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BitGo CTO Ben Davenport on How Multisig Wallet Implementations Can Be Improved

insidebitcoins.com / Kyle Torpey / May 25, 2015 9:00 AM EDT

Although multisig capabilities have been available in bitcoin for quite some time, the ecosystem as a whole is just now figuring out how to properly use this new tool for secre and flexible storage. As many others have noted in the past, multisig is not a magical solution that will work properly with a simply “on” switch. This is a tool that needs to be properly implemented in order to provide added value to the user, and BitGO CTO Ben Davenport was able to describe a proper multisig setup at last month’s Inside Bitcoins conference in New York.

Problems with past bitcoin wallet setups

To understand how multisig can improve security for bitcoin users, it’s important to first look at how wallets worked in the past. Cold storage was always touted as the most secure option for bitcoin storage in the early days, but the problem with this form of storage is that it limits the usability of what is supposed to be a frictionless digital commodity. As BitGo’s Davenport explained, “A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are for.”

Before multisig was available, either a user or their wallet service of choice would hold the single private key attached to the wallet. This setup opened up a large number of risks associated with the security of the private key. Davenport described the following security risks associated with such a setup during his presentation:

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Penn State Scholar Predicts Altcoins Will Surpass Bitcoin

newsbtc.com / Gola Yashu / May 25, 2015 09:06

Against all the critical expectations, Bitcoin is growing — and is promising to revolutionize some of the biggest, well-settled banking infrastructures with its indisputably advanced blockchain technology. But according to an accomplished IT scholar, there is still a scope of improvement in the digital currency.

John Carroll, a Distinguished Professor of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University, believes that Bitcoin will lose its shine in future, if there be any additional improvements in other alternative digital currencies, or altcoins. His comments are derived from a scenario where Bitcoin will be the victim of some “pioneer’s penalty” if it fails to add anything more to the table. In simple words, who will use an acoustic string telephone when he could access a mobile phone.

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Bitcoin in Vietnam

loa.fm / Trinh Nguyễn / 25 May 2015

“Regulators, the federal reserve, the banking system need to understand that this is a thing that they have to take seriously.”

“This is going to change the economic culture.”

“Bitcoin could be a microeconomic miracle worker and it could be a macroeconomic wrecking ball.”

Financial reporters and noted economists prophesize on the future of money in a trailer for an upcoming documentary about the virtual currency, Bitcoin.

Just listening to the ominous music you get the sense that Bitcoin can either be the end of paper currency or the future of money itself. With as many detractors as it has devoted fans, Bitcoin is equally misunderstood and enthusiastically championed.

It is vastly different from any other currency chiefly because it’s an open source protocol. It’s made up of just ones and zeros.

So is it even real money?

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The Future of Crypto Exchanges and the Race ‘to Become as Decentralized as Possible’

cointelegraph.com / Allen Scott / 2015-05-24 05:14 PM

CoinTelegraph spoke to William Thomas, the founder of the UK’s recently launched CryptoMate exchange, who explained why decentralized, peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges could be the future.

CryptoMate is a recently launched cryptocurrency exchange that sells coins directly to customers via instant bank transfer within the UK. Moving forward, however, the company believes that switching to a peer-to-peer model will allow them to offer a much faster and pleasant buying experience to customers.

Due to banks taking an “unfriendly” approach to doing business with crypto companies in the UK, CryptoMate believes that switching to a P2P system will allow it to have a bit more control over their future and ensure that it does not have a single point of failure, as is currently the case with many exchanges.

“Using our network of trusted bitcoin and altcoin vendors and having them compete to fulfill customer orders, we allow for smoother and most importantly faster transactions,” said CryptoMate founder William Thomas to CoinTelegraph. “Customers in the UK with access to online banking can have their coins in their wallets in just a few minutes.”

The company will not hold any fiat or private keys to crypto coins on its servers, as customers will be able to buy directly from its vendors instead of from CryptoMate the company.

