Category Archive: newsletter

HolyTransaction’s Bitcoin Monthly Roundup of January 2016

Welcome to HolyTransaction’s first monthly recap for the new year of 2016. This past month of January has been marked by all time highs for the year thus far; during that time, the bitcoin price rose from a high of $430.89 on January 1st to a low of $368.49 on January 31st, according to Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp.



Since the news broke about Cryptsy’s disappearence, the exchange has officially put forward their side of the story. Paul Vernon claims that the exchange was hacked years ago, and admits to running a fractional reserve since that date. He even offered a 100 BTC reward for whoever could find the hacker. Community speculation and the piling legal documents against Cryptsy’s founder spell more bad news for the American exchange.



Months ago, Hearn was promoting Bitcoin XT, a hardfork that would have increased the Bitcoin blockchain block size in a brute force manner. The plan wasn’t able to garner community support, and Hearn eventually signed a deal to work with R3. Hearn also cited concerns about “Chinese miners” and the Great Firewall of China and what their involvement in Bitcoin meant for the longevity of the project. He left the Bitcoin community with a strong blog post on Medium, saying: “But despite knowing that Bitcoin could fail all along, the now inescapable conclusion that it has failed still saddens me greatly.” Unfortunately, many in the mainstream media took this as an opportunity to hail the death of Bitcoin; but alas, the death of Bitcoin was (again) greatly exaggerated.



Shaun Bridges, one of the government agents arrested and charged in the aftermath of the Silk Road case, which the agents were instrumental in, has been re-arrested. Bridges was found with packs of packed clothes, money, passports, and other evidence that he was planning to leave the country instead of reporting for his time in jail. There is evidence that Bridges still has Bitcoin stashed elsewhere, and the plot continues to thicken.



In a response to community outcry for better communication from those entrusted with the “original” version of Bitcoin, the Bitcoin Core team launched their social media presence this past month. They are also using popular communications platform Slack to better interface with the community. Interested users can signup at slack.bitcoincore.org to chat about the future of Bitcoin.



Former JP Morgan Chase banker Blythe Masters’ blockchain company, Digital Asset Holdings, has successfully raised $52 million for their project. The company previously bought out such bitcoin startups as Hyperledger and had been raising money through 2015 to bring the blockchain to the mainstream. The company also landed a deal with ASX Ltd., which is Australia’s main exchange operator. The blockchain is going down under, in a good way.


Thank you for reading our newsletter with the previous month’s best Bitcoin articles!

We tweet more cryptocurrency news and insights daily @HolyTransaction

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Bitcoin’s Monthly Recap of September 2015

Welcome to HolyTransaction’s ninth monthly recap for the year 2015. This past month of September has been marked by some pretty developments in old cases and the long awaited release of new products; during that time, the bitcoin price rose from a low of $229.86 on September 1st to a high of $236.12 on September 30th, according to Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp.

Mike Tyson Proud to Be In Bitcoin, Opens Bitcoin ATM in Las Vegas
Weeks ago, Mike Tyson announced that he would be releasing a Tyson branded Bitcoin ATM in Las Vegas. The Lamassu Bitcoin ATM currently sits at the Linq in Vegas, is the 7th in Sin City, and has gathered a lot of attention. Tyson believes that Bitcoin will grow as education on it grows. He commented: “People don’t really understand a currency based on numerical equations. I personally still don’t … but I’m grateful to be a part of the revolution and hoping that my participation in this space will lead to more conversations and help increase knowledge and awareness.”

More Corruption in FBI Silk Road Case As Variety Johns Comes Forward
Variety Johns, the man long associated with working with Ross Ulbricht and Silk Road, has turned himself in and revealed a very convoluted tale. He claims that a corrupt federal agent is threatening the Ulbricht family and is in control of an encrypted Bitcoin wallet with Ross Ulbricht’s bitcoins. Posting to the internet, Variety Johns revealed his real name and the alias of the supposed agent hunting him: Diamond. The years old investigation into Silk Road is still ongoing.

21 Inc. Releases 21 Bitcoin Computer
21 Inc., one of the most well-funded Bitcoin companies in the world, has released its first product: the 21 Bitcoin Computer. At its core, the Bitcoin computer is just a Raspberry Pi 2 with an attached 21 Inc. Bitcoin mining chip that is rather efficient. The Bitcoin computer enables a developer to have full access to the Bitcoin network as a full node. Already, the computer has become the #1 best selling server on Amazon.

R3 Blockchain Initiative Brings 22 International Banks Together

In a sure sign of the times, many big name banks from around the world have committed to working with new Bitcoin company R3. R3 is planning a blockchain development initiative that will update the financial infrastructure that banks use to include blockchain technology, whether or not Bitcoin will be involved remains to be seen. The CEO of R3 stated: “The addition of this new group of banks demonstrates widespread support for innovative distributed ledger solutions across the global financial services community, and we’re delighted to have them on board.”

