How the Winklevoss twins found vindication in a bitcoin fortune

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Tyler (left) and Cameron Winklevoss are best known for their legal battle with Mark Zuckerberg.

Tyler (left) and Cameron Winklevoss are best known for their legal battle with Mark Zuckerberg.

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A highly secure digital storage device called a hardware securtiy module, or HSM, in which the Winklevoss twins store much of their Bitcoin wealth, in New York, Dec. 12, 2017. The Harvard graduates and Olympic rowers, best known for their legal battle with Mark Zuckerberg over ownership of Facebook, bet big on Bitcoin with their money from the settlement. (Vincent Tullo/The New York Times) less

A highly secure digital storage device called a hardware securtiy module, or HSM, in which the Winklevoss twins store much of their Bitcoin wealth, in New York, Dec. 12, 2017. The Harvard graduates and Olympic … more

Photo: VINCENT TULLO, NYT

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A paper that was part of an elaborate system the Winklevoss twins once used to help secure their Bitcoins, in New York, Dec. 12, 2017. The brothers recorded parts of the security code for their Bitcoin on papers stored in safety deposit boxes around the country. (Vincent Tullo/The New York Times) less

A paper that was part of an elaborate system the Winklevoss twins once used to help secure their Bitcoins, in New York, Dec. 12, 2017. The brothers recorded parts of the security code for their Bitcoin on … more

Photo: VINCENT TULLO, NYT

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The Winklevoss twins, second and third from left at the table, at a meeting in the offices of Gemini, in New York, Dec. 12, 2017. The two Harvard graduates and Olympic rowers, best known for their legal battle with Mark Zuckerberg over ownership of Facebook, are majority owners of Gemini, a virtual currency exchange they founded. (Vincent Tullo/The New York Times) less

The Winklevoss twins, second and third from left at the table, at a meeting in the offices of Gemini, in New York, Dec. 12, 2017. The two Harvard graduates and Olympic rowers, best known for their legal battle … more

Photo: VINCENT TULLO, NYT

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How the Winklevoss twins found vindication in a bitcoin fortune

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The Winklevoss twins have carved an unorthodox path toward fame in the American business world.

They went to Harvard University and then on to the Olympics as rowers. Along the way, they fought a legal battle with Mark Zuckerberg over the ownership of Facebook. In the Oscar-nominated movie, “The Social Network,” they were portrayed as uptight gentry, outwitted by Zuckerberg, the brilliant, budding tech mogul.

Cameron, the left-handed Winklevoss brother, and Tyler, the right-handed one, followed that with a risky move: They used money from a $65 million settlement with Zuckerberg to load up on bitcoin. That turned them into the first prominent virtual currency millionaires in 2013, back when bitcoin was primarily known as a currency for online drug dealers.

More than a few people in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street saw the towering twins as the naive — if chiseled — faces of the latest tulip bulb mania. Many still do.

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But the soaring value of bitcoin is giving the brothers a moment of vindication, and quite a bit more than that: Their bitcoin stockpile was worth around $1.3 billion early last week.

“We’ve turned that laughter and ridicule into oxygen and wind at our back,” Tyler Winklevoss said in an interview this month.

It is unclear how fleeting their vindication, or their fortune, will be. Many bitcoin aficionados had been expecting a major correction to the recent spike in its value, which has gone from $1,000 for one coin at the beginning of the year to around $18,500 on Tuesday. And they got it later in the week: It was closer to $14,000 on Friday.

If nothing else, the growing fortune of the 36-year-old Winklevoss twins is a reminder that for all the small investors getting into bitcoin this year, the biggest winners have been a relatively small number of early holders who had plenty of money to start with and have been riding a price roller coaster for years. (The mysterious creator of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, is believed by researchers to be holding onto bitcoin worth around $19 billion.)

Some of these new bitcoin millionaires are cashing out and buying Lamborghinis, professional hockey teams or even low-risk bond funds. The Winklevoss twins, though, said they had no intention to diversify.

“We still think it is probably one of the best investments in the world and will be for the decades to come,” Tyler Winklevoss said. “And if it’s not, we’d rather live with disappointment than regret.”

They have collected an additional $350 million or so of other virtual currencies, most of it in the bitcoin alternative called ethereum. The brothers are also majority owners of the virtual currency exchange they founded, Gemini, which most likely takes their joint holdings to a value well over $2 billion, or enough to make each of them a billionaire.

