How the Deep Web’s biggest 4/20 sale helped bring down the Silk Road
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By Patrick Howell O’Neill on April 19, 2014 Never has there been a more confident, carefree group of drug users than those buying and selling on the Silk Road in the weeks leading up to April 20, 2012. Hot off the infamous black market’s first birthday celebrations, those hazy-eyed optimists were busy getting ready for what seemed would be the greatest 4/20 sale of all time. A feeling of invincibility permeated the Road and all who walked it. If the cops hadn’t shut her down yet—after all the media attention the black market had received—then they might never come. This party didn’t have to end. READ THE FULL STORY

Mt. Gox CEO won’t appear in U.S. for questions about bankruptcy
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Reuters | Updated: Apr 19 2014, 16:53 IST Mark Karpeles, the chief executive of Mt. Gox, said he would not come to the United States to answer questions about the Japanese bitcoin exchange’s U.S. bankruptcy case, Mt. Gox lawyers told a federal judge on Monday. In the court filing, Mt. Gox lawyers cited a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which has closely monitored virtual currencies like bitcoin. READ THE FULL STORY

Bitcoin 2.0: Unleash The Sidechains
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“Cryptocurrencies will create a fifth protocol layer powering the next generation of the Internet,” says Naval Ravikant. “Our 2014 fund will be built during the blockchain cycle,” concurs Fred Wilson. And Andreessen Horowitz have very visibly doubled down on Bitcoin. Even if you don’t believe in Bitcoin as a currency, and I’ll grant there’s plenty to be skeptical about, you should be thinking:huh, a lot of extremely smart and successful people think that its underlying technology is a pretty big deal. But as I wrote myself just a few weeks ago, there’s a big difference between blockchain technology and Bitcoin itself, right? READ THE FULL STORY

New ‘Google’ for the Dark Web Makes Buying Dope and Guns Easy
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BY KIM ZETTER The dark web just got a little less dark with the launch of a new search engine that lets you easily find illicit drugs and other contraband online. Grams, which launched last week and is patterned after Google, is accessible only through the Tor anonymizing browser (the address for Grams is: grams7enufi7jmdl.onion) but fills a niche for anyone seeking quick access to sites selling drugs, guns, stolen credit card numbers, counterfeit cash and fake IDs — sites that previously only could be found by users who knew the exact URL for the site. READ THE FULL STORY

Video: The bitcoin uprising
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The Monday night meetings at New York City’s Bitcoin Center hardly seem the stuff of a revolution. Wielding smartphones and computers, the mostly male, mostly under-30 revolutionaries stand in the middle of a cavernous space in the shadow of the New York Stock Exchange. Their mission is to spread the gospel of bitcoin, which they believe has the power to upend the global financial system. READ THE FULL STORY

BTC China Launches ATM Web App
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Posted yesterday by Catherine Shu BTC China, one of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges by trading volume, released a new mobile-friendly Web app called the Picasso ATM today. The Picasso ATM allows users around the world to exchange the digital currency for cash without having to find a physical ATM. To use Picasso ATM, bitcoin owners first load the currency into BTC China’s Picasso Wallet and then sell it through the Web app. Buyers can then immediately confirm transactions on their smartphones. The app is targeted at casual bitcoin users as well as businesses and store owners, who can set their own profit margins on the currency like owners of physical ATM machines. READ THE FULL STORY

BitInvest’s Coincard is a Prepaid MasterCard for Bitcoin Lovers
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Leading Brazil-based digital currency exchange BitInvest has launched the Coincard, a bitcoin-friendly prepaid MasterCard. The concept is simple. The card can be topped up with bitcoins, but you can use it pretty much like any other MasterCard. READ THE FULL STORY

