Bitcoin Weekly Recap 8-19-2016
California Bitcoin Regulation Effort Stalls Again
When California last year halted its effort to regulate Bitcoin businesses, most in the industry understood that it was just a matter of time before the legislature would take up the issue once again. Sure enough, Assembly Bill 1326 was brought to light once more in early August – but it didn’t take long for the measure to lose momentum. The bill has reportedly been sent back to the Rules Committee, and will apparently not be considered by the state’s legislature in this year’s session. Reports suggest that the measure will undergo significant revisions, and a modified version of the bill is expected to emerge in next year’s session.
Moscow Gets First Bitcoin Exchange
Well, that didn’t take long. Last week, we reported that the Russian government had apparently decided to forgo its efforts to criminalize Bitcoin use. Within just a few days of that announcement, a group of enthusiasts opened the country’s first Bitcoin exchange in the capital city of Moscow. That exchange will reportedly provide Russians with around-the-clock offline exchange services that will enable them to sell their Bitcoins at a private location at Novy Arbat, 8 St. The exchange operators are charging a four percent transaction fee during daylight hours, and ten percent at night. They are also reportedly considering plans to register with the authorities if the exchange proves to be a success.
There are no current options for the exchange’s customers to actually purchase Bitcoin – or any other digital currency, so the exchange is strictly an opportunity for Bitcoin users to exchange their cryptocurrency for cash. Still, it is a step forward in a country that has spent many months wondering whether Bitcoin would ultimately end up being treated as criminal contraband, and could be a sign of even better things to come.
UN Seeking Bitcoin Volunteers to Educate Africa’s Children about Cryptocurrency
The United Nations’ volunteer portal is reportedly looking for two volunteers with expertise in information technology to help provide Bitcoin education to the children of the African nation of Sierra Leone. As part of a drive to locate new revenue sources, the organization has started to accept Bitcoin donations. The problem is that no one currently on staff with the volunteer group has any real-world experience handling digital currency donations. The volunteers must be proficient in English, and will be providing their assistance online using Skype, email, and similar chat, video conferencing, and text mediums.
Auction Seeking 1 Million Bitcoins for Stolen NSA Cyberweapon Yields Top Bid of 1.5 Bitcoin
It’s one of those stories that makes you almost want to point and laugh at the people involved. Just a couple of days ago, a group of hackers calling themselves the Shadow Brokers – a name that suggests that these hackers know what evil lurks in the hearts of men – announced that they were going to auction off a cache of super-secret NSA cyberweapons to the highest bidder. Those cyberweapons allegedly consist of some seriously powerful code names and hacking tools used by the National Security Agency’s Equation Group – an elite unit focused on cybersecurity. The hackers had initially demanded at least 1 million Bitcoins. To date, their auction has seen a top bid of 1.5 Bitcoin. Not a million. One-and-a-half Bitcoin. And yes – this is indeed the part of the story where you should feel free to point and laugh.