They have sold almost none of their original holdings. While they both have apartments in downtown Manhattan, they say they live relatively spartan lives with few luxuries. Cameron drives an old SUV; Tyler doesn’t have a car.

The Winklevoss twins’ financial rise began during their settlement with Zuckerberg in 2008. Their lawyers urged them to take the $45 million (after lawyers’ fees) in cash. But they wanted to be paid in shares of Facebook.

“The lawyers thought we were crazy,” Cameron Winklevoss said last week. “We thought they were crazy for taking cash.”

By the time Facebook went public in 2012, their stock was worth around $300 million, their rowing careers were over, and they were looking for something new.

When they began buying bitcoin in late 2012, the price of an individual coin was below $10. Few people in Silicon Valley or on Wall Street had publicly expressed interest in the virtual currency.

Over a few months, the brothers bought 1 percent of all the outstanding bitcoin at the time — some 120,000 tokens. As they did, the price soared, making their bitcoin portfolio worth around $11 million by the time they went public with it in April 2013.

Their buying spree was mocked at the time, and a few of their early decisions fueled that derision. They also invested in BitInstant, one of the first companies to trade bitcoins online. BitInstant’s executives, in fact, had tutored the brothers in the basics of bitcoin.

The CEO executive of BitInstant, Charlie Shrem, was arrested in 2014, accused of helping to supply bitcoins to users of online drug markets. Shrem pleaded guilty to lesser charges and was sentenced to a year in jail. The Winklevosses were never implicated in the wrongdoing, which happened before they became investors.

While that drama was unfolding, the twins applied to create the first bitcoin exchange traded fund, an investment product that would hold bitcoins but be traded on stock exchanges. That brought more criticism from people who wondered why someone would buy a fund rather than bitcoin itself. In March, regulators rejected the application.

On top of all that, until last year the price of bitcoin was sliding and the virtual currency concept was looking wobbly. But the Winklevosses, who once bet that years of punishing rowing practices would take them to the Olympics, held their ground.

“We are very comfortable in very high-risk environments with absolutely no guarantee of success,” Tyler Winklevoss said. “I don’t mean existing in that environment for days, weeks or months. I mean year after year.”

They sold some of their tokens to pay for Gemini, a name that means twins in Latin. Like the bitcoin exchange traded fund, their investment in Gemini was driven by their experience with the difficulty of buying and securely storing bitcoin.

Every bitcoin sits in a digital address that can be accessed only with the corresponding password, or private key. The problem with this system is that anyone who gets ahold of a private key can easily take the bitcoin. And unlike money taken from a bank account, stolen bitcoin are essentially impossible to retrieve. A number of virtual currency exchanges and wallets have collectively lost billions of dollars’ worth of bitcoin to thieves.

The Winklevosses came up with an elaborate system to store and secure their private keys. They cut printouts of their private keys into pieces and then distributed them in envelopes to safe deposit boxes around the country, so if one envelope were stolen the thief would not have the entire key.

With Gemini, they have created a high-tech version of this process to hold customer money. Getting into the company’s wallets requires signatures from cryptographically sealed devices that were never linked to the Internet.

Gemini got a license from New York state regulators that allows them to hold bitcoins for regulated banks and asset managers — something essentially no other virtual currency companies can do. That has turned Gemini into one of the most trusted destinations for sophisticated investors.

“Gemini is an underappreciated exchange, one of the few exchanges I trust as a custodian,” said Ari Paul, a managing partner at the virtual currency hedge fund BlockTower Capital.

Gemini is now expanding from its old 5,000-square-foot offices to new, 35,000-square-foot facilities in Midtown Manhattan.

This doesn’t mean Gemini or the Winklevosses have ironed out all the kinks. Like many other exchanges, Gemini has struggled to stay online in the deluge of new customers in recent weeks.

These growing pains are part of the reason the brothers say they are holding onto their bitcoin. They believe virtual currencies are still a long way from real mainstream adoption.

They said they might look at selling when the value of all the bitcoin in circulation approaches the value of all gold in the world — some $7 trillion or $8 trillion compared with the $250 billion to $350 billion value of all bitcoin last week — given that they think bitcoin is set to replace gold as a rare commodity. But then Tyler Winklevoss questioned even that, pointing out the ways that he believes bitcoin is better than gold.

