11 February 2014

Bitcoin Weekly News Summary For The Week From The 3 To The 9 Of February 2014

Bitcoin Weekly News Summary

This BWNS edition counted with the sponsorship of www.BitVapors.com. Online Vendor of E-Cigs, Accessories and Consciously selected USA-made E-liquids for all your Vaping Needs. Bitcoin & Litecoin Accepted. Shipping to you in the USA and Internationally.

The Feel Of The Week

Bad Weeks are not the common fare in Bitcoin. But the week summarized in this BWNS edition sure was. Full of bad news and imposed bad news thanks to the way Bitcoin News are now covered in Mainstream Press and Media.  It not all bad since there were still good news as the week started very well. But looking back it sure felt like a rough week given all the drama it had. 

The News Highlights:

> USD Bitcoin Average Exchange Price started this week at $834 and stood over $820 until February 6 when the whole Apple and Russia ordeals took place. This took the BAEP down to $794. February 7 came and then the Mt.Gox Friday Freeze happened. This made the BAEP to dive to a week low of $694. On February  8 the markets saw a buzz of Bitcoin Traders grabbing al the Panic Sellers Bitcoin taking the BAEP to $740, but Sunday arrived and we ended the week on $700.


> USPS research on extra revenue streams took them to take a look at Bitcoin. While the original report is from January 31, it really only buzzed into it being covered around until February 3. Which is why it appears here. The idea of the USPS seems like a far fetched one since it would instantly cause a boom to Bitcoin in both price and adoption in a scale never seen yet. But it is not really as far fetched when you realize it would be the most effective way for the USA government to fully regulate Bitcoin on a federal level. It is really one of the most forward thinking ideas so far looking into Bitcoin coming from a Government Funded Institution. It really intrigued me and I would dare say it also intrigued most of the Bitcoin Scene. Not just those living in the USA.

SOURCE:  http://go.bloomberg.com/political-capital/2014-01-31/can-bitcoin-save-the-postal-service/

LINK: http://www.coindesk.com/us-postal-service-bitcoin-exchanges/ 

> CheapAir.com started accepting Bitcoin for booking hotels too. Before that they already accepted Bitcoin for booking Plane Tickets. But now it also accepts it for Hotel Rooms. Making it possible to pay for a room in 200,000 Hotels around the world.

LINK: http://bitcoinexaminer.org/book-hotel-bitcoin-cheapair-com/

> The Wall Street Journal added a Bitcoin News Section. They called it BitBeat.  Goes to show just how mainstream Bitcoin News Coverage has become.

SOURCE: http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/02/03/bitbeat-your-daily-bitcoin-round-up/

> Nymi, A company that will launch a  Biometric Authenticator Wrist Gadget announced that one of the apps for their Wearable will be a Bitcoin Wallet.

SOURCE: http://www.getnymi.com/

LINK: http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/04/nymi-bitcoin/

> Russia Prosecutor General Office issues ruling on Digital Currencies being illegal based on Russia Article 27 of their federal law. Which was the basis for Russia past Warning on Bitcoin.  However this new ruling does not mean full clarity in just how illegal Digital Currencies supposedly are. And with that I mean how does actual prosecution looks for it or how enforceable it actually is beyond generic measures at banks and obviously any Russia based Bitcoin Exchange and big commercial entities.

What I mean is that the whole thing is still in motion and unclear. Bringing back memories of what happened when Thailand Banned Bitcoin, but not really. Or when China did so for banks and exchanges. The only thing clear about Russia’s ruling is that they are pushing Bitcoin to their gray and black markets for the moment. But given this is Russia we are talking about. Many everyday things are based in the gray and black markets. So, I would not declare Bitcoin dead at all on Russia. I will only concede it got complicated.

LINK: http://bitcoinexaminer.org/russian-prosecutor-bitcoin-cryptocurrencies/

>CoinMap.org reached 3000 listed places accepting bitcoin. Worth to note that it still only represents a fraction of the places accepting Bitcoin around the world. That in my own napkin map based on just how many registered merchants there are on the top 3 Bitcoin Payment Processors must be well over 10,000 places. That number in turn does only represent on a fraction of all merchants accepting Bitcoin considering that on the Top 3 Bitcoin Payment Processor there are already over 50,000 registered merchants.

SOURCE: www.Coinmap.org

> Thanks to the MyBus 2.0 Canberra App. You can now pay for the bus fare with Bitcoin if you happen to live in Canberra, Australia.

