Canadian Mint wants to sell digital currency creation

The Royal Canadian Mint has decided to end its experiment with digital currency and wants to sell the technology it developed to a private company, according to multiple media reports.

The MintChip cryptocurrency is linked to the Canadian dollar and is designed for low-value online, mobile and physical payments. The Mint recently piloted the currency with 200 employees at its Ottawa and Winnipeg offices.

The Mint had installed Ingenico’s IWL220B contactless card readers in its cafeterias, enabling pilot participants to pay for purchases using MintChip via NFC-enabled BlackBerry 10 smartphones.


Bitcoin Foundation Gets New Bitcoin Core Maintainer

By Ali Najjar,

A long time member of Bitcoin Foundation, Gavin Andresen, has issued an official release stating he is ending his role as the Bitcoin Core maintainer. Andresen is leaving Wladimir van der Laan to take over. His replacement has been working full-time for several months now, and has been getting paid to do so.

Bitcoin Core

Andresen indicated that bitcoin is becoming more difficult for him to handle in terms of computer science and in economics papers. He says that “in just the last week Mr. Google told [him] about 30 new papers [he] might be interested in reading.” Apparently, that spark of curiosity in the realm of digital currency is gone for Mr. Andresen.

Andresen has had a prominent role in the digital currency industry, and has been working hard. He says:

“Over the last 18 months I’ve filled two roles: ‘lead developer’ for Bitcoin Core (the reference implementation), and ‘Chief Scientist’ for the Foundation. Thanks to the support of all of the members of the Foundation, I’m pleased to be able to focus more on protocol-level, cross-implementation issues and less on issues specific to the Bitcoin Core software.”

He makes it clear that he will not be disappearing from the digital currency scene, and that he will still write and review code. Andresen expects to continue to give his opinions technical matters and project priorities.


Bitcoin Shop Appoints New Independent Public Accounting Firm

By Ali Najjar,

Virtual currency e-commerce marketplace, Bitcoin Shop, has appointed Marcum LLP as its new independent public accounting firm. The appointment will be effective immediately throughout the fiscal year ending on December 31, 2014.

Bitcoin Shop & Marcum

Bitcoin Shop CEO Charles Allen stated:

“As we continue to make progress within the high growth digital currency ecommerce industry, it was of critical importance to engage a nationally known auditing firm with a strong reputation for their expertise in auditing financial reports with accuracy. At Bitcoin Shop, we are committed to providing our shareholders with the highest level of transparency, financial reporting standards and corporate governance.”

Marcum is one of the largest independent public accounting and advisory service firms in the US today. The company is based out of New York, and has been in business for over 60 years.



Bank of Japan Governor: Bitcoin is Too Unreliable to be a Currency

By Dan Palmer,

Governor of the Bank of Japan Haruhiko Kuroda has cast doubts on bitcoin’s future as a currency.

“Without safety or stability in its value, there would be no demand. In that sense, it cannot be a currency,” he told reporters after a central bank policy meeting.

Kuroda added:

 ”It is not a currency, and I don’t think it is a general means of settlement,”

Kuroda’s comments, which were reported in the The Economic Times, come after nationwide shock in Japan at the bankruptcy of the now-infamous exchange, Mt. Gox, which was based in Tokyo, and other recent bad news for bitcoin, such as possible fraudulent activity at Cyprus-based Neo & Bee.


By Nermin Hajdarbegovic,

Bitcoin miner maker Butterfly Labs (BFL) is facing a class action suit, brought by customers from across the US.

The class action was filed through Wood Law Firm LLC by a group of BFL customers challenging the sales and advertising practices of the Kansas-based mining outfit.

Customers claim they ordered and paid BFL mining gear which they never received, or which they received long after BFL’s promised shipping date.

Not the first time for Butterfly Labs

Disputes are quite common in the world of mining hardware. Manufacturers are often keen to accept as many pre-orders as possible, often months ahead of the actual shipping date. The money is then used to complete development and manufacture the mining rigs.


By Danny Bradbury,

Yesterday, we explored how much carbon the average fossil fuel-using miner emits when they produced a bitcoin. 16 gallons of gasoline sounds a lot, but in the broader context, just how bad is it, and how can we frame that argument?

As some people pointed out in the comments, it’s all relative.

Bitcoin advocates are quick to defend the high carbon output from mining bitcoin. For one thing, it can only be ‘high’ if it’s compared to something else, points out Bitcoin Foundation chief scientist Gavin Andresen, who this week stepped down as lead developer on bitcoin. “High compared to what?” he asks.

