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Bitcoin and Venture Capital: ‘Sometimes the Future Does Happen’

insidebitcoins.com / Hal M. Bundrick / Jan 29, 2015 6:46 AM EST

SAN FRANCISCO (InsideBitcoins) — Silicon Valley is the breeding ground of venture capital – and VC has shown a growing enthusiasm for bitcoin and blockchain technology, investing nearly $450 million dollars in the industry, mostly in the past 12 months. At the O’Reilly Bitcoin Summit in San Francisco, two tech funders shared their ideas on what it takes to snag a piece of the speculative-money pie and what it means now that last-century money players are taking notice.

Keith Rabois, investment partner with Khosla Ventures – formerly in leadership roles with PayPal, LinkedIn and others — says bitcoin startups have to compete on a fast track to gain buy-in — as well as stay ahead of regulators.

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WHAT IS CAUSING THE BITCOIN PRICE DROP THIS TIME?

cryptoarticles.com / JP Buntinx / January 29, 2015

Yesterday was a very sad day for Bitcoin enthusiasts and investors around the world, as we were all witness to another massive price drop. It is not the first time this year that we see the Bitcoin value go below US$250, but there was a shimmer of hope when the digital currency managed to climb back to US$300 and higher a few days ago. But what could be the reason for this sharp price drop? We will try to find out.

RATHER POSITIVE BITCOIN NEWS FOR SEVERAL DAYS STRAIGHT

Over the past week or so, we have seen several interesting Bitcoin-related news headlines, both in crypto news and in mainstream media. After all the dust settled after the previous “Bitcoin Flash Crash”, everyone pointed their nose in the right direction again. And to be honest, there have been some interesting and positive announcements these past few days.

WINKLEVOSS TWINS CREATING THEIR OWN REGULATED BITCOIN EXCHANGE

When this announcement was made, it came as a bit of a surprise to most of us. We all know the Winklevoss twins are heavily interested/invested in Bitcoin, as they also plan to take their ETF to Nasdaq in the near future. Launching and running your very own regulated Bitcoin exchange is a whole different ball game though, but a lot of people have faith in Tyler & Cameron, so we’ll have to wait and see how they fare.

CNBC REPORT : BITCOIN IS DONE WITH ITS “TUMULTUOUS TEEN” YEARS

It does not happen all that often we see a proper opinionated piece on Bitcoin in the mainstream media, as most journalists have no clue what they are talking about. But it has to be said that CNBC surprised many of us with this opinionated piece, and we can only applaud them for doing so. Positive mainstream media for Bitcoin even when the price does not hit US$1,000; who would’ve thought?

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Ex-Goldman Trader Readies New Bitcoin Exchange

tradersmagazine.com / John D’Antona Jr. / January 28, 2015

Paul Chou

A new federally regulated exchange designed to trade virtual currency is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Paul Chou, a former Goldman Sachs trader is readying LedgerX, a fully regulated Bitcoin derivatives exchange and clearing house. While at Goldman, he was responsible for developing, trading and risk managing algorithmic equity trading strategies for U.S. and Japanese markets. Also, he developed a set of cross-asset strategies and devised a method to unify and optimize the trade flow across hundreds of trading algorithms.

Prior to Goldman, Chou delivered trading and spread-risk tracking tools on projects for Citadel Investment Group and Morgan Stanley.

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Bitcoin is Asia: Part II

bit-post.com / Yegor B / Jan 28, 2015

Bitcoin in Hong Kong.

As we have promised you in the first part of the overview of the Bitcoin market in Asia, a separate attention in this discussion will be devoted to the Bitcoin community in Hong Kong, as they do not consider Hong Kong as one of the leading playgrounds for the Bitcoin Community in Asia for nothing.  

Although Hong Kong is an Administrative part of China, its legislative system is completely independent from the one of the mainland China. Because of all the legal difficulties in China, a large part of the Bitcoin industry, especially small and middle businesses (e.g. start-ups), have migrated to Hong Kong. Even though the government regards bitcoins as “highly speculative” due to these price fluctuations and reminds everyone to use extra caution, it has not adopted any specific legislation or policy on the matter. Thus, the Bitcoin community has much more air in Hong Kong.

