Dub 30

Mexico Central Bank ‘Experiments’ With Bitcoin, Hints At Regulation

· April 30, 2017 · 5:00 pm

Mexico’s central bank governor has said it has “experimented” with Bitcoin with a view to possible regulation.


Carstens: Bank Has ‘Tested’ Bitcoin

Quoted by local news source Sobre Bitcoin, Bank of Mexico governor Agustín Carstens confirmed “small amounts” had formed the basis of an investigatory push to understand how cryptocurrency works in practice.

“There have been learning efforts, [Bitcoin] has not been used in any instance to perform central banking operations, rather there have been experiments comprising very small amounts,” he said.

Bitcoin will no doubt have fallen onto regulators’ radar in recent months, with interest and usage having increased considerably since November’s US election.

A fall in the value of the peso and concern about remittances to the US, in particular, have contributed to a thriving Mexican Bitcoin economy, with trading resources such as Localbitcoins recording consistent increases.

Agustín Carstens

‘Slow But Sure’ Road To Understanding

Concerning the future, Carstens gave a nod to Bitcoin’s ability to improve “financial inclusion.”

“Obviously, the idea […] is to privilege technological financial innovation that serves to lower transaction costs and allow greater inclusion,” he stated, adding that full understanding of the technical issues presented by cryptocurrency was essential at first.

…We have to be 100% convinced that we understand all the facets of this change. It’s an issue where we’re going to get to slowly but surely.

Mexico’s official stance on regulation was rumored to be expanded after statements at a March conference suggested what rules should govern digital assets such as Bitcoin.

Crypto ‘Problems’ Are ‘Worrying Thing’

In common with many jurisdictions meanwhile, Mexico’s central bank head also warned of “problems” associated with security of funds in the hands of lay consumers.

“The worrying thing is that periodically there are technical, technological, hacking, theft problems, and that makes us very nervous,” he concluded. “We have to be fully assured of technological integrity, that we are well armored, and that there is not exposure for the public.”

Although it is unclear which dangers are Carstens is referring to, it is likely consumer understanding of the technology could leave a lot to be desired.

The “technical” and “technological” problems meanwhile may be linked to the ongoing scaling debate and recent slowdowns in transaction processing, along with rising fees.

What do you think about Agustín Carstens’ statements? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of AgustinCarstens.com, AdobeStock

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Dub 30

Bitcoin Games Weekly Payout Hits 154.3 BTC in One Week

· April 30, 2017 · 6:00 am

Popular Bitcoin betting platform Bitcoin Games has recently paid out a record amount of 154.3 BTC worth of prizes in a single week. The winnings were paid out to 11 players, all in the form of progressive roulette winnings.

[Note: This is a press release]


Prior to the record week’s winnings, the increasingly popular Bitcoin betting platform had already paid out over 1,000 BTC worth of prizes in the last six months. The platform’s recent spike in user base has been accredited to the minimal house advantage and lack of registration process.

The Bitcoin gambling platform constantly keeps adding new titles. The popular game categories on the platform include Slots, Blackjack, Poker, Dice, Roulette, Keno, and Craps. The reduced house edge on Bitcoin Games and its provably fair gaming algorithm translates to an expected return of up to 99% for the players. With the absence of a sign-up process, members can freely come and go as they please, with total anonymity.

The biggest and the latest jackpot was won on the platform’s Progressive Roulette game. Players can make the best out of “Progressive prizes” by selecting the ‘Play 1 credit’ button, which will qualify them for the Progressive Roulette wins. Bitcoin Games has further enhanced the gaming experience with faster transactions by removing network confirmations while providing an option for the players to opt for it if they wish. Bitcoin Games comes integrated with Shapeshift to ensure that players can choose to place bets using different cryptocurrencies.

Although the platform has removed few aspects of the membership process that some players might associate with security, Bitcoin Games is as secure as any other similar website. Players are offered the choice of both Authy and Google Authenticator, in order to keep their accounts safe with two-factor authentication.