Another core developer, Jeff Garzik, says that a proper comparison would at a minimum determine the carbon cost of securing the US dollar, including “all those data centers and secret service agents and high-technology, anti-counterfeiting printers,” he points out.


By Kadhim Shubber,

Ukraine has returned to the top of the news agenda, with pro-Russian separatists occupying government buildings in the east of the country.

But using the levers of global finance, the conflict, with Europe and the US on one side and Russia on the other, is as much an economic battle as a physical one.

And with Russia now set on creating a new national payment system (NPS) to replace Visa and MasterCard, this fight is a reminder of the fundamental difference between the new world of decentralized digital currencies and the old world, where governments use payment systems as weapons of war.


By Nermin Hajdarbegovic,

Hong Kong startup Cryptex has launched a new ‘bitcoin ATM debit card’ that the company claims should work with as many as 90% of US ATMs, plus thousands more worldwide.

The Cryptex Card is an unusual hybrid that allows users to take out cash on standard bank ATMs, but with the source of the funds being, indirectly, your bitcoin wallet.

The user does not actually make direct bitcoin-to-fiat exchange transactions via the card, however.

First the card user must send bitcoins to a linked Cryptex bitcoin address. Next, a specified amount of these bitcoins are converted into fiat currency, which can then be withdrawn from regular ATMs (see the company’s promo video below).


By Dan Palmer,

Germany-based startup BitXatm has announced the arrival of its Sumo Pro – a cryptocurrency ATM with a POS (point of sale) function that will appeal to merchants seeking to easily accept payments from customers in digital currencies.

Costing €2,900 (around $3,993), the stand-alone machine offers a generous 17-inch touchscreen and has the ability to accept any fiat currency. Additionally, it can accept or dispense any digital currency, according to the company’s website.


By Tom Sharkey,

More than 2,000 digital currency enthusiasts gathered at the Javits Center in New York City on 7th April for the city’s second Inside Bitcoins conference and expo, organised by Mediabistro.

Attendees traveled to New York from more than 30 countries and 38 US states to hear speeches from industry leaders about the usual topics, such as the future potential and big-picture implications of bitcoin for consumers and the financial markets.

As the day progressed, though, panelists began to emphasize the opportunities of bitcoin 2.0 and applications of the bitcoin protocol beyond currency, and notably turned attention to the topic of governmental regulation of digital currencies.

The event kicked off with Alan Meckler, the CEO and Chairman of Mediabistro, who welcomed the crowd and noted the dramatic increase in attendance from last year’s Inside Bitcoins NYC event, which he said had just over 150 attendees.


By Pete Rizzo,

Blockchain CEO Nic Cary gave the afternoon keynote address at Inside Bitcoins New York on 7th April as part of a talk entitled ‘International Review: Bitcoin Stories from Across the Globe’.

This was the second keynote address of the two-day conference, expected to draw roughly 1,000 attendees, following Jeremy Allaire’s morning opening address.

The second annual Inside Bitcoins New York, a two-day conference featuring thought leaders in the bitcoin space, began its afternoon session on 7th April with a keynote address from‘s CEO Nic Cary.

One of the most popular wallet services, enrolled its one-millionth user on 6th January after having just 100,000 customers at the start of 2013.


By Roop Gill,

A panel comprising of both bitcoin enthusiasts and sceptics discussed everything from awareness and education to regulation and entrepreneurship at a panel discussion held at London’s O2 venue on Saturday, 5th April.

Titled ‘How Bitcoin Can Fight Back Against the Hackers and Recent Setbacks’, this discussion took place before the much-awaited Bitcoin Fight Night kickboxing event, and was co-organised by CoinScrum, and


Dutch Regulator Says Bitcoin is Technology, Not Money

By Kadhim Shubber,

Bitcoin is not money, the deputy director of the Dutch Payments Association has declared.

Comparing the digital currency to tulip bulbs, which famously rocketed in price during the ‘Tulip Mania’ bubble of the early 1600s, Gijs Boudewijn dismissed suggestions that bitcoin could be currency:

“Bitcoin is not a claim and therefore not money … If you and I agree to pay each other in tulip bulbs then we have established a private currency and the same applies to bitcoin.”

The comments, made in a wide-ranging interview with Dutch bitcoin news site, come as European regulators begin to grapple with creating a unified approach to digital currencies.


By Jon Southurst,

Mining hardware manufacturer Advanced Mining Technology, Inc. (AMT) is the latest to face a class-action lawsuit from customers alleging products were not delivered on time, according to a report in the Delaware County Daily Times.