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Book Review: Digital Gold is an Invaluable Page-Turner

coindesk.com / James Downer / May 24, 2015 at 15:23 BST

Title: Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the inside story of the misfits and millionaires trying to reinvent money

Author: Nathaniel Popper

Publication date: 19th May 2015

Summary: Remember the headlines that first mentioned bitcoin, Mt. Gox, the Silk Road andBitcoin Jesus? Those were fleeting peaks on the events unfolding behind closed doors in the development of bitcoin. Digital Gold is your backstage pass to those events. It’s a compelling and extensive narrative that gives a reader a personal look at the heroes and villains of bitcoin’s brief history.

Digital Gold presents the most extensive history of bitcoin thus far, making it an invaluable page-turner for bitcoin aficionados and newbies alike. It follows the ineptitude of Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles (and his cat), the rise and demise of the Dread Pirate Roberts and bitcoin evangelists Roger Ver and Charlie Shrem. Digital Gold is a must read for anyone interested in understanding what many consider to be the greatest invention since the Internet.

An accessible account

In April 2013, New York Times technology and finance reporter Nathaniel Popper described theWinkelvoss twins as “the first prominent figures in the largely anonymous bitcoin world”. This was the first time Popper had covered bitcoin, but would not be the last.

The bitcoin world is less anonymous today, but until Digital Gold, we’ve lacked an accessible account that traces today’s growing bitcoin industry back to the early days. Digital Gold is the perfect resource for the reader interested in the work that preceded bitcoin and the extent of its uses today.

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THE GOVERNMENT COULD STRUGGLE TO SEIZE YOUR BITCOIN

cryptocoinsnews.com / P. H. Madore / 25/05/2015

It’s one of those things you think about, but never consider a reality. It’s one of those things people laugh at you for talking about in mixed company. It’s one of those things that shouldn’t be real in a free country, but is, and happens to the tune of millions of dollars per year in the United States. It is the untold side of the drug war which affects innocent people every week, and only occasionally makes the news.

Just two cases will be mentioned in this article, but they are representative of a larger phenomenon which leads the author to a rather unpopular conclusion: keeping your money in Bitcoin is safer than keeping it in banks, is safer than keeping it in US dollars. Because in this country, at this point in history, the government can take your money just for having a certain amount of it, in one case, or just for depositing certain amounts of it, in another.

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Indonesians Start to Embrace Bitcoin

blogs.wsj.com / RESTY WORO YUNIAR / May 25, 2015

Indonesians are increasingly embracing the digital currency known as bitcoin as a payment solution for online transactions and to send and receive money, despite some known flaws.

The cryptocurrency’s price fluctuate dramatically, for instance, and fears about cyberattack on the software that manage bitcoin holdings have led to questions about whether it’s a safe way to store money.

But in a country where many people don’t have bank accounts or credit cards, and money transfers often involve high transactions fees, more individuals are overlooking the criticisms and focusing on how to use the technology to their benefit.

Most Indonesians currently use bitcoin to pay for services online, such as web hosting. They can also use the digital currency to book hotel rooms through travel websites hosted overseas rather than use credit cards, which only a small percentage of the population currently own.

“Many people think that Bitcoin is unheard of in Indonesia, but the fact is its popularity is soaring now,” said Oscar Darmawan, CEO of PT Bit Coin Indonesia, which owns bitcoin exchange site Bitcoin.co.id.

Indonesia’s central bank doesn’t recognize bitcoin as a legal form of currency and has warned people to use it at their own risk, but a number of startups have formed or are offering bitcoin services to Southeast Asia’s largest economy to take advantage of its growing popularity. Here’s a look at three.

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‘Five Eyes’ Spy Agencies Planned to Hack Samsung and Google’s Mobile Support

cointelegraph.com / Juan S. Galt /  2015-05-25 12:06 PM

Western secret agencies partnership known as the “Five Eyes” launched a surveillance unit called Network Tradecraft Advancement Team (NTAT) to spy on smartphone users as well as a major Chinese mobile web browser. As top secret document obtained by Edward Snowden has revealed, they planned to hijack data and insert malware into Samsung devices with Google apps.

The documents obtained by Edward Snowden and published by CBC on May 21, 2015, revealed plans from as early as 2011 from major spy agencies to attempt and compromise Google and Samsung servers to spy on their mobile users as well as a major Chinese mobile web browser. The united effort was spearheaded by government spy agencies from Canada, U.S., New Zealand, Australia, and Britain, a partnership known as Five Eyes.

