There are some serious issues going on at the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange. With millions of dollars seized by United States authorities and inexperience in the realm of finance, the exchange has hit a wall at full speed, announcing on Friday they are unable to process withdrawals due to overwhelming requests. Some speculate there isn’t enough money on hand (though the exchange says the withdrawals halt is happening on a technical level), and the bitcoin community has reacted with major sell-offs, bringing the price per bitcoin to an all-time low this year of $619.
Some news publications have deemed the exchange dead already, except for the fact that it isn’t — yet. Gox has found itself limping along, with trading on the platform continuing (despite over one hour of downtime on Saturday).
Gox has vowed to make a follow-up statement on Monday regarding the condition of withdrawals, though the bitcoin world is desperately awaiting news that will either confirm the exchange’s integrity, or prove its insolvency.
But if the exchange’s history of communicating with customers is anything to go by, we can probably expect a statement shrouded by smoke and mirrors, leaving users uncertain about what will happen to the exchange — and more importantly, to their funds.
All empires collapse. This may be the last we see of the world’s oldest (and once-largest) bitcoin exchange. But let’s not call it dead until it’s dead.
Author note: There was a slight misuse of words in an original version of this post that has been amended.
Look, folks. We get it. The lot of you are absolutely annoyed that Apple has killed off the Blockchain.info application from the App Store. It’s an overall crummy situation. And with users retaliating by smashing, stabbing, and even shooting their iPhones — we come to you with three simple steps to tell Apple where to go in a socially acceptable fashion.
- Sell your iPhone, don’t smash it, toss it, launch it into space, or throw it at somebody. Seriously, this doesn’t really do anything aside from make you seem crazy. Something tells us Tim Cook isn’t hanging out on YouTube and shedding tears because you’re smashing your device (and filming it really poorly). Get it to eBay or sell it to someone you know who may actually need one. The bonus? Apple won’t be getting the money from the iPhone sale – you will.
- Take your business elsewhere by purchasing an Android (or other device) that will allow you to enjoy the bitcoin world freely. That iPhone you sold will help you cover the costs of your new device.
- Tell Apple you’re unhappy with their current stance on bitcoin. You can do that at apple.com/feedback. Just remember, no cursing, excessive use of exclamation points, and no caps. Be professional and keep it to-the-point. Realistically, you won’t receive a reply, but there’s power in numbers. Enough voices will be heard, eventually. The do read feedback.
We can sit here all day and condemn Apple’s decisions, or we can do something effective to change it. The question is: how will you react?
The CEO of JP Morgan Chase — a major financial institution — has made some, shall we say, controversial remarks on bitcoin. Primarily because he’s demonstrated in several sentences he knows very little about it.
“It’s a terrible store of value. It could be replicated over and over,” Jamie Dimon said to CNBC. “It doesn’t have the standing of a government.”
We normally try to stand objectively. But this is complete silliness. Mr. Dimon, do understand bitcoin does not simply get “replicated over and over”. On the contrary, that’s what happens with the United States dollar. The fact is doesn’t have the standing of a government is, well, one of the points.
“And honestly, a lot of it – what I’ve read from you guys – a lot of it is being used for illicit purposes. And people who will get upset with it is governments,” he said, seemingly oblivious to the fact the same exact thing takes place on a larger scale with cash-money.
Dimon continued to bring up the point that banks put a lot of work into anti-money laundering and know-your-customer efforts, stating it’s “almost impossible” to do this with bitcoin.
Does not compute. Mr. Dimon, this does not compute! One would argue bitcoin is more traceable than cash is, with transactions made publicly viewable on the block chain. Smart criminals keep their money out of banks and do what they can to keep their loot out of view. (via RT)
Tell us what you think about Mr. Dimon’s views on bitcoin.
One of the bigger headlines last week concerned mining pool Ghash.IO and the amount of hashing power they have. In fact, they actually reached 42% network power at one point, triggering a mini-panic and small campaign to get miners into a diversified group of pools.
The fear? A 51% attack on the bitcoin network. And for as long as bitcoin has existed, this threat has loomed overhead, with little that could be done to prevent it.
But if we go back to May 2012, Bitcoin core developer Gavin Andresen proposed a solution:
Something like “ignore a longer chain orphaning the current best chain if the sum(priorities of transactions included in new chain) is much less than sum(priorities of transactions in the part of the current best chain that would be orphaned)” would mean a 51% attacker would have to have both lots of hashing power AND lots of old, high-priority bitcoins to keep up a transaction-denial-of-service attack. And they’d pretty quickly run out of old, high-priority bitcoins and would be forced to either include other people’s transactions or have their chain rejected.
In Andresen’s post, he notes that such a solution would be “Not To Be Used Except In Case of Emergency”, which begs the question: could we what have seen last week be considered an emergency? The community managed to alert each other to move to other pools. And sure, Ghash.IO says they have no interest in carrying out a 51% attack, but should we believe them?
Is it time to put Andresen’s solution to work? What do you think?