“In a funny way, I’m not sure we’d even sell there,” he said. “Bitcoin is more than gold — it’s a programmable store of money. It may continue to innovate.”

Nathaniel Popper is a New York Times writer.

Source

http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/How-the-Winklevoss-twins-found-vindication-in-a-12451320.php

North Korea Is Suspect in Hack of Seoul Bitcoin Exchange

South Korean investigators are looking into North Korea’s possible involvement in the hack of a Seoul-based cryptocurrency exchange that collapsed this week, according to a person familiar with the investigation. Yapian, the owner of bitcoin exchange Youbit, said Tuesday that it would close and enter bankruptcy proceedings after a cyberattack that claimed 17 percent of its total assets. It was also hit by an attack in April that local media have linked to North Korean hackers. Police investigators and the Korea Internet and Security Agency are viewing the case as an extension of the April attack, according to the person, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information. While they aren’t ruling out North Korea as a suspect, they are also open to all other possibilities, the person said. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that investigators saw telltale signs that North Korea was behind the Youbit attack. Spokespersons for both the police and Korea’s internet security body couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Read more about North Korea’s hacker army North Korea has used an army of hackers to try and raise cash as the U.S. has stepped up sanctions in a bid to thwart Kim Jong Un’s push for the ability to strike the American homeland with a nuclear weapon. Earlier this week, the U.S. blamed North Korea for the WannaCry ransomware attack that affected hundreds of thousands of computers globally this year. While North Korea allows internet access to only a small portion of its population, it began to train its techno soldiers in the early 1990s, according to South Korea’s Defense Security Command. The country probably employs 1,700 state-sponsored hackers, backed by more than 5,000 support staff, according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. North Korea has grown increasingly adept at breaking into computer systems around the world for financial gain and strategic benefit. This year, the regime’s cyber warriors have been linked to stolen U.S.-South Korean military plans and the alleged theft of $60 million from a Taiwan bank.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-21…

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https://vote.us.org/memo/thread/47215/north-korea-is-suspect-in-hack-of-seoul-bitcoin-exchange/

Startup company looking to invigorate Anaconda economy with bitcoin, officials say

A startup company is seeking to invigorate Anaconda’s economy by bringing a new global trend in currency — the bitcoin — to the Smelter City.

The bitcoin is often described as digital currency, but it’s perhaps easier to think of it as digital gold.

You can’t hold it in your hand. Like a video game, the bitcoin process has its own rules. But, in the simplest of terms, earning bitcoins could be thought of as somewhat similar to playing a video game like Super Mario Bros. You solve an online puzzle and, like collecting coins in Super Mario Bros., your reward is online gold — bitcoins — in return.

The money is digital, residing on the bitcoin network in the world of the internet.

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency researcher Howard Wu likens the current bitcoin phenomenon to what the internet was like decades ago, when few knew how to use it or what it was. As the internet began taking off, companies made it easier for ordinary people to go online, access email, and begin to use the web.

So, you can’t use bitcoins the same way you can use your regular dollar bills or your credit card. But there is a growing trend to accept bitcoins for online purchases of products and services. Microsoft, for instance, allows users to pay for games, movies, and apps in bitcoins.

Wall Street is also getting in on the bitcoin phenomenon.

The value of the cryptocurrency against the dollar has taken an enormous jump this year, from around $900 in January to $17,678 as of Friday. And this month, several companies are launching futures contracts to allow investors to go long or short on the bitcoin.

Now a startup with major financial backers behind it, New Mexico-based BitPower LLC, is considering the purchase of the W.K. Dwyer Primary School in Anaconda to convert the empty school into a training center for a bitcoin-based business.

The company says it has plans to purchase land in Anaconda’s Mill Creek TIFID district, east of downtown, to build a facility that will house computers — lots of computers. The more computers that BitPower has engaged in solving the bitcoin puzzles, the greater the chance of obtaining the reward — bitcoins.

Another way to think about bitcoins is to think in terms of something southwest Montana knows quite well: mining. By solving the puzzle, the computers “mine” for bitcoins. In fact, those in the bitcoin industry refer to it exactly like that. A bitcoin operation is called a bitcoin mine.

Every 10 minutes, 12.5 bitcoins are released worldwide. In a bitcoin mine, the currency is acquired using computers that solve what Wu calls “computational puzzles” — or moderately hard problems — on the bitcoin network.

