The Bitcoin Galaxy lit up last week with many stellar events. Here’s the latest from the Boring Bitcoin Report: The US Federal Trade Commission brought yet another case against a Bitcoin company, that same agency issued a consumer warning on bitcoin, the US military probed Bitcoin in wake of the Isis crisis, and the first politician was elected into public office running solely on a Bitcoin campaign. We’ve also added a new section to the report this week, the Boring Bitcoin Calendar, with a list of industry events. The details are below.
Click on the headlines for links to the full stories.
Summary of Government Related Initiatives
Federal Trade Commission Sues Butterfly Labs
Last Monday, the US Federal Trade Commission brought a civil lawsuit against Butterfly Labs, and along with the US Marshals Service, shut down the Kansas City Bitcoin mining manufacturer for unfair and deceptive business practices. This is at least the fourth lawsuit brought against Butterfly Labs in the past two years. Butterfly Labs is now under the control of a court-appointed receiver. In a response made public by Butterfly Labs, the troubled firm claimed the FTC was going to war with Bitcoin, but claimed to be working with the appointed receiver.
FTC Warns Consumers About Bitcoin
Last week, the FTC released a 306 word advisory to help consumers “stay current” on bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The boilerplate document warns that there is no insurance on Bitcoin deposits (like FDIC insurance) or legal protections. The FTC also suggests encrypting and backing up wallets.
US Military Probes Bitcoin In Wake Of ISIS Crisis
The Bitcoin Foundation met with US military personnel in Tampa, FL last week to discuss how terrorists groups (ISIS, Al-Qaeda, etc.) might use cryptocurrencies to fund terrorist schemes. ISIS (currently touted as the “richest terrorist group in history”) has been heavily involved in a “dark network” of the Internet, “although ISIS itself is ‘principally funded through means other than virtual currency.’ ” Business Executives for National Security organized the meetings.
Ben Lawsky Interviews on Bloomberg TV About BitLicense
In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg TV, NY Department of Financial Services (DFS) Superintendent Ben Lawsky spoke about bitcoin and his proposed BitLicense regulations, which are currently under a public comment period. Lawsky first stated that block chain technology is powerful and that bitcoin could “cause the rest of the payment systems world to really up their game and really improve things.” He then went on to say that “we would like to have regulation that is the lightest touch possible to promote innovation… but not so light that you allow the proliferation of money laundering.” Hopefully the industry can hold him to these words. A re-write of BitLicense would be required to fulfill these promises.
Leading Texas Gubernatorial Candidate Embraces Bitcoin
Republican Gubernatorial Candidate, Greg Abbott, is embracing bitcoin contributions for his political campaign. Abbott has served Texas as Attorney General for the past 12 years and wants to keep taxes low and reduce regulations so that Texas’ technology sector can continue to flourish as Governor. Texas has a deep history in the technology sector, and Bitcoin will play a significant role in the state’s future.
Swedish Member of Parliament Wins Election Solely Through Bitcoin Donations
Deputy Mayor of Norrköping, Mathias Sundin, was just elected into Swedish Parliament and ran his entire campaign solely on bitcoin donations. He refused to accept Euros, Swedish Kronor, and US Dollars. His mission in Parliament is to resist any “knee-jerk” regulation of Bitcoin and other digital currencies and to promote a regulatory environment favorable to startups. This marks the first successful candidate to win a significant election based on a Bitcoin platform.
Summary of Industry Initiatives
Greenpeace Accepts Bitcoin Donations
The prominent NGO environmental activism group, Greenpeace, announced they support donations in bitcoin through BitPay. Bitpay has a team member dedicated to teaching non-profits about Bitcoin, and how Bitcoin can help charities like Greenpeace thrive through lower transactions cost. This comes just days after United Way announced they are accepting bitcoin donations via CoinBase.
BitFlyer Partnership Brings Bitcoin to 48,000 Japanese Merchants
GMO-GP, Japan’s largest payment processor, just partnered with BitFlyer to enable their 48,000 online merchants to use bitcoin if they so choose. GMO-GP will be the first payment operator to offer bitcoin payment services in Japan, which is set to become available in November. In addition to the partnership, GMO has also agreed to invest in bitFlyer in what bitFlyer’s CEO Yuzo Kano called a “business and capital alliance”.
Atlas ATS, Bitcoin Trading Platform, Offers ‘Price Lock Guarantee’ To Hedge Volatility
Atlas ATS has introduced a new service, Price Lock Guarantee, which “provides short-term volatility protection” by guaranteeing a quoted price for 60 seconds. Volatility has long been a criticism of bitcoin. ATS’s price lock guarantee offers merchants and payment processors that needed stability,” said Shawn Sloves, CEO and co-founder of Atlas ATS.
Why Mark Cuban Has Not Invested In Bitcoin
Mark Cuban, billionaire investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, told USA Today that he has not “invested in Bitcoin yet.” He believes bitcoin is “great as an encryption technology,” but is not a good currency and if he were to invest in bitcoin, it would be for “fun” (like buying baseball cards).
