Weekly Round Up: Bitcoin is “private money” in Germany, companies launch two Bitcoin miners and Blockchain.info fixes a bug

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Bitcoin Examiner had a lot of new lists to show you this week: from the biggest Bitcoin haters to the most beloved cryptocurrency supporters, as well as some famous Bitcoin heists. But there were also big news during the last days, so let’s remember what happened.

Launching of “The Idiot’s Guide to Bitcoin”

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“The Idiot’s Guide to Bitcoin” is the new ebook that intends to spread the word about cryptocurrency, explaining “Bitcoin to the everyday man and his dog”. The guide was launched during this week, thanks to the dedication of the Australian freelance illustrator Gustaf van Wyk.

According to a press release, the book was created to help Bitcoin beginners, “covering everything they need to know to get to grips with the fundamentally disruptive technology which is Bitcoin”. The guide costs 0.07 BTC (equivalent to $7.77) and you can find it here.

Bitcoin is a great alternative to replace pennies and nickels

GoldSilverBitcoin talked about the advantages of replacing pennies and nickels for Bitcoins, leaving our pockets much lighter. Although it might take a while for it to happen, the website quotes the expert Virginia Holbert, who says that “pennies and other coins are becoming less useful, as parking meters, tolls, and public transits use smartcards and RFID technologies to streamline payment. Presumably by 2030 we will also see widespread acceptance of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin”. The biggest stimulus for this change will be inflation.

Sell and buy tickets at Cointicket (only) with Bitcoin

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There’s a new service in the Bitcoin world: Cointicket is the name of the platform that allows you to create and sell tickets for your events and services. And the payment is exclusively in cryptocurrency. Cointicket is super easy to use, but  if you’re thinking about trying the service, do it quickly: the platform charges zero fees for now, while it’s testing its beta version.

Jeffrey Tucker: Bitcoin is “reinventing the world’s monetary system”

The well-known executive editor of Laissez Faire Books said this week that Bitcoin is “reinventing the world’s monetary system… from the ground up”. Jeffrey Tucker attended a panel discussion on Bitcoin at Freedom Festand and talked with Reason Magazine to explain why he believes cryptocurrency can help create “a new world of liberty, despite the existence of the leviathan state”.

Bitcoin is considered “private money” in Germany

Bitcoin has taken another important step towards general recognition in Europe. Germany is the first country to announce an official position regarding the status of Bitcoin as money. The cryptocurrency was acknowledged as a “currency unit” and “private money”, reported the German newspaper Die Welt. In other words, this nomenclature means that some commercial profits on Bitcoin related endeavors may become taxable, although the personal use of the currency will remain tax-free, as stated by the newspaper.

“The Edyn Project” raises funds to spread the word about Bitcoin

A Canadian writer is launching a new project that intends to use fiction to promote the world of cryptocurrency. “The Edyn Project” is all about a story that happens in the new White City, which is recovering from years of abandonment thanks to a new digital currency and other beneficial technologies. The project is gathering Bitcoin funds through the platform Bitcoinstarter with the goal to launch a website and an ebook that will allow the fans to follow the story over 10 weeks of updates.

Butterfly Labs announces Monarch miner

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Butterfly Labs made a new announcement this week: the company presented its new PCI bitcoin mining card based on 28nm technology, the Monarch. However, according to Coindesk, the clients who keep waiting for their pre-ordered (and delayed) 68nm-based products are angry with the news. According to Butterfly Labs, the Monarch will reach 600 GH/s and consume 350W.

Cointerra announces a new powerful 2 TH/s ASIC miner

Cointerra is launching its first product: a 2 TH/s ASIC Bitcoin miner. The device will be powered by four 28nm ASIC chips running at 500 GH/s each, which is a big improvement when compared to the mining devices currently on the market that have 110nm or 65nm chips. But, according to the company, this 2 TH/s Cointerra miner – that will retail for $15,750 – is just the beginning.

Print paper Bitcoin and Litecoin wallets with Piper

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The software engineer Chris Cassano has created a solution to safely store your Bitcoin wallet details: the Piper wallet. This self-contained device generates strong keys and prints them on a till-roll so you can keep them safe, explains Coindesk. The Piper wallet is a Raspberry Pi powered device that can either be used as a standalone machine or connected to a display, keyboard or USB printer.

Mt. Gox account seized by the feds in May had $2.9 million

The US Department of Homeland Security seized, back in May, a payment processing account belonging to Mt. Gox, but we didn’t know was how much money had been confiscated by the authorities at the time. However, court documents now made public reveal the amount: over $2.9 million in Bitcoin funds.

The information comes from a new filing in Baltimore federal court, which shows the feds seized $2,915,507.40 held in an account managed by Dwolla, a third-party payment platform. The funds belonged to Mutum Sigillum LLC, a subsidiary of the Japan-based Mt. Gox in the United States. For now, it’s not clear what will be done with the funds.

But there’s more: later this week, The Genesis Block obtained a new document from the records of the District Court of Maryland relative to another seizure: this time, it was the exchange’s Wells Fargo accounts with a total of $2.1 million. Add one thing to another and you’ll see that Mt. Gox has lost more than $5 million thanks to the actions of the US government.

Bitcoinvention Asia 2013 happens in October

Bitcoin is going to be the star of Bitcoinvention Asia 2013, which will happen on October 17th, in the Philippines. The event that intends to increase Bitcoin awareness in Asia will be happening at the Peninsula Hotel, in Makati (Manila), and the organization is expecting to have around 450 attendees, estimates Oron Barber, the event planner and cryptocurrency entrepreneur.

The decision of organizing this Bitcoinvention had to do with the fact that “Bitcoin is the next solution for many markets and here, in South East Asia, it’s gathering more power and capabilities”, Oron Barber explained to Bitcoin Examiner. The convention’s program will have four panels with five speakers each and also two ‘open mic’ sessions.

Blockchain.info wallet users get stolen

After the discovery of a new bug in a Bitcoin wallet – this time, it was Blockchain.info’s wallet -, about 50 BTC were stolen since Monday (19). However, the service is going to refund all the users affected by the flaw.

The first sign of problems with the service arose a couple of days ago, when the Bitcointalk.org user giantdragon posted a concerned message on the forum reporting he had lost some coins. After a short investigation, Blockchain.info discovered that there was a bug lying  in the random number generator that the web wallet was using to sign each Bitcoin transaction. In the meantime, the service has already patched the flaw.

Business group invests in the next generation of ASIC chips

The same investment group that helped Skype grow, the Hong Kong-based Massive Luck Investments Limited, is now part of the cryptocurrency world. With offices across the world, the firm is moving “aggressively into the Bitcoin space by actively funding the development of next generation Bitcoin mining ASIC technology and establishing the first Global Digital Currency Supercomputer Center” in early 2013. You can find out more about this project here.

Trsst turns Bitcoin addresses into encrypted ID for blogging and messaging

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Privacy is much valued today, especially in the after-Snowden era. That’s why the encrypted messaging platform Trsst, currently under development, might make the difference. The service will allow users to send messages in a secret and anonymous way, if they want, using a Bitcoin address “doppelganger”.

According to the project’s website, Trsst “looks and feels like Twitter but encrypted and anonymized and decentralized and only you hold the keys”. In other words, it will be something like a mix between social networks and blogging platforms like WordPress. But in this case the public posts will be public, of course, and the private messages will be really private.

To fully launch Trsst, there’s a campaign going on at Kickstarter until September 14 and also the possibility of donating Bitcoins (through the address 1GMuNjMSoVkFkgzSNgDXWb8sGgJGKQruFe).

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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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