcoin’s Potential Threat to the Federal Reserve / By Cathy Reisenwitz / January 10, 2014

The Congressional Research Service, aka “Congress’ Think Tank,” recently made public their report on Bitcoin, Bitcoin: Questions, Answers, and Analysis of Legal Issues. The fascinating report details in sparkling prose the history, uses, threats and regulatory implications of the world’s best-known cryptocurrency.

The report’s most interesting part deals with the impact Bitcoin might have on the Federal Reserve. According to these experts, widespread adoption of Bitcoin could severely curtail the effectiveness of the Fed’s monetary policy.

The report describes the Federal Reserve’s mission as aimed at achieving “stable prices, maximum employment, and financial market stability.” It’s impossible to know the counterfactual. But many are entirely unsatisfied with both the nation’s employment rate and the continuing financial crises which led to its most recent rise. - READ MORE

Bitcoin ATM Installations Surge in Canada

A Lamassu bitcoin ATM / January 20, 2014 / By Morpheus

Three cities in Canada are set to have bitcoin ATMs installed in the coming weeks, making the country the top ATM location in the world. New ATMs will be installed in the Canadian capital city Ottawa as well as Montreal and financial hub Toronto.

The ATM operators are announcing their plans to install machines across the country even as Canada’s central bank issued a statement yesterday declaring

The Ottawa ATM maker has also included a wallet-generation feature on its machines. This means the ATM can create a wallet for a user who does not have an existing way of storing bitcoins. According to Bitaccess, a high-entropy, one-time, paper wallet is generated, which is then scanned manually by the user. The company says it doesn’t store any information about the printed wallets.

Ottawa will also get a Bitaccess machine, according to a report from the Ottawa Citizen. The machine will be operated by a company called BIT-Capital, which also claims to run several cryptocurrency investment funds. The Ottawa ATM was installed in the Clocktower Brew Pub yesterday, according to the Citizen‘s report. The micro-brewery boasts four home-brewed beers and an “upscale pub menu”. - READ MORE

Vegas Loves Brazil Festival to Accept Bitcoin / Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) / January 20, 2014

The biggest Brazilian festival in Las Vegas is scheduled to take place on April 5th and 6th at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. They are partnering with well-known Bitcoin payment processor Bitpay to bring this innovative payment technology to their attendees.

Bitpay is already facilitating Bitcoin payments for the Sacramento Kings and, but Vegas Loves Brazil will be one of the first, if not the first, festival to accept the cryptocurrency with open arms. Vegas Loves Brazil is an event that has always embraced innovation, and they are taking that love of new technologies to the next level by accepting Bitcoin.

Bitpay has been integrated into the Vegas Loves Brazil website, which means paying for a ticket has never been easier. When someone goes to buy tickets for the festival on the Vegas Loves Brazil website, the individual will only need to select Bitcoin as the payment option before starting the checkout process. The user will then be redirected to the Bitpay platform, where all they need to do is scan a QR code with their Bitcoin wallet and click send. There are many different packages available for attendees, and anything from a ticket to a t-shirt can be purchased with bitcoins. - READ MORE

DataCoin (DTC) Features in-Blockchain Data Storage And Web Apps Embedded in Blockchain / January 18th, 2014 / ACCESSWIRE

Disruptive digital currency DataCoin features perpetual, secure and uncensorable data storage in its blockchain, eliminates transaction confirmation wait times, uses CPU mining with the same hashing algorithm as Primecoin, provides revolutionary web apps embedded in the DataCoin blockchain, and serves as its own decentralized autonomous corporation with a built-in business model. Ian Boix, CEO of, considers Datacoin to be one of only four cryptocurrencies which “stand out for giving more value than a simple currency.” Datacoin’s intrinsic value and key innovations are its decentralized data storage feature and the newly announced web applications embedded inside the DataCoin blockchain. Datacoin is currently traded for Bitcoin on digital currency exchange platforms Bter, Coins-e,, and BTC-8.

