We use Bitcoin ;) - page 9

thenews
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thenews  

China’s central bank hacked; angry bitcoin traders may be to blame

As bitcoin halved in value after several Chinese exchanges halted yuan deposits, China’s central bank was the target of a hacking attack on Wednesday, with state media suggesting angry bitcoin investors may be to blame.

The official site of People’s Bank of China (PBOC) went down around 5 p.m. local time Wednesday, possibly due to an attack by bitcoin traders after the central bank curbed bitcoin transactions in China, the state-run China News Service said.

The news agency cited central-bank officials as saying were aware of the issue and had been working to bring the site back online, but they didn’t confirm whether the problem was related to bitcoins.

“Some Internet users claimed the central bank was hit by a DDoS [distributed denial-of-service] attack. We strongly condemn those hackers,” BTC38, a Chinese bitcoin exchange, said in an online statement on Wednesday. “Our site has also been DDOS’d several times. No matter what, those attacks are irrational and illegal.”

Last Thursday, the PBOC and several top regulatory agencies warned in a joint statement that bitcoin “is not a real currency” and that Chinese financial institutions and payment processors shouldn’t handle bitcoin transactions.

The central bank also met on Monday with several third-party payment processors and ordered them not to provide service for the bitcoin exchanges, according to China News Service.

On Wednesday, China’s two major bitcoin exchanges — BTC China and OKCoin — announced they would temporarily stop accepting yuan deposits. CHBTC, a Chinese bitcoin trading site, also said it would stop allowing customers to use yuan to buy bitcoins online.

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thenews
28438
thenews  

BTC China CEO Attempts To Calm The Bitcoin Market After RMB Deposit Shutdown

In a letter posted on the Chinese bitcoin trading site BTC China CEO Bobby Lee attempted to calm the markets by posting a long, detailed description of the way forward for the company. “As China’s first Bitcoin and Bitcoin trading platform company, we have more than two and half years of operating experience and a good reputation,” he wrote. ”I believe you love Bitcoin and will fully understand our decision.”

Lee also clarified that the ban on RMB deposits is temporary and that the People’s Bank Of China saw bitcoin markets as similar to any commodity market and that “ordinary people have the freedom to participate in them at their own risk.” He also announced a number of improvements and changes to the platform aimed at retaining customers.

The company announced a new product called “Currency Lock” that stores bitcoin in “cold storage” with “bank-level” security. Commentators see this as a move to prevent a bitcoin sell-off by skittish investors who could see their wallets disappear while they wait out the RMB ban. They have also added a 0.3% transaction fee to all deposits and withdrawals to discourage rampant bitcoin conversion or transfers and to prevent large accounts from buying or selling speculatively.

In short, it’s business as usual at BTC China, but with a few caveats. The company recently closed a $5 million Series A round from institutional investors Lightspeed China Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners. BTC China was bootstrapped prior to this round, with money put in by its three co-founders, Bobby Lee, Linke Yang, and Xiaoyu Huang. The closure of RMB deposits by the People’s Bank Of China this week precipitated a 50% decline in the currency which has stabilized at about $700 on Mt. Gox.

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thenews
28438
thenews  

CryptoLocker's crimewave: A trail of millions in laundered Bitcoin

Dell SecureWorks estimates that CryptoLocker has infected 250,000 victims. The average payout is $300 each, and millions in laundered Bitcoin have been tracked and traced to the ransomware's money runners.

Spreading like wildfire from offices to homes, it arrives in email attachments (or over infected networks) to aggressively encrypt all files on a system (including mapped drives, Dropbox files, and all locally connected, network-attached, or cloud-based storage) - while an ominous onscreen timer demands payment within 72 hours.

Mess with the files or decline to pay and forget about ever opening your files again.

To date, no one has successfully defeated CryptoLocker. The Windows-only ransomware has held rapt the attention of malware fetishists since its formal appearance in September.

The Swansea, Massachusetts police department was hit in November.

