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February 27 2014

Tags: TC Bitcoin

February 25 2014

Tags: TC mt.gox Bitcoin

February 24 2014


February 21 2014


February 20 2014


February 17 2014


February 14 2014


February 13 2014

Silk Road 2 Hacked, 88,000 Bitcoin Allegedly Stolen
Silk RoadSilk Road 2 moderator Defcon reported in a forum post that hackers have used a transaction malleability exploit to hack the marketplace. The hackers stole over 88,000 bitcoins worth $41,474,415, emptying the site's escrow account.

February 12 2014

India Raises Concerns On Bitcoin’s Credibility, But Doesn’t Call It Illegal Yet
highkartBitcoin traders are having a roller coaster ride everywhere and India is no exception. After initial momentum that saw several Bitcoin exchanges emerge in India, the Reserve Bank of India issued a warning that sent many traders into a tizzy last year. Now, Raghuram Rajan, the RBI’s new governor has reiterated the central bank’s concerns about the credibility of Bitcoin. Addressing a technology conference in Mumbai earlier today, Rajan said there are ambiguities about who controls the value of Bitcoin. “As a currency, I do worry a little bit when the underlying (value) fluctuates tremendously. One of the values of a currency is stability and the extent (to which) a currency is target of speculation as opposed to primarily a means of exchange,” he said addressing a conference organized by technology industry body Nasscom. I do think we have to understand the role of virtual currencies and how they will interact with the paper currency that you have…There are questions that need to be asked, one of them being, who will maintain value? Can we have confidence in unseen, unknown centres who maintain the value of the currency, or an algorithm that will maintain the value of the currency – we need more credibility there But Bitcoin traders in India are not giving up yet. Last month, Highkart became the first (and the only) e-commerce site in India to start accepting payment in Bitcoin. Its co-founder Amit Kumar told me that one of the challenges facing growth of Bitcoin in India is that many early adopters are still hoarding the currency and not trading them. Highkart sold a pair of shoes from Provogue in exchange for Bitcoin as its first transaction. It has currently 150 products and the startup does not charge anything extra for shipping the products. “There’s nothing illegal in accepting Bitcoin — the RBI will take more time to come up with clarity,” Kumar added. Highkart and other Bitcoin traders in India say they are following all banking regulations prescribed by the RBI, leaving no room for any illegal activities. Benson Samuel, a Bitcoin developer and consultant said nothing much has changed for Bitcoin in India since the last time RBI issued the warning. Last month, an Indian lawyer even sent a legal notice to RBI asking for clarity on Bitcoin trading in India.  A major concern for policymakers and regulators about Bitcoin is that it could be used
Revel Systems Adds Native Bitcoin Transactions To Its POS Offering
bitcoinHey do you like Bitcoins? Yeah. I thought you might. Well you can use all those coins to buy things at stores running Revel Systems-powered point-of-sale terminals starting right now, as the company has rolled out native support for transactions made using the very much in-vogue cryptocurrency. Previously, Revel customers could accept Bitcoin transactions using third-party plugins, but now it’s integrated as an optional payment method directly into the platform alongside LevelUp, PayPal, cash and credit. The reason behind the integration is to provide its users with access to all the latest payment methods, according to Revel co-founders Lisa Falzone and Chris Ciabarra, and Bitcoin has been a request from a decent number of its clients. “If you actually search ‘Revel’ and ‘Bitcoin’ prior to this release, you’ll see a lot of our clients were already accepting it through our third-party access button,” Ciabarra explained. “But it is double-entry. That’s why we decided to create this integration so that it’s single-entry and you don’t have to worry about it. We had potential clients asking for a POS that could accept Bitcoin, so it’s convincing new clients to come on board who aren’t a Revel customer yet but who are using Bitcoin.” The integration is already being used by some active Revel clients, and they’ve already accepted Bitcoin payments at locations across the country. Ciabarra said that so far, they’ve noticed that grocery stores have seemed to be the most interested in offering Bitcoin as a payment option. It has a number of advantages for merchants and retailers, he notes, including an absence of transaction fees and the lack of exposure to the risk of payments not clearing. Regardless of whether Bitcoin sizzles or fizzles, Revel wants to offer its clients whatever payment means it can, Ciabarra says. And if it does take off, being the first POS provider to support it could pay big dividends later on.