Bitcoin Games also provides players with a full 24/7-customer support chat window for all queries and issues. The platform also has an attractive referral program, giving players a chance to earn up to 25% of the house edge when they onboard other players to Bitcoin Games. All payouts are instantaneous, and players can withdraw their winnings at any time.

Bitcoin Games has focused on streamlining the platform to simplify the gaming experience for its player-base. The platforms sizable progressive prizes, reduced house edge, and absence of registration make Bitcoin Games one of the simplest and easiest Bitcoin betting platform in the market.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoin PR Buzz

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Dub 29

Bitcoin IRA Launches World’s First Ethereum IRA Retirement Fund

· April 29, 2017 · 6:00 am

Cryptocurrency based retirement fund, BitcoinIRA.com has announced the launch of Ethereum IRA. The new investment product offering allows people to invest in an Ether-based, Individual Retirement Account (IRA).


Demand for Ether Prompts Ethereum IRA

Ethereum has recently fortified its position as the second largest cryptocurrency in the market, right below Bitcoin. The demand for Ether is on the rise following significant developments and implementations of Ethereum platform for a range of applications. The creation of Enterprise Ethereum Alliance involving major tech and industry players has further strengthened the confidence of investors in Ethereum.

Bitcoin IRA

This recent success and increasing stability have added to the cryptocurrency’s appeal, as a form of retirement investment. The new fund will be self-directed, following the highly successful Bitcoin IRA which has so far created accounts worth over $10 million since June 2016.   

Just like Bitcoin IRA’s flagship product, investors can hold real Ethereum in retirement accounts as traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401K’s or SEP IRA. Bitcoin IRA’s exclusive partnership with BitGo will ensure users the access to its multi-sig wallet, which will guarantee security, privacy and full compliance with the requisite IRA regulations for retirement accounts of this nature. In the interest of liquidity, the company implements Genesis Global Trading, Inc. and uses TradeBlock’s ECX Index as a reference rate.

Crypto Savings for Retirement

Bitcoin IRA is known to be the first company to offer investors the chance to put cryptocurrencies into their retirement accounts. In contrast to traditional IRA retirement plans, investors in Bitcoin IRA and Ethereum IRA will keep control of their cryptocurrencies permanently, allowing them the freedom to disperse the funds as they see fit once the investment’s term is over.

Ether

The deflationary attributes of cryptocurrencies make them ideal for long-term investment opportunities. In 2017, Ethereum has witnessed an incredible 500%+ growth from less than $10 per unit to over $64.

Bitcoin IRA offers both traditional and Roth IRA (Bitcoin/Ethereum) options, which offer the same tax incentives as regular IRAs and 401ks.

Bitcoin IRA is positioning itself as a unique investment company, which includes little processing and handling fees, which perhaps makes it even more attractive than Bitcoin ETF and other investment funds.

Would you consider investing in an Ethereum IRA? Let us know below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoin IRA, Shutterstock

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Dub 28

EToro Sees Bitcoin & Ethereum Trading Volume ‘Explode’ by 4,500%

· April 28, 2017 · 5:30 am

eToro has revealed that the number of users its Bitcoin and Ethereum has soared while trading volumes have “exploded” on its platform since the beginning of the year. 


eToro Runs Up Trading Volume 4,500%

EToro, a leading online trading and investment platform, has experienced a huge increase in both cryptocurrency users and trading volume of Bitcoin and Ethereum, according to Marketwatch. 

So far this year, eToro users trading CFDs (contracts for difference) in cryptocurrencies his risen by four times compared to the same period in 2016. Since the beginning of the year, cryptocurrency trading volume on eToro has soared by a whopping 4,500%.

Since Bitcoin trading has been supported by eToro since 2014, one major reason for this surge can be attributed to the platform’s addition of Etheurem in the beginning of the year.

