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Friday, Mar 74:09 AM
Friday, Mar 74:09 AM| Comment!
- Japan has decreed that Bitcoin is not a currency and the government has no laws to define it, although the government said in a statement it can tax transactions.
- The country's banks can't broker Bitcoin transactions or create customer accounts to hold digital assets, Japan said, although brokerages and asset managers can manage clients' Bitcoins.
- The comments come amid calls to regulate Bitcoin and a week after the collapse of Mt. Gox, a leading Tokyo based exchange, due to a massive theft.
- The government's statement also comes after Newsweek marked the return of its print version with a bang by "outing" 64-year-old Japanese-American physicist Dorian S. Nakamoto as the creator of Bitcoin, although he yesterday denied involvement in the digital currency.
- ETFs: BITCN, BTCS
Tuesday, Mar 42:26 PM
Tuesday, Mar 42:26 PM| 10 Comments
- Roughly two months after the company became one of the first major online retailers to accept Bitcoin (BITCN), Overstock's (OSTK +7.8%) transaction volume has topped $1M. "We did not expect to hit this milestone so quickly," says CEO Patrick Byrne.
- Byrne has suggested his support for Bitcoin is fueled by both ideological and business motivations. "[Bitcoin] helps us fight the machine," he told Wired.
- Bitcoin transactions still amount to a small percentage of Overstock's total sales: The company's Q1 revenue consensus is at $344.9M.
Friday, Feb 284:58 AM
Friday, Feb 284:58 AM| 7 Comments
- Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has filed for bankruptcy protection with debts of ¥6.5B ($63.6M).
- The Japanese firm's Web site went dark on Tuesday amid fears about the possibility of bankruptcy and speculation of a massive security breach that involved the theft of 744,400 bitcoins.
- Bitcoin is -3.2% at $558.
- ETFs: BITCN, TUCND
Wednesday, Feb 267:32 AM
Wednesday, Feb 267:32 AM| 4 Comments
- Bitcoin prices continue a sharp bounce after diving amid the closure of the Mt. Gox website. The most recent quote of $567.70 compares to a level about $200 lower 24 hours ago.
- "I would like to use this opportunity to reassure everyone that I am still in Japan, and working very hard with the support of different parties to find a solution to our recent issues," writes Mt. Gox chief Mark Karpeles on the website.
- In the meantime, U.S. and Japanese authorities have launched probes related to the case.
- ETFs: BITCN, TUCND
Tuesday, Feb 257:44 AM
Tuesday, Feb 257:44 AM| 4 Comments
- "Mt. Gox has been obviously broken and possibly outright crooked for months, as seen in trading spreads," Marc Andreessen tells CNBC amid the disappearance of the website. "This is like MF Global: Not some huge breakdown of the underlying technology or other exchanges. Bitcoin (BITCN, TUCND) protocol is unchanged and other bitcoin exchanges and companies are doing fine."
- The price of Bitcoin is off the lows, but remains down big at $491.
Tuesday, Feb 254:54 AM
Tuesday, Feb 254:54 AM| 16 Comments
- The price of Bitcoin has plummeted 11.2% to $484.35 after one of its leading exchanges, Mt Gox, appeared to have disappeared amid speculation of a massive security breach and that it's about to go bankrupt.
- Mt Gox's Web site was blank this morning and all its tweets have been deleted. Since the start of this month, customers had been unable to withdraw their bitcoins. On Sunday, CEO Mark Karpeles resigned from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation.
- One rumor, based on a leaked document, is that 744,400 bitcoins worth $350M have been stolen from Mt Gox, or 6% of all bitcoins in existence.
- Six other major bitcoin exchanges and businesses have said they'll work together to reassure customers about the security of their funds.
- Meanwhile, security firm Trustwave yesterday said hundreds of thousands of computers have been infected with a virus called "Pony" that allows thieves to steal digital currencies such as bitcoins.
- ETFs: BITCN, TUCND
Friday, Feb 711:10 AM
Friday, Feb 711:10 AM| 19 Comments
- An "increase in the flow of withdrawal requests” has caused technical issues says Mt. Gox, which promises an update on the situation on Monday.
- Apple's (AAPL) decision on Wednesday to pull bitcoin (BITCN) wallet app Blockchain.info from the App Store could be a reason behind the sudden boost in withdrawal requests, suggests TechCrunch. Bloomberg reports of several posting videos of themselves destroying their iPhones in protest. "I'm switching," says SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert. This isn't the first bitcoin wallet app removed by Apple which may see the virtual currency as a competitor for its yet-to-be announced payments system.
