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BITRESERVE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS

cryptocoinsnews.com / Giulio Prisco / October 31, 2014 at 11:16 am CET

Following the pre-announcement of last week, Bitreserve is now open for business with real-time transparency data.

Bitreserve Founder and CEO Halsey Minor says:

“Today we are thrilled to announce we have fully launched Bitreserve and are now accessible to the public.”

Halsey Minor also founded CNET in 1993. In 2008, he sold that company to CBS for $1.8 billion and became an investor.

Bitreserve is a next-generation financial service, which shields users from bitcoin volatility by enabling them to hold Bitcoin as the money they use every day. Bitreserve keeps value safe while letting users spend their money as Bitcoin, and send it to anyone in the world instantly and for free.

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OPINION: DRAGGING BITCOIN INTO THE WAR ON DARKNET DRUGS

insidebitcoins.com / Kyle Torpey / Oct 30, 2014 3:06 PM EDT

NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — Members of the bitcoin community will remember New York Senator Charles Schumer for his riveting speech on the Senate floor where he demanded that the U.S. Government shut down Silk Road. Although it took more than two years for the shutdown to actually happen, you could say that Schumer was leading the charge for the crackdown on darknet marketplaces.

Joe Manchin of West Virginia was actually another proponent of the Silk Road shutdown, and he even went as far as to call for a bitcoin ban earlier this year. The letter from Manchin to federal regulators was duly mocked by the bitcoin community, as he didn’t seem to have a basic understanding of the technology behind cryptocurrencies.

The renewed call for a crackdown on darknet marketplaces

In a recent press release from Senator Charles Schumer, the various problems associated with darknet marketplaces are discussed, and a call is made for increased federal spending on supposed “cybercriminals.” The writer of the press release claims, “Schumer will say that although sales are already illegal, clearly federal law enforcement officials need more resources targeted at the problem in order to investigate and target these sales, which have only increased since the original site, Silk Road, was shut down.”

The basic point of Schumer’s press release seems to be support for increased funding for the War on Drugs. Much like Ronald Reagan’s public remarks on crack cocaine from the 1980s, there are portions of the press release that almost seem like an advertisement for darknet marketplaces. If a drug user or dealer had not heard about darknet marketplaces in the past, they would undoubtedly become interested in them after reading the following paragraph:

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WC3′s Web Payments Redesign Could Bypass Bitcoin

coindesk.com / Pete Rizzo / October 31, 2014 at 14:20 GMT

Like innovators in the bitcoin space, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is seeking to solve e-commerce’s persistent problems of high friction and fraud rates through its new Web Payments Interest Group, announced on 15th October.

Proponents of digital currency have been enthusiastic about the launch, expressing optimism that the non-profit dedicated to establishing consensus for open web standards – founded by World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee – would embrace an innovation that itself has been heralded as the Internet of money.

Expectations aside, project lead Stéphane Boyera told CoinDesk that while W3C is open to considering how bitcoin and block-chain technology could play a role in these discussions, the group doesn’t immediately see bitcoin as something that could enable its objectives short term.

Boyera asserted that the W3C is concerned first and foremost with making payments easier for merchants and consumers today, and that means bringing together existing payments stakeholders from the banking, finance, telecommunications and web industries.

Drawing on conclusions reached at the group’s preliminary meeting this March, he said:

 “One of the first things we identified was not trying to change the way payments are done today, but just focusing on the connection between existing payment systems and web applications.”

Boyera said that members of the digital currency industry, including Ripple Labs, had been present, but that the event mainly served as a way to gather the various parties involved in online payments. All agreed there had previously been no good forum they could use to communicate about what is a prevalent issue.

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BITCOIN BLACKMAIL: SMALL CHANGE COMPARED TO CASH

insidebitcoins.com / Ian Jackson / Oct 31, 2014 8:08 AM EDT

LONDON (InsideBitcoins) — Inciting fear by exploiting ignorance has long been a tactic employed by cowards and bullies –something ably demonstrated when, according to The Straits Times, blackmailers threatened to release Ebola into the Czech Republic capital Prague unless they were paid 1,000,000 Euro in bitcoin.

Encrypted emails were sent to the highest political offices in the country claiming that they obtained the virus in Liberia and that if they received no answer to their demands, they would issue press releases accusing the Czech government of negligence.  The threat received widespread attention in Central Europe, hitting major newsstands and television networks and even drawing comment from Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka who described it as a “Shocking misuse of the current public concern over Ebola in Europe.”