The price of Ethereum has jumped from about $15 USD per Ether (ETH) to over $65 today in just the past two months. This is reflected in 90% of Ethereum traders buying the asset since it was launched on eToro. Meanwhile, 80% of Bitcoin traders have been buying up the cryptocurrency for a consecutive fifteen months, eToro notes. 

It should also be noted that eToro provides a feature called “copy functionality.” This lets novice users copy the trading strategies of its most successful cryptocurrency traders.

‘Cryptocurrency is the Future of Forex’

Commenting on this impressive growth, Senior Markets Analyst at eToro, Mati Greenspan, believes that “Cryptocurrency is the future of forex.”

[O]ver the last 12 months we’ve seen a 4x growth in traders accessing this market. But the volume of trading has exploded even more than this, with a huge 4,500% jump.

As the total cryptocurrency market capitalization recently passed $30 billion, Greenspan explained, that its users have been reaping ‘significant rewards’ from this jump in prices and a nascent market that has doubled in just the past four months. 

“The rapid growth in the adoption and price of cryptocurrencies only marks the first few steps on the long-journey to establishing cryptocurrencies as a dominant force in forex trading,” he continued.

We expect cryptocurrency trading volumes to get much bigger over the coming years.

As Bitcoin is once again above Gold market price, surging to record highs, the cryptocurrency market should continue to attract even more traditional investors looking for the next big thing.

Recent news of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) willing to review its rejection of the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF is just the latest in a string of positive news for traders to be bullish on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a whole.

Will the cryptocurrencies market continue to attract traditional investors or will we see another repeat of the dot-com bubble? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, eToro

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Dub 27

Ethereum Classic Takes Stance Against ‘Manipulative Crowdsale Tactics’

· April 27, 2017 · 8:30 am

The Ethereum Classic team addressed the current ICO hype, warning against “manipulative crowdsale tactics,” while promising not to vouch for coin offerings “in the same capacity” as the Ethereum Foundation. 


Ethereum Classic on ‘Irrational Appcoin Exuberance’

The Ethereum Classic development team has shared its opinion on what Nick Tomaino’s called, the “Irrational Appcoin Exuberance.” This exuberance is currently seen in Ethereum and may soon come to Ethereum Classic as more capital flows into the network.

Citing concerns regarding the way Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are structured in Ethereum and even within the Ethereum Classic network, the post seeks to caution investors against potentially risky investments in poorly planned or outright scam ICOs that can result in monumental losses for naive investors.

The post also showcases some examples where the Ethereum Classic community and dev team has performed its due diligence and warned against ill-conceived crowdfunding campaign on the ETC network, noting the different attitudes that the two competing blockchains, ETC and ETH, employ towards the Initial Coin Offering frenzy. The post reads:

As one might expect, ETCDEV will not vouch for coin offerings in the same capacity as the Ethereum Foundation members who signed on as curators for the launch of The DAO crowdsale.

Appcoins Coming to ETC

The Ethereum Classic team sees yesterday’s launch of the Grayscale Ethereum Classic (ETC) Investment Trust, whose shares are the first securities solely invested in and deriving value from the price of ETC , as a possible incentive for developers to run their ICOs on Ethereum Classic’s “immutable chain.”

“If stakeholders profit in a short span of time as a consequence of the launch of the Ethereum Investment Trust, some developers may choose to run their ICOs on the immutable chain, inviting the backing of the ETC nouveau riche,” the post explains.

Ethereum Classic

Developers will be able to kickstart their Initial Coin Offerings through the Emerald Wallet, an official desktop wallet, that is currently being developed by the ETCDEV team.

It will feature an integrated set of tools that can be used to launch ICOs and build custom applications on top of Ethereum Classic blockchain, allowing the Ethereum Classic team to distance itself from said crowdfunding campaigns.

ICO organizers may opt to use Emerald Wallet tools to deliver tokens to backers, though crowdfunding will not be the stated purpose of the software. Taking advantage of these tools for the creation of ETC decentralized apps, startups can issue offerings without ETCDEV having to involve themselves in ICOs.

