Bitcoin Weekly Recap 10-28-2016
CoinJournal Loses Banking Services as Barclays Terminates Account
Manchester-based bitcoin publication CoinJournal reportedly received an unwelcome early Christmas present recently when its access to banking services were cut off without any warning. The publication had been banking with Barclays, and relied upon their account services to receive advertiser fees that were then converted into Bitcoin and used to pay staff costs and other expenses. According to some reports, the bank gave no explicit reason for the unexpected termination of the account, and instead referred the company to Barclays’ terms and conditions.
Oddly enough, Barclays may not even fully realize that actions like this provide even more evidence of the need for an alternative to the existing banking structure across the globe. When governments or powerful industries make decisions that adversely affect consumers and other businesses, it is never too much to ask that they provide a justification for those decisions. When they fail to provide reasonable justification, they feed the already growing sense that there’s something fundamentally broken about today’s financial system and encourage frustrated consumers and businesses to seek better alternatives that reduce the arbitrary power banks now hold over so many people’s lives. Good job, Barclays. Digital currency couldn’t ask for a better salesman than banks like you.
Telegram Bot Offers International Calls Cheaply Using Bitcoin
A Latvian company called 120 Minutes has unveiled a new product that unites Bitcoin with the Telegram to facilitate inexpensive international calling that is roughly ten times less costly than other options. It’s called CallCoin (Callback+Bitcoin), and it’s a Telegram bot that enables Bitcoin to be used as payment for private call services. The service offers users the chance to rent phone numbers, easily alter their caller IDs, check calling histories, and use Bitcoin to top up their calling balance.
Pirate Party Looks for Success in Elections
Iceland’s Pirate Party (yes, that’s a real thing) has made no secret of its desire to make Bitcoin a legally accepted currency in the nation. The party has also been vocal about the need for expanded personal liberty and privacy in Iceland, and has made tremendous strides in its popularity since its formation four short years ago. They’ve also offered Edward Snowden Icelandic citizenship should they win power in the nation’s October 29th elections. Pirate Party candidates have already achieved some success in Iceland with two of its members currently holding seats in the nation’s Parliament. They now appear poised to add to that power base this week, as they are roughly even in the polls with the Independence Party.
Bitfinex Seeking Accommodation with Hacker
This week, Bitfinex – the exchange that suffered a $65 million Bitcoin theft earlier this year – used its blog to reach out to the still-unknown hacker who perpetrated the theft. Apparently, the company is now attempting to find some negotiated settlement that would see the return of the funds – with some suggesting that Bitfinex might be willing to offer the hacker the bounty it had previously offered to anyone who could provide information about the heist. To facilitate the negotiations, Bitfinex has reportedly set up a separate email address and other security protocols to provide the hacker with a secure and anonymous avenue to contact the company and discuss a settlement. According to company representatives, Bitfinex is willing to consider any resolution that would enable them to recover as much of their customers’ stolen funds as possible.