The troublesome history of the bitcoin exchange MtGox
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Most, if not all, of the people interested in the bitcoin phenomenon have heard of MtGox, the Japanese bitcoin exchange. I’ll look in to some of the issues they’ve run into over the handful of years they’ve existed. From trading cards to real money MtGox started in 2009 as an exchange for trading cards (MtGox = Magic: The Gathering, Online eXchange), by Jed McCaleb. Before this, Jed was mostly known for creating the P2P-file sharing software eDonkey2000. In July 2010, MtGox switched from being a trading card exchange, to a bitcoin exchange, letting users buy bitcoin for “real money”.   READ THE FULL STORY

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CBT Nuggets Bitcoin Training
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Welcome to Bitcoin.  Learn what it is, how it works, and how you can get started using it in this groundbreaking CBT Nuggets series with trainer Keith Barker. Great tutorial by the guys at CBT NUGGETS, Keep ‘m Coming

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Decentralized Bitcoin Exchanges
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Decentralized Bitcoin Exchanges Become a Reality As Coinsigner Launches Revolutionary Scalable Dispute Mediation Service Aiming to Service Frustrated Bitcoin Traders New York, NY (PRWEB) September 19, 2013 Coinsigner to build the ultimate p2p software enabling decentralized bitcoin exchanges, hire sales force to bring mass adoption to bitcoin and launch crowdfunding campaign in bitcoins to reward investors with a piece of the pie.   Coinsigner, a new dispute resolution service allowing decentralized bitcoin exchanges (bitcoin to USD exchanges) and other trades, will be launching its new service two months after a successful fundraising campaign. The service is rewarding its funders with a myriad of goodies such as mastercoins, launch party invitations, free lifetime service, equity, voting rights and many others. The service aims to use the funds for further development and in hiring a sales force targeting NYC malls to spread the use of bitcoin to both retailers and customers. The launch date is set for December 14th 2013, while the campaign is hosted at Bitcoinstarter : a bitcoin only crowdfunding site.   “Our platform enables bitcoins trades privately and securely amongst traders in a decentralized way. All transactional data is shared only between traders and whomever they allow access.” said Oladapo Ajayi founder of Coinsigner. This has enabled Coinsigner to develop relationships with several credible bitcoin investors seeking access to more liquid markets available at the launch of the service. Coinsigner will integrate the Mastercoin protocol layer if its development proves successful.   READ THE FULL STORY

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Bitcoin wallet Armory raises funding
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Bitcoin wallet Armory raises $600k in seed funding Published on September 16, 2013 at 19:09 BST | By Emily Spaven Secure bitcoin wallet Armory has raised $600,000 in funding from a number of prominent investors.   The seed round investment was partially made in bitcoin, and featured a contribution from entrepreneur, journalist and avid freedom of speech defender Trace Mayer. Las Vegas-based entrepreneur and Harvard University graduate Kevin Bombino also invested, as did Jim Smith, a fund manager and private investor. Read The Full Story

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Mt. Gox countersues CoinLab
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Mt. Gox countersues bitcoin incubator CoinLab for $5.5m   Published on September 16, 2013 at 11:50 BST | By Danny Bradbury Japanese bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has responded to a lawsuit by former US partner CoinLab, asking for $5.5m in damages. The exchange alleges that CoinLab was not able to operate lawfully as its partner in the US.   The two companies had formed a business partnership last November, giving bitcoin business incubator CoinLab the exclusive license to market Mt. Gox’s services in North America. But CoinLab had filed a complaint on May 2, alleging that Mt. Gox had withheld information it needed to market to customers, instead continuing to sell into North America itself. It claimed $75m in damages.   READ THE FULL ARTICLE

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RaspberryPi pool table for BTC
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Raspberry Pi used in new bitcoin-operated pool table Published on September 3, 2013 at 13:42 BST | By Emily Spaven | Lifestyle, News, Technology   Games room specialist Liberty Games has created a bitcoin-operated pool table that runs on Raspberry Pi. Next to the table’s traditional coin slot, there is a QR code and an LCD screen, which displays the price per play in bitcoins. Users simply scan the QR code and send the displayed amount to the owner’s bitcoin wallet address. The machine then automatically tips the balls out – they don’t have to be manually released. READ THE FULL ARTICLE

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Google confirms critical Android crypto flaw
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Google confirms critical Android crypto flaw used in $5,700 Bitcoin heist Java Crypto weakness could affect security in hundreds of thousands of apps.     Google developers have confirmed a cryptographic vulnerability in the Android operating system that researchers say could generate serious security glitches on hundreds of thousands of end-user apps, many of them used to make Bitcoin transactions. This weakness in Android’s Java Cryptography Architecture is the root cause of a Bitcoin transaction that reportedly was exploited to pilfer about $5,720 worth of bitcoins out of a digital wallet last week. The disclosure, included in a blog post published Wednesday by Google security engineer Alex Klyubin, was the first official confirmation of the Android vulnerability since Ars and others reported the incident last weekend. Klyubin warned that other apps might also be compromised unless developers change the way they access so-called PRNGs, short for pseudo random number generators. READ THE FULL STORY