SOURCE: http://imagineteamsolutions.com/app/mybus-2-0/

LINK: http://bitcoinexaminer.org/canberra-commuters-bus-bitcoin/

> Kazakhstan Central Bank Governor was reported to be thinking in Banning. Doubtful they will be able to do so, other than saying it is banned. Clearly a reaction to Russia recently more publicized stance on Bitcoin.

LINK: http://www.coindesk.com/kazakhstans-central-bank-ban-bitcoin-protect-bankers/

> Scan, A Notable Electronics UK Retailer started accepting Bitcoin. You can think of it as similar to TigerDirect and Newegg.


> CoinTerra had a Security Breach and had to withstand several attacks to their site. This after the previous week when they disappointed everyone by not shipping but one unit and announcing their 2 TeraHash Mining Hardware would only be able to do 1.4 Terahashes.

SOURCE: http://cointerra.com/information-update-cointerra-com-security-breach/

> Malwarebytes, The Anti-Malware Software Provider started accepting Bitcoin for their premium products.

SOURCE: http://blog.malwarebytes.org/news/2014/02/malwarebytes-now-accepts-bitcoins/

> Perseus Telecom, a heavy-bandwidth telecommunications provider started accepting Bitcoin by partnering with GoCoin.

LINK: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/high-speed-link-provider-perseus-to-accept-bitcoin-2014-02-06?link=MW_latest_news

> HighKart, an Online E-Commerce retailer debuted as the first one in India to accept only Bitcoin as method of payment.

LINK: http://www.dnaindia.com/money/interview-india-s-first-e-commerce-store-to-accept-bitcoin-only-as-a-payment-method-1959468

> Coinbase suffered a series of thefts reported during the week that amounted to 40 Bitcoins. The thefts targeted accounts that had enabled the Coinbase API Key or by phishing campaigns.

LINK: http://bitcoinexaminer.org/hackers-coinbase-bitcoin-thefts/

> Coinbase overhauled the API Key Management. Making it granular and allowing for improved security. This will finally allow for Coinbase Users – Myself included – to finally be able to use Third-party Coinbase apps without any fear. Thing that previous to this Coinbase update was just too dangerous.

SOURCE: More security and granular control with the new API keys

> Indonesia Central Bank took a more neutral stance to Bitcoin. Basically it is hand-off approach with the usual warnings to users.

SOURCE: http://www.bi.go.id/id/ruang-media/siaran-pers/Pages/sp_160614.aspx

LINK:  http://www.coindesk.com/indonesia-central-bank-takes-new-more-neutral-stance-bitcoin/

> Two LocalBitcoins.com users were arrested on Money Laundering Charges in Florida. This however does not mean you will be arrested if you are making  large transactions on LocalBitcoins in the USA. The key element is these users completing transactions over $10,000 USD for Bitcoin or the other way around when they had previous knowledge the money or the Bitcoin came from criminal activity or it is going to be used for criminal activity. In the case of those arrested, the undercover agents previous to meeting had stated they wanted the Bitcoin to commit a crime or that the money they were going to receive came from a crime. Since that is what determines criminal intent and makes the case for them. So, Bitcoin Transactions are not illegal. What is illegal AND fully enforced with process prosecution is doing big money amount transactions that have criminal intent on them. Obvious I thought. But it seems some were confused on this.

LINK: http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/02/florida-targets-high-dollar-bitcoin-exchangers/

> Butterfly Labs faces a new lawsuit for a $62,000 USD order that was never delivered. Almost not news at this point. But the baffling perspective from BFL on why it is somehow not their fault but the customer fault is the reason why it is worth highlighting. To read more on it, check the link.

LINK: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/02/new-lawsuit-against-bitcoin-miner-manufacturer-alleges-fraud-negligence/

> The BitcoinWallet.com domain got sold for an insane $250,000 USD.  Overpriced given it is two words and eleven characters in total. Since I did ventured in Domain Selling in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, I would said based on the recent publicized sale of several two word domains. $100,000 USD would had been a more fair price for it in current markets. Even if High Potential .com Domains is a game that in 2014 is only worth it if you are fully building the brand based on the domain name or in reflection to the domain name. Owning BitcoinWallet.com really only makes sense if you do are going to make a Online Bitcoin Wallet since the domain name is too specific and too self-explanatory. The problem here is unless you are ready to invest dozens of millions of dollars to compete with Coinbase and blockchain.info there is no real reason to own it that will give you a return for what you paid for it. But hey, there is no doubt it is a cool domain.