‘Curb Your ICO Enthusiasm’

Despite this, the Ethereum Classic team does not share the general enthusiasm that is felt towards ICOs and appcoins, citing Barry Silbert, founder of the Digital Currency Group.

Bitcoinist_Digital Currency Group Barry Silbert

During a presentation at the Blockchain Startups Singapore meetup in November 2016, Silbert noted that the lack of legal structure found in those could “attract negative attention from the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Instead, the team considers “store of value through monetary strategy, internet of things functionality, and smart contracts applications” as the investment merits of ETC.

In the Ethereum space, some developers are voicing concerns regarding recent crowdsales. There exists at present no established framework for investors to assess Ethereum startups’ ICOs, along the lines of a PhD student’s being required to defend their thesis.

The nature of ICOs has made it the perfect pitfall for naive investors who may be enthusiastic about blockchain technology but cannot see through “manipulative crowd sale tactics” often employed by these projects, which often rely on Ethereum and Ethereum Classic blockchains.

The dev team references two ICO hoaxes that took place in the Ethereum Classic blockchain, Unicorn and BorgDAO, the latter of which collecting funds from investors.

Our contention here is that 1) irrational app-coin exuberance and 2) potential SEC intervention should be kept in mind by ETC investors when considering participation in a risky initial coin offering. We do not support disingenuous and manipulative crowdsale tactics, nor do we believe that we have seen the last of hoaxes like the BorgDAO.

Investors should be very cautious when investing in Initial Coin Offerings. Be it on the Ethereum, Ethereum Classic blockchain or any other ‘blockchain.’ ICOs can result in huge losses and some are outright scams.

Bitcoinist advises everyone to perform due diligence and to vet projects and teams carefully before committing your money.

Will we start to see more ICO’s on the Ethereum Classic blockchain? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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Dub 26

Take Two: SEC to Review Its Bitcoin ETF Decision

· April 26, 2017 · 9:00 am

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it will review its decision regarding the Winklevoss twins’ Bitcoin ETF.


SEC to Review Its Bitcoin ETF Decision

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will review its decision regarding the rejection of the Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

statement issued by the SEC in response to a petition for review of the Disapproval Order by the Bats BZX Exchange reads:

[…] it is hereby: ORDERED that the petition of BZX for review of the Division’s action to disapprove the proposed rule change by delegated authority be GRANTED; and It is further ORDERED that any party or other person may file a statement in support of or in opposition to the action made pursuant to delegated authority on or before May 15, 2017.

The SEC first rejected the Bitcoin ETF (COIN) proposed by the Winklevoss twins last month, citing risk of fraud and a lack of regulation in the Bitcoin markets. The statement in which the SEC rejected the COIN EFT reads:

As discussed further below, the Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change because it does not find the proposal to be consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Exchange Act, which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices and to protect investors and the public interest.

The petition filed by the Bats BZX Exchange will see the SEC’s action to disapprove the Bitcoin ETF reviewed and possibly amended. If so, COIN ETF shares would be traded on a public stock exchange, providing an easy way for investors to capitalize on the price of BTC without the need to deal with Bitcoin exchanges, wallets, private keys, and so forth.

Winklevoss Chose Bats Exchange For a Reason

As noted by Blockchain researcher and host of the Crypto Scam podcast, Tone Vays, ‎in a 2016 interview, it is very likely that the Winklevoss twins chose to work with the Bats BZX Exchange on the COIN ETF for this very reason. 

Vays

“My guess is the reason that they changed is that Bats is the new kid on the block, so they push the issues a bit,” Vays explained. 

Not only does it make sense for the Winklevoss twins to identify with the Bats BZX Exchange due to the “experimental” nature of the COIN ETF, but it is also a great strategic move that ensured the exchange they partnered with would help them fight to see the Bitcoin ETF approved.

