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Bitcoin News Roundup – 7 Mar.2015

Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.

DevCore v2 will be held in London on April 15th, sponsored by the Bitcoin Foundation. According to Inside Bitcoins, following the success of DevCore v1 in Boston in February, DevCore v2 reaches out to the European bitcoin community. CEO of Blockchain, Peter Smith, states that “With DevCore London, the Foundation is making an exciting commitment to the global capital of FinTech.”

Five people were taken into custody for alleged relations to the collapse of MyCoin bitcoin exchange. According to Stan Higgins of Coin Desk, the five individuals were arrested for conspiracy to defraud for their alleged involvement in the Ponzi scheme MyCoin. The Hong Kong Commercial Crime Bureau (CCB) estimates that nearly $8.1m is lost as a result of attempted business with MyCoin

With a fundraising of $835,000 from Nippon Technology Venture Partners, Tech Bureau added a bitcoin exchange platform, creating the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif. According to PRNewswire, Takao Asayama, Tech Bureau’s CEO, states that the bitcoin is not popular in Japan, but Zaif aims to become Japan’s leading bitcoin trading platform.

TimoSchlaefer, former Goldman Sachs director, launches Crypto Facilities, a bitcoin derivatives exchange in London. According to Zach Alighieri of Coin Buzz, Crypto Facilities will trade options and futures contracts, allowing users to take long or short positions. Minimum deposit is between 0.25 and 0.50 bitcoin, depending on the contract. Maturity dates are every three months, March, June, September and December.

The US Marshalls concluded the second online auction of Ross Ulbricht’s 50,000 bitcoins on March 5th. As John WeruMaina of CryptoCoins News writes, the bid auction was divided in two series, one of ten blocks of 2,000 bitcoins and one of ten blocks of 3,000 bitcoins with $100,000 and $150,000 bids respectively. After notification, the winning bidder is expected to wire payment on March 9th, 2:00pm.

Regulation

QuadrigaCX, the Vancouver-based bitcoin exchange platform, is the first publicly traded bitcoin exchange. As Diana Ngo of Coin Telegraph writes, QuadrigaCX will trade under the ticker XBT as “Quadriga Fintech Solutions.”QuadrigaCX is the first Canadian exchange to be licensed by FINTRAC, Canada’s financial regulator. Trading starts on April 2015.

Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT) will trade publicly. Giulio Prisco of Bitcoin Magazine reports that the BIT will possibly trade under the ticker GBTC, which, according to founder Barry Silbert,“is expected to be effective shortly.” The BIT is ideal for traditional investors who are afraid to trade in bitcoins, but are seeking for exposure to the cryptocurrency world.

Matt Dababneh, California lawmaker, introduces bill to set guidelines on the virtual currency. As Evan Nemeroff of American Banker writes, bill AB 1326 set the rules for any individual or business that wants to start using the bitcoin.Minimum commission is $5,000, paid effectively to the Commission of Business Oversight commissioner alongside information about how the individual or the business plans to use the bitcoin.

According to the Australian Crime Commission, “mums and dads” are using bitcoins for purchasing drugs over the Internet. As Katherine Fletcher of Coin Report writes, the anonymity of the cryptocurrency and the lack of regulation complicates the work of the Australian Federal Police. Hamish Hansford, national manager of strategic intelligence at the Australian Commission states that “it’s becoming more difficult to investigate with the higher levels of encryption.”

Taxes

H.C.R. 6 Substitute Concurrent Resolution on Payment Options for State Services bill has passed in the State of Utah, allowing residents to pay their taxes in bitcoins.As Nikhil Gupta of NewsBtc writes, the bill suggests the creation of the Council of Payment Options for State Services to explore the potential benefits from the use of the digital currency as a legal form of payment.

Australian Treasury considers that taxation laws to accommodate the bitcoin should not be amended yet. Rohan Pearce of Computer World reports that Kate Preston, GM of the Treasury’s Small Business Tax Division, considers the bitcoin industry “an industry in its infancy” and, therefore, the cryptocurrency environment should first be regulated before being amended for tax purposes.

Payments

The International Ripple Business Association (IRBA) is back in business. Drew Cordell of Bitcoinist reports that,by having certified fifteen gateways,the IRBA will know who operates each gateway and if the guidelines set by the Association are followed through. Additionally, Ripple Labs joined the International Payments Framework Association (IFPA). Yessi Bello Perez of Coin Desk reports that joining IFPA provides Ripple with guidelines on how to improve cross-border payments.

Bitcoin enters the fresh food business. As Elliot Maras of CryptoCoins News writes, Farmer’s Market, Overstock’s online fresh food delivery service accepts bitcoins, thus becoming one of the few online fresh food retailers that accept the digital currency as a legal form of payment. GM of Farmer’s Market,

Shelly Olsen, states that “local delivery is currently available to about 35 percent of the U.S. and growing.”

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