Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
The Ross Ulbricht trialbegan on Tuesday in New York. Ulbricht was arrested in October 2013 and was charged with drug trafficking, criminal enterprise, distribution of drugs over the internet, computer hacking and money laundering.As Nicky Woolf of The Guardian writes, the indictment for Silk Road’s owner and manager refers to reaping “tens of millions of dollars” in commissions for private use. In spite of the heavy accusations, Ulbricht has many supporters.
The Bitcoin Foundation will host a series of roundtables for developers who seek to improve their technical skills and contribute to Bitcoin Core’s ongoing maturity. As Katherine Fletcher of Coin Report writes, the first roundtable, DevCore, will be held at Boston’s District Hall on February 11 for one day and will be sponsored by the Circle Internet Financial (Title Sponsor), and CoinDesk and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman law firm (supporting sponsors).
Following Russia’s considerations to ban the bitcoin in 2015, the Russian government has blocked several bitcoin-related websites. Caleb Chen of Cryptocoins News reports that, Roskomnadzor, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media has acted on a court order of September 30th, 2014, blocking at least seven websites for contributing to the bitcoin’s shadow economy. Roskomnadzor allows visitors to check whether a site is blacklisted. So far,
Due toAustralia’s uncertain relationship with the bitcoin, PayPal has endorsed the bitcoin as an online form of payment to the Australian Senate committee. As Nick Marinoff of NewsBtcwrites, PayPal investigates the regulation of the digital currency and ways to facilitate digital currency transactions. PayPal states that the bitcoin itself and the individual bitcoin transactions should not be regulated, but the companies that provide financial services for facilitating bitcoin transactions, issuing bitcoins or exchanging bitcoins, should be regulated in a way that acknowledges “the specific details of how decentralized digital currencies work.”
Unión Progreso y Democracia (UPyD), the Spanish social liberal party, has suggested to the Spanish Congress that the bitcoin should be regulated. Yessi Bello Perez of Coin Desk reports that UPyD believes that the nearly 40,000 bitcoin users currently existing in Spain do not threaten the Spanish economy and therefore, the bitcoin should be regulated to“prevent fraudulent and criminal activity.”
Elliptic, the UK-based bitcoin services company, received ISAE 3402 accreditation, a global standard for financial reporting, from KPMG. Diana Ngo of Coin Telegraph writes that KPMG reviewed and audited Elliptic’s financial controls, regulatory compliance, disaster recovery and many other areas, concluding that the company meets the standards of a custodian bank. Elliptic’s CEO James Smith stated that “KPMG’s accreditation is an important milestone.”
Bit2Me launched an application that allows users to convert bitcoin to Euros at more than 10,000 ATMs across Spain. Deepak Tiwari of Forex Minute reports that Bti2Me CEO Leif Ferreira plans to expand the application to a network of 15,000 ATMs in Mexico.High commission rates are a concern among the bitcoin users.
CEX.IO, the bitcoin platform for USD and EUR exchange, announced that it pauses operations in cloud mining due to low profits. According to Bitcoin Examiner, the bitcoin price drop has led CEX.IO to the temporary suspension of the cloud mining service, the cost of which exceeds mining profit. The company will continue operating as a platform for digital currency trading.
Delta Financial ceases operations on January 30th. According to Virtual Currency, users will be only able to buy bitcoins and withdraw their funds upon request. Interest-bearing accounts will stop accumulating interest effective immediately. Delta Financial states that “the financial products we wanted to build on the bitcoin platform simply require a bigger trading volume than that what exists today.”
EgoPay, the global payment cryptocurrency processor, has frozen the funds of several clients. According to Nick Marinoff of NewsBtc, EgoPay has disabled API to conduct a system migration. However, there are allegations from BTC-E and Bitmarket.pl that EgoPay has engaged in faulty transactions.
CoinTerra, the Austin-based bitcoin mining company is in default on approximately $4.25m worth of secured notes. According to Stan Higgins of CoinDesk, CoinTerra CEO Ravi Iyengar confirmed that the company faces a lawsuit by C7 Data Centers for not paying its bills. The future is hard to predict as debt holders are seeking for a viable solution for the company, but it becomes harder as the bitcoin slumps.
CryptoDouble might be a new Bitcoin Ponzi scam. Claiming to be “the group of professional traders and skilled analysts with valuable experience in the sphere of cryptocurrency” and promising to double bitcoin and altcoin investments within 100 hours of deposit, the platform attracted a significant number of users, who trusted the company’s investment possibilities. According to JP Buntinx of Cryptoarticles, CryptoDouble went offline, without prior notice taking nearly 1,000 BTC with it.