We here at newsBTC don’t like rumors. We don’t like speculation. But something about online retailer Newegg’s tweets is telling a story that may revolutionize how tech enthusiasts acquire their hardware on the web — and we can’t ignore it.
Back in late November, a Twitter user @thedatascape asked the company, “Do you have any plans to add Bitcoin as one of your payment methods?”
The reply was rather simple.
“It’s a possibility, #staytuned :)” the company tweeted. Now, that really doesn’t tell us much. But today, another user asked a similar question. This time around, the company tweeted, “Still waiting for an update, but will let you all know as soon as we receive word!”
We can reasonably deduce that there must be high-level talks of accepting the cryptocurrency at Newegg. The only question is, will it happen? Is Newegg inching toward accepting bitcoin, finally?
Surely, a tech company is aware as to just how popular bitcoin has become, hasn’t it? And with today’s news that Overstock has started accepting bitcoin payments, you could say that the pressure is on for online retailers.
Requests from newsBTC for interviews and more information from the company’s press office have gone unanswered, but we continue to try and push for information, as we always do. But we thought you might find this interesting, if you weren’t already aware.
What do you make of these two tweets? Reasonable evidence or complete overreaction? We want to know what you think!
San Francisco-based Wikimedia Foundation — the entity behind Wikipedia — may just be thinking about accepting bitcoin donations. That’s according to a posting on the website, in which the VP of Engineering and Product Development Erik Möller notes that the organization’s fundraising team will look into the matter and make a “decision that should be made purely on cost/benefit grounds”.
Möller himself doesn’t seem keen on the idea of bitcoin, even going so far as to say that “[Wikimedia] might not actually get a
donation total that makes this worth [their] time.”
Möller feels that bitcoin inherently has design flaws, but at the end of the day, Wikimedia is asking for money. If you frequent bitcoin forums and the like, you’ll see there are scores of individuals who are more than willing to donate to the foundation in BTC. If their concern related to bitcoins losing their value, we don’t see why an option like BitPay wouldn’t work.
For now, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Who knows, perhaps we’ll see an option to donate in bitcoin during Wikipedia’s next annual appeal.
What do you think?
There’s a bit of hoopla circulating on the web today surrounding a 152-year-old civil war-era law that could potential make some bitcoin transactions illegal. Except for the fact it won’t.
Wired did a great job explaining this law — dubbed the Stamp Payments Act of 1862. It was dusted off by the Congressional Research Service in preparing a report for congress on the digital currency, and mandates that “any note, check, memorandum, token or other obligation, for a less sum than $1, intended to circulate as money or to be received or used in lieu of lawful money of the United States.”
It is being said that bitcoin may be considered a token, and the frequency of bitcoin transactions below $1 are not-surprisingly high. So will this old-as-dirt law stop bitcoin?
Consider the vast amount of payment services already out there. A ton of users are sending under $1.00 payments on services like PayPal every day. As kids, many of us visited the arcade with “tokens” that held mere cents in value. Hell, even Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski managed to get a $0.69 check written out at the grocery store without being taken out by a SWAT team.
Now, relax. If there’s any legislation to be weary of, it’s the laws of the future, which undoubtedly will come about as bitcoin continues to gain traction. What do you think?
Is 2014 the year of the bitcoin? Max Keiser — broadcaster and huge bitcoin proponent — thinks so (elsewhere: read the newsBTC interview with Max Keiser).
Keiser sent out a tweet on Christmas Eve predicting that bitcoin market cap will reach an astonishing $50 billion some time in 2014. By comparison, the current market capitalization of bitcoin is about $8.5 billion — down from this year’s high of $14.5 billion during the November spike.
Keiser often uses bitcoin as a point of discussion on his RT program ‘The Keiser Report’, if that is something you’re interested in.
As for the prediction, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens! (via Twitter)
With the spectacular rate of growth we’ve been seeing lately with Bitcoin (I’m talking about the huge climb from $500 upward at the beginning of this week), is it possible that Bitcoin will hit $1000 by the end of the week?
One week ago, the answer would have probably been “no”, but given recent events, it’s not entirely out of the question. No doubt about it, this is a bubble, and it’s still got a ways to climb before it bursts.
According to Forbes, a person described as “price forecasting analyst” has predicted the price of Bitcoin may hit $1,700 by the end of the week. After that, of course, is a big pop — and not one of the satisfying ones like when you pop a pimple (gross, I know, but the analogy works).
The price of Bitcoin is climbing. There’s no doubt about it. But while the prices are high, should you buy? In an ordinary scenario, most people would say no. The whole idea is to buy low and sell it high. But with the rapid growth of Bitcoin, some are wondering if we’ll ever see prices this low again in the future.
Think about it. There’s a possibility that the price could get up so high that the next low is in the $200 range.
In my opinion, however, I don’t think that’s the case. I’m holding my coins (all two of them, at present) right now, and waiting for the bubble to burst before I scoop more up.