But mining for bitcoins involves more than just playing a game or solving a problem. The bitcoin network comes with something called a blockchain, a ledger of all bitcoin transactions. Once a group of computers has solved the moderately hard problem, the computers complete an audit of the ledger. Having the computers perform the audit cuts out the “middle man” — centralized banks — and enables anyone involved in bitcoin mining to see the ledger.

Once the group of computers has audited the ledger, those computers receive their reward — bitcoins.

Like a bank, Wu said, the bitcoin network needs a ledger to make sure all transactions are accounted for fairly and accurately. But instead of a bank keeping track of transactions, it’s computers all over the world competing to earn bitcoins that are keeping track through the auditing work they perform.

“It’s the miners that keep the system honest,” Nathaniel Popper told the Standard by phone from California.

Popper is a journalist with The New York Times. He has written extensively on the bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and he says that the prospect of winning coins is what encourages users to join the network, solve its puzzles, do its accounting, and keep the system honest.

“It’s like a race, and whoever is the fastest is generally going to win,” said Popper. And this explains why BitPower and others are seeking to build increasingly large data centers to mine the digital currency.

Nearly a decade ago, an anonymous entity known only as Satoshi Nakamoto created the digital currency, reportedly due to the global economic collapse in 2008.

The bitcoin took time to take off, but now it’s beginning to do so in a big way.

And it appears that the craze is on its way to the Smelter City.

A New Mexico-based investment group, BitPower LLC is headed by Daniel Burrell, a 39-year-old entrepreneur who has made deals in New Mexico; Idaho; and, for a time, Bozeman.

Burrell did not respond to an email request sent Friday for an interview.

BitPower is a subsidiary of The Burrell Group LLC, which has bought a garnet mine in southern New Mexico and sought to open a for-profit osteopathic college in Bozeman in 2015. But that deal eventually fell through and the company instead located the college in Boise, Idaho. Burrell Group broke ground this year on the medical school, anticipated to open in 2018.

Burrell Group’s worth has been estimated at $3.5 billion.

Rick Tabish, who is a consultant for Premier Industries, the slag-processing venture trying to get started in Anaconda, is also a spokesperson for the bitcoin venture, though his degree of financial involvement is unknown.

Burrell reportedly worked on both the Al Gore and John Kerry presidential campaigns. Burrell relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2010 and became head of a major real estate company, bought a ranch, and tapped into the industrial grade garnet mine in southeast New Mexico a few years ago, according to The Albuquerque Journal.

BitPower vice president Scott Mosebach said Wednesday that the company is interested in locating a bitcoin mine operation in Anaconda because of the region’s cold temperatures, because keeping massive banks of computers cool is essential to the operation.

The company has not yet brokered a deal with Anaconda’s Mill Creek TIFID district, according to the district’s board president Jim Davison. But, if the project goes through, the company expects to build a facility that will house a server farm. Those computers will be constantly working together to solve the bitcoin puzzles to earn bitcoins. The more computing power an entity can put toward solving the bitcoin puzzles, the greater the likelihood of solving the puzzles.

So the more computers, the better.

As for the Dwyer school, Mosebach said the company would use the facility as a training hub.

“We’ll be training employees to maintain the data center that we would be building in another location,” said Scott Mosebach, Burrell vice president, who confirmed that BitPower is exploring building the facility in the Mill Creek TIFID. Mosebach added that the company doesn’t know yet how large the facility will be nor how much electricity it will need. Bitcoin mines are known for their enormous power usage.

If the project goes through, BitPower LLC won’t be the first bitcoin mine in Montana. Another one exists about 100 miles west of Butte, in Bonner.

Project Spokane LLC, a company located in the Bonner Mill site near Missoula, provides security services for the bitcoin network.

The company launched in 2016 and snagged a $416,000 grant this year from the state’s Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund, becoming a bona fide state-sponsored company built around the bitcoin.

Sean Walsh, partner at Redwood City Ventures, a company that specializes in investments in the bitcoin industry, said Project Spokane is Redwood’s largest portfolio company. The operation is a 20-megawatt facility, Walsh said, and has employed between 25 and 50 workers since its inception.

NorthWestern Energy spokesperson Butch Larcombe said Project Spokane is one of the larger customers in the Missoula area.

