New York’s “BitLicense”, arrested millionaire and more news updates…

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Bitcoin Surges Past $1,000 Dollar Mark Before Retreating

Bitcoin once again broke the $1,000 dollar mark this past Wednesday, but retreated back to approximately $900 dollars since. Prices have been rather turbulent with a flurry of good and bad news rolling in throughout the week. Bitcoin first broke the $1,000 dollar mark in November and has since surged past said mark on a few different occasions. Renewed demand from China, and interest peaked by last week’s Senate hearing helped drive prices upwards.

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New York Looking To Create “BitLicense”

Regulators in New York may be taking the lead in regulating Bitcoins, and if their actions are foreshadowing steps to come, Bitcoin businesses may have reason to worry. Regulators in New York are considering a “BitLicense” that would require companies that operate primarily in Bitcoins to obtain a special license. The details of licensing requirements are not yet know, but officials in New York are hammering them out and may push for launching the license sometime this year.

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Bitcoin Millionaire Charlie Shrem Arrested

Bitcoin Entreprenuer Charlie Shrem has been arrested for allegedly assisting the Silk Road in money laundering. Mr. Shrem is the CEO of the popular BitIstant, a quick payment platform that allows people to quickly buy Bitcoins. Besides the millions of dollars he made off of Bitcoin and his own service, Mr. Shrem was known for his strong speaking and presentation skills. He quickly emerged as one of the leading speakers for Bitcoin. Given Mr. Shrem’s high-profile status, his arrest could generate a lot of bad publicity for the Bitcoin community. Following the arrest, Mr. Shrem resigned from the Bitcoin Foundation. So far, details regarding Mr. Shrem’s alleged involvement remain largely unknown.

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Bitcoin Still a Small Player in Illegal Transactions

Economist Mark Thornton is defending Bitcoin against allegations that it is a threat to legal systems around the world by facilitating illegal purchases. According to Mr. Thornton Bitcoins make up only a small fraction of illegal activities and most illegal goods are still purchased in U.S. dollars. With the important Silk Road legal case now making its way through the U.S. court system, Bitcoin could suffer a lot of bad publicity in the months to come. Assistance from main stream economists and legal experts could go a long way in shoring up Bitcoin’s reputation.

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BTC China Restores Deposits

BTC China, a popular Bitcoin Exchange in China, has restored the ability of Chinese customers to make yuan deposits so that they can then trade Bitcoins.  The exchange suspended deposits after a memo was released in December by the Chinese government warning companies not to get involved in Bitcoin trading. The resulting closure of numerous Bitcoin exchanges sent Bitcoin prices plummeting by some 50%. If demand from China is renewed, Bitcoin prices could be sent skyrocketing upwards.

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Brian Booker

An international financial analyst and writer. He has consulted for the Malaysian government, various MNC's, and other organisations. He focuses on currencies, commodities, and emerging South East Asian markets.

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