Last updated on July 12th, 2014 at 01:37 pm
Here is Bitcoin Examiner’s latest weekly round up with the most important news of the week.
US Consumer Bureau promises to watch Bitcoin more closely
The office, considered the investigative arm of Congress, wrote a confidential report back in May where it instigates the bureau to be more active when it comes to developing cryptocurrency policies in the country.
French police dismantle illegal Bitcoin exchange
The French police have dismantled an illegal Bitcoin exchange and seized 388 BTC worth around $272,800 in the first such operation in Europe, a public prosecutor said this week.
Two people in the Riviera coastal cities of Cannes and Nice were placed under formal investigation on Friday and detained on suspicion that they operated a website which illegally sold and lent Bitcoins to its users.
Vehicle marketplace Beepi adopts cryptocurrency
It is already possible to buy and sell a car using Bitcoin. The well-known peer-to-peer digital marketplace Beepi announced this week that it is now accepting cryptocurrency as a payment option. Besides, the company is also adding a new service: instant pre-approval for car loans.
Beepi, which is now accepting Bitcoin thanks to a partnership with BitPay, was founded not long ago by Ale Resnik, the current CEO, and Owen Savir (COO) to innovate the act of buying or selling a car.
CoinJelly exchange to offer debit cards, ‘bank-level’ services
A new exchange and wallet service based in Australia and Hong Kong says it is building ‘bank-level’ services around Bitcoin, designed to appeal to both serious traders and everyday travelers.
CoinJelly will launch two exchanges for high-volume traders, initially for the Southern Hemisphere and then soon after, the Northern. Notably, its consumer wallet option features an ATM/debit card network for use worldwide.
Network with 5,000 payment terminals sells BTC in Ukraine
A network of 4,900 BNK-24 terminals spread across Ukraine now allows the local users to easily buy Bitcoin in exchange for fiat currency. The network – operated by the Ukranian National Credit Bank – sells vouchers that the customers can later exchange for cryptocurrency with a new company called BTCU.
The users have to deposit cash in one of the available terminals in order to receive a voucher containing an activation code. The voucher can be printed or sent via an SMS message to the user’s phone. Then the Bitcoiners only have to go to BTCU’s website to enter the activation code and request their cryptocurrency.
itBit relocates to NYC and names new CEO
As the local governments across the US begin taking the first steps to embrace Bitcoin, startups like itBit are working feverishly to stake their claims. The company, which raised $3.25 million last November to launch a Bitcoin exchange for institutional investors, is relocating from its current base in Singapore to New York in order to get in on the ground floor of one of the potential hubs for Bitcoin trading in the US.
New York’s regulator Benjamin M. Lawsky, the superintendent of financial services, has come out in favor of the cryptocurrency, and the city and state are in the process of finalizing their position on how best to regulate it. It is with that backdrop that itBit moves to the US and has named one of the founding partners of its backer Liberty City Ventures, Charles Cascarilla, as the company’s new chief executive.
Karpeles sells Bitcoins.com: half the profit goes to Mt. Gox clients
The CEO of the now defunct exchange Mt. Gox, Mark Karpeles, has announced he is auctioning the domain Bitcoins.com. The website was originally launched in 2013 to provide information about the world’s most famous digital currency.
However, now the domain is being sold to the highest bidder through the American auction house Heritage Auctions.
The auction will happen on July 24th and has an opening bid of $185,000. Nevertheless, taking into account Bitcoin’s growing popularity, the price is expected to reach a value around $750,000.
Next Bitcoin core version to include ‘smarter’ transaction fees
Bitcoin Foundation chief scientist Gavin Andresen has outlined the details of new floating transaction fees to be included in the code of the next Bitcoin core release.
In a new post on the official Bitcoin Foundation blog, Andresen stated that the updated code will enable “smarter” fees that account for the length of time it takes to confirm transactions on the Bitcoin network. Ultimately, the new code will determine transaction priority, making sure that transactions confirm more efficiently.
Bitcoin Foundation hires lobbying firm
Backers of the virtual currency Bitcoin are beefing up their Washington presence as they seek to shape government oversight of the fledgling payment system.
The effort has been building since a number of federal agencies began examining bitcoin last year, but reached a milestone on Wednesday when the Bitcoin Foundation, the top trade organization for the new technology, said it had retained a lobbying firm for the first time.
BitPay launches open-source, multi-signature Bitcoin wallet Copay
Based on the belief that “multi-signature technology will play an important role in helping people secure their Bitcoins against loss or theft”, the crypto-payments processor BitPay announced the launching of a new digital wallet called Copay.
The open-source wallet was born out of BitPay’s “own need to securely store Bitcoins”, reads a blog published by the company. In the meantime, the community’s reaction to the launching was extremely positive with BitPay deserving the compliments of several Redditors, for instance.
Judge shoots down ‘Bitcoin isn’t money’ argument in Silk Road case
The government and legal community may still be arguing over whether Bitcoin can be defined as “money.” But the judge presiding over the landmark Silk Road drug case has declared that it’s at least close enough to get you locked up for money laundering.
In a ruling released this week, Judge Katherine Forrest denied a motion by Ross Ulbricht, the 30-year-old alleged creator of the Silk Road billion-dollar online drug bazaar, to dismiss all criminal charges against him. Those charges include narcotics trafficking conspiracy, money laundering, and hacking conspiracy charges, as well as a “continuing criminal enterprise” charge that’s better known as the “kingpin” statute used to prosecute criminal gang and cartel leaders.
Music streaming platform Grooveshark now accepts Bitcoin
The platform – founded in 2006 in the United States and owned by the Escape Media Group – can be used for free, but to fully enjoy all Grooveshark’s features the users have to pay for the premium package, whichcosts 5$ per month or $50 per annum. Now this value can be paid using Bitcoin.
Bitcoin price ‘to hit $2000’ by end of the year
The price of one Bitcoin will reach $2000 by the end of 2014, a venture capitalist has predicted – a 226pc increase from the virtual currency’s present value.
Speaking at CoinSummit in London during this week, Geoff Lewis, a partner at the Founders Fund, said he will be “really bullish when there is low volatility” but estimates that the value of one Bitcoin will soar during the next five months.