There are concerns lawsuits could soon become more common in this field, in which small startup companies race to design and build cutting-edge and specialist hardware, dealing with processes that can challenge even large chip manufacturers.

Just over a week ago, a Texas judge granted a court order to ‘freeze’ the bitcoin wallets of another ASIC mining manufacturer, HashFast, as part of a lawsuit claiming late delivery. Butterfly Labs has been the target of both planned and actual legal action for over a year now.


By Pete Rizzo,

Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire gave the opening keynote address at Inside Bitcoins New York on 7th April as part of a talk entitled ‘Mainstreaming Bitcoin: The Next Phase of Digital Currency Growth & Value Creation’.

The two-day conference will feature a number of notable speakers from the industry, including Blockchain’s Nicolas Cary, GoCoin’s Steve Beauregard and Kraken’s Jesse Powell, and is expected to draw roughly 1,000 attendees.

The second annual Inside Bitcoins New York conference and expo kicked off on 7th April with a keynote address from Circle CEO and founder Jeremy Allaire that addressed how the industry should seek to take bitcoin and its many benefits into the mainstream.


Karmacoin today announced a new service that will allow anyone on Twitter, the popular social networking website, to send tips to other users.

The service allows Twitter users to seamlessly gift Karmacoin, a digital currency which has grown in popularity since its launch in February, by typing a simple command into their Twitter boxes.

“This is only the beginning of a future where online tipping is more fully integrated into the social experience. It can lead to more engagement and a higher level of quality content for everyone,” said Tony Sorel, Director of Karmacoin.


Texas Tries to Regulate Bitcoins


AUSTIN (CN) – For the first time, Texas banking regulators have established licensing and security guidelines for virtual currencies and their exchanges, such as the collapsed Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox.

Texas Banking Commissioner Charles G. Cooper issued a supervisory memorandum on April 3, noting that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoins, Litecoins, Peercoins and Namecoins lack intrinsic value because they are neither centralized, backed by a commodity nor convertible by law.

“At this point a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is best viewed like a speculative investment, not as money,” Cooper wrote in the memo. “However, as this innovative technology develops, the [Texas Department of Banking] will continue to evaluate whether the nature of cryptocurrencies and the potential harm to the public warrant additional action.”


By Lee Hutchinson,

All good things must come to an end, and the time is approaching when Arscoin, our experimental cryptocurrency, will soon be joining Susan B. Anthony dollars in the great retired currency bank in the sky. It’s been a fun experiment—both to set up and to watch—but it has served its purpose.

And what, exactly, was that purpose? Certainly not to create a new form of money invested with actual value; Arscoins have fungibility, but not liquidity (not inherently, anyway). We wanted to explore the actual process of creating a cryptocurrency. Unlike a physical fiat currency like US dollars, which require both expensive means of production and also substantial assurances of value (“the full faith and credit” of the United States government), dashing off a cryptocurrency based on the Bitcoin or Litecoin source code requires essentially no effort or capital investment. We spent more time setting up servers and applications than we did actually doing anything resembling traditional banking.


By Forexminute – Yashu Gola, – Despite the recent scandals that punctured the reputation of digital currencies, their market is yet one of the most booming ones. You can notice the speed at which new cryptocurrencies are being launched. They are now over 200, and is promising to flourish even more.

We are indeed entering into a new era in which the world finances will not be just limited to the state of the US Dollar. Instead, this era is breaking the shackles and upsetting the way we used to create and distribute global money.

Currency from the Heavens

It is ironic enough to know Santa Claus is rumored to reside somewhere in the North Pole, the same place where Baldur Friggjar Odinsson announced to distribute 31.8 virtual coins to over 320,000 denizens. The generous donor, or the new-age Santa Claus, aimed an “airdrop” to eradicate the ongoing financial crisis from his country, for which he blamed the poor supremacy of its Iceland’s government.


Cryptex Card Introduces Bitcoin-to-Cash ATM/Payment Card

By Eric Calouro,

A Hong Kong-based start-up is looking to help bitcoin users more easily convert their digital currency into dollars with the use of a bitcoin-to-cash ATM/payment card.

Announced today at the Inside Bitcoins conference in New York City, the Cryptex Card will allow consumers to “to turn cryptocurrency into cash at hundreds of thousands of ATMs and millions of merchants’ point-of-sales (POS) worldwide, regardless of whether the merchants or banks accept cryptocurrency.”

In other words, it’s a pretty big deal.

According to Cryptex, the card will be usable in about 80 countries, and here in the United States will be usable on over 90 percent of the ATMs in operation, by Cryptex’s estimation.