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Satoshi

HolyTransaction releases Telegram Bot with Instant Cryptocurrency Conversion


We are excited to announce several new developments that have recently launched at HolyTransaction, in our continued effort to make digital currency easy and accessible for all.
Firstly, full conversion between Tether and our other supported cryptocurrencies is now available. Tether is blockchain-based smart property built on top of Omni Layer that is backed backed 1-to-1, by traditional currency held in Tether reserves. One TetherUST, for instance, equals one dollar. The value of each Tether never changes, meaning that there is no fear of volatility. Tethers can also be withdrawn and held in any Bitcoin wallet where you control the private key.
Secondly, we are pleased to introduce our new HolyTransaction Bot, available to users on both the Telegram and GetGems messaging platforms. The HolyTransaction Bot allows users to complete trades, view up-to-date exchange rates, and get the most recent cryptocurrency news, without ever leaving their chat client. In many countries, a strong and reliable internet connection is not always available. Our bot will allow users to conduct transactions and inquire about their favorite currencies quickly and without difficulty, all from a single chat. The HolyTransaction bot is available to users on both desktop and mobile platforms. Simply send a message to @HolyTransactionBot via either Telegram or GetGems to begin.

Bot Commands: 
          /exchange

  • ●  Conduct a trade between any of our supported currencies on the HolyTransaction platform.
    /getnews
  • ●  View the most recent cryptocurrency news.
    /rate
  • ●  Receive details on the current price of any of our supported currencies.
    /currencies
  • ●  List currencies available on the platform.        
      /help
            ●  List of BOT commands
Lastly, as part of the technology behind the HolyTransaction Bot, we have released a custom HolyTransaction API. Developers around the world are invited to use this new API to integrate the functionality of the HolyTransaction platform into their own projects. You will find more info to start developing here.

HolyTransaction is a multi cryptocurrency wallet that allows you to use Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Dash, Blackcoin, Tether, Omni Layer and RibbitRewards. We are committed to our users both near and far. Cryptocurrency is international, and so are we. Stay tuned for more news from HolyTransaction!

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Satoshi

Bitcoin’s Monthly Recap of July 2015

Welcome to HolyTransaction’s seventh monthly recap for the year 2015. This past month of July has been marked by several long awaited news and events; during that time, the bitcoin price fell from a low of $272.50 on July 1st to a high of $280.19 on July 31st, according to Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp.

Ethereum Genesis Block Released and Mining Begins
Ethereum promises to do for contracts what Bitcoin has done for payments, and its release marks a new frontier in crypto/bitcoin 2.0. In fact, Ethereum’s launch product was called ‘Frontier’ and along with an ingenious open source method for generating the genesis block, Ethereum has started its decentralized app network. Many have complained that the bare-bones, command line interface of the release is unnecessarily elitist and keeps the network small and limited to those with extensive technical know-how. Ethereum notably raised $18 million USD in late 2014, and is now on its way.

Proposed California Bitcoin Regulation Moves Forward In Better Light Than BitLicense
AB 1326, which is making its way through the California legislative process currently, has gotten a vote of approval from Bitcoin regulatory lobbying firm Coin Center. After receiving constructive criticism from Coin Center, the bill was amended to specify exactly that only companies holding customers’ funds need a license. Coin Center has a set state digital currency framework that it hopes to promote in each state. They, and the Bitcoin community, believe that companies that don’t hold customers’ funds should be free to innovate with the blockchain or a blockchain.

Bitcoin Malware on the Decline According to Kaspersky Report
A quarterly security report by the noted Kaspersky Labs has noted a lessening in the amount of Bitcoin malware since 2015 began. Kaspersky Labs is a noted security firm that has informed the public on many hacks in the past. Recently, Bitcoin malware such as cryptolocker has been used by hackers and has stricken people, corporations, and even governments across the world. Overall, in the 2nd quarter of 2015, Kaspersky Lab determined that 379,972,834 instances of computer infection occurred.

Former Reddit Employee Creating a New Decentralized Media Platform
A former employee of Reddit, Ryan X. Charles, plans to create a new app featuring a blockchain that would function like Reddit but be truly decentralized, getting rid of as many third parties as possible. Charles was initially hired by Reddit in 2015 to work on some sort of Reddit token; however, in the upper management tumult that rocked Reddit recently, Charles was let go and his project scrapped. Charles commented: “I’ve collaborated with a lot of other people to produce some of the fundamental software necessary to make a decentralized reddit. […] It’s not done yet and there is no prototype, but I would love to find collaborators to build something concrete.”