To start with, in the early 2014 the first Bitcoin ATM in Asia was brought to Hong Kong. Now there are already two ATMs in the city. The first one is Lamassu-made Bitcoin ATM, in a pancake shop Mr. Bing Café, in the central part of the city, which was brought by the Bitcoin Group HK.

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Bill Gates: Almost Everyone Will Bank on Phones in 2030 — but Not Use Bitcoin

insidebitcoins.com / Kyle Torpey / Jan 29, 2015 8:51 AM EST

NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — Bill and Melinda Gates recently released their Gates Annual Letter, which gives the world an update on the plans and predictions of the Gates Foundation. One of the more interesting aspects of this year’s letter has to do with the concept of mobile banking. While many in the developed world already have access to banking on their mobile devices, the concept of using a phone as an access point for a bank account is only now taking off in places like Africa and Southeast Asia. Many have noted that some of these developing countries may skip the traditional banking system completely and move directly to Internet-connect payment services such as PayPal.

Gates noted that he believes “almost everyone will have a mobile money bank account” by 2030, but he doesn’t appear to be too bullish on bitcoin’s role in that financial revolution.

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BITMARKET BITCOIN EXCHANGE LOSES BANKING CONNECTION AS POLISH BANKS START CRACKDOWN ON BITCOIN

cryptocoinsnews.com / Gerrard Hartley / January 29, 2015 at 10:10 am CET

A few bitcoin users from Poland have reported to CCN that they are dealing with bank crackdowns due to bitcoin activity.

One Polish bitcoin exchange, BitMarket, became a victim of a shutdown earlier this week by BPH. When contacting BPH, they were told there were technical problems that needed to be sorted out. Upon further investigation, BitMarket found out they were shut down due to cryptocurrency activity was associated with their account.

The original text was written in Polish, but CCN was able to translate and clean up the text into an English transcription.

“First [the bank] explained the situation was due to technical problems with the system, allegedly occurring in debit accounts [?]. Finally, the central bank’s legal department was able to obtain information that the accounts have been closed in connection with the activities of our company and exchanges in Cryptocurrency.”

According to BitMarket, the bank said a letter informing the exchange of an impending termination was sent. They verified the address, but they claim the letter was not received.

The exchange claims they have enough funds to recover from the loss, but it might take some time.

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Nitrogen Sports Will Have Live Betting For SuperBowl, Blackjack Also Launches

cointelegraph.com / Ian DeMartino / 2015-01-28 04:52 PM

Nitrogen Sports, one of the most popular Bitcoin sportsbooks on the web, is about to launch two new services. Blackjack will be joining poker as the second casino card game offered on the site. The big news, at least as far as sports betting goes, is that they will be offering live line betting during the Super Bowl.

Typical sportsbooks will set a line in advance of a game. That line may change depending on news and (more commonly) as a reaction to how users place their bets. Once the game starts however, that line is set in stone and no more bets are taken. That is one, of many, major advantages casinos and Las Vegas sportsbooks have over your typical bar room bookie. Legit sportsbooks with physical locations can update the line during the game, allowing users to make bets while the game is going on based on how the two teams are performing.

Nitrogen Sports will be offering live betting for the Super Bowl. The site currently allows users to make bets before the start and during the second half of games, but actual live betting is not currently supported. With live betting, users will be able to bet on the Super Bowl throughout the game. While live betting for every game is something they are working on, it is not going live until later this year. Instead, the Superbowl live betting can be seen as a bit of a preview of what is to come, but won’t be representative of the final product. Complete live betting will be a part of a “big platform”  launch later this year and may look completely different. There is no concrete deadline on when live betting outside of the Super Bowl will become available, but there is hope that it could be done sometime in the spring.