Their goal, to “harvest the wealth” of information stored on mobile phones all over the world, and find ways to compromise those phones by implanting malware that they control. According to the document, the agencies ultimately sought to associate mobile users and the telecommunications with their online activity, by using the Spy super browser called XKEYSCORE.

Motivated by the potential of “another Arab Spring,” the agencies collected data at large flowing through the vein of the Internet and developed algorithms to identify mobile data in particular, tracing it to servers operated by Google and Samsung, with which users would download or update apps from.

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Bitcoin Price Volatile; What’s Next?

newsbtc.com / Samuel Rae / May 25, 2015 09:30

Today is Memorial Day in the US, and UK markets also take a holiday, but this does not mean that we will be vacant of any volatility in the bitcoin price on Monday. In our twice-daily bitcoin price watch piece published on Friday evening, we highlighted a few key levels we are going to watch over the weekend, and suggested how we might enter on a breaking of these levels in order to draw a scalp profit from the market. Now action has matured, what are the levels that we are keeping an eye on today, and where will we be looking to enter? Take a quick look at the chart.

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Roger Ver and OKCoin at War Over Bitcoin.com Domain Name

coindesk.com / Stan Higgins / May 25, 2015 at 11:22 BST

One of the most recognizable bitcoin-related domain names is at the heart of a dispute between Chinese bitcoin exchange OKCoin and bitcoin entrepreneur Roger Ver.

The issue stems from the management of theBitcoin.com domain, after the two sides struck a five-year deal last December to control the property. Under the agreement, OKCoin was set to redesign the site and pay Ver a percentage of the revenue generated each month, with a minimum of $10,000 per month.

The latest developments, which have seen Ver accuse OKCoin of fabricating legal documents and the exchange in turn alleging that Ver is intentionally seeking to smear its name, come after months of increasingly antagonistic back-and-forth over the direction of the site and the advertising plans that were supposed to drive the effort.

OKCoin has released an official statement on the dispute, stating it would no longer manage the domain name. The company cited a recent action taken by the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) against Ripple Labs, which referenced Ver in its agreement with Ripple earlier this month, as its chief justification for stopping payments related to Bitcoin.com.

OKCoin also characterized the agreement regarding the domain as invalid because the entity named in the documents is not representative of the actual company, essentially laying the blame on former chief technology officer Changpeng Zhao, who signed the initial agreement with Ver. Zhao departed OKCoin earlier this year.

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“BEAUTIFUL MIND” JOHN NASH, FAMED MATHEMATICIAN, DEAD AT 86

cryptocoinsnews.com / Justin OConnell / 25/05/2015

John Forbes Nash Jr., the Princeton University mathematician who inspired the film  “A Beautiful Mind,” and his wife died in a New Jersey car crash Saturday.

Nash, 86, and his wife Alicia Nash, 82, were passengers in a taxi near Monroe Township when the incident took place. The car crashed into a guard rail, and the couple, who were not wearing seat belts at the time, were thrown from the vehicle, and later pronounced dead at the scene.

Nash is considered one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century, known mostly for his work in game theory, as well his personal struggle with paranoid schizophrenia.

His life was brought to the big screen in 2001 Oscar-winning film “A Beautiful Mind,” starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly, which portrayed John’s mental illness and the accomplishments which earned him the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics.

“We are stunned and saddened by news of the untimely passing of John Nash and his wife and great champion, Alicia. Both of them were very special members of the Princeton University community,” Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber said.

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Are Wall Street and The Banks Trying To Circumvent the Bitcoin Blockchain?

insidebitcoins.com / Nigel Dollentas via Bitcoinist.net / May 24, 2015 6:00 AM EDT

For the first two or three years, arguably Bitcoin was a toy for nerds, and some dissenters might even go to say Bitcoin is just for anarchists and liberalists. However, as more people used it, and more companies started accepting it, Venture Capitalists and Wall Street started catching on.

First it was just the small seed investment round here and there, usually investments below $100,000 in USD. However, 2014 hit a record of Venture Capitalism flowing into Bitcoin when we see record investments in Bitcoin heavyweights like Xapo, BitFury, Circle, and OKCoin.

Some of us had our suspicions with the big names in Wall Street slowly getting in on Bitcoin and Goldman Sachs cleared the air and confirmed them when they invested $50 million into Circle. This shook up both the Bitcoin and traditional financial community, as never had such an investment from a single investor into Bitcoin ever been made.