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Bitcoin 2.0 SEC Rumor — MIT Bitcoin — Crypto Passport, Tor Vulnerable, IRS Seizure

MadBitcoinsStreamed live on Oct 30, 2014

Why Democrats Should Love Bitcoin

bitcoinmagazine.com / JOSEPH S. DIEDRICH on OCTOBER 31, 2014

A few weeks ago, I opined on why Republicans should love bitcoin. Thankfully, though, the GOP aren’t the only ones invited to the party. That’s the nature of bitcoin: it has something to offer to everyone. To illustrate, each section of this article begins with a quote taken directly from the Democratic National Platform, followed by a discussion of how bitcoin can address the issue in question.

Wall Street

For too long, we’ve had a financial system that stacked the deck against ordinary Americans. Banks on Wall Street played by different rules than businesses on Main Street and community banks…That behavior not only nearly destroyed the financial system, it cost our economy millions of jobs, hurt middle class and poor families, and left taxpayers holding the bill…A strong middle class can only exist in an economy where everyone plays by the same rules, from Wall
 Street to Main Street.

It’s not difficult to understand how Wall Street became so powerful. When both the currency itself and the mechanisms of its exchange fall under the domain of centralized control, corruption and inequality abound. With bitcoin, we don’t have to quibble about who’s playing fair and who’s not. There’s no need to worry about Wall Street fleecing, swindling, or otherwise antagonizing the populace at large.

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GOOD BYE TRADITIONAL BANKING SECRECY, BITCOIN TO THE RESCUE

cryptocoinsnews.com / Giulio Prisco / October 31, 2014 at 12:17 pm CET

The New York Times, RT and many other top news outlets report that 51 nations on Wednesday signed what Germany’s finance minister hailed as a milestone in the fight against tax evasion – an agreement that commits them all to automatic exchange of tax information starting in 2017.

The two-day summit was organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

With Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain leading the effort, other signatories included Singapore, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg, several British territories, like the Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Gibraltar, as well as the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey. It’s worth noting that several well-known “fiscal paradises” are in the list.

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Australian authorities sitting on $9.6 million worth of bitcoins confiscated from Silk Road drug dealer

smh.com.au / Lucy Battersby / October 31, 2014

Australian authorities could be sitting on a bitcoin gold mine. Photo: Reuters

Authorities may soon reap millions of dollars by selling more than 24,500 bitcoins confiscated from a Melbourne drug dealer.

This was the first time the state of Victoria had seized electronic currency from criminals.

The currency’s volatility has seen the value of the seized asset jump from $700,000 at the time of the man’s arrest to nearly $32 million shortly after it was confiscated. Today the bitcoins were worth about $9.6 million.

The assets are subject to a restraining order and would soon be forfeited to the Department of Justice and sold at auction, but not before the appeal period ends in 28 days. Proceeds would go to the state’s consolidated funds.

Richard Pollard, 32, of Warrandyte, was sentenced in the County Court in Melbourne on Friday to 11 years’ jail after pleading guilty to commercial trafficking. He received a non-parole period of seven years four months and has already served 325 days in custody.

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CoinAgenda’s Best Startup Winners: 3 Companies to Keep an Eye On

cointelegraph.com / Armand Tanzarian / 2014-10-31 02:59 PM

BitAngels has named the winners of its startup competition, which was held earlier this month at the CoinAgenda conference in Las Vegas:

  • Zebpay took home first prize for its easy mobile wallet, which is still in pre-launch mode.
  • Blockchain recordkeeping service Factom took home second prize.
  • Hardware security startup Rivetz took home third.

Each of these projects was selected from a group of 20 semifinalists, each of whom pitched their ideas at CoinAgenda, which ran from October 7–9. This coming Sunday night at Money20/20, both Factom and Rivetz will present at the invite-only Coin Debut showcase.

“We were blown away by the quality of the companies who presented,” Michael Terpin, founder of CoinAgenda and co-founder of BitAngels, said in a release. “The VC panel was also quite impressed calling it one of the best selections of early-stage Bitcoin companies they’ve seen anywhere.”

That VC panel included Matt Roszak from Tally Capital, William Quigley from Clearstone Ventures, and Stephen Waterhouse from Pantera Capital.

The judges’ criteria for selecting winners was not made available, so instead let’s take a look at the three winners and try to determine what about each startup impressed the VCs.

 Zebpay

Zebpay is building a super simple mobile wallet that essentially turns your phone number into your Bitcoin wallet address. This would be to Bitcoin what WhatsApp was to mobile messaging.

Zebpay itself is leveraging that instant messaging analogy, and the company says that users’ money will be secure while transaction confirmations will be instantaneous.

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Boost VC Demo Day: Meet Tribe 4′s Bitcoin Startups

coindesk.com / Tom Sharkey / October 30, 2014 at 21:23 GMT

It’s the final day of Tribe 4′s tenure in Boost VC’s startup accelerator, and things have been busier than ever.

The accelerator, perhaps most famous for its CEO Adam Draper’s promise to fund 100 bitcoin startups by the end of 2017, has been housing 16 bitcoin startups in its San Mateo, California, headquarters since the beginning of July.

The group, colloquially referred to as Tribe 4, has been gearing up for the startup world’s equivalent of a graduation ceremony: Boost’s Demo Day. Today, each of the startups will present a 3–4 minute pitch of their company to a room filled with hundreds of potential investors – an equal mix of venture capitalists and angels.

CoinDesk spoke at length with Draper and many of the Tribe 4 startups leading up to Demo Day. Together, they helped paint a picture of what it’s like to be part of a program that was built with a primary focus on bolstering the bitcoin ecosystem.

Their stories tell of an atmosphere that benefits immensely from collaboration and a vast professional network, but ultimately requires that the companies themselves put in the hard work.

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LONDON-BASED EXCHANGE BUILDS ITS FUTURE ON A POLISH FOUNDATION

insidebitcoins.com / Ian Jackson / Oct 31, 2014 6:44 AM EDT

LONDON (InsideBitcoins) — Differentiation was never a key goal of the Bitcoin project; it was designed to solve some fundamental deficiencies that existed within financial services, many of which were far from acute in the Western world. As the currency matured, its focus began to make the natural transition from ideological statement to practical application and for many the excitement came from a foray into the world of speculation.

Bitcoin is destined to stabilize and to fluctuate against the dollar with day-to-day oscillations measured in fractions of a cent but right now , the currency is experiencing dramatic price swings where +/- 5% in a single day is not unheard of.

Until such time as the currency stabilises, large investments carry greater than average risks and rewards than the regular investor might be comfortable with and yet, the market continues to thrive. So what’s driving it?

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DUBAI SET TO HOST BITCOIN CONFERENCE

cryptocoinsnews.com / John Weru Maina / October 31, 2014 at 9:44 am CET.

This November, Dubai plays host to the first everBitcoin conference in the Gulf. The event will take place in the Dubai International Financial Center, a special economic free zone in the heart of downtown Dubai and a hub of the region’s financial world. The conference will take place from December 11 – 13 2014.

The workshop sessions on December 12 and 13 will focus on the fundamentals of the Bitcoin protocol. Topics to be addressed include bitcoin and the future of financial services, bitcoin’s place and the future of the GCC, remittances, Bitcoin in Africa, job growth, startups, compliance and much more.

The conference will also feature leading players in the global bitcoin world, as well as regional players in the Middle East. Bitcoin evangelist Roger Ver is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech at the conference. Roger Ver, the former CEO of MemoryDealers.com, is one of the world’s most successful bitcoin entrepreneurs. Other featured speakers will include Erik Voorhees, a Bitcoin investor and former CEO of Coinapult, Nic Cary, CEO of Blockchain.info and Greg Simon, CFO at Ribbit.me and active Bitcoin advocate as well as many others.

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Decentralized Internet Update

letstalkbitcoin.com / mike ward / October 31st, 2014

We use the Internet for so many things every day, and yet few people realize how old the Internet’s plumbing is. Surfing the web, sending and receiving email, and much more actually work by using a thirty-year-old centralized routing system called the Domain Name System (DNS), which many of us would dearly love to decentralize.

For a quick refresher, the DNS basically acts like a giant phone book. If you want to buy rubber chickens online from the Archie McFee store in Seattle, there’s no need for you to remember an IP address like 104.130.59.138. You just have to know a domain name like ArchieMcpheeSeattle.com.

Considerable activity is going on behind the scenes, so I figured I’d offer a survey of current events, instead of taking an in-depth look at various topics individually. A couple more topics will surely require a follow-up later.

I’m only offering a few paragraphs about each news item since this is a summary, but I’ve included some audio files that go into more detail. Apologies in advance for the poor production quality of the recordings, including the sound levels. I simply wanted to provide some additional commentary, beyond the brief text, for those who are interested. Enjoy!

Domain Name Thefts

The Huffington Post carried an article recently about domain name thefts. The main point was that domain thefts happen, and there is often little recourse for the domain registrants. They imply that legal remedies are the way to better deal with this, which misses the point. As long as we rely on registrars to safeguard our domain names, instead of controlling our own, thefts will continue to happen.

I covered this topic earlier, remarking that domain name thefts happen routinely, but we have no data regarding the specifics. Registrars do not disclose domain theft statistics, and ICANN is not likely to compel them to do so.

If anyone would have a handle on this topic, Ron Jackson would. He is the editor and publisher of DN Journal, and an industry veteran who chronicles facts about domain registrations and sales data. I asked Ron about this topic and he summed it up nicely:

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Cryptocurrency Juggling

Chronos CryptoPublished on Oct 30, 2014

Bitcoin Foundation’s New Head Patrick Murck Outlines Future Plans

coindesk.com / Jon Southurst / October 31, 2014 at 11:16 GMT

The Bitcoin Foundation’s new executive director Patrick Murck has outlined his priorities for the organization’s “new direction” and its relationship with stakeholders.

His statement follows yesterday’s resignation of former executive director Jon Matonis both from the post and his position on foundation’s board.

Notably, former general counsel Murck acknowledged a need to repair the foundation’s relationship with the bitcoin community, even if that meant sometimes adopting unpopular or controversial positions on some issues, and taking risks with communication and transparency to demonstrate honest engagement.

He wrote:

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The Flipside Bitcoin News #4 – BitPay Foxtrot, LedgerX Futures Exchange, Matonis resigns Foundation

The FlipsidePublished on Oct 30, 2014

Cambridge’s first ATM for Bitcoin online currency launched

cambridge-news.co.uk / adam care / October 30, 2014

A new world of online finance has been opened up to people in Cambridge, following the launch of the city’s first Bitcoin ATM.

Members of Cambridge’s Bitcoin community gathered at the St John’s Innovation Centre at the Cambridge Science Centre yesterday, to mark the installation of the new machine.

Bitcoin is an online currency which allows users to make transactions immediately, without the need for a central bank.

Justin Drake founded the online Cambridge Bitcoin Meetup group, which now has over 160 members, and spent over £8,000 of his own money installing the machine.

He said: “One way to think of it is that BitCoin is the equivalent to standard currency as email is to slow mail.

“You have postage fees, and it would take several days to deliver, and the government could see your letter, which is inefficient.

“With email you can send information for free, no one can stop you and you have privacy, and Bitcoin allows you to do that, to send money anywhere in the world immediately for free.”

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Andreas Antonopoulos on the Future Of Bitcoin

decentral.tvPublished on Oct 30, 2014

Cryptomen Launches Breakthrough BTC Investment Trading Service

cointelegraph.com / William Suberg / 2014-10-31 03:39 PM

Later today, the first ever cryptocurrency trading fund will close its funding period for its first venture: now, you can allow experts to trade your bitcoins on your behalf, while you watch.

The move, developed and launched by Cryptomen in conjunction with the Canadian Bitcoin Embassy, aims to provide a one-of-a-kind cryptocurrency investment service with as much control given to investors themselves as possible. Cryptomen explained in a statement regarding the launch:

“Our revolutionary system is incredibly simple, transparent and exciting, but the best part of all is it is completely free to get involved.”

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Argentina’s Stock Exchange Hosts VCs and Finance Pros for Bitcoin Roundtable

coindesk.com / Tanaya Macheel / October 29, 2014 at 20:00 GMT

The Buenos Aires Stock Exchange played host to the Argentine Venture Capital Meeting yesterday, an annual presentation and networking event meant to connect Argentina’s financial markets and venture capital industries.

The event was free for attendees and planned by financial social network Puerto Finanzas in collaboration with Buenos Aires-based VC fund Primary Ventures and the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, the organisation responsible for the operation of the country’s primary stock market.

Six panelists showcased their ideas on different subjects ranging from the role of central banks in global finance to money laundering and know-your-customer (KYC) policies. The meeting focused on bitcoin in an effort to bring members of both industries greater understanding of a topic that the main organizer, Puerto Finanzas founder Augusto Hassel, sees as increasingly relevant to VCs and financial professionals.

Hassel said that while many entrepreneurs in Argentina are trying to launch new bitcoin ventures, these efforts have so far failed to gather traction.

He said:

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