Is Bitcoin Funding ISIS Jihad in Syria and Iraq?
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Governments and others have long been weary of Bitcoin’s potential to fund terrorist and other illicit activities. The cyrptocurrency is hard to track and can be funneled across the globe with only a few clicks of a button. Apparently an ISIS linked blog was recently posted up instructing users on how to use Bitcoin to fund the organization’s operations with a program called “Dark Wallet” that makes it very difficult to track Bitcoin transactions. As of yet, no one has confirmed the identity of the blogger or if ISIS is really using Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Goes to Washington – Bitcoin Foundation Hires Lobbyists
Let’s not kid ourselves, lobbyists are essentially the bedrock of the American political system. If you want change, you need a team of lobbyists to make your voice heard on Capital Hill. Well now Bitcoin will have lobbyists representing its interests. The Bitcoin Foundation has hired lobby firm Thorsen French Advocacy to represent the currency in DC. With Bitcoin getting more and more attention from the government, this was likely a prudent move if nothing else.
California’s First Bitcoin ATM Heading to LA
Los Angeles is now home to Hollywood and California’s first Bitcoin ATM machine. Bitcoin payment service provider ExpressCoin has installed two Robocoin Bitcoin ATM machines in two Locali Conscious Convenience stores. The machines will use a security system involving palm print scanning and will allow people to buy and sell Bitcoins with American dollars. Meanwhile, the Locali stores themselves are looking for ways to accept Bitcoins in their POS systems.
Venture Capitalist: Bitcoin Will Reach $2,000 By Year’s End
No one really knows which direction Bitcoin prices are heading in, but Geoff Lewis, a partner over at the Founders Fund, has predicted that rising demand for Bitcoin will push the price up towards $2,000 dollars by year’s end. Given that Bitcoins are currently trading just north of $600 dollars, such a rise would be both dramatic and highly lucrative for people who invest in Bitcoins at the right time. With more and more companies accepting Bitcoin and ATMs popping up across the country, demand for the currency very well could increase in the months to come.
Judge Rejects Silk Road Defense Argument that Bitcoin Isn’t Money
Bitcoin is not yet a legally recognized currency, but a judge has argued that the crypto-currency functions enough like a currency that it can be considered in money laundering cases. Ross Ulbricht, who stands accused of starting and running the infamous “Silk Road” website, tried unsuccessfully to have charges against him thrown out on the grounds that Bitcoin isn’t a currency. For now, the government is pursuing Mr. Ulbricht as a “drug kingpin”, though some are questioning if such charges are too harsh given that he only maintained a website.