Weekly Bitcoin News Report – Oct. 26th, 2014
Providing the top Bitcoin news stories from around the web
A well-renowned author, known for his writings on international money laundering and the pharmaceutical industry, has turned his attention to Bitcoin. Chris Matthews of Fortune writes that Jeffrey Robinson, in his new book Bit Coin: The Naked Truth About Bitcoin, argues that the cryptocurrency will end up being nothing more than a scam. While bitcoin was not originally conceived of a scam, Robinson believes it will be used to trick “innocents and bitcoin’s ideological backers out of millions.” Fortune’s interview with Robinson is available here.
Moolah, a cryptocurrency exchange, has declared bankruptcy and almost $1.5 million of its bitcoin holdings have gone missing. Alex Hern of The Guardian also writes that Alex Green, the company’s founder and chief executive, has not been heard of since the company busted. Green also revealed in his last public communication that he was previously known by the name of Ryan Kennedy before changing his name. Additionally, he also revealed that Moolah’s parent company was “insolvent” as a result of a software bug.
A new bitcoin exchange has launched in Australia. According to Biana Hartge-Hazelman of The Sydney Morning Herald, Independent Reserve, a Bitcoin company, has launched an exchange in Sydney. The platform becomes the second of its kind in Australia. Independent Reserve will not be regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, meaning it has the authority to make decisions regarding investor protection. Previously, the Australian Taxation Office had ruled that Bitcoin was a commodity, not a currency. As a result, traders in Australia would have to pay a “goods-and-serves tax” on the Australian dollar value of any bitcoin transaction.
Four Pepperdine University students have launched a bitcoin brokerage in Malibu. The company, called Malibu Bitcoin, will offer private exchange, cold key storage, and over-the-counter trading, the Malibu Times reports. The company, which has a dozen clients in the local area, will be “setting up workshops for merchants to accept bitcoins for free.” The project is led by Calvin Freatman and Jacob Norte, economics and political science majors at the university.
Now Accepting Payments
A private hospital run by the Medicover Group plans to accept bitcoin payments for a variety of healthcare services. As Cynthia Turcotte of CryptoCoins News reports, the hospital, whose bitcoin-paid services will include major surgery, will also be launching a bitcoin ATM in the facility in order to simplify the payment process. The Medicover Group hospital treats over 8,000 payments on a yearly basis from over twenty countries. While the bitcoin payment option will only be accepted at a single hospital, staff member Marcelina Szyszka has indicated that other Medicover Group facilities could accept such payments in the future if the option proves to be successful.
An iGaming Operator has announced that it will become the first of its kind to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrency payments. GoCoin published a press release on Oct. 23rd indicating its new agreement with Cozy Games to offer Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin approved payment options online. The service will offer Cozy Games customers “a dramatic reduction in costs associated with credit card transactions, charge backs, and cross-border fees.” Cozy Games’ product suite includes over ninety games that customers can enjoy playing online, including bingo, classic slots, scratch cards, network jackpots, and table games.
A British second hand goods chain will now be accepting bitcoin payments. As Mike McAra of Hard Assets writes, the technology exchange and retailer will be accepting bitcoin payments at 30 of its 266 United Kingdom stores. Additionally, CeX announced that it intends to hold onto the bitcoins it receives as payment as opposed to cashing out the cryptocurrency for the pound sterling or other traditional currencies. The chain allows for customers to purchase video games and accessories, DVDs, smartphones, cameras, tablets, and hardware.
MIT Cracks Bitcoin
Massachusetts Institute of Technology students and faculty have been linked with beating the system ever since a Ben Mezrich book, Bringing Down the House, was released and turned into the film 21 in 2008. The true story of the MIT Blackjack Team featured brilliant young people and faculty developing unique ways to dominate the blackjack tables in Las Vegas for a large profit.
What members of the school recently managed to pull off in the bitcoin trading arena, however, may have far lasting implications.
Devavrat Shah, an MIT professor, has developed a way to predict bitcoin price fluctuations. As Rob Wile of Fusion reports, Shah, along with recent graduate student Kang Zhang, made 2,872 trades over fifty days for an 89% return on investment. The process involved a Bayesian regression analysis, collecting 200 million datapoints from Okcoin.com to determine how prices move at specific intervals. Wile writes that the study showed that “the price movements often resembled patterns commonly found in stock price movements: triangle patterns, and head-and-shoulders patterns.”