Walsh said he’s been in the bitcoin game since 2013, when the world of the cryptocurrency was a small community.

According to both Wu and Walsh, bitcoin mining companies tend to keep their operations under wraps not only to keep their projects safe from security threats from hackers but also to remain competitive in what Walsh described as a competitive industry that’s “cutthroat to the nth degree.”

Mining companies have to be secretive, Walsh said, because staying ahead of the competition could be the difference between winning and losing in the bitcoin game.

Incidentally, he said, Project Spokane is called Project Spokane as a diversionary tactic.

“We didn’t want people to know where we’re located,” Walsh said, adding that the cat’s been let out of the bag since then.

When asked why Burrell Group is interested in the bitcoin industry, Mosebach said the company strives to be on the cutting edge.

“The underlying technology which this is a product of is exciting from an investment standpoint,” said Mosebach. But the implication of how the bitcoin and other cryptocurrency could possibly impact the world isn’t a bad incentive either, the vice president said

“This is obviously going to be revolutionary,” said Mosebach.

Source

http://mtstandard.com/news/local/startup-company-looking-to-invigorate-anaconda-economy-with-bitcoin-officials/article_6e7c4bb2-9d2d-551e-b7c5-9be7b00b6fc7.html

Bitcoin smashes through $19,000

THE Australian share market looks set to open nearly half a per cent higher after signs that US political holdouts will support the Republicans’ tax reform bill pushed Wall Street’s key indexes to fresh record highs. At 0700 AEDT on Monday, the share price futures index was up 29 points, or 0.48 per cent, at 6,037.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar is lower against the greenback with the US dollar index lifting 0.5 per cent the amid elevated sentiment. The local currency was trading at 76.54 US cents at 0700 AEDT on Monday, from 76.72 on Friday.

WORLD FINANCE UPDATE:

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May says she will not be derailed from leaving the European Union, laying the groundwork for difficult meetings this week in which she will try to unite a divided cabinet behind her vision for post-Brexit Britain.

EDINBURGH — A poll has found that 51 per cent of Britons would now like to stay in the European Union while 41 per cent want to leave the bloc — a near reversal of last year’s referendum result.

LONDON — Bitcoin has blasted to another all-time high of over $US19,000 ($A24,838), up 8 per cent on opening, as concerns grow over the risks of investing in the highly volatile and speculative instrument.

BEIJING — A second prototype of China’s home-built C919 passenger jet has taken off for a test flight in Shanghai, state television reports, another step forward in the country’s ambitions to muscle in to the global jet market.

TORONTO — Police are investigating the possibility of a murder-suicide in the deaths of Canadian pharmaceuticals billionaire Barry Sherman and his wife, local newspapers are reporting.

BERLIN — Germany expects to welcome fewer than 200,000 new migrants this year, the country’s interior minister says.

FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

NAB — National Australia Bank chairman Ken Henry believes Australian banks had no choice but to ask for a royal commission because funding costs would increase if overseas lenders perceived them as weak.

CBA NZ — Commonwealth Bank has appointed Vittoria Shortt to lead NZ subsidiary ASB.

CROWN — Shares in Crown Resorts have soared after the casino operator announced a string of asset sales that could deliver a windfall of nearly $700 million.

ORICA — Orica shares have climbed after the company flagged an improved outlook for fertiliser sales and new contracted pricing.

OPTUS — The consumer watchdog has launched federal court proceedings against Optus, alleging the telco pressured customers to move to the national broadband network sooner than required.

BEGA — Bega Cheese says it expects to have acceptances for 90 per cent of shares in takeover target Peanut Company of Australia by the time its offer for the company closes.

Originally published as Bitcoin smashes through $19,000

Source

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/business/markets/finance-news-you-need-to-know-today/news-story/f2db91dfcb3c416ca97eeee52a7c819e

Bitcoin’s Next Battlefield: The U.S. Congress

The year 2017 has been a remarkable year for Bitcoin, particularly in the world of finance. Bitcoin was rightfully accepted as mainstream in the financial world, and achieved astonishing growth, both in value and adoption. Next year, Bitcoin’s battlefield will most likely move into the U.S. Congress, where a bill has been introduced that allegedly could stifle innovation by burdening the crypto ecosystem with unnecessary, confusing, and even redundant regulatory obligations.