The officers paid CryptoLocker's ransom. Police Lt. Gregory Ryan told press that his department shelled out around $750 for two Bitcoin on November 10 - even then admitting his department had no idea what Bitcoin is, or how the malware functioned.

One Bitcoin address, one million dollars in a day

Dell's CryptoLocker report cites a Computer Science thesis from an Italian grad student who looked at a few known CryptoLocker Bicoin payment addresses while examining BitIodine.

The thesis reported a stunning take for one CryptoLocker address on one day:

In total, we identified 771 ransoms, for 1226 BTC (approximately USD 1,100,000 on December 15, 2013).

After tracing another Bitcoin address belonging to CryptoLocker and watching it move over six million dollars they concluded, "This suggests that our estimate of their racket is very conservative."

Dell SecureWorks released its detailed report on CryptoLocker Ransomware Wednesday, cementing what several researchers already knew about CryptoLocker's cruelly smart extrotion system.

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thenews
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thenews  

Bitcoin trades at USD660 in rangebound trade

Bitcoin prices rose modestly in rangebound trade on Monday, as demand for the virtual currency remained supported amid speculation an increasing number of online retailers will begin accepting Bitcoin payments.

BTC/USD rose 1.25% during European morning hours to trade at USD662.00 on the Tokyo-based Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange. The currency held in a relatively tight range between USD630.00 and USD690.87.

Online retail outlet Overstock.com said last week that it will start accepting Bitcoin payments as early as the second half of 2014. The website will be the first major online retailer to do so.

The company sells a wide range of products, such as electronics, jewelry and furniture.

Prices of the virtual currency rallied to an all-time high of USD1,241.10 on November 29. It was trading at USD100 in early October.

Bitcoin is digital cash for the internet and it is not backed by a government or central bank to regulate or issue it. It can be used to purchase goods and services from stores and online retailers.

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thenews
28438
thenews  

Bitcoin More Speculative Than Real Currency, Study Finds

Bitcoin behaves more like a speculative investment than a currency, according to a new economic study.

Inspired by the virtual currency’s fivefold gain against the dollar in November, David Yermack of the Stern School of Business at New York University probed its historical trading behavior to see if it behaves like a traditional sovereign currency.

His conclusion, contained in a paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research this month, is that it “does not behave like a currency at all” and has hallmarks similar to some Internet stocks that collapsed in the 1990s.

Introduced in 2008, Bitcoins have spread rapidly with about 12 million in circulation, according to Bitcoincharts. Their price soared above $1,000 earlier this year, compared with about $12 a year ago, according to Mt. Gox, an online exchange dealing in Bitcoins. Unregulated by central banks or governments, their rise this year prompted authorities to begin debating how to view them.

To test the case for Bitcoin as a currency, Yermack compared it against the three major characteristics of money: that it serves as a medium of exchange, a unit of account and store of value.

On this test, Bitcoin increasingly serves as a medium of exchange because more companies accept it, Yermack said. Where it fails is as a unit of account and store of value, he said.

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thenews
28438
thenews  

Bitcoin Vs Twitter

One of these is an "asset" that produces no profit based on an underlying architecture with low barriers to entry, the other is a virtual currency... and remember: Bitcoin has no intrinsic value, doesn't trade at 1000x 2013 (or 340x 2014) EBITDA, and is nowehere near 40x it next year's revenues. It is, after all, simply a non-fiat currency. Which is why it is a bubble, and why, according to experts, Twitter is a screaming buy.

Spot The Bubble...

What a difference a little propaganda makes?

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thenews
28438
thenews  

BofAML Asks "Is This The End Of Bitcoin?"

Following David Woo's initial $1300 fair-value price target for Bitcoin, the BofAML strategist has had to suffer through some significant changes; not the least of which is China's increasingly strict Bitcoin regulation. The shifts, he notes, raise key questions about the future of Bitcoin as he asks "is this the end of Bitcoin?"