‘Mighty Ducks’ actor wants to buy Mt. Gox for 1 bitcoin
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By Elizabeth Robinson on April 12, 2014 After declaring bankruptcy and shutting down its site in February, Mt. Gox, once the world’s most active Bitcoin exchange, appeared to be gasping its final breath. Now, an investment group wants to buy the company and resurrect the embattled Bitcoin exchange. Their offer? One bitcoin. John Betts, who formerly worked for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, would serve as the chief executive of the new firm. The investment group also includes Brock Pierce, an entrepreneur and former child actor (of Mighty Ducks fame), as well as venture capitalists William Quigley and Matthew Roszak. READ THE FULL STORY

Bitcoin-branded ecstasy
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By Fernando Alfonso III on April 12, 2014 A Scottish man has been hospitalized after popping some ecstasy tablets featuring the Bitcoin logo. The 21-year-old was found last Saturday morning “in an agitated state” in Scotland’s Cadzow Bridge Square, the BBC reported. READ THE FULL STORY

Behind the movement to build a faster anonymous network
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By Patrick Howell O’Neill on April 11, 2014 Tor, the most popular anonymity network ever built, can help to hide your digital tracks from anyone, even intelligence agencies and law enforcement around the globe. It’s a tool that fundamentally changes the way Internet privacy works by putting the very real power of anonymity into the hands of anyone who chooses to use it. But for all of its utility, Tor is far from perfect. READ THE FULL STORY

China’s Central Bank Governor: PBOC Won’t Ban Bitcoin
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Pete Rizzo | Published on April 11, 2014 at 14:02 BST The price of bitcoin recovered from a low of roughly $380 and rose past $420 at press time on 11th April, on the news that Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), had issued new statements potentially clarifying the central bank’s position on bitcoin. According to reports, during Boao Forum, Xiaochuan offered his opinion on the nascent technology, saying that China would not seek to ban bitcoin and other digital currencies entirely. READ THE FULL STORY

BitAccess To Demonstrate Their Bitcoin ATM Before Canadian Senate Eric Calouro
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While Robocoin was this week busy demonstrating their bitoin ATM on Capitol Hill, a similar occurrence is taking place up North in Canada. BitAccess, Canadian bitcoin ATM manufacturer, is demonstrating their kiosk before the Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Banking today. READ THE FULL STORY

What Bitcoin Users Need To Know About Heartbleed
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If you’re using a bitcoin wallet or an online wallet or exchange, Heartbleed could be a very real problem for you and your BTC. Luckily, things have finally settled down after a few days of panic and there are a few very easy ways to ensure you’re protected. First, understand that the core bitcoin protocol, which transfers bitcoin through the system, is unaffected. “Whilst the Bitcoin Core client will be updated to 0.9.1 to address the OpenSSL vulnerability, the core developers stress that the Bitcoin protocol itself is not affected by the Heartbleed bug,” wrote Venzen Khaosan on CryptocoinsNews. READ THE FULL STORY

French Retail Chain Monoprix to Accept Bitcoin Payments This Year
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Major French retail chain Monoprix is making plans to start accepting bitcoin payments on its merchant website this year, according to the company’s director of e-commerce, Patrick Oualid. Oualid made his comments in an interview published yesterday (8th April) on French news site JDN. READ THE FULL STORY

Irish Company Now Paying Employees’ Salaries in Bitcoin
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by Kadhim Shubber | Published on April 7, 2014 at 10:39 BST UPDATE (7th April 13:40 GMT): GSM Solutions’ Managing Director Alan Donohoe has responded to our email, explaining that the employees who are receiving part of their pay in bitcoin work in the head office: “We believed it best to start with our head office where we have five employees who work with bitcoin on a daily basis, so they understood the importance of this step in the evolution of bitcoin in Ireland.” READ THE FULL STORY

