Laundered Bitcoin Billions Linked to UK Company

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A UK company has been linked to the laundering of 650,000 stolen bitcoins worth £4.5bn.The coins were taken by hackers from Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, leaving tens of thousands of customers out of pocket. It’s not clear who is in control of the London-based firm Always Efficient LLP. Mt Gox operator Mark Karpeles apologised to investors and said he was co-operating with the investigation. The FBI has charged a Russian national with laundering the stolen bitcoins. Mt Gox matched up those who wanted to buy the crypto-currency with dollars,…

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Stripe’s Ditch of Bitcoin Calls for Rethink of what the Cryptocurrency is good for!

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Stripe has announced that it’s dropping support for Bitcoin-based transactions on its payments platform, citing high transaction confirmation times and numerous failures, as well as fees that are now as expensive as bank wires. That’s a huge blow to the cryptocurrency, not just because it’ll see fewer transactions, but also because it’s a sign that companies and consumers are growing disinterested in using Bitcoin to pay for things. Valued at $9 billion, Stripe is a major payments service provider in 25 countries, and the company claims to process billions of…

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Bitcoin and Ethereum hit by massive decline, Other cryptocurrencies dropped even worse

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Most major digital currencies sold off sharply on Tuesday, but the declines in bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin prices weren’t as bad as much of the rest of the market.  Bitcoin was down 17 percent at that time, ethereum was down 19 percent and litecoin was down 19 percent, according to the same site. The declines followed speculation in the market about what regulators in Asia may be planning for digital tokens. On Monday, a report from Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, said Beijing plans to block domestic access to Chinese and…

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Coinbase ordered to give the IRS data on users trading more than $20,000

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Most digital currencies exist in a sort of twilight state just beyond the grasp of federal regulators, but the U.S. tax authority is starting to get savvy to this whole bitcoin thing. On Wednesday, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that Coinbase must supply the IRS with identifying information on users who had more than $20,000 in annual transactions on its platform between 2013 and 2015. After noticing that the number of tax returns claiming gains from virtual currency didn’t line up with the emerging popularity of digital currencies like…

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Eco-friendly bitcoin competitor Chia, Invented

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A bitcoin transaction wastes as much electricity as it takes to power an American home for a week, and legendary coder Bram Cohen wants to fix that. Considering he invented the ubiquitous peer-to-peer file transfer protocol BitTorrent, you should take him seriously. Cohen has just started a new company called Chia Network that will launch a cryptocurrency based on proofs of time and storage rather than bitcoin’s electricity-burning proofs of work. Essentially, Chia will harness cheap and abundant unused storage space on hard drives to verify its blockchain. “The idea…

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Can Blockchain Technology improve digital piracy in Africa?

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The digital content market has rapidly become less regional for piracy not to be prevented, even in parts of Africa where the distribution in such format is maturing. Globally there’s been a shift from traditional media and content industries to new digital media technologies. This has changed the distribution and consumption of creative content with the emergence of new digital platforms like Netflix and iROKOtv. “In Africa, there is a demand for US and European content, and when distribution rights don’t keep up with demands, it fuels piracy,” says G-J…

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Big Tech and Banking Firms Abandon Bitcoin For Their Own Blockchain

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The short history of Bitcoin and the blockchain proves that a second glance can definitely change one’s perception. From being a victim of skepticism and criticism since its debut in 2009, Bitcoin has come a long way. And it hasn’t been alone; it has brought with it the ‘blockchain’ – one of the hot topics of debate among prominent banking institutions. Several major companies from across both the technology and financial industries—including IBM, Intel, and Cisco as well as the London Stock Exchange Group and big-name banks JP Morgan, Wells…

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China gets its first online private bank, courtesy of Tencent

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Chinese internet and social giant Tencent has launched the country’s first private online bank. The bank, which is called WeBank in a clear allusion to its massively popular instant messaging service WeChat, is also China’s first internet-based financial institution. The launch of WeBank sees Tencent steal a march on Alibaba and eight other private investors who were last year given permission to launch five private online banks. As Technode pointed out at the time, the pilot programme is designed to help make funding more accessible to startups and small businesses.…

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Most U.S consumers ‘unlikely’ to purchase or use bitcoin

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A study conducted by the Massachusetts Division of Banks on the bitcoin use found that close to two – thirds of those who responded said they were unlikely to buy or use the virtual currency. The article by Andrew Moran also highlights a study from the U.K. where 71 percent of British consumers don’t want to use bitcoin for their shopping needs. Of course we are very early in the game and the age of the respondent’s matters, those in their late teens and twenties may be more willing to…

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European Court of Justice to Rule If Bitcoin is VATable

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The European Court of Justice will rule if bitcoin transactions are subject to its value-added tax rules (VAT). If that top court decides to impose VAT regulations on member nations with bitcoin businesses, they could suffer an economic setback. Others could miss out on the opportunity to establish business initiatives associated with bitcoin. VAT is one way the EU raises tax revenues. It’s essentially a consumption tax, paid by buyers as part of the purchase price. That case before the Court is C-264/14 Skatteverket v David Hedqvist and it raises the issue:…

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