Vays continued:

Nasdaq might not have been helping the Winklevoss fight against the SEC to get this approved and maybe Batz said ‘you know what, we’ll throw your lawyers at it’.

The Saga So Far

The Winklevoss’ bid to see a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund on public stock exchanges is a saga that has been going on for roughly three years. It started with the filling of an S-1 form for the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust in May 2014.

Twins

The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust was based on the twins’ substantial Bitcoin holdings (roughly 1% of the total supply at the time) and had Math-Based Asset Services LLC as the sponsor of the Trust. Later that year, a follow-up filling was made in order list the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust as an ETF on the NASDAQ OMX exchange with the name “COIN.”

Two years later, in June 2016, the twins filed a document that would see the ETF listed on the Bats exchanged instead of Nasdaq. The same filing also saw the ETF offering increase from $20 to $65 million.

Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) denied the Winklevoss Twins’ Bitcoin ETF, which lead to the petition by the Batz BZX Exchange.

Do you think that the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF will be approved after the SEC’s revision? If so, let us know why in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Dub 25

Charlie Shrem: ‘It’s Not About The Technology Anymore, It’s About Power’

· April 25, 2017 · 9:00 am

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem shared his views on the scaling debate, stating that “it’s not about technology anymore, it’s about power.”


Shrem: ‘It’s About Power’

Charlie Shrem, Bitcoin entrepreneur and co-founder of Intellysis, was present in today’s episode of the  Double Down show, dubbed “Does Block Size Matter?” with the usual hosts Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert.

Hard Fork Wars

During the show, Shrem expressed his thoughts regarding the current state of the scaling debate or as Herbert called it, “the Great Blocksize War of 2017.”

Shrem stated:

In reality, it’s not a technical argument anymore. Everyone on both sides of the table say that SegWit is the best technology that we have.

According to Shrem, the scaling debate is no longer about the most viable technology or solution that can be used to scale Bitcoin. Instead, the scaling debate has become a power struggle between two development teams, Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin Core.

“The other side of the debate, which is Bitcoin Unlimited, they agree that SegWit is a great technology,” he continued. “But to them it’s not about technology anymore, it’s about power.”

Shrem went on to say:

They want to remove [Bitcoin Core’s] ability to work on Bitcoin and instead have a closed-membership small group of four to five developers, who they think are the best for the job, run Bitcoin going forward.

A Test for Bitcoin

However, there is a silver lining in this development, which Shrem considers it as an “extremely bullish situation for Bitcoin.” The current block size “drama” is showcasing Bitcoin’s ability to resist a malicious attack on the network.

He noted:

Here you have a group of bad actors who are trying to overtake the Bitcoin network and essentially fork all of bitcoin and force all Bitcoin users to be able to use their developers and their codebase and their everything and it’s not a group of miners that’s preventing this.

Shrem sees the current hash power signaling as a “glorified poll” when it comes to hard fork given that nodes are the ones that validate blocks and they can discard the ones from the hard-forked chain at will, meaning that miners don’t have nearly as much power as they think they do.

This can be observed the UASF proposal, which would bypass the miners completely and leave it up to the nodes to force SegWit into activation.

However, it may not come down to a UASF, as mining pools like F2Pool are beginning to move to SegWit driven by demand from individual users that contribute hashrate to the pool.

Champagne Problem

Not all is gloomy for Bitcoin, however. Amidst all the tension and drama, one must also look at the bright side, which is the reason we’re having this heated debate at all: Bitcoin is growing at an exponential rate.

This is, as Shrem puts it, a “champagne problem,” one that gives us as much to celebrate as it gives us to fight about. 

Bitcoin 2016

“It’s a good problem to have. Bitcoin has grown really quickly. We never expected this to happen so quickly, to be honest. We’re getting towards what they call a ‘champagne problem,’ how do you scale?” he said.

This means that not only is Bitcoin working as intended, but there is also an urgent need for such a currency in the world. Now, it’s only a matter of making sure that Bitcoin can become that currency and still maintain its decentralized and immutable characteristics.