Leetcoin Announces Bitcoin Support for League of Legends
Leetcoin, online bitcoin gaming platform, now supports the internet phenomenon League of Legends, which has over 67 million active monthly users. Traditionally, online gaming competitions have been reserved for elite gamers playing for multi-million dollar prizes, but now through Leetcoin, any gamer can play for bitcoin – a digital asset that can be used outside of virtual reality. “Our team is paving the way for the next generation of competitive gaming,” said Leetcoin’s Founder and CEO, Kingsley Edwards. Bitcoin is a natural pair for these competitions because it allows quick and secure transactions, making online gaming more competitive, professional, and even profitable.
Georgia Tech Students Get “The Jacket Wallet”
Students at Georgia Tech now have access to their very own digital wallet. Launched by Love Will, Inc. (masterminds behind Pheeva bitcoin wallet), “The Jacket Wallet” only requires a campus email address to enroll. Representatives from Pheeva, BitPay, and campus group Bitcoin@Tech were all present during the official kick off on September 24th. Users will be encouraged to join and contribute through gamification incentives.
Use Those Vacation Days, The Bitcoin Way
Want to take the perfect vacation, using only bitcoin? CoinDesk has laid it all out for you. Travel bugs and companies alike have been quick to adopt bitcoin as a form of payment. Bitcoin prevents the hassles of an abruptly cancelled credit-card due to potential fraud activity, foreign transaction fees, and pickpockets. So go ahead. Take a vacation. You earned it.
Boring Bitcoin Calendar
Chamber of Digital Commerce and Heritage Foundation Bitcoin Briefing
Wednesday, October 1, 2014, Washington, DC
The Heritage Foundation and the Chamber of Digital Commerce and will hold a public congressional briefing on Bitcoin and its regulatory environment this Wednesday. Speakers include Perianne Boring, President and Founder of the Chamber of Digital Commerce; Carol Van Cleef, Partner at Manatt, Phillips & Phillips, and George Gilder, Chairman of the Discovery Institute. The lecture will cover how Bitcoin operates and what potential regulations should look like.
Coins in the Kingdom
October 4 – 6, 2014, Walt Disney World Resort, FL
The First Bitcoin Wedding
October 5, 2014, Lake Buena Vista, FL
The Bitcoin Blockchain is a public ledger that records all transactions on the Bitcoin network, which also enables one to inscribe messages and contracts within a transaction, such as a marriage certificate. Next week will be the first time a couple will seal their vows on the blockchain. Blockchain marriages might be preferable for individuals and groups that do not conform to current governmental regulations on marriage. Jeffrey Tucker, the author, and publisher of Liberty.me will officiate the marriage, and the first, ‘Blockchain Marriage” will be provided by CoinOutlet.
InsideBitcoins Las Vegas
October 5 – 7, 2014, Las Vegas, NV
The Inside Bitcoins Conference will be held next week at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino. Topics for the conference range from Bitcoin startups, investing, mining, equipment, altcoins and more. The first 300 paid attendees will receive $50 in Bitcoin. Speakers include Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, Bobby Lee CEO of BTC China, and Perianne Boring, the President and Founder of the Chamber of Digital Commerce. Perianne will be speaking on a panel called, “Building an Effective Compliance Program and Managing Regulatory Expectations” on October 6th at 4:00pm. The Chamber of Digital Commerce is happy to announce that they are partnering with the Inside Bitcoins Conference and Expo, and if readers are interested in attending they can enter code CHAMBER to receive 10% OFF Gold and Silver Passports. Register Now! http://insidebitcoins.com/las-vegas/2014/register?utm_source=boringbitcoinreport&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=partneriblasvegasboring (Register now url)
CoinAgenda Investor Conference
October 7 – 9, 2014, Las Vegas, NV
CoinAgenda will debut the first conference dedicated exclusively to bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors. CoinAgenda will comprise two events in one. The first is a high-end conference for accredited and sophisticated investors seeking the latest knowledge and trends in bitcoin investing, and will be taught by some of the biggest names in the Bitcoin industry. The second is a concurrent event sponsored by BitAngels, the world’s largest angel network for investing in bitcoin companies. The focus will be on investment in bitcoin and cryptocurrency companies, but it will also serve as the first global conference for the 500-person angel group.
CFTC Public Meeting on Bitcoin
October 9, 2014, Washington, DC
The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will hold their first public meeting on bitcoin to discuss the Commission’s role in regulating derivatives contracts that use bitcoin. The meeting is open to the public for viewing either in person, or through a live video stream at www.cftc.gov.
Picture of the Week
Tweet of the Week
If you think #Bitcoin adoption is not happening, think again. Don’t make the mistake of following the price vs usage! pic.twitter.com/mGLBc9n4pX
— Brock Pierce (@brockpierce) September 26, 2014
Quote of the Week
“I made the decision to accept Bitcoin because I believe that it represents the free-market economic principles that make Texas a national leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.” Texas GOP Governor Candidate, Greg Abbot
In Bitcoin fashion – send a tip to the Boring Bitcoin Address: 12LFcP4HgHMecskwLQXaRKJuHR21xgvQm8