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MadBitcoins Goes to O’Reilly Bitcoin Conference and Internet Archive Tour

MadBitcoinsPublished on Jan 28, 2015

BitGold Backed By Sprott in Public Stock Market Deal

coindesk.com / Pete Rizzo / January 28, 2015 at 22:15 GMT

Toronto-based gold and bitcoin startup BitGold has gone public following a reverse merger with mineral exploration company Loma Vista Capital.

BitGold will retain its name, but halt trading on the Canadian National Stock Exchange as it migrates to the Toronto Stock Exchange. As part of the deal, the company said it will raise C$6m in subscription receipt private placement, with an additional C$5m worth of warrants to be exercised later.

The pending C$6m subscription receipt sale includes commitments from Canaccord Genuity Corp, Clarus Securities, Dundee Securities and GMP Securities. However, perhaps most notably, the lead order on the round was completed by Sprott Inc and its individual directors, the $7bn asset management company formerly helmed by famed portfolio manager Eric Sprott.

Speaking to CoinDesk, CEO Roy Sebag indicated that his primary motivation in taking the unlaunched company public was to build trust with its future customers. Sebag was also the founder and CEO of Loma Vista Capital, which went public in 2013.

Sebag said:

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VAIEX BITCOIN ATMS POPPING UP IN LONDON, ENGLAND

cryptoarticles.com / serge schouterden / January 29, 2015

During our attendance at the Bitcoin Expo 2015 in London last week, we met a whole lot of interesting people and startups. Some of them were based in the digital realm but others were presenting physical items. One of these companies was Vaiex, which is a name that will probably be unfamiliar to most Bitcoin enthusiasts out there.

The main goal of Vaiex is to make cryptocurrencies easy to access for everyone. Vaiex will be implementing this by creating a cryptocurrency exchange, which is currently in development, and using ATM’s. While working hard on their exchange they are currently using every opportunity to install Bitcoin ATM’s in London. This will help to expand the existing network of Bitcoin ATM’s into global financial centres such as London.  These improvements to the Bitcoin infrastructure will benefit everyone that want to use Bitcoin, even if they are novices

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PRINCETON JOINS NYU: BITCOIN COURSES WILL TEACH STUDENTS ABOUT BITCOIN

cryptocoinsnews.com / Evander Smart / January 29, 2015 at 12:51 pm CET

As we’ve been following for you here at CCN, plenty of people are curious to learn more about Bitcoin. It was the fourth-largest “What is” search on Google last year, and this means the interest in Bitcoin is definitely not defined by its US Dollar price. Education is the biggest obstacle Bitcoin faces, both now, and in the future. With that in mind, some of the most prestigious schools in the United States are beginning to teach our brightest minds more about “The Future of Money”.

Princeton Follows NYU’s Bitcoin lead, Unofficially

NYU was the pioneer of this movement to teach the students more about Bitcoin in the Fall 2014 semester. Princeton University has now joined the ranks of the learned for Spring 2015. In response, almost 400 students have already signed up for the course, again, highlighting heightened demand, especially amongst the savvy American youth.

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Consumer Alert: Coinbase Exchange ‘Not Regulated or Licensed’ in California, NY

cointelegraph.com / Diana Ngo / 2015-01-29 10:35 AM

Coinbase, which announced earlier this week it had launched the first regulated Bitcoin exchange in several states and territories of America, including California and New York, seems to be lacking regulatory approval from both states, according to local regulators.

Department of Business Oversight (DBO) commissioner Jan Lynn Owen, issued a “consumer alert” on Coinbase’s licensing status in California, where she made clarifications on what she qualifies as “erroneous reports.”

The document reads:

“Numerous press accounts about Coinbase’s Jan. 26 launch of Coinbase Exchange erroneously reported the Exchange has received regulatory approval from the State of California.

The California Department of Business Oversight has not decided whether to regulate virtual currency transactions, or the businesses that arrange such transactions, under the state’s Money Transmission Act.

California consumers should be aware Coinbase Exchange is not regulated or licensed by the State.”

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Bitcoin 2015 LIVE Chat w/ Bryce Weiner

David SeamanStreamed live on Jan 28, 2015

LocalBitcoins User Funds Stolen After Chat Client Hack

coindesk.com / Stan Higgins / January 29, 2015 at 09:24 GMT

Peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace LocalBitcoins suffered a hack this week that resulted in the distribution of malware and a loss of customer funds.