- Bitcoin's value dove from $831 yesterday to $658 this morning.
Tuesday, Feb 41:30 PM
Tuesday, Feb 41:30 PM| Comment!
- In a marriage of Bitcoin (BITCN) and crowdfunding, RealtyShares - a small player in the newish area of crowdfunded real estate investment - becomes one of the first in the field to accept the digital currency.
- Investments of as low at $1K - just over one Bitcoin at the current price - will be allowed.
- "When you move $10K across the sea you can end up spending $200 or $300 just on transaction fees," says one owner of Bitcoin looking for a place to invest. "It's a nightmare. It takes ages and it's very irritating." Transferring Bitcoin, however, is nearly instantaneous and generates no fees (not to mention minimal documentation).
- "By accepting Bitcoin and offering an innovative online investment platform that allows people to crowdfund private real estate investments, RealtyShares opens up the $500 Billion investment real-estate market to a much broader set of investors," says the company.
Monday, Jan 2711:44 AM
Monday, Jan 2711:44 AM| 5 Comments
- The CEO of BitInstant, Charlie Shrem, has been arrested at JFK airport, accused of selling more than $1M in Bitcoin (BITCN) to Silk Road users who then used the currency to buy drugs.
- "Hiding behind their computers, both defendants are charged with knowingly contributing to and facilitating anonymous drug sales, earning substantial profits along the way," says DEA agent James Hunt.
Friday, Jan 174:52 PM
Friday, Jan 174:52 PM| Comment!
- The prospects for approval look good for the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust ETF (BITCN), according to a lawyer representing the fund. "The SEC has generally been receptive" as it works through the latest version of the ETF's S-1 filing, he notes.
- The ETF may bring a level of stability to Bitcoin's trading by offering investors the opportunity to buy an interest in the currency without buying the underlying itself. This could remove certain logistical and legal barriers that have dissuaded would-be investors thus far.
Friday, Jan 1010:18 AM
Friday, Jan 1010:18 AM| Comment!
- In a move that's apparently motivated by a mixture of politics and business, Overstock (OSTK -1.6%) has become the first major online retailer to start accepting bitcoin (BITCN) for payment.
- Chairman/CEO Patrick Byrne is a firm believer in the cryptocurrency's long-term potential to diminish the power of governments and major banks - "It helps us fight the machine" - but also insists Overstock's move will eventually benefit the company's bottom line. "Mighty oaks from tiny acorns are sprung, and all that."
- Two challenges: 1) The total value of all bitcoins is still only around $11B. 2) The currency's immense volatility provides exchange rate risk. However, Overstock's bitcoin payment service provider (Coinbase) will hedge against, and be responsible for, the latter.
- Meanwhile, Zynga might soon allow the use of virtual currency to buy virtual cows. The social game developer is testing the use of bitcoin with a handful of titles, including FarmVille 2 and CastleVille.
Thursday, Jan 92:45 PM
Wednesday, Jan 83:49 PM
Wednesday, Jan 83:49 PM| Comment!
- Not wanting to ruffle any of Beijing's feathers as it moves towards an IPO, Alibaba's (ABABA) Taobao will ban the sale of bitcoins (BITCN), effective January 14.
- The Chinese government, of course, cracked down on the virtual currency about one month ago, with the PBOC barring financial institutions from handling bitcoin transactions.
Thursday, Jan 23:39 PM
Thursday, Jan 23:39 PM| 5 Comments
- Manhattan-based BOND New York appears to have made itself the first real estate brokerage to accept Bitcoin [[BITCOIN]] as payment for property transactions.
- BOND co-founder Noad Freedman: "Bitcoin is a convenient and inexpensive way for our customers to transfer money so we see it as a win-win situation which will impact the real estate industry."
Tuesday, Dec 312013, 12:44 PM
Tuesday, Dec 312013, 12:44 PM| 3 Comments
- SecondMarket already has The Bitcoin Investment Trust, and now Fortress Investment Group (FIG +1.2%) is readying its own much larger offering, reports Dan Primack, who says an announcement could come at tonight's Bitcoin New Year's Eve Bash.
- Word is the Fortress vehicle will be similar to SecondMarket's structure, and that Fortress may also raise a separate fund to back Bitcoin-related startups.
Friday, Dec 272013, 8:32 AM|Friday, Dec 272013, 8:32 AM| 7 Comments
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