The U.S. Congress to Pass Legislation Burdening Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin enthusiasts are worried because the U.S. Congress might pass legislation that could stifle the free development of cryptocurrency technologies.

Specifically, Bitcoin supporters are focusing on bill S.1241, which has been introduced in Congress under the title “Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017.”

The Bitcoin Foundation opposes this bill because it would create confusion in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The Bitcoin Foundation explains:

For those not familiar with the Act, it seeks to define anyone issuing, redeeming, or cashing Bitcoin as a financial institution. This would require them to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, 31 U.S.C. § 5312 and require them to adopt the same formal reporting procedures as financial institutions for the purpose of reporting suspicious transactions.

Previously, in 2011, S.1241 was introduced, but it did not pass. Subsequently, in 2013, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a guidance entitled “Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies.”

Coin Center argues that the FinCEN guidance already accomplishes the policy goals of the bill’s section aimed at digital currency. Therefore, Coin Center contends:

If the bill were to pass today, however, it would sow a lot of uncertainty since it would likely supersede the FinCEN guidance and all the work on the part of industry and Treasury to build a reasonable AML regime for the digital currencies. This is especially true because many of the key terms in the bill are not defined.

Opposition to Bill S.1241 is Growing

In addition to Coin Center and the Bitcoin Foundation, the Chamber of Digital Commerce is also getting ready to defend the cryptocurrency industry in front of the U.S. Congress.

In fact, the Chamber of Digital Commerce already wrote to Congress with regard to S.1241, stating:

The proposed amendment is unnecessary because FinCEN has already acted to include virtual currency exchangers and administrators within the coverage of the BSA [Bank Secrecy Act].

Moreover, many in social media are calling cryptocurrency enthusiasts to contact their senator to shut down the bill. For example, according to the website , “Senator Diane Feinstein is trying to push a bill to essentially make it illegal to use cryptocurrencies.” And the site asks cryptocurrency supporters to request their congressman to vote against S.1241.

The support in opposing §1241 has been superb! We recently presented our feedback and proposed changes to §1241, an untenable and premature regulatory burden. Read our official feedback https://t.co/uQO9ucgxA9pic.twitter.com/3aWkMFTCne

— Bitcoin Foundation (@BTCFoundation) December 6, 2017

According to the Bitcoin Foundation, “The support in opposing §1241 has been superb.”

As more cryptocurrency enthusiasts learn about the potential impact that S.1241 would have on the cryptocurrency industry, support for killing or modifying the bill will most likely continue to increase.

How do you think the proposed Bill S.1241 would impact the crypto ecosystem? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, The Bitcoin Foundation

The post Bitcoin’s Next Battlefield: The U.S. Congress appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Blockchain.info now supports Bitcoin Cash

The Bitcoin Cash ecosystem is growing—and fast.

Wallet provider Blockchain has announced yesterday that they are already fully supporting Bitcoin Cash (BCH) due to demand, as they have promised in November.

“At Blockchain, we’re always looking for ways to empower our users to interact with the digital economy in new, meaningful ways. In November, we revealed our plan to deliver on the growing demand we’ve seen for Bitcoin Cash. Starting today, we’re supporting Bitcoin Cash with full functionality through the same web wallet users know and love,” they wrote in a press release.

BCH will now be easily accessible alongside ETH and BTC on their web wallet, with mobile support following shortly by the end of first quarter of 2018.

Barely five months into its existence, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is quickly gaining traction over the community, as more and more services opt to adopt the fledgling cryptocurrency.

Last month, fearless non-profit whistleblowing website WikiLeaks started accepting BCH for purchases on their online shop. Shortly after, a community-backed development fund called Bitcoin Cash Fund was launched by Paul Wasensteiner. And with big things planned for next year, the ecosystem is expected to expand further.

Earlier this month, the Bitcoin Cash developer community released statements echoing a united vision for scaling Bitcoin Cash and fulfilling the core principles behind Satoshi’s Bitcoin. nChain confirmed the long-awaited block size increase from 8Mb to 32Mb, and Bitprim dropped a major gamechanger, saying smart contracts are also on the way for Bitcoin Cash next year.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

The post Blockchain.info now supports Bitcoin Cash appeared first on CoinGeek.

