Bitcoin Weekly Recap 9-9-2016
Russia Turns to Experts for Bitcoin Guidance
After months of confusion about Russia’s official policy on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the country’s Deputy Finance Minister essentially acknowledged that the government is struggling to figure out how to handle the new technology. In recent remarks, Alexei Moiseev noted that a ban appears to be out of the question for now, as Russian officials are in consultation with cryptocurrency experts. Moiseev also declared that the nation’s goal must be focused on preventing criminals from using the technology to launder money or engage in other unlawful transactions, while also ensuring that the central bank remains the only entity authorized to issue currency in Russia.
iPhone7 Supports Bitcoin Payments
Apple may have put a halt to any support Jaxx intended to provide for Dash in its new iOS app, but it still seems fond of Bitcoin – as evidenced by the new iPhone7’s inclusion of Circle as a third-party app for the phone’s iMessage system. Circle’s payment system makes use of Bitcoin and a number of standard fiat currencies, so its inclusion in the new iPhone should be a boon to Apple’s millions of customers around the world and could even help to facilitate broader adoption of cryptocurrency technology as more consumers become familiar with the technology’s potential.
Florida Senator Hukill Seeks Legislation to Define Bitcoin as Money
In the wake of that recent Florida case that saw a judge throw out criminal charges based on her conclusion that Bitcoin is not money, one Florida state senator is moving to bring clarification to the currency’s status. Republican Senator Dorothy Hukill is currently drafting a bill that would attempt to create balance between the needs of Bitcoin startups in the state and protections for consumers who might use the cryptocurrency. While she acknowledged that her draft bill remains a work in progress, the senator noted that there is a need for official recognition so that protections can be legislated. Hukill projects that an actual bill will be ready for submission to the state’s Senate later this year, and she plans to consult with industry experts and stakeholders as the bill takes shape.
Bitfinex Takes First Small Step Toward Making Exchange Victims Whole
After pushing through a plan to make all of its customers share the losses that occurred as a result of the massive hack of its exchange back in August, Bitfinex has made its first effort to repay those who lost money during the theft. The company recently began to buy back those tokens it had issued to hack victims, with an initial purchase that amounted to 1.1812% of those BFX tokens. Tokens were purchased at a rate of $1 each – an amount above the current market value. That may at least temporarily quiet suspicions that the company might try to buy back its own debt to customers at a reduced rate. Regardless, this is just the first step in what could prove to be a lengthy resolution process for Bitfinex and its customers.
New FBI Instructions for Ransomware Victims: Tell Extortionists to Pound Sand
Not long ago, the FBI was advising Bitcoin ransomware victims to simply pay the ransom and move on. That move was criticized by many who subscribed to the common belief that rewarding bad behavior just encourages more of the same. Apparently, the Bureau has now come to the same conclusion, as Cyber Division supervisory special agent Will Bales recently suggested that targets of these scams should refuse ransom demands because “People have to remember that ransomware does not affect just one person or one business. It will more than likely move on and affect somebody else. And for those who pay the ransom, it only encourages them to extort the next person.”
We knew they’d catch on eventually...