Daily Archives: January 13, 2015

Bitcoin Trading Slump Blamed in Delta Financial Service Cut

Delta FinancialDelta Financial has revealed that it will “cease current services” on 30th January, including its notable interest-bearing bitcoin account and trading products.

Customer funds held in such accounts will stop generating interest, effective immediately, the Hong Kong and Vancouver-based company said in a post on its website. Users will also no longer be able to sell bitcoin through the platform.

Perhaps most notably for the broader bitcoin community, Delta Financial cited the current lackluster performance of the market as the reason for the service changes.

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Silk Road Trial Begins in New York

ross ulbricht silk road trial

Alleged Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht’s trial began this morning in a New York City courtroom, where he faces life in prison for accusations that he managed and operated the now-infamous online black market under the pseudonym Dread Pirate Roberts.

Ulbricht entered the courtroom in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York at 9:20 am with his legal team led by attorney Joshua Dratel by his side. He faces four narcotics charges and three charges related to computer hacking, trafficking fraudulent identification documents and money laundering conspiracy, respectively.

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German Startup Gives Away 3D-Printed Bitcoin Payment Terminals

By combining hacked cellphones and 3D-printed casings, a startup based in Hannover, Germany, has developed a working bitcoin point-of-sale (POS) terminal called PEY.

The PEY terminal is being offered for free to local merchants to encourage the use of bitcoin as a means of payment, while bypassing the high fees imposed on German traders by credit and debit card companies.

PEY has also created its own wallet app for iOS and Android to work in conjunction with the terminals. The app, which has been downloaded 150 times in the last month, is available worldwide (except China) but as it works alongside the terminal it is only fully functional in Germany.

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Bitstamp Back Online, But Did Bitcoin Traders Return?

Following the 5th January announcement that it was suffering a “hot wallet issue” later determined to be the work of malicious actors, Bitstamp spent much of the last week offline, temporarily closing what had been among the top three exchanges for BTC/USD trading.

The unexpected news set off a flurry of concerns that, less than one year after the demise of then-leading USD/BTC exchange Mt Gox, history could be repeating itself, and that Bitstamp may be the latest bitcoin exchange to close its doors due to a high-profile hack.

By 9th January, however, Bitstamp indicated it would resume services, promising it was back and better than ever. The exchange initiated trading in the global markets at 21:00 UTC, boasting multisig security, a new back-end cloud infrastructure and commission-free trading.

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New Bitcoin Embassies in Asia Bring World Total to 17

Bitcoin Embassy Seoul

Two new Asian ‘bitcoin embassies’ opened last week in Seoul and Tokyo, with a shared mission to bring bitcoin’s message to a more general audience.

There are now 17 such advocacy centres worldwide, in all major regions except Africa. However, the organization behind the movement is currently in negotiations to set up embassies both there and in the Middle East.

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Russia's Media Watchdog Blocks Bitcoin Websites

Update (13th January 17:00 GMT): CCFR has informed us that more bitcoin sites were blacklisted, including three .ru domains –  coinspot.ru, hasbitcoin.ru and bitcoinconf.ru.

RussiaRussia’s media watchdog has blocked access to a number of bitcoin-related sites, citing a court order from 30th September.

The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) allows visitors to check whether or not a site is blacklisted. At press time, Bitcoin.org, Bitcoin.itBTCsec.com and bitcoin exchange Indacoin were blacklisted.

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How Credit Card Fraud Sank One Bitcoin Exchange

One of the biggest problems for bitcoin exchanges and their customers is often making the exchange quick and easy. Exchanges like Canadian firm Virtex made the decision a long time ago not to accept credit cards. Their biggest concern? Fraud, in the form of chargebacks.

In a credit card chargeback, a credit-card paying customer asks the issuing bank (the bank that gave them the card) to reverse a transaction made with a merchant.

This can happen for a variety of legitimate reasons. A merchant may not have delivered the promised goods or service, or it may have been faulty. In some cases, a card may have been stolen and used without the owner’s consent.

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Bitcoin Price Crashes Through $250 Mark

Jan 13 - coindesk-bpi-chart (1)The bitcoin price has plunged below $250 and appears to be falling further, as sell orders pile up at major exchanges.

The price opened the day at $267.08, but quickly fell after just two hours of trading. Soon after 3am (GMT), the price plunged through the $250 mark, which market watchers see as an important psychological barrier for the price.

The price held steady, but then plunged again about seven hours later, at around 10am. The price then fell about $14 to fall under the $230 mark, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index. At press time, it stood at $226.

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