This also in many people’s minds gave Bitcoin a stamp of approval, as Goldman Sachs, a world leader in banking, was the one doing the investing. Unfortunately, another idea that was speculation around the Bitcoin community was confirmed when an article from the American Banker published on May 21, 2015.

That idea was the banks, instead of integrating Bitcoin or cryptocurrency in some way, they were going instead create their own, blockchain-like system which would be ran by banks.

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MIT sets up bitcoin research, development

bostonglobe.com / Curt Woodward / MAY 24, 2015

Bitcoin survived a wild youth marked by drug trafficking, money laundering, theft, bankruptcy, and political spats. Now, the digital currency is getting cleaned up and heading to grad school.

A fledgling project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab is offering researchers and software developers a quiet home to work on bitcoin’s core technology, a computer science breakthrough that lets people trade money securely without paying a middleman.
Media Lab leaders hope that, by acting as a safe home for research and development, MIT can help the sprawling bitcoin software project shed its chaotic past and emerge as a more versatile technology platform.

If the idea works, bitcoin’s underlying technology — known as the blockchain — has a chance to become a new digital system that makes transferring money or signing a contract as cheap and simple as sending an e-mail.

For anyone who’s spent an afternoon signing piles of loan documents or paid through the nose to send money overseas, that’s an appealing idea.

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Bitok Bitcoin Exchange Announces 0% Fees for Deposits and Withdrawls

insidebitcoins.com / Drew Cordell via Bitcoinist.net / May 24, 2015 12:00 PM EDT

Bitok.com, a Bitcoin exchange officially registered in England, has just announced a campaign which will allow users to deposit and withdraw funds with 0% fees. With the fees removed, Bitok is now significantly cheaper for traders in terms of the fees they pay. In addition to BTC trades, Bitok also allows users to trade for Litecoin (LTC) and Dogecoin (Doge) in several different currency pairs (fiat currency and cryptocurrency.)

Bitok provides multiple options for funding accounts and withdrawing money including wire transfer, Skrill, as well payment systems like OKPay, MoneyPolo, and others. During the campaign, Bitok will also cover the fees of payment methods, which will further reduce fees for traders. OKPay, MoneyPolo, AstroPay, and Wire transfer costs will all be covered by Bitok.

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Dash Relatively Muted; Support Estimated Near 0.0119BTC

newsbtc.com / Aayush Jindal / May 25, 2015 08:59

Key Highlights

  • Dash continued to struggle, as buyers failed to take prices higher.
  • It remains at as major risk of a break lower if sellers succeed in piercing 0.0119BTC.
  • On the upside, the 100 hour simple moving average is a major hurdle for buyers.

Recent price action suggests that Dash prices might weaken in the near term if sellers get a reason to take it below 0.0119BTC.

0.0119BTC as a Support

There is a major support formed around 0.0120-0.0119BTC that was also highlighted in the previous analysis. Prices recently fell a touch below 0.0120BTC, but found support around the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the last wave from 0.0112BTC to 0.0131BTC. If somehow sellers manage to take prices lower and Dash registers an hourly close below 0.0119BTC, then there is a great chance of a decline towards 0.01165BTC. The mentioned level represents the 76.4% Fib retracement level. Any more losses might call for a move towards the last swing low of 0.0112BTC.

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Bitcoin in North Korea and Other Places You’d Never Expect

cointelegraph.com / Joseph Young / 2015-05-24 04:07 PM

The number of bitcoin merchants surpassed the 100,000 mark in 2015 and has grown across Europe and Asia due to the expansion of well-established bitcoin startups like Coinbase, Bitpay and Coinify. BitPay alone has processed over 800,000 transactions totaling around US$260 million between 2013 and 2015.

Such growth has led to an increase of global bitcoin usage enabling cryptocurrencies to reach some of the most remote and unexpected parts of the world, including North Korea, Tenerife, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Sudan, Siberia, and the Sahara.

North Korea

On a national tour with a bitcoin-friendly travel agency, Koryo Tours, the anonymous reddit user BitcoinDPRK sent US$100 in bitcoin from North Korea to Sean’s Outpost, a homeless outreach center in Florida.