Via BofAML's David Woo,

Although this has yet to be officially confirmed, there are reports that the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has banned third-party Bitcoin payment companies from making renminbi deposits to Bitcoin exchanges. The news follows a move by PBOC two weeks ago preventing Chinese traditional financial institutions from handling Bitcoin transactions noting the risks Bitcoin posed because of its volatility, ease of use for money laundering, and risks that it can be used by criminal organizations.

What does this mean?

Two largest Bitcoin exchanges in China, BTC China and OkCoin have stated they cannot accept new yuan deposits, though current balances may still be exchanged for BTC or withdrawn. Bitcoin prices have fallen significantly on the back of the news and the CNY’s share of overall transactions has fallen from the high of 78% on 12/15 to 33% on 12/18 (see chart below).

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thenews
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thenews  

A Trip Through The Bitcoin Mines

Once upon a time, money - in the form of precious metals - used to be literally dug out of the earth. Limitations on the amount that could be mined, and on how much growth could be borrowed from the future (all debt is, is future consumption denied), is why eventually the world's central bankers moved from money backed by precious metals, to "money" backed by "faith and credit", in the process diluting both. It was the unprecedented explosion in credit money creation that resulted once money could be "printed" out of thin air that nearly destroyed the western financial system. Which brings us to Bitcoin, where currency "mining" takes place not in the earth's crust, or in the basement of the Federal Reserve, but inside supercomputers.

It is these supercomputers, that are the laborers of the virtual mines where Bitcoins are unearthed, that the NYT focuseson in a recent expose:

Bitcoins are invisible money, backed by no government, useful only as a speculative investment or online currency, but creating them commands a surprisingly hefty real-world infrastructure.

Instead of swinging pickaxes, these custom-built machines, which are running an open-source Bitcoin program, perform complex algorithms 24 hours a day. If they come up with the right answers before competitors around the world do, they win a block of 25 new Bitcoins from the virtual currency’s decentralized network. The network is programmed to release 21 million coins eventually. A little more than half are already out in the world, but because the system will release Bitcoins at a progressively slower rate, the work of mining could take more than 100 years.

As the following chart shows, in addition to the surge in the price of Bitcoin, another explosion witnessed recently is in the processing power of the Bitcoin network: from non-existent a couple of years ago, the "mining" power dedicated to hashing, or the calculations used to extract new Bitcoins,has risen to nearly 10 quadrillion per second!

So what do these supercomputer-populated mines look like? Below we look at two examples of just that.

* * *

First, we look at Hong Kong, where one of the largest Bitcoin mines in the world is located.

In an industrial backwater near Hong Kong's massive port, one of Asia's largest Bitcoin mines is quietly turning raw computing power into digital currency.

Located about eight miles from the city's finance hub, the entire facility is no larger than a two-bedroom apartment. Aside from a small bathroom, the mine offers no creature comforts.

It is dominated by vertical racks that house hundreds of ASIC chips. Shorthand for application-specific integrated circuits, these chips are custom-built to mine bitcoins.

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thenews
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Bitcoin prices rise 5% to trade at USD740 in post-Christmas trade

Bitcoin prices rose more than 5% on Thursday to hit a one-week high, as demand for the virtual currency remained supported amid ongoing speculation an increasing number of online retailers will begin accepting Bitcoin payments in the year ahead.

BTC/USD rose 6.4% during European morning hours to trade at USD749.50 on the Tokyo-based Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange. The currency rose to a session high of USD750.00 earlier in the day, the strongest level since December 20.

Online retail outlet Overstock.com said last week that it will start accepting Bitcoin payments as early as the second half of 2014. The website will be the first major online retailer to do so.

Prices of the virtual currency soared to an all-time high of USD1,241.10 on November 29. It was trading at USD100 in early October.

Bitcoin is digital cash for the internet and it is not backed by a government or central bank to regulate or issue it. It can be used to purchase goods and services from stores and online retailers.

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techmac
2973
techmac  

There is almost no trading of bitcoin - the way it used to be past couple of weeks this what goes on right now is close to nothing (Russia increasing its trades though ). Holiday lull for bitcoin too