Last updated on March 17th, 2015 at 06:37 pm
This is Bitcoin Examiner’s latest weekly round up with the headlines of the past seven days. Welcome!
Bitstamp suffers major hack and loses $5 millions
Following a major attack, the Slovenian Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp is now getting ready to resume its operations in less than 24 hours. The platform predicts all operations should go back to normal this week, according to an article published by the Slovenian website Rtvslo.si.
At the moment, the website Bitstamp.net is simply displaying a message that starts by informing the clients that Bitstamp has “temporarily suspended” its services. The exchange was the target of a massive hack on Sunday. “On January 4th, some of Bitstamp’s operational wallets were compromised, resulting in a loss of less than 19,000 BTC“, the equivalent to something like $5 million at the time of the attack.
Cubits launch aims to accelerate Bitcoin buying in Europe
Cubits has launched a web application designed to speed up and simplify Bitcoin transactions. Notably, the London-based cryptocurrency startup allows customers to buy Bitcoin in minutes, making it one of the fastest digital currency platforms in Europe, according to the company.
“We want to speed up the process of getting Bitcoin and making online payments fair and accessible, especially for merchants and charities that could really benefit from lower fees”, said Andreas Lehrbaum, co-founder of Cubits and the co-founding chairman of Bitcoin Austria.
‘Super safe’ bitcoin wallet Bitreserve raises £6m
Bitreserve, the Bitcoin wallet start-up, has raised £6.3m through Crowdcube and US platform Venovate as armchair investors flock to fund a model that simplifies the saving and spending of Bitcoin.
Bitreserve allows users to hold digital coins in real-world money but spend it as a cryptocurrency, without incurring fees. Some 136 armchair investors now own just over 10pc of the company and the crowdfunding campaign, which closes today, is currently overfunding. The cash will be used to expand globally and grow the Bitreserve team.
Coinbase launches redesigned app with updated security protocols
The Bitcoin platform Coinbase has relaunched its iOS and Android apps with a new design and extra security settings. The company announced that the software has been “rebuilt from the ground up, taking advantage of the latest versions of iOS and Android to create the best possible mobile wallet experience”.
The new app has a sleek design and additional features. The face and name of the user now appears in the upper left hand corner, with the app displaying more detailed transaction data than before. Also, the transactions are now organized in a timeline. But the most important update is probably the one that will make the users feel safer. Especially after the wallet breach that affected Bitstamp on Sunday (4th) and cause the loss of $5 million in BTC.
Bitcoin makes notable appearance at CES despite recent scandal
Bitcoin made its presence known at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week in the face of heightened speculation about recent controversies in the industry.
In the days leading up to one of the most high-profile conventions in the tech industry, Bitcoin’s price fell below $300 and one of the digital currency’s biggest exchanges, Bitstamp, suffered asecurity breach that resulted in the theft of some 19,000 BTC. Nonetheless, a number of seemingly undaunted crypto companies came together at CES, and Bitcoin commanded attention from attendees consistently over the four-day span of the event.
BitMex offers 30-day historical Bitcoin volatility futures contract
BitMex, one of the world’s most advanced Bitcoin derivatives exchanges, recently announced the addition of a futures contract for Bitcoin. Now that the cryptocurrency’s value has fallen to below $300 for the first time in nearly two years, the expansion of trading alternatives could give Bitcoin the boost that it needs.
The rise in Bitcoin prices in 2013 came mostly due to increased trading. While businesses accepted Bitcoin prior to 2013, their size was usually small. After the price began to rise, many powerful companies opened their doors to the currency. Interestingly, the price began to drop afterward.
Bitstamp is back in business with safer system after massive wallet breach
The Slovenian Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp is back with a “newly redeployed website and backend systems that are safer and more secure than ever”. This is the promise made by Nejc Kodric, the company’s CEO, who announced the comeback following a massive attack that hit the exchange on January 4th.
On Sunday, some of Bitstamp’s operational wallets were compromised, resulting in a loss of less than 19,000 BTC, the equivalent to $5 million. “This breach represents a small fraction of Bitstamp’s total Bitcoin reserves, the overwhelming majority of which are held in secure offline cold storage systems”, said Kodric.
Pey is 3D-printing Bitcoin terminals and giving them away for free
In Hanover, Germany, a new company is using Bitcoin to get electronic payments accepted by local merchants. Most restaurants and stores in Hanover only accept cash. Credit cards are not the phenomenon they are in the States, and merchants have to pay very high fees to accept debit cards. That means consumers always have to carry cash. But serial entrepreneur Ricardo Ferrer Rivero decided he wanted more options. Rather than work with banks, Rivero reasoned that getting merchants to accept Bitcoin could be a workable solution.
So he gathered a few local technologists, developers, and industrial designers to create a 3D-printed Bitcoin point of sale that doesn’t cost a thing to use.
Overstock.com installs Bitcoin ATM in Utah-based company headquarters
The Bitcoin-friendly retailer Overstock.com installed a cryptocurrency ATM in its corporate headquarters in Salt Lake City, United States. The decision is part of the company’s plan to raise awareness about Bitcoin.
“Moving cryptocurrencies out of the realm of geeks and into the realm of the rest of us requires making changes at all levels of the financial ecosystem. An important part of this effort is making digital money ATM accessible”, said the company’s CEO Patrick M. Byrne.
Accused ‘Dread Pirate’ may face life for Bitcoin-drug bazaar
The former Eagle Scout accused of running the $1.2 billion online drug bazaar “Silk Road” may face life in prison if convicted in a trial where jurors will hear allegations he tried to arrange the murders of six people.
Prosecutors claim Ross William Ulbricht, 30, or “Dread Pirate Roberts”, as he was allegedly known online, ran “the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet”, where people used Bitcoins to buy illegal drugs, guns, phony identification, computer hacking help and other illegal goods and services anonymously.