LINK: http://www.coindesk.com/inc-5000-entrepreneur-buys-bitcoinwallet-com-domain-for-250k/

> Apple Removed Blockchain.info Bitcoin Wallet App from iOS App Store. Leaving iOS users without any option of Bitcoin Wallet App unless they Jailbreak their device.

What that action caused was one of the biggest Bitcoin News Stories of the week.

First there was the reaction from Blockchain.info

Blockchain’s Response to Apple

That explained how Apple didn’t gave a reason on why the removal after the app had been around for 2 years. With the possible explanations being that Apple does not get a cut of that, that Apple is going to release their payment system and does not want Bitcoin around or that Apple just loves to be a jerk. All 3 valid explanations, really.

Blockchain.info response was covered in several dozens of blogs and news sites in several languages. Many blogs also had a critical stance to Apple.

After that came the reactions from big players in the Bitcoin Space in the USA criticizing Apple and even from Mark Cuban.

Then, then came Reddit’s Bitcoin SubReddit reaction which was swift and flashy.Round-Peg, Redditor and Bitcoiner  declared a challenge and a contest of sorts. He would give a Google Nexus 5 to 5 iPhone owners and Bitcoin users that smashed their devices on video and stated they were against Apple for their move against Bitcoin.  5 videos followed fast and there was even an extra video who managed to also get the Nexus 5 thanks to the spectacular fashion he was going to smash his iPhone: With High-Caliber Bullets.


Round-Peg’s Bitcoin Sponsored iPhone Destruction paid off as the videos were also covered in dozens of blogs and news sites. From sources as mainstream as the CNN website.

Finally came the mocking of Apple via reinterpretations of famous Apple Ads. The ones famous for stating just how much of a rebel, different and user conscious Apple was. The operative word being WAS.  Even if in reality Apple has never being any of that. But, well, that is another subject.

> Mt.Gox halted Fiat-currency and Bitcoin Withdrawls without giving much explanation to why and leaving everyone in a state of doubt. This in turn caused a drop in the Bitcoin Average Exchange Price as Mt.Gox had for a long time had an anywhere from 10% to 15% higher price than other exchanges. With the BAEP drop being correspondent to that difference.

SOURCE: https://www.mtgox.com/press_release_20140207.html

> Previous to the Mt.Gox Friday Freeze, A Bitcoiner had shared a chronicle of his adventure in trying to get answers from Mt.Gox directly by traveling to Japan. The story has now being 90% verified and it is a great intro to what lead to the Friday Freeze.

SOURCE: http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1x9gue/my_protest_at_mtgox_offices_5_to_7th_february/

The Send Off.

And those were the news highlights of that week when it comes to Bitcoin. Comeback every week for the very best way to catch a whole week worth of Bitcoin News in just one place in just minutes, annotated, commented and fully linked at for you.

This BWNS edition counted with the sponsorship of www.BitVapors.com. Online Vendor of E-Cigs, Accessories and Consciously selected USA-made E-liquids for all your Vaping Needs. Bitcoin & Litecoin Accepted. Shipping to you in the USA and Internationally.

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tqft said...

I still think one of the best things the USPS or any postoffice could do is create a make your own stamp app.
Calculate postage, print transaction id/hash (as a QR code? that could also include the address) and pay.
Stick it on your parcel and throw in post box. Verified addressing and postage and as the postoffice scans all mail for sorting anyway in some ways this could be easier.
Big selling point for users: never queue again for a stamp.
For post office - stamp income without printing stamps. They already do this for large postal users with franking machines

Avatar X said...

@tqft The close that the USPS has got to is the print-your-shipment slip and placeholder for the stamp. This registers the shipment and the postage in advance and then someone picks it up. I find that quite good.

The reason why the multi-level approach you suggest cannot be done as the only way is because post office live on bulk stamp orders and advance shipment commitments for stamps. Then there is the whole stamp business side.

But it could be done as a sideline business. But my guess is that it would only work for those fully registered P.O box and postal card. As that would the way upsell something on that option and be able to close track or support that kind of service. The idea is cool and I get the pain of having to go for stamp or buying stamps and pre-fillable slips.


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