IRS Filings Indicate That Few Report Bitcoin on Returns
Mar24

IRS Filings Indicate That Few Report Bitcoin on Returns

Recent reports have provided new insight into the Internal Revenue Service’s concerns about Bitcoin tax evasion, and appear to indicate that only a small portion of Bitcoin users ever bother to report their profits and losses in their annual filings with the agency. The revelations came as the IRS formally filed a lawsuit in federal court to force the Coinbase exchange to obey the agency’s John Doe Summons requiring the release of exchange customer information.

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Bitcoin Exchanges Preparing for Possible Fork?
Mar23

Bitcoin Exchanges Preparing for Possible Fork?

A group of bitcoin exchanges recently released a statement to clarify their position with respect to the ongoing Bitcoin scaling controversy. As most in the community know, there has been an ongoing debate regarding the best way to scale Bitcoin and increase its transaction capability. These exchanges have now announced that if the current debate between the Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Unlimited groups results in a hard fork and two competing currencies, the Bitcoin Unlimited coin would be listed under the ticker symbol BTU, while Bitcoin Core maintains the current BTC symbol.

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PBOC Circulates Draft Reg Guidelines
Mar21

PBOC Circulates Draft Reg Guidelines

Chinese regulators appear to be stepping up efforts to bring order to their nation’s digital currency landscape in the wake of the SEC’s denial of the Winklevoss twins’ ETF proposal. While People’s Bank of China director Zhou Xuedong recently acknowledged the importance of tech innovation, he also declared that regulation is essential to prevent illicit activities and financial bubbles. According to Xuedong:

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Pitts Circus Ethereum Movie Venture Token to Launch on March 20
Mar20

Pitts Circus Ethereum Movie Venture Token to Launch on March 20

Our regular readers will recall my colleague Timothy Goggin’s January 17, 2017 interview with film producer Tony Caradonna, in which the two discussed the upcoming 2018 movie, the Pitts Circus. That film production has already made news as the first movie to use Ethereum for 100% of its financing. Now, the second stage of the project is set to kick off, as the project’s backers prepare to launch the Ethereum Movie Venture token on March 20, 2017.

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Alaska Legislator Proposes Bitcoin Regulation
Mar19

Alaska Legislator Proposes Bitcoin Regulation

In 2016, Alaska legislators tried and failed to pass a bill that would have required digital currency companies to register under the state’s money services licensing regime. At least one member of the legislature appears undaunted by that bill’s failure to pass, and has introduced a new bill to regulate cryptocurrency firms. That proposed law, House Bill 180, was introduced this week by representative Kito Fansier.

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UK Think Tank: Risk of Crypto Use for Terror Funding Overstated
Mar17

UK Think Tank: Risk of Crypto Use for Terror Funding Overstated

One of the most popular bits of conventional wisdom in recent years has been the notion that Bitcoin and other digital currencies are ideal vehicles for money laundering and terrorist funding efforts. Those claims have been bandied about by government officials around the world, and seem to be accepted as gospel by many in the mainstream media. However, a new report from UK think tank Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) calls those assumptions into question.

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Attackers Exploit Bitcoin Unlimited Vulnerability
Mar16

Attackers Exploit Bitcoin Unlimited Vulnerability

Bitcoin Unlimited suffered a shutdown of roughly 500 of its 800 nodes on Tuesday, after attackers managed to exploit a vulnerability in the software’s protocol. The attack came after the vulnerability was discovered by developers, and resulted in the number of active nodes falling to its lowest level in five months. Bitcoin Classic suffered a similar attack a short time later.

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Kerala to Host India’s Second Blockchain Academy
Mar15

Kerala to Host India’s Second Blockchain Academy

The Indian Express has reported that India is about to have its second blockchain academy – this time in the state of Kerala. The academy is the result of a collaborative effort between the Blockchain Education Network (BEN) and the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management Kerala (IITM). The plans were announced by IIITM Karala Director, Dr. Rajasree M S at a recent Thiruvananthapuram Technopark blockchain workshop.

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Russian PM Medvedev Directs Govt to Study Blockchain Tech
Mar13

Russian PM Medvedev Directs Govt to Study Blockchain Tech

According to reports from RIA Novosti, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has directed his country’s Ministries of Communications and Economic Development to study blockchain technology for possible use in Russia’s new Digital Economy program. The instructions were delivered in a recent meeting between Medvedev and various government vice-premiers.

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Norwegian Prosecutors Demand Penalty Payment in Bitcoin
Mar11

Norwegian Prosecutors Demand Penalty Payment in Bitcoin

Prosecutors in Norway are arguing that a trio of men charged with illicit online drug sales in that country should be forced to pay part of their criminal penalty using Bitcoins. If prosecutors get their wish, the three men would be required to pay a total of 120 Bitcoins, as well as an additional 3.1 million Norwegian kroner, as a penalty for their alleged drug sale activities on various underground websites.

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SEC Rejects Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF
Mar11

SEC Rejects Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Today rejected Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’ proposal for a Bitcoin exchange-traded-fund (ETF). The regulatory body cited the absence of digital currency regulation and the potential for fraud among its reasons for refusing the bid.

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Chinese Exchanges Extend Suspension of Withdrawals, Await PBOC Approval
Mar09

Chinese Exchanges Extend Suspension of Withdrawals, Await PBOC Approval

The three largest Chinese Bitcoin exchanges, BTC China, Huobi, and OKCoin, have all announced that their February suspension of Bitcoin withdrawals will continue indefinitely, pending regulatory approval from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). The three exchanges announced the continuation of their self-imposed withdrawal suspension in separate statements released yesterday.

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CNBC Reports Analysts’ Predictions of Possible $3000 Bitcoin
Mar08

CNBC Reports Analysts’ Predictions of Possible $3000 Bitcoin

It’s always gratifying to see positive mainstream media coverage of anything related to digital currency or its underlying technology. With Bitcoin’s price increase in recent weeks, the coverage has ranged from descriptions of Bitcoin as the “new gold” to gloomier assertions that it’s destined to bring disaster for investors foolish enough to choose it for their portfolios. A recent special report on CNBC’s site leans toward the optimistic, noting a prediction by one analyst who suggests that Bitcoin’s price could reach $3,000 by the end of 2017.

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Standards Australia: New Report and $350k in Government Backing
Mar06

Standards Australia: New Report and $350k in Government Backing

Last September, Standards Australia was chosen by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) to lead a committee dedicated to the creation of global standards for blockchain technology. In a new report released this month, the group offers a roadmap that attempts to identify technical issues and relevant use cases, while prioritizing the development of those standards necessary to supporting broader acceptance and use of distributed ledger technology.

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Bank and Tech Giants Unite to Form Enterprise Ethereum Alliance
Mar03

Bank and Tech Giants Unite to Form Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

A group of more than thirty of the largest banks and technology companies have come together to form a new consortium focused on developing an Ethereum blockchain system that can be used by the finance industry. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance was formed in December, and formally launched this week at a summit in Brooklyn, New York.

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Indian Firms Unite for Crypto Self-Regulation
Mar02

Indian Firms Unite for Crypto Self-Regulation

A number of Indian cryptocurrency companies have banded together to launch a new initiative called the Digital Asset and Blockchain Foundation of India, or DABFI, to facilitate self-regulation of their industry, help create standards for anti-money-laundering and know-your-customer rules, and promote awareness and acceptance for digital currency and blockchain technology. The Times of India recently reported that global law firm Nishith Desai Associates has been retained to assist in the development of self-regulations for the nation’s crypto industry.

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Coinbase Suspends Service to Customers in Hawaii
Mar01

Coinbase Suspends Service to Customers in Hawaii

While most digital currency analysts agree that some type of regulation is needed for the industry, they’d also tend to agree that any government intervention needs to be reasonable. The recent cryptocurrency regulatory changes in Hawaii were questionable at best, and they’ve resulted in at least one major exchange suspending its services to customers in the state. Citing the added cost burden imposed by Hawaii’s new requirements, the Coinbase exchange has announced that it will not be serving Hawaiian customers for the foreseeable future.

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Surbitcoin to Resume Operations This Week
Feb27

Surbitcoin to Resume Operations This Week

Venezuelan Bitcoin exchange Surbitcoin is expected to resume operations this week, enabling Venezuelans to once again use the platform to trade in the digital currency. The exchange announced the resumption of trading in a social media post last week. In that February 22 post, the exchange announced that service would be restored in approximately one week from that date, and asked that customers share the news with their friends and relatives.

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Cryptocurrency Included in Proposed WV Bill on Money Laundering Crimes
Feb26

Cryptocurrency Included in Proposed WV Bill on Money Laundering Crimes

The West Virginia legislature has included cryptocurrency in a list of monetary instruments subject to a proposed bill defining criminal penalties for money laundering offenses. The bill, titled Creating felony crime of conducting financial transactions involving proceeds of criminal activity, has a total of eleven sponsors – ten Republicans and one Democrat, and is currently being reviewed by the House Judiciary Committee.

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Bitcoin Price Hits New High
Feb24

Bitcoin Price Hits New High

As regular readers no doubt recognize, we rarely comment on the ups and downs of Bitcoin’s rollercoaster price fluctuations. Sometimes, though, the topic simply cannot be avoided. Today is one of those times, as the world’s most well-known cryptocurrency did something that’s been more than three years in the making: Bitcoin hit an all-time new price high today, surpassing the $1,165.89 high that it reached in November, 2013 – only a few months before it all came crashing down after the Mt. Gox disaster.

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