Shrem concluded:

There has always been research and conversations on scaling over the past three years but, to be honest, we didn’t think we’d see this exponential growth in Bitcoin and now it’s time to have that conversation.

Do you agree? Is the scaling debate actually about power and control? Share below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, alchetron.com, coin.dance

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Dub 24

Bitcoin is Outperforming Every Fiat Currency So Far in 2017

· April 24, 2017 · 5:00 am

Bitcoin price is now up almost 30% since the start of the year as the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency shakes off regulatory woes and internal politics.


Outperforming All Fiat, Almost Every Stock




Who needs an ETF when you can just buy BTC? Bitcoin price is up almost 30% since the start of 2017 when the latest bull-run was just warming up.

Since January, the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency has shrugged at its ETF rejection, Chinese exchange woes, and hard fork fears to once again take the lead over all fiat currencies for the third straight year.

Bitcoin price is also seeing bigger gains than most popular stocks including Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Google to boot.

What’s more, Bitcoin is not even the best performing cryptocurrency so far in 2017. Dash, Ethereum and Monero have all had an even better year to date, according to blocklink.info.

From the traditional sphere of finance, only Moneygram (50%) and Tesla (41%) stocks saw a bigger increase than Bitcoin price. Additionally, Gold, whose price per ounce was matched by BTC in the beginning of March, has also seen an 11% gain this year, also outperforming all fiat currencies amid global economic uncertainty.

Meanwhile, the top three fiat currencies thus far include the Mexican Peso (11%), Russian Ruble (10%), and the Japanese Yen (6%).

At this rate, traditional investors should take notice as BTC is positioned to reign supreme over all national fiat currencies in seven of the last eight years. The only year Bitcoin price saw a decline was 2014. 




Bitcoin Price Aims for Higher Highs in 2017

There are several reasons for why Bitcoin price is currently climbing as explained here. However, the biggest factor at the moment is the increasing possibility of Segregated Witness (SegWit) activation.

First and foremost, SegWit technology is a transaction malleability fix. Additionally, it also raises network transaction throughput, which is expected to alleviate scaling limitations for the time being.

Meanwhile, the push towards SegWit in other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Syscoin, and DigiByte has resulted in a major price increase for each one. Now, many commentators are expecting Bitcoin price to break its all-time high of around $1,277 USD as SegWit activation is becoming more likely this year.

Litecoin price has quadrupled after its founder Charlie Lee announced supporting SegWit with activation now imminent. Bitfury CEO, George Kikvadze, believes BTC price could also rise significantly following SegWit activation on Bitcoin.

Simultaneously, support for a competing solution, Bitcoin Unlimited, appears to be waning. Today, its node count has plummeted from about 730 to 259, according to Coin.dance, though the exact reason is not yet clear.

Moreover, 88% of Bitcoin businesses now “support” or are “ready” for SegWit with 6% against. While 23% support Bitcoin Unlimited’s Emergent Consensus proposal with 30% against.

Will Bitcoin once again be the top dog by the end of 2017? Will it break its all-time high? Share your thoughts below! 





Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, Blocklink.info

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Dub 22

Florida Bill Aims To Add Virtual Currency To AML Statutes

· April 22, 2017 · 1:00 pm

An act designed to add virtual currencies to Florida’s anti-money laundering statutes has unanimously passed three state committees.


Bill Targets ‘Ill-Gotten Gains’ From ‘Internet-Based Currencies’

The bill, sponsored by republican Jose Felix Diaz, “makes sure that traffickers and fraudsters can no longer try to use internet-based currencies to hide and move their ill-gotten gains,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement quoted by local news resource Miami Herald.

Rundle added:

The high-tech criminals of the 21st Century use virtual currencies like bitcoin to accumulate and hide the profits of their illegal activities.