You can now buy bitcoins on eBay
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By Aaron Sankin on April 06, 2014 These days, there are plenty of ways to acquire virtual currency. You can buy it on an exchange. You can withdraw it from a Bitcoin ATM. You can mine it yourself. You can steal it in a massive, complex, multimillion-dollar heist. Now there’s a new addition to that list: You can buy it on eBay. Without going out of its way to court much publicity, the online auction Goliath has quietly added a new category to its United States site where users can buy and sell virtual currencies like Bitcoin andDogecoin. READ THE FULL STORY

Why gambling sites hold the key to keeping Bitcoin safe
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By Richard Dunlop-Walters on April 03, 2014 The Bitcoin community has been beset by horror stories almost since day one. Mt. Gox, a Japanese Bitcoin exchange that filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year, may go down as the most infamous. But it’s also triggering a long-needed attitude adjustment. One of Bitcoin’s core principles is that it negates the need to trust major financial institutions. But Bitcoin exchanges, where customers trade currency for Bitcoin, have always rendered that advantage moot. From the moment fiat currency is deposited on an exchange until it’s exchanged for Bitcoin and relocated to a privately-controlled wallet, the customer’s trust is placed entirely with the exchange. READ THE FULL STORY

U.S. can’t ‘extradite’ Mark Karpeles
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But it can kill Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy protection By Tim Sampson on April 02, 2014 A U.S. judge has ordered the embattled CEO of Mt. Gox to appear on American soil to answer questions related to the firm’s ongoing bankruptcy case. Despite the judge’s wishes, however, her order likely won’t bring the French Bitcoin magnate to the United States. Mt. Gox’s Mark Karpeles faces intense scrutiny over the collapse of his company, once the world’s leading Bitcoin exchange, which lost more than $300 million worth of its customers’ digital currency before suddenly closing its doors in February. READ THE FULL STORY

Bitcoins run hot and cold
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Apr 1st 2014, 12:55 by G.F. | SEATTLE ONE does not often find $100m in one’s tatty old wallet. But that’s just what Mt Gox, the shuttered Bitcoin exchange, says happened a few days ago. While Mt Gox has filed for bankruptcy in Japan and America, and initially said that it had lost 850,000 Bitcoins (valued then at nearly $600m), it uncovered 200,000 (about $100m at today’s rates) in a disused wallet that it thought was empty. It seems as though Bitcoins are being plundered continuously. Flexcoin, a smaller service, had a significant theft following Mt Gox’s initial announcement, and opted to shut down although most of its coins were secured. Poloniex suffered a similar fate to a larger percentage of its customer holdings but remains in operation. China-based Vircurex last week exhausted its reserves following thefts in 2013 and froze withdrawals from older accounts as it attempts to produce new revenue to repay lost coins. READ THE FULL STORY

Alleged Silk Road owner says he can’t be guilty of money laundering if bitcoin isn’t money
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By Adi Robertson on April 1, 2014 02:40 pm Ross Ulbricht, who stands accused of running the Silk Road black market under the name “Dread Pirate Roberts,” says that new federal bitcoin laws make the charges against him invalid. In a filing over the weekend, Ulbricht’s lawyers defended him against charges of hacking, narcotics trafficking, operating a criminal conspiracy, and money laundering. The first three charges, his lawyers argue, are “unconstitutionally broad” and can’t be applied to the normal operation of a website, even one whose business is illegal goods. And the last charge, they say, makes no sense if there isn’t actual money involved — a possibility implied by a recent IRS decision. Ulbricht’s defense against the first three charges largely amounts to an abdication of responsibility over what users did on the site: any actual drug trafficking would have been done by users of Silk Road, not the site’s operator. Using the comparison of a landlord whose tenants operate a crack den, or a search engine that allows users to find illegal content, they argue that only civil penalties should apply, not the criminal ones federal prosecutors are seeking. “At worst, Mr. Ulbricht allegedly acted as a conduit or facilitator for those engaging in illegal activity,” not as a drug “kingpin.” And a hacking conspiracy charge, they say, is based only on the sale of malicious software through the site, not anything Ulbricht himself did. READ THE FULL STORY HERE