A tourist who visited North Korea to watch a Dennis Rodman basketball game in January 2014 said:

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BITCOIN ATM COMPANY SATOSHIPOINT GAINS ANGEL INVESTORS AND PLANS FOR EXPANSION

cryptocoinsnews.com / Joel Dalais / 25/05/2015

SatoshiPoint is a company operating Bitcoin ATMs in multiple locations across the UK. Powered by General Bytes software in secure fixed-kiosk locations, SatoshiPoint Bitcoin ATMs offer the very best user experience to allow individuals to buy and sell Bitcoin with zero or low processing costs with each transaction.

SatoshiPoint has recently re-launched under the solo management of Hassan Khoshtaghaza. They have confirmed the back of two Angel Investors, for the purposes of funding expansion plans. New locations and increased liquidity are in store.

His once business partner and good friend Jonathan James Harrison went his own and started his own business creating Telebit, The Telegram Bitcoin Wallet.

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Will the New UK Government Create a Bitcoin Hub?

coindesk.com / Josh Blatchford / May 23, 2015 at 12:00 BST

Josh Blatchford is CMO of London-based bitcoin startup BTC.sx

Last week in the United Kingdom, the Conservative Party was re-elected into power. This article explores what their plans to regulate bitcoin might look like and whether they are capable of creating a bitcoin hub in the UK.

The last government unveiled its stance on bitcoin back in April. Along with a call for information,it stated: “The government intends to apply anti-money laundering regulation to digital currency exchanges in the UK, to support innovation and prevent criminal use. The government will formally consult on the proposed regulatory approach early in the next parliament.”

Entrepreneurs need not run for the hills – or silicon valleys. Although ‘regulation’ is not always the most friendly of words, the government does appear to have a light-touch approach thus far.

Furthermore, the Bank of England (BoE) has taken a cautiously optimistic viewpoint on digital currencies. In February, its One Bank Research Agenda came to the following conclusion:

“While existing private digital currencies have economic flaws which make them volatile, the distributed ledger technology that their payment systems rely on may have considerable promise”

The BoE also outlined the potential to create its own government-issued currency based on bitcoin technology.

The BoE is supposed to support the economic policies of whatever party gains power. However, the BoE and the Conservative Party share the same optimism for bitcoin.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne welcomed the BoE’s report, tweeting:

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BitcoinDial Lets You Make Worldwide Phone Calls With Bitcoin

digitalmoneytimes.com / 

Very few people know you can use Bitcoin to make phone calls from anywhere in the world to any other phone number worldwide. And the best part is that, compared to traditional telephone rates, these online services are usually cheaper.  Speaking of creating Bitcoin use cases, BitcoinDial might be on the right track with this project.

BitcoinDial – Bitcoin For Phone Calls

BitcoinDial is a project from the people who run CoinKite, a Bitcoin payment processing platform that also provides in-store point-of-sale terminals for digital currency payments. In fact, this entire project shows off how developers can use the company’s BitKit API to create applications with a real life use.

Do keep in mind that the voice and telephone features provided are not part of the BitKit API, as they are being offered by Twillo.  For those readers who have never heard of this service,  Twillo offers a ton of interesting tools and features, ranging from voice and SMS to IP Messaging, Global Conferencing, and even a real-time video infrastructure.

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Bitcoin Lending Platform Bitbond Rakes in 600K Euro Investment

newsbtc.com / nikhil gupta / May 20, 2015 14:30

Global Bitcoin P2P lending platform Bitbond has raised 600,000 euros in second tranche of angel funding. The platform’s total funding for the round has now reached 800,000 euros.

The prominent angel investors this time included Florian Heinemann and Uwe Horstmann (Project A), Christian Vollmann (early investor in ResearchGate), and Felix Jahn (co-founder of Home24).

Bitbond will utilize the funding to expand its customer base and make a highly pronounced impact on emerging markets.

Bitbond, which was introduced in 2013, has processed over 600 loans with the number of registered customers touching 10,000 from over 120 countries.

Radoslav Albrecht, founder & CEO of Bitbond said: “The additional resources will help us to continue realizing our mission which is to make lending and borrowing globally accessible. We are happy to have such experienced investors supporting us on this exciting journey.

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