Weekly Round Up: Tradehill suspends trading, problems with the Google Authenticator upgrade and UK debates regulation

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Another week with several new updates on the Bitcoin panorama around the world. From new services to some setbacks, these are the most important news from the last seven days.

Pay your rent in Bitcoins through Rentalutions

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Rentalutions, a new solution for United States residents, allows tenants to pay their rent with our favorite cryptocurrency. The company was co-founded by Ryan Coon in April 2012 as an online property management platform, based in Chicago. The original goal was to help landlords check potential tenants and look after their properties, also enabling the tenants to pay their rent and request maintenance work. Rentalutions decided to add Bitcoin as a payment method for tenants mainly because Coon and the rest of the team believe in the power of cryptocurrency.

Tradehill suspends trading due to “banking and regulatory issues”

Tradehill, one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in the United States, has officially suspended trading and explains the situation in a statement published on the company’s homepage. The platform says the temporary shutdown was caused by “banking and regulatory issues”, just a few days after Tradehill moved its accounts to a North-American credit union – the Internet Archive Federal Credit Union -, in order to make Bitcoin transactions easier.

According to the statement, “this decision has not been made lightly and we regret having to take such action. However, we embrace the silver lining of our situation and plan to take this opportunity to upgrade, improve, and polish our trading platform”.

The crypto-revolution in San Diego

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San Diego is not like any other city in the world when it comes to Bitcoin, as their relationship is rather special. After local businesses like Hangtime Climbing started accepting cryptocurrency payments and especially since the creation of the platform Bitcoins in San Diego, Bitcoin’s presence and awareness in the city, located in the state of California (USA), has been steadily increasing. Bitcoin Examiner talked with Eric Camerino, who owns ITSA Bike Shop in San Diego, about the crypto-scene in town and you can read all about it here.

Avalon is refunding customers due to late orders

The Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer Avalon has issued an important update on its chip delivery delay, assuring it’s going to start refunding the customers who haven’t received their order placed before June 1st. The company is going against its no-refunds policy, since some of the clients have now been waiting for their chips for almost 21 weeks due to “events outside of our control”, claims Avalon.

Win Bitcoins while talking at Coinchat

The browser-based Coinchat allows you to talk with strangers online and win digital coins along the way while chatting thanks to the site’s own revenue generation, funded by ads. After its recent launching, the platform is reaching a hge success. Besides getting cryptocurrency just by talking, users can also tip each other or other individual messages. Besides, Coinchat supports scripted betting games, amongst other types, where users can win more Bitcoins.

Lamassu ships its first 15 Bitcoin Machines

The startup Lamassu started shipping its first Bitcoin ATM this week. The company twitted the news on Monday (2). “It’s begun! Our preliminary run of 15 Bitcoin Machines is underway”, Lamassu announced. According to its developers, the Bitcoin Machine will be able to exchange fiat currency into Bitcoin in just 15 seconds. Lamassu’s device will allow the owners to use an online exchange to fund the machine and will also accept currency from over 200 countries.

SQ1.tv is producing a TV show about Bitcoin

There’s a new project on Kickstarter that intends to produce a television program about cryptocurrency. The program will be entitled The Bitcoin Phenomenon and will be part of the upcoming launch of the new SQ1.tv – pronounced “square one” -, set to be presented in the Fall. The fundraising campaign wants to gather $25,000 until September 30 to raise awareness about Bitcoin through a special television show. You can check the official page of the campaign here.

Buenos Aires hosts the first South-American Bitcoin conference

LaBITconf is the name of the first Bitcoin conference set to happen in Argentina, in December, to debate the influence of cryptocurrency in Latin America. The event is being organized by the Fundación Bitcoin Argentina and will have important speakers like the Bitcoin entrepreneurs Erik Voorhees, Charlie Shrem (CEO of BitInstant) or Wence Casares (CEO of the Lemon Network), among many other guests. The main goal of LaBITconf, which will happen in December 7 and 8, is to discuss the future of Bitcoin and the opportunities generated by virtual currency in South America.

Snowden’s defense fund raises more than $14,500 in Bitcoins

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The Journalistic Source Protection Defence Fund created by Wikileaks and currently gathering money to help Edward Snowden has already raised over $14,500 through Bitcoin donations. The former National Security Agency contractor is currently living in Russia after revealing the truth about the North-American surveillance program (PRISM), facing espionage charges in the United States. To help him, Wikileaks set up a defense fund that has raised almost $18,000 in 24 days. Of that money, more than 75 percent – over $14,500 – was donated in the form of Bitcoins.

Raspberry Pi used in new Bitcoin pool table

Liberty Games, a games room specialist, has created a Bitcoin-operated pool table powered by a Raspberry Pi, Coindesk reported this week. The QR code and the LCD screen next to the table’s traditional coin slot display the price per play in Bitcoins. Users only have to scan the QR code and send the displayed amount to the owner’s Bitcoin wallet address. The machine then automatically tips the balls out, so they don’t have to be manually released.

Upgrading Google Authenticator for iPhone causes users to lose keys

The alert was launched this week and started worrying hundreds of Bitcoin users. Apparently, the new version of Google Authenticator for the iPhone can cause a lot of trouble to Bitcoiners. Users all across the web are warning other cryptocurrency owners to not upgrade their version of the program or all their keys will be lost. You can find out more about it here.

Safello is the new Swedish Bitcoin startup that makes trading easier

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Sweden has a new Bitcoin startup that helps users, especially beginners, to buy and trade virtual coins. Safello went online in August and plans to be part of the new wave of services that fight for cryptocurrency’s regulation to make sure that both Bitcoin sellers and buyers are protected.

The firm, according to its CEO Frank Schuil, is focused on two Bitcoin features that are extremely useful for consumers: speed and convenience, especially when users need to make international transactions. As a Bitcoin reseller, the startup’s goal is to provide infrastructure for the sale and purchase of cryptocurrency, but Schuil says that, “at this stage, we also have to market Bitcoin itself”.

British cab company accepts Bitcoins for your ride

There’s a British taxi firm that has recently started accepting cryptocurrency as a payment. You can find this innovative company in Cumbria, a county in North West England.

The Carlisle-based Cumbria Cabs started taking virtual coins just a few weeks ago, after opening a merchant account through the payment processor Bitpay. According to the company, the lower transaction fees and the reduced risk of fraud appealed to the taxi firm’s business model. The payment can be easily done in the cab, just by simply scanning a QR code with the customer’s smartphone.

Bitcoin Exchange Berlin is boosting digital currency in the country

The third Bitcoin Exchange Berlin (BXB), which happened recently, was a true success, according to Motherboard Vice. The monthly exchange took place at the art space Platoon Kunsthalle. The marketplace focus on cultural fare, but vendors and buyers dedicated their time to swapping digital coins. This comes to show that Bitcoin is really picking up speed in Germany, especially now that it is recognized as private money.

United Kingdom is debating Bitcoin regulation

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After the United States and Germany, the United Kingdom is also looking at the potential regulation of Bitcoin companies. The matter was at the center of a debate held last Wednesday (4) at 10 Downing Street, the famous house in London that hosts the government’s headquarters.

The meeting was attended by several technology companies operating in the finance field, British regulators and government members and the results were rather positive, according to some of the guests.

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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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