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DetroitCoin
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DetroitCoin: Bitcoin is the New Vehicle Currency; why we should make Detroit into a Bitcoin Hub Detroit can serve as a key for those looking to unlock the code of American economic history. Its unique keystone role in the economy, its sensitivity to Federal policy, and its saliency as a symbol make it the perfect tool for combustion analysis. The story goes back farther than most people realize. In 1913, Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law. The Act was a response to the Panic of 1907, an aftershock of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. It established the central bank of the United States with the goal of promoting economic growth & stability and thwarting systemic crises. Chicago won out over Detroit as one of the new system’s regional seats.   READ THE FULL STORY

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Android Security Vulnerability
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Android Security Vulnerability 11 August 2013 We recently learned that a component of Android responsible for generating secure random numbers contains critical weaknesses, that render all Android wallets generated to date vulnerable to theft. Because the problem lies with Android itself, this problem will affect you if you have a wallet generated by any Android app. An incomplete list would be Bitcoin Wallet, blockchain.info wallet, BitcoinSpinner and Mycelium Wallet.   In order to re-secure existing wallets, key rotation is necessary. This involves generating a new address with a repaired random number generator and then sending all the money in your wallet back to yourself. If you use an Android wallet then we strongly recommended you upgrade to the latest version available in the Play Store as soon as one becomes available. Once your wallet is rotated, you will need to contact anyone who has stored addresses generated by your phone and give them a new one. If you use Bitcoin Wallet by Andreas Schildbach, key rotation will occur automatically soon after you upgrade. The old addresses will be marked as insecure in your address book. You will need to make a fresh backup.   Updates for other wallet apps should be released shortly.

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Bitcoin and Freedom of Speech
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Bitcoin and Freedom of Speech – Inside Bitcoins Panel Bitcoin allowed Wikileaks to continue to receive donations after an extralegal political blockade prevented supporters from sending money to the organization via MasterCard, Visa or PayPal. One reason WordPress accepts Bitcoin payments for its premium service is that many bloggers live in countries that the credit card networks and PayPal do not serve, often for political reasons. “Financial transactions are speech,” according to John Perry Barlow, whose Freedom of the Press Foundation calls Bitcoin a potentially “censorship-resistant currency.” This panel will explore how peer-to-peer currencies like Bitcoin (combined with other crypto tools like the anonymized Tor web browser or encrypted emails) can help journalists, publishers, whistleblowers and politically disfavored groups resist or circumvent authoritarian measures. We will also address the limitations of these privacy-enhancing technologies.   Continue to the POD cast

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Freedom Hosting Taken Down
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Freedom Hosting Taken Down, Founder Arrested, Users fed Javascript Exploits Vitalik Buterin | On 04, Aug 2013     Freedom Hosting, a web hosting provider specifically targeting websites in the Tor community, has been shut down, and its owner Eric Eoin Marques arrested in Ireland on charges of facilitating the distribution of online child pornography. Marques is now sitting in jail, denied bail while the Irish courts determine the validity of an extradition request by the United States. Freedom Hosting was responsible for a large number of major “hidden services” on the Tor network, most notably including the email provider Tormail, and some estimates suggest that up to half of all major Tor hidden services relied on it for hosting. However, the site has also long been known as a hotbed of child pornography; in 2011, Operation Darknet, an anti-child-pornography subgroup of Anonymous, sent a warning to Freedom Hosting asking the service to remove all CP-hosting websites. When Freedom Hosting refused, Anonymous launched an all-out attack, hacking into Freedom Hosting’s servers and shutting down all sites two and a half hours later. Now, the US and Irish governments have taken the provider down themselves – but using the much heavier weaponry of the legal system to do the job.   When US and Irish law enforcement took over Freedom Hosting’s servers, the sites were not simply taken down immediately. Rather, they let the sites keep operating for some time, and some extra Javascript code was injected into the sites’ webpages, […]

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2013 NYC Inside Bitcoins Conference
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2013 NYC Inside Bitcoins Conference: When Venture Capitalist Meets Bitcoin By: Elizabeth Ploshay | On 01, Aug 2013   Bitcoin Magazine was proud to serve as a sponsor for the 2013 Inside Bitcoins Conference in New York City on Tuesday, July 30 at the Hotel New Yorker. Mediabistro ran the conference and drew in several hundred Bitcoin Entrepreneurs and Venture Capitalists. Taking place in the financial and exchange hub of the world, creative minds came together on Tuesday to discuss the tremendous potential of Bitcoin and the continual shift to digital currencies.   23 year old BitInstant CEO, Charlie Shrem, opened up the morning to highlight that Bitcoin is, “cash with wings.” Schrem started BitInstant with an initial investment from his mother of 10,000 USD. Now Shrem has an opportunity to attract investors a bit farther away from home. Jaron Lukasiewicz, CEO of Coinsetter, followed to contrast the promise of Bitcoin with the challenges posed by the currently outdated financial regulatory structure. Read the FULL story.

