Weekly Round Up: Bitcoin is attacked, Mt. Gox suspends payments and Bitcoin Foundation is being chased

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Holy moly guacamole, it has been a busy week for Bitcoin! And here’s 99Bitcoins first weekly round up to remember you about all the fantastic stories we had this week.

Governments won’t make Bitcoin illegal

At the end of last week, we reproduced some of Tom Geller’s opinion on Bitcoin. According to the experienced technology commentator, although the United States government is making everything it can to “regulate” cryptocurrency, no government will ever consider Bitcoin illegal.

Micky Malka’s famous sentence

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Meyer “MIcky” Malka, the founder of Ribbit Capital, isn’t an outspoken man, that’s no news. The entrepreneur, who has a long experience in the disruptive financial area, claimed recently that “money is ripe for disruption”, while talking during a debate at the recent Next Big Thing Summit. According to the expert, Bitcoin has a lot of specific advantages depending on the needs of the user, but its infrastructure is still in the beginning of its potential evolution.

Mt. Gox suspends payments in US dollars for two weeks

There’s something that caught us off guard… In an unexpected turn of event, the Japanese-based Mt. Gox, the biggest and most famous Bitcoin exchange platform in the world, temporarily stopped paying out customers in US dollars.

The decision was taken on June 20 and Mt. Gox didn’t exactly explain what happened, only referring to an “increased volume” of transactions that was making them suspend US dollars withdrawals for two weeks. USD deposits were unaffected, as well as other currencies, but not the withdrawals. Mt. Gox is expected to go back to normal during the first days of July.

Berlin’s businesses embrace digital currency

The Berlin district of Kreuzberg was featured in 99Bitcoins for the second time, always for good reasons, since it’s still the place with the highest concentration of merchants that accept Bitcoin. Is Berlin the new “home” of cryptocurrency? The city is surely fighting for that spot.

Are the financial authorities of California chasing the Bitcoin Foundation?

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In the beginning of the week, the Bitcoin Foundation was in shock after receiving a ‘cease and desist order’ issued by the California’s Department of Financial Institutions. Allegedly, the institution, who works thanks to donations, is engaged in the field of money transmission without a license or proper authorization granted by the U.S. Treasury Department.

If the authorities can prove that the nonprofit corporation is guilty of violating the California Financial Code, penalties can go from $1,000 to $2,500 per violation per day, but that’s not all of it. Besides, this can lead to someone’s imprisonment for the alleged crimes. And let’s not even talk about the possibility of a violation of the federal law.

Later, California’s financial authorities said they weren’t arresting anyone, just warning the Bitcoin Foundation. It doesn’t really matter now, since the organization took it personally and it’s talking about an attack against cryptocurrency.

BitcoinATM partnership ruined

The partnership between a couple of entrepreneurs who were claiming to have a Bitcoin ATM machine ready to be installed in Cyprus and Jeff Berwick, the responsible for The Dollar Vigilante and founder of StockHouse.com, ended up in shreds. It seems that, according to Berwick, the developers were just using his image to advertise the device.

“It turned out that once I had put Bitcoin ATM on the world stage he decided to take all that I had done and dismiss me”, the expert said in a public statement.

The mysterious report about Bitcoin made by the NSA… in 1996

This one really creeped us out! Apparently, the NSA made a report in 1996 about a future crypto-digital trade unit very similar to Bitcoin. It’s quite strange, since cryptocurrency only appeared in 2009… However, the information described in the document is astonishingly close to the present reality, making the report look more like a design than a prediction.

The new platform Coinsetter arrives in July

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Coinsetter is being launched in July to help the active traders, the ones that want to deal with “millions of dollars”. It’s a new effective and powerful trading service that will be directed to Wall Street’s professionals who want to connect and work with Bitcoin.

“Coinsetter is entering the market as a platform that brings the reliability needed to sustain high-volume, high-performance trading”, said the founder and CEO of the company, Jaron Lukasiewicz.

Bitcoin suffers DDoS attack and is still recovering

The Bitcoin network suffered a DDoS (denial-of-service) attack last week. The onset forced the cryptocurrency’s core team to patch the reference design. While there aren’t still a lot of details, the information was released by the core developer Jeff Garzik: “currently dealing with an ongoing, network-wide event”, the expert wrote in a short message.

Last Friday (21), Garzik announced a 0.8.3 release of the reference implementation to mend the reference design and “fix a denial-of-service attack that affects some network nodes”.

Is China still in love with Bitcoin?

After the huge interest shown in May, China’s romance with digital coin seems to have cooled down in June. This month is being quite bad for the Chinese statistics. This month, the country only registered 15,000 downloads so far, against the 85,000 registered in May. This means a huge decline of the downloads rate: 82 percent to be more precise.

Bitcoin is becoming the new hot reward for employees

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Merchants aren’t the only kind of entrepreneur accepting Bitcoin. Some companies are adopting the cryptocurrency to use it as the core of a reward system, targeting both employees and consumers. There’s even a company, called Recognize, already promoting this system with a mobile app that supports Bitcoin as an alternative to monetary rewards for workers.

Big companies still don’t trust Bitcoin

While small businesses keep showing their love for Bitcoin – mainly because it allows them to attract tech-savvy customers and to spare the credit card fees – , big companies aren’t so keen on it. Take the example of the Atlanta-based retail chain Home Depot: “while we are always monitoring all of the payment options out there, this simply isn’t on our radar screen at this time”, says the company’s spokeswoman, Paula Drake.

Elite Body Sculpture is the first cosmetic surgery center to accept Bitcoin

With centers in Beverly Hills and Sacramento, Elite Body Sculpture has recently started accepting digital coins as payment for cosmetic surgery. The brand, founded by the cosmetic surgeon Aaron Rollins, “is excited to be the very first cosmetic surgery center to accept this form of cutting edge payment”, stated a note recently sent to Bitcoin Examiner. The company is using the payment processing platform BitPay to handle their new Bitcoin business.

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Maria Santos

Maria is an experienced journalist currently living in the UK. She has been writing about Bitcoin and the altcoin universe since 2013. She is also a member of the Lifeboat Foundation's New Money Systems Board and a big cryptocurrency supporter.

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