February 11 2014

Bitcoin Exchange Bitstamp Halts Withdrawals Citing Denial Of Service Attack
Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 11.54.25 AMToday the Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp stopped processing withdrawals following what it described as a denial-of-service attack. According to Bitstamp, balances are safe and no customer funds have been lost.
Bitcoin Wins Best Technology Achievement But Satoshi Doesn’t Show
IMG_9908Eyewitnesses at the Crunchies tonight reported seeing a shadowy figure hiding in the eaves of the opera hall, watching the proceedings with a gimlet eye. Perhaps, in light of the Best Technology Achievement going to Bitcoin, Satoshi himself was lurking in the gloom?
What’s Going On With Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox?
mtgoxmagiccardMt. Gox, one of the original Bitcoin trading sites, has shut down its withdrawals system, citing problems related to transaction malleability (more on that shortly). Mt. Gox wrote on their site that this problem has forced them to shut down their withdrawal services: “We apologize for the sudden short notice. All bitcoin withdrawal requests will be on pause, and the withdrawals in the system will be returned to your Mt Gox wallet, and can be reinitiated once the issue is resolved.” So what happened? Put simply, Mt. Gox has been suffering from a sort of hack that makes its transactions vanish, allowing aggrieved customers to come back and ask for their money again. In fact, however, these vanished transactions are properly processed and the customer is paid twice. To explain it without going into too much detail, transaction malleability means that transaction – 1 bitcoin sent from Mt. Gox to User A, for example – could be changed so that Mt. Gox wouldn’t be able to track that the transfer ever happened. The transfer as it stands is added to the blockchain, the ledger of all bitcoin transactions, and User A gets the BTC. BTC transfers are actually chains of data leading back to the original coin in question’s “birth.” Each transaction has its own ID or hash which is based on the data inside the transaction – the recipient and the sender in most cases. These IDs are unique. A renegade node can modify the transaction, whenever it sees certain data pass through the network. This modified transaction still says Mt. Gox sent User A 1 BTC, is still a valid transfer, but has a completely different hash. This new, modified transaction essentially cancels out the previous transaction (if the renegade node is fast enough to spread its data to the confirming nodes) and Mt. Gox doesn’t have any way of proving that the transaction occurred because it records transactions based on the hash. User A goes back to Mt. Gox complaining they didn’t get their cash and the exchange has no recourse but to send another payment… and another… and another. At least that’s how this would work in theory. In practice there is no absolute way to tell if this is widespread abuse. Mt. Gox is definitely losing money — you don’t just shut down your customer’s accounts on a whim — but the bitcoin community is
Tags: TC Bitcoin mt.gox

February 07 2014

Russia Bans Bitcoin
bitcoin-thornsRussia doesn’t do things by halves — Bitcoin can no longer be used by individuals and legal entities anymore. If you have a Bitcoin wallet on your computer, you are now breaking the law. The Central Bank of Russia reiterated that the official currency is the Ruble, and that it considers Bitcoin a money substitute. That’s why the cryptocurrency is now banned. The reasons behind this move is that Bitcoin is reportedly used for money laundering and other criminal activities. Moreover, the Russian institution thinks that it’s a purely speculative currency and that there is a great risk of value losses. Yet, banning Bitcoin doesn’t mean that people will stop using Bitcoin overnight. As Bitcoin doesn’t rely on any physical institution but the network of miners around the world, you can’t prevent Russians from using Bitcoin. But companies that are based in Russia and are working in the Bitcoin industry should at least consider relocating. They will probably be the first target of the Russian government. While harsh, this decision shouldn’t come as a surprise. Bitcoin was designed to be unregulated. But over time, many countries and official institutions have decided to try and regulate it. For example, in August, a federal judge in Texas has declared that Bitcoin is a currency and should be regulated just like euros or U.S. dollars. Similarly, New York’s financial services stated that Bitcoin companies should respect the current financial regulatory guidelines. By doing that, the authority wanted to protect Bitcoin holders and companies. Moreover, New York’s top banking regulator is currently writing a new set of rules to decrease illegal Bitcoin activities. Finally, following a parliamentary inquiry, Germany stated that Bitcoin should be considered as “private money.” It has many implications, starting by paying sales tax (VAT). This rule is hard to implement, but it gives an idea of how the German government feels. For all these reasons, Bitcoin won’t be able to remain an unregulated currency for long. In Russia, today’s ban is another step in that direction, and it’s a radical step.
Ben Horowitz’s Bitcoin Bet
bitcoin vaultToday in bitcoin ephemera I present this interesting bet between VC Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz and Felix Salmon, noted bitcoin curmudgeon. Ben has invested in multiple bitcoin startups while Felix has a really cool name and is a well-known economics writer.
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