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Bitcoin Foundation Continues Legal Offensive
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Bitcoin Foundation Continues Legal Offensive With Request for Clarification on Liberty Reserve Vitalik Buterin | On 20, Jul 2013 The Bitcoin Foundation took a decisive turn in its strategy for defending Bitcoin three weeks ago when the organization wrote its reply to a cease and desist order from California’s Department of Financial Institutions. Rather than meekly asking the government how the nonprofit advocacy group was acting as a money transmitter, the organization delivered a seven-page reply in which it laid out an argument that not only was the organization itself not doing selling bitcoins in any way, but in fact even if the organization was selling bitcoins the act does not constitute money transmission under present California law. After making this argument, the Foundation went so far as to specifically “request that your office issue an opinion that, for the reasons explained above, the sale of a bitcoin is not regulated under the California Money Transmitter Act.” Now, Foundation legal counsel Patrick Murck has made his second move.   Two months ago, Liberty Reserve, an alternative payment processor known for its very weak know-your-customer policies, was shut down and its owners arrested by the United States government. In a press conference following the shutdown, FinCEN attorney Prret Bharara focused heavily on “anonymity” as a major reason behind Liberty Reserve’s shutdown, and weeks later a FinCEN Notice of Finding criticized the entire category of irreversible digital payment systems. “The fact that transactions are irrevocable, meaning that they cannot be reversed or […]

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Bitcoin.de Announces Partnership with European Bank
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Bitcoin.de Announces Partnership with European Bank Vitalik Buterin | On 11, Jul 2013 Last year in December, Bitcoin Central, the leading Bitcoin exchange in France, shocked the Bitcoin world with an announcement which at the time was the first of its kind: a formal partnership with Aqoba, a licensed payment services provider – a classification which Bitcoin Central’s David François described as “exactly what a bank does, minus the issuing of credit”. Thanks to Aqoba, Bitcoin Central users would have the fiat portion of their funds stored in an actual, federally insured, bank account, which they could send money to via traditional mechanisms like wire transfer. Unfortunately, the agreement never came to fruition. Weeks and then months passed without any further progress in the implementation, and by April Bitcoin Central was forced to shut down for unrelated reasons involving security. The exchange now plans to start again with another payment processor when they come back online.   Now, the leading Bitcoin exchange in Germany has just announced that it is doing a very similar thing. Bitcoin.de, a Bitcoin exchange that has been bringing together Bitcoin buyers and sellers since August 2011, has announced a partnership with Fidor Bank through which the exchange will integrate with the bank directly. Understanding exactly what this integration is first requires a knowledge of how Bitcoin.de works. Bitcoin.de is not a typical exchange; rather, it is a hybrid between a typical exchange and localbitcoins.com. The exchange maintains an order book, charts, an internal Bitcoin wallet […]

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Why Bitcoin is on the money
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Digital currencies are a threat to current financial systems, say Alec Ross and Jonathan Luff. By Alec Ross and Jonathan Luff 9:14PM BST 24 Jun 2013 Around the world, governments everywhere are trying to come to terms with technology. Some are finding the pace of change too fast and the flow of information too free for their autocratic hierarchies, and they risk being swept away. In the US and the UK, attempts to generate efficiencies and drive wider social benefits from digital technology have delivered uneven results. There is tension between the proponents of technology-driven change and those who seek to uphold long-established legal, economic and social structures, as witnessed in the arguments over intellectual property between the tech giants and the creative industries, and the heated debate over the surveillance of electronic communications. It is clear that policymakers and those who advise them do not have a satisfactory conceptual framework for dealing with the disruptive impact of technology on society. At the G8 meeting in Northern Ireland last week, the focus was on three Ts: Trade, Tax and Transparency. The aim was to boost the global economy while responding to popular concern about the ways in which large corporations and wealthy individuals have used technology-driven globalisation to minimise taxes. This is an important agenda for taxpayers, and progress is being made. READ THE FULL STORY

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Inside KnCMiner
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A look inside KnCMiner, bitcoin mining’s dark horse Published On June 27, 2013 at 09:10 BST | By Danny Bradbury | Mining, News Amid the loud grandstanding in the ASIC wars, one quiet player has been keeping its powder dry. KnCMiner, a joint venture between an IT consulting firm and a chip designer, recently opened up preorders for its products. And this week, it announced increases in the performance specifications for its two units, increasing them to a maximum 200 and 400 Gg/s. Sam Cole, cofounder of the company, explains that it prefers to under promise and over deliver. CoinDesk spoke to him about the company’s plans.KnCMiner was conceived in January 2012, when four year-old Swedish IT consulting firm KennemarAndCole AB (KNC) got interested in bitcoins. Along with co-founder Andreas Kennemar, Cole began mining the cryptocurrency on GPUs, but wanted to increase their computing power, so he placed an order with “hardware vendors who are now our competitors,” he says. He was frustrated by constant delays. READ THE FULL ARTICLE

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Solving the Slow In-Person Transaction Problem
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Solving the Slow In-Person Transaction Problem Vitalik Buterin | On 25, Jun 2013 One of the crucial features for a digital transaction medium to be viable for payments made in person is that it should be reliable, and nearly instant. A transaction, once created by the sender, should appear on the receiver’s device within one to three seconds. Even five seconds may be acceptable, but from the point of view of an average user requiring a customer and merchant to awkwardly wait for fifteen seconds while a transaction makes its way over the network is an embarrassment – especially when competing platforms like Square can accomplish the same (albeit without Bitcoin’s low fees and universality) in less than three. And yet, in practice, that is all too often the state of in-person Bitcoin transactions right now. A transaction sent with Blockchain may take as long as twenty seconds to reach a nearby client running Bitcoin Wallet for Android and if the transaction is non-standard in certain ways (eg. by not having a fee) it can take several minutes or even hours to show. To understand why this happens, it is first important to understand the most common case in which it does not happen: when the sender and receiver are both blockchain.info. Blockchain.info differs from other popular wallets, like Bitcoin Wallet for Android, in that it is semi-centralized; although blockchain.info is still using the same, decentralized, underlying Bitcoin protocol as everyone else, the wallets themselves send and receive transactions from […]

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Bitcoin-Qt version 0.8.3 released
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Bitcoin-Qt version 0.8.3 released 25 June 2013 Bitcoin-Qt version 0.8.3 is now available for download at: http://sourceforge.net/projects/bitcoin/files/Bitcoin/bitcoin-0.8.3/ This is a maintenance release to fix a denial-of-service attack that can cause nodes to crash. Please report bugs using the issue tracker at github: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues

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California issues Bitcoin Foundation
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California issues cease and desist letter to Bitcoin Foundation Published On June 23, 2013 at 23:38 BST | By Danny Bradbury | government and regulation The bitcoin community was reeling over the weekend, after it was revealed that California’s state financial regulator had issued a cease and desist order against the Bitcoin Foundation. The cease and desist order was dated May 30, one and a half weeks after the Bitcoin 2013 conference in San Jose. The letter said that the Bitcoin Foundation may be a money transmission business (MTB), and threatened it with fines and jail time. Jon Matonis, who is a board member at the Foundation, revealed the letter in his Forbes column over the weekend. The letter threatens the Foundation with penalties of $1000 for each violation of Financial Code 2030, or $1000 per day under Financial Code 2151. Anyone violating Financial Code 2152 could also incur jail time, it said, before throwing a slew of other regulations at the Foundation. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

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Bitcoin Core Development Update #4
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Bitcoin Core Development Update #4 Gavin Andresen    Jun 21 2013 Chain Fork In my last development update, I reported slow but steady progress on core development. Then just three days later, a “perfect storm” of events caused a block chain split (see the post-mortem write-up for details), and switched our focus for a few weeks from steady progress to moving quickly to identify and fix the problem, then figuring out what we can to do make it less likely a similar problem will happen in the future. It would be nice to say “make sure it will never happen again,” and I am confident that the particular set of bugs and circumstances that caused the March 11′th chain fork will never happen again; but another set of bugs and circumstances could cause another chain fork in the future. There is still some work to be done to minimize the consequences of any future chain forks (again, see the post-mortem for details). Alternative Implementations Diversity is a good thing. Diverse, inter-operating implementations of the Bitcoin protocol make the network more robust against software bugs, denial-of-service attacks, and vulnerabilities. There are several projects re-implementing Bitcoin; if you are a Java or Go or Python or C programmer who wants to see Bitcoin succeed, you should consider helping them out by reviewing, testing, or contributing patches: bitcoinj — Java (Mike Hearn, lead developer) bitsofproof — Java (Tamas Blummer, lead developer) picocoin – C (Jeff Garzik, lead developer) btcd – Go (Conformal Systems) I apologize in advance if I […]

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