Monkey selfies, eclipse, bitcoin, Lauer top Google in 2017

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File). FILE - In this Thursday, May 11, 2017, file photo, Funky Monkey Toys store owner Tom Jones plays with a fidget spinner in Oxford, Mich. Fidget spinners were among the most searched topics on Google in 2017.(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File). FILE – In this Thursday, May 11, 2017, file photo, Funky Monkey Toys store owner Tom Jones plays with a fidget spinner in Oxford, Mich. Fidget spinners were among the most searched topics on Google in 2017.

(AP Photo/John Locher, File). FILE - In this Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, file photo, Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Conor McGregor face off during a weigh-in in Las Vegas. The Mayweather-McGregor fight was one of the top searches on Google in 2017.(AP Photo/John Locher, File). FILE – In this Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, file photo, Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Conor McGregor face off during a weigh-in in Las Vegas. The Mayweather-McGregor fight was one of the top searches on Google in 2017.

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File). FILE - This Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, file photo combo shows the path of the sun during a total eclipse by the moon, near Redmond, Ore. The eclipse was one of the top searches on Google in 2017.(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File). FILE – This Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, file photo combo shows the path of the sun during a total eclipse by the moon, near Redmond, Ore. The eclipse was one of the top searches on Google in 2017.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File). FILE - In this Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, file photo, people push a stalled pickup through a flooded street in Houston, after Tropical Storm Harvey dumped heavy rains. Hurricane Harvey was one of the top searches on Google ...(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File). FILE – In this Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, file photo, people push a stalled pickup through a flooded street in Houston, after Tropical Storm Harvey dumped heavy rains. Hurricane Harvey was one of the top searches on Google …

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File). FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, file photo, investigators work at a festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, where two days earlier a gunman began firing with a...(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File). FILE – In this Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, file photo, investigators work at a festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, where two days earlier a gunman began firing with a…

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Matt Lauer. Bitcoin. DACA. Monkey selfies. Jeremy Lin’s hair. Do-it-yourself eclipse glasses. Tom Petty’s death. National anthem protests in the NFL. And “Cash Me Outside.”

These were some of the people, topics and memes that trended to the top of Google searches in 2017. The search terms reflected the United States in upheaval over sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men, reeling from the tumultuous presidency of Donald Trump (What is “covfefe,” by the way?), and people around the world searching for information about the latest iPhone and how to make slime.

Three of the top 10 TV shows in the U.S. debuted on Netflix, the same as last year.

April the Giraffe made news by giving birth live on YouTube.

And the world grooved to Luis Fonsi singing “Despacito.”

Here are some of the terms Google says had the highest sustained spike in traffic compared to 2016, filtered for spam, repeat queries and adult keywords. The full list is here .

6. Mayweather vs. McGregor Fight

2. How to make solar eclipse glasses

3. How to watch the solar eclipse

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http://westernmassnews.com/story/37054996/monkey-selfies-eclipse-bitcoin-lauer-top-google-in-2017

Bitcoin prices at record high: Income tax department conducts surveys at digital currency exchanges

Bitcoin prices at record high: Income tax department conducts surveys at digital currency exchanges

New Delhi: The Income Tax Department on Wednesday conducted survey operations at major Bitcoin exchanges across the country on suspicion of alleged tax evasion, official
sources said.

They said various teams of the sleuths of the department, under the command of the Bengaluru investigation wing, on Wednesday visited the premises of nine such exchanges in the country
including in Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi and Gurugram, since early morning.

Representational image. Reuters.

The survey, under section 133A of the Income Tax Act, is being conducted for “gathering evidence for establishing the identity of investors and traders, transaction undertaken by them, identity of counterparties, related bank accounts used, among others,” they said.

The survey teams, sources said, are armed with various financial data and inputs about the working of these exchanges and this is the first big action against them in the country.

Bitcoin, a virtual currency, is not regulated in the country and its circulation has been a cause of concern among central bankers the world over for quite a while now.

The Reserve Bank of India has also cautioned users, holders and traders of virtual currencies, including bitcoins.

In March, the Union finance ministry had constituted an Inter-Disciplinary Committee to take stock of the present status of VCs both in India and globally and suggest measures for dealing with such currencies.

Published Date: Dec 13, 2017 01:16 pm | Updated Date: Dec 13, 2017 01:16 pm

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Source

http://www.firstpost.com/business/bitcoin-prices-at-record-high-income-tax-department-conducts-surveys-at-digital-currency-exchanges-4256431.html