DataCoin provides the necessary replication needed for truly delete-proof data storage. Datacoin miners maintain a copy of the entire DTC blockchain on their personal computer. As files uploaded to the Datacoin network are embedded in the blockchain, they are stored on thousands of individual personal computers around the world; that number is projected to grow with Datacoin’s increased adoption. This data cannot be censored as it would be impossible to delete it from every individual participating computer. Furthermore, once data is uploaded to the blockchain, it is impossible to delete it. DataCoin will soon roll out the ability for users to upload and store their own personally encrypted data which only they can access, but which will have all the benefits of replicated storage the Datacoin blockchain offers. - READ MORE

Can Dogecoin Surpass Bitcoin and Litecoin’s Popularity in the Near Future?

By Forexminute – Jonathan Millet | Litecoin | Jan 24, 2014 9:00AM UTC

The best thing about Dogecoin is that the currency is not taking itself too seriously unlike others. It is surely not formed to make people rich overnight. But instead, the currency is actually following the vision of Satoshi Nakamoto of being something that can make a difference not just to the financial world, but also real world.

The instance can be reflected in recent news reporting the Dogecoin community gathering and raising more than $30,000 for helping the Jamaican bobsled team to participate in the Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi next year. That’s quite humanitarian!

And even if we compare Dogecoin directly with Litecoin, we will find the former being accepted more widely than the latter. Litecoin indeed needs to make some news other than being called as the “best alternative”, because the Dogecoin is offering similar features at much lower prices. Although, it doesn’t mean Litecoin has lost its spot of being “silver” to the “gold” Bitcoin, but its position seems shakable by other emerging currencies such as Dogecoin. - READ MORE

Newly-minted marriage between metals and Bitcoin / January 23, 2014 / by Virtex

The Sovereign Exchange, a Canadian-based marketplace for precious metal aficionados, will soon be changing its name to Sovereign Bitcoin Exchange to reflect its proposed expansion into Bitcoin, where it will facilitate the conversion of physical gold or silver into Bitcoin.

Founded in 2012 by Vancouver entrepreneur Steven Merrill, the Exchange currently provides a marketplace where physical silver and gold investors can discover purchasing-power within a business community that extends price discounts for virtual grams of silver, known as Sovereigns. Every Sovereign is 100% secured by investment grade bullion. Sovereigns can be tendered between members or used at any time to claim physical silver or gold. The Sovereign Exchange acts as a clearinghouse for the trading activity, earning a commission on each transaction, and provides a ‘window’ for members to deposit or withdraw their bullion.

The Exchange will soon undergo an extensive re-branding so as to explain to the hard-money and cryptocurrency communities that positions can be taken in silver, gold or Bitcoin by exchanging either Sovereigns or Bitcoins in the online marketplace at agreed upon values. -

This is What it’s Like to Be a Woman at a Bitcoin Meetup / 24 Jan

I walk in and a group of people are already sitting at a long table. I say hi and hover for a second, determining where to sit. Entirely uninvited, and before I even have a chance to react, one guy proceeds to grab me by the waist and pull me into an awkward, grope-y side hug next to him on the bench. To reiterate, I’ve never met this man in my life. I try giving him the benefit of the doubt and make some quip about his being a friendly sort, but it gets uncomfortable pretty quickly when he puts his hand on my leg and leaves it there until I squirm uncomfortably.

Unsurprisingly, this type of treatment wasn’t specially reserved for me. The person who actually suggested the event to Ryan was another young woman (the only other woman at the event), a VC who was in town from San Francisco and was interested in checking it out for the first time. The aforementioned groper knew Ryan vaguely from other Bitcoin events, and greeted their arrival with a warm “Oh, nice to see you! I see you brought your girlfriend this time.” When the two of them try to point out that a) they are not together and b) she was actually the one who had brought him, they are cut off with a swift “Sure, sure, I just wanted to see what the dynamic was between you two.” Apparently that’s code for “checking if you’re ok with my hitting on her,” as that’s exactly what he proceeds to do.

The guy sitting on the other side of me turns and introduces himself. Turns out, he’s the organizer and leader of the meetup. He follows with a swift, “So, how did you find out about this?” I’m honestly not sure if he means the meet up group or Bitcoin in general, so I go with the latter and tell him I’ve been interested (ok, obsessed—my friend Sam Smith may or may not have nicknamed me Cryptoqueen) since around mid 2013, which is when I started buying some. -