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Satoshi

Bitcoin’s Monthly Recap of June 2015

Welcome to HolyTransaction sixth monthly recap for the year 2015. This past month of June has has been eventful for Bitcoin due to events within the Bitcoin ecosystem and from the general economic world as well; during that time, the bitcoin price fell from a low of $223.51 to a high of $272.50, according to Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp.
Russia Reverses Stance on Bitcoin Ban, Open to P2P Transactions
According to Russian media Izvestia, the Russian government is expected to reverse its stance on Bitcoin in the coming months. Over the last year, different arms of the Russian government have come forward with different opinions on Bitcoin, with the Central Bank being notably open to the idea of cryptocurrencies. This news comes on the heels of a reversal on a website ban affecting several Russian Bitcoin sites. Around the world, an anti-Bitcoin stance is increasingly becoming more and more unpopular.
Decentralized Marketplace OpenBazaar Receives $1 Million USD Funding
The decentralized marketplace project, OpenBazaar, has raised $1 million USD in funding from names such as Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures. OpenBazaar has sometimes been called the spiritual successor to infamous marketplaces such as the Silk Road. Of course, that is not the purpose of the project; however, the applications of a secure and open marketplace software has obvious implications for the black market. The infusion of venture capital money into such a controversial area shows the promise of Bitcoin technology in the world of commerce.
Silk Road Investigator Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering
In the latest drama from the Silk Road drug market takedown, one of two federal agents working on the Silk Road case has plead guilty to money laundering, extortion, and other crimes. Carl Force infiltrated the Silk Road marketplace as the head of the Baltimore-based team that took down the infamous site; however, while leading the investigation, Force stole money from Silk Road and the now convicted Ross Ulbricht. Force even signed a movie deal with 20th Century Fox to detail his exploits. Another agent, Shaun Bridges, also plead guilty to similar crimes.
Nasdaq Private Market Works with Chain to use Bitcoin
In a continued show of interest in Bitcoin technology, the Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. has chosen Bitcoin startup Chain to test a new type of trading. Using Bitcoin technology, Nasdaq hopes to secure the trading of private company shares. The Nasdaq Private Market currently services pre-IPO trading of shares in private companies and blockchain technology will manifest here first. Nasdaq’s CEO Bob Greifeld explained: “As blockchain technology continues to redefine not only how the exchange sector operates, but the global financial economy as a whole, Nasdaq aims to be at the center of this watershed development.”
Greek Economic Crisis Raises Bitcoin Awareness
For the last month, the world has been eagerly watching Greece struggle with the European Union over its debt and a proposed deal to save the beleaguered country. In the meantime, banks, PayPal, and Western Union have all taken a much-felt hiatus from the country, leaving the Greek people to suffer financially. In this economic turmoil, many have started learning about Bitcoin. Bitcoin companies across Europe are reporting increased levels of usage and activity from the Greek area. In 2014, when Cyprus was having similar issues, interest in Bitcoin also experienced a noticeable jump.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Satoshi

Bitcoin’s Monthly Recap of May 2015

Welcome to HolyTransaction’s fifth monthly recap for the year 2015. This past month of May has reminded everyone in the Bitcoin world why we are here; during that time, the bitcoin price fell from a high of $231 to a low of $223.51, according to Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp.

Roger Ver and OKCoin Dispute Over Bitcoin.com
Since the news months ago that the highly-visible Bitcoin.com domain would be managed by Chinese Bitcoin exchange OKCoin, things have really changed. In a series of Reddit posts, Roger Ver, OKCoin, and former OKCoin employees aired out all of their dirty laundry. Amid accusations of forged contracts and blatant lies, the spat resulted in a huge blow to the reputation of OKCoin. Bitcoin.com currently redirects to Bitcoin.org, which is maintained by the Bitcoin Foundation.

Bitcoin Exchange BitFinex Hot Wallet Hacked
BitFinex, one of the leading Bitcoin exchanges, has been hacked for just over 1500 BTC earlier in May. According to the exchange, trading was not affected and 99.5% of users’ funds were never accessible to the hacker. The hack, while unfortunate, demonstrates the efficacy of cold and hot wallets, which may have been the downfall of Mt. Gox. Notably, another European Bitcoin exchange, BitStamp, also suffered a hot wallet hack earlier in 2015.

Ross Ulbricht Sentenced to Life In Prison
Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the Deep Web marketplace Silk Road, has been sentenced to life in prison. Many in the community feel that a life sentence is too harsh given the nature of Ulbricht’s crimes. An appeal is planned by Ulbricht’s defense lawyer, Joshua Dratel. Notably, the trial which convicted Ulbricht did not allow the introduction of key evidence that may tell a different story. The sentence was passed by Judge Katherine Forrest, who was appointed to her federal judgeship on the recommendation of Senator Schumner, the first politician to publicly call for the takedown of Silk Road.

North Carolina Passes Bitcoin Bill
The House of Representatives from North Carolina has passed a new bill to modify the Money Transmitters Act. The bill, HB 289, specifically includes and clarifies the state’s stance on virtual currencies such as Bitcoin. The bill was introduced by Republican Representative Stephen M. Ross, who is also a VP at Wells Fargo. The Bitcoin community has been receptive to North Carolina’s clarification, which contrasts with actions from states such as New York. Perianne Boring, the founder of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, commented: “I would be rather straight forward and say that the community favors regulatory clarity over ambiguity that can create ultimately greater exposure for companies, especially those that do not have the legal budgets necessary to evaluate the ambiguities. The legislation represents a lighter touch than the NY DFS proposal by protecting the interest of consumers but  not imposing any additional regulatory burdens or costs on business to business transactions.  It also has avoided some of the pitfalls of existing statutory schemes.  It may not be what a  segment of the community wants – no regulation. But NC is not a no regulation state and this is a useful step forward in making the law work for digital currency companies.”

Ripple Labs Receives $28 Million USD in Funding
Ripple Labs, the company behind the Ripple payment protