Boring Bitcoin Report
weekly news update
This is our final report for 2014
Ethan Burnside, creator of BTC Trading Corporation, has been fined $68,000 for his part in operating unregistered bitcoin stock exchanges BTCT.co and litecoinglobal.com. Notably, both of those unregistered stock exchanges shut down last year while reimbursing its users as part of an SEC overseen wind down. By paying the fine, Burnside neither admits nor denies guilt. The SEC continues to fine and prosecute digital currency companies, but has offered no guidance to the industry on how the agency is defining, classifying, distinguishing, or assessing the new technology.
Timothy Massad, Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), emphasized the regulator’s jurisdiction over Bitcoin in his testimony before the US Senate Agriculture Committee on December 10th. Chairman Massad’s testimony was part of an oversight hearing to update the Senate on the CFTC’s recent regulatory activities over the futures and swaps markets under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. He stated that the agency’s “authority extends to futures and swaps contracts in any commodity” and “virtual currencies” meets their definition of a “commodity.” However, he also said “it is important to emphasize that the existence of a [Bitcoin derivatives] contract does not mean the CFTC endorses it [bitcoin].”
Building on BitLicense, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) sent a letter to all of New York’s licensed banks informing them of plans to upgrade current IT protocol focusing on cyber security. The move comes after several shocking high profile hacks of public companies. While many retailers have fallen victim to expansive credit card information losses, other institutions have had their infrastructure targeted and broken down. The NYDFS will oversee each bank’s Chief Information Security Officer and their security protocols.
Microsoft announced that they are now accepting bitcoin via BitPay, the bitcoin payment processor, for their digital products in the Microsoft store and in stores that have Xbox content. Microsoft customers can now fund Microsoft accounts with bitcoin to purchase Windows Phone apps, PC applications, Xbox Games, Xbox Music, and Xbox Videos. Microsoft is the second largest company in the world by its market capitalization. “Microsoft has a long-term vision for bitcoin, BitPay and the blockchain,” said Sonny Singh, Chief Commercial Officer of BitPay.
Payment processor, Vogogo, and altcoin exchange, Cryptsy, are sponsoring Brand Me Crypto, to find a logo to represent the 650+ crypto-currencies. Brand Me Crypto applicants can submit designs on the website, which will be voted on by the public through March 31, 2015. The winning designer will receive $10,000 in fiat currency, digital currency, or a combination of currency and gadgets.
France-based startup, Ledger, launched a new storage product last week: cold USB encrypted bitcoin storage. Ledger’s cold storage solution plugs into PCs and requires a private key to access secured bitcoins. Other similar products include Trezor and Case.
Georgetown Economics Professor James Angel believes digital currencies are the future and is proposing “bitdollar”, a bitcoin-like currency backed by the USD. Angel believes a USD backed digital currency could be instantly legitimate in the minds of consumers and a solution to bitcoin’s volatility issues. Tether and BitShares, two start-ups unrelated to Angel, have already started creating USD-backed digital currencies.
Coinbase, the online bitcoin broker service and payment processor, wants to help you give the gift of bitcoin for Christmas. Coinbase has made printable cards and envelopes to make giving bitcoin easy. Users of the service can insert a personal message and even email their card. Recipients must make or already have a Coinbase account.
Block Chain technology, the same technology that made Bitcoin possible, is going to help build interconnect devices known as the Internet of Things and trustworthy computing. Nick Szabo explained in a blog post the importance of block-chain computing and what this type of more secure computing could mean for the world. Block chain computers allow other computers to check the work of one computer and securely provide a consensus, putting trust in the code and not the owner of the computer. “These block chain computers will allow us to put the most crucial parts of our online protocols on a far more reliable and secure footing, and make possible fiduciary interactions that we previously dared not do on a global network,” said Nick Szabo.
“The rise of digital currencies seems inevitable” Robert McMillian, Wired Magazine
Pic of the Week The head coaches of the University of Central Florida Knights, George O’Leary, and North Carolina State Wolfpacks, Dave Doeren, met in St. Pete, Florida ahead of the upcoming St. Petersburg Bitcoin Bowl, which will take place on December 26.
Boring Bitcoin Calendar
January 16 – 18, 2015
The world’s largest bitcoin conference will take place at the historic Fillmore Theatre. Speakers include an impressive list of the founders behind groundbreaking and industry-leading bitcoin companies including Vinny Lingham, Roger Ver, Tony Gallippi, Perianne Boring, Nicolas Cary and Matthew Roszak amongst many other CEOs and founders.
Save 15% off of your conference hotel bookings. The Clevelander The Clevelander Hotel Booking and The Essex House, a Clevelander property The Essex House Hotel Booking are offering special rates to conference attendees.
January 29 – 30, 2015
Inside Bitcoins Conference and Expo will be launching in Singapore on January 29-30, 2015 at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. The line-up of local and international speakers come from diverse backgrounds and include Aurélien Menant, Co-Founder and CEO of Gatecoin; So Saito, Counsel, Nishimura & Asahi, Legal Advisor of Japan Authority of Digital Assets; Arthur Hayes, Co-Founder & CEO, BitMEX; and many more. Interested in attending? Get 10% OFF Full Conference Passes when you register using the discount code CHAMBER! Register now!
Don’t forget to sign up for
The first of its kind
Anti-Money Laundering Compliance
Bootcamp for Digital Asset Companies
January 15 & 16 at
Miami Beach, FL