Bitcoin related crime

As the Herald notes, the legislation comes hot on the heels of the failed prosecution of Florida resident Michell Espinoza, who allegedly tried to sell $1,500 of bitcoins which were used to purchase stolen credit card information.

Despite his arrest after undercover law officers posed as traders on Localbitcoins, telling Espinoza they intended to use the funds for illicit purposes, a judge ultimately threw out his case as Bitcoin is not considered money under current Florida law.

“This court is unwilling to punish a man for selling his property to another when his actions fall under a statute that is so vaguely written that even legal professionals have difficulty finding a singular meaning,” the ruling determined in July last year.

No Official Identity For Bitcoin In Florida

Fellow Republican Dorothy Hukill meanwhile announced in September that she was seeking official recognition of Bitcoin as a currency in the state, but no progress has yet been made.

The latest motion has ruffled feathers among local cryptocurrency advocates. Barry University economist Charles Evans explained to the Herald how it could send the wrong message.

Barry University economist Charles Evans

Florida legislators will be sending a very clear signal that financial innovation is not welcome here… No doubt, officials in China, Europe, Russia, Texas, and other places where Bitcoin is welcome will be pleased.

Others were less concerned, local lawyer Andrew Hinkes claiming authorities would still need to prove intent to use Bitcoin for illegal activities to entail a prosecution.

I don’t think it would affect the day-to-day users of bitcoin, or investors who hold bitcoin… but it might affect the business of those who exchange bitcoin for dollars. Now, assuming the facts support the intent required by law, the path to prosecution of traders for money laundering is clearer in Florida.

The bill is now awaiting its audition before a further state committee.

Virtual currency has faced a continued patchwork legal status across US states, with jurisdictions taking markedly different approaches to regulating it.

What do you think about Florida’s latest bill and Bitcoin’s status in the state? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Barry University

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Dub 22

Litecoin: Bitmain Trades Sides, Supports SegWit Activation

· April 21, 2017 · 9:10 pm

Litecoin’s problematic course towards Segregated Witness (SegWit) activation has ended in an unusual display of unity.


Litecoin Roundtable: We ‘Unanimously Agree’ On SegWit Activation

Following a meeting of Chinese cryptocurrency players including exchanges and miners, a consensus was reached on activating SegWit despite some participants having previously been against the idea.

The so-called Litecoin Global Roundtable included Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, exchanges Huobi and Okcoin and formerly anti-SegWit mining pool Bitmain.

Summarized minutes released from the meeting confirm that subject to community support, participants “unanimously agree” to “implement Segregated Witness softfork on Litecoin.”

“When the usage of Litecoin block capacity is over 50%, we will start to prepare for a solution to increase the 1MB block size limit through a hardfork or softfork,” a proviso adds.

Bitmain Gets Behind Litecoin SegWit

The big surprise from Friday’s events was the support of Bitmain, whose CEO Jihan Wu had previously stated his opposition to SegWit on numerous occasions, both for Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Now, it appears, both Wu and Bitmain have U-turned on the idea.

The Roundtable added:

We want to emphasize that this roundtable meeting represents only the consensus of participating members, and cannot make a decision on behalf of the Litecoin community.

U-Turns Abound

Litecoin’s approaching SegWit activation threshold had caused a significant uptick in its price. Having traded at just under $4 per coin for a considerable period, increasing miner support saw it shoot past $10 and stay at these levels.

As interest increased, however, rumors began spreading of manipulation by Bitmain, which was accused by pro-SegWit Shaolinfry of artificially hindering Litecoin’s activation.

Lee himself appealed to the community to force a user-activated soft fork (UASF) to counter such activities. In a further sign of how the situation has changed, the Roundtable members added that they were now against as UASF with a specific activation schedule, stating:

We do not advocate a flag-day ‘UASF’ that does not go through [sic] any users or community voting process. This type of forced upgrade without community consensus put Litecoin in a risk of split

What do you think about the latest events for Litecoin? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of AdobeStock

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