Affected users will be granted refunds after taking steps to address security vulnerabilities, according to the company.

LocalBitcoins vice president Nikolaus Kangas acknowledged the hack on 27th January in a forum post, outlining how the intrusion took place through its LiveChat account, with an estimated 17 BTC lost from customer wallets.

The bitcoin marketplace has experienced security-related problems before, including an incidentlast year when a hacker gained access to its servers for a brief period of time, though according to LocalBitcoins no customer data was lost. Customers have also reported running afoul of fraudulent users in the past.

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BITWALA LETS YOU PAY YOUR (RECURRING) BILLS WITH BITCOIN

cryptoarticles.com / JP Buntinx / January 28, 2015

Lots of Bitcoin-related services are really making a stand to directly compete with the current financial ecosystem. BitWage, a service we briefly talked about in this article, lets you receive (part of) your monthly wage in Bitcoin, without your employer knowing about it. But now there is also Bitwala, which lets you pay any bills you may have directly with Bitcoin.

BITWALA – PAY YOUR BILLS WITH BITCOIN

One of the main reasons why most of us still need a bank account is to pay for most monthly bills we receive. In my case, these bills include my mortgage, ISP bills, utility bills for water/gas/electricity et cetera. There are a handful of things I can pay with Bitcoin directly, such as topping up my mobile provider credit, but those are always microtransactions.

Bitwala aims to change the bill-paying landscape as we know it, and morph it into what could be the holy grail for Bitcoin enthusiasts worldwide. The idea behind Bitwala is relatively simple to explain, as their service will execute fiat bank transfers in your name, after you pay the designated amount in Bitcoin to a Bitwala address. Sounds pretty straightforward, right?

In order to pay your bill with Bitcoin through Bitwala, there are three simple steps to follow :

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BITCOIN PRICE DOWN, STABILIZING FOR A NEW PUSH?

cryptocoinsnews.com / Venzen Khaosan / January 29, 2015 at 12:31 am CET

Bitcoin Price traded in a narrow range around $260 and 1,600 CNY today. Price has settled on the trendline that has supported advance to date, and the market seems to be anticipating a big move. Update: The price has touched $230 as anticipated as a current low in the trendline.

This analysis is provided by xbt.social with a 3 hour delay. Read the full analysis here.

Bitcoin Value and Price Analysis

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MadBitcoins interviews @BitcoinSusan #BitcoinMiami 2015

MadBitcoinsPublished on Jan 28, 2015

Artist Open-Sources Work for Bitcoin; IP Advocates Stumped

cointelegraph.com / Amanda B. Johnson / 2015-01-28 04:02 PM

In a move that has left intellectual “property” (IP) advocates completely dumbfounded, artist and reddit or obilex recently released not one, but eight high-resolution original works of art on Reddit. The images are free to download and no copyright is claimed. What’s got the IP supporters really confused is that obilex is still making money.

Yesterday the artist announced the image giveaway with this post:

“I’m a digital painter/artist that just got into Bitcoin, I realized I have no easy way to sell prints to you guys, so I’m pulling a Radiohead. Here are some High res images, look at em, print em, tip me, or don’t!”

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MadBitcoins interviews Micha from Gem #BitcoinMiami 2015

MadBitcoinsPublished on Jan 28, 2015

NYDFS: Coinbase Is Not Licensed in New York

coindesk.com / Pete Rizzo / January 28, 2015 at 17:23 GMT

The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has issued a new statement indicating Coinbase has not yet secured a license to operate in New York.

The remarks, relayed by a spokesman to The New York Times, suggest that the department, which is currently working on a final version of its BitLicense regulation, is still in talks with Coinbase about its legal status in the state, but that no decisions have been finalized.

The NYDFS spokesman said:

“We are working with several companies, including Coinbase, on licensing and will continue to move forward expeditiously. That said, we have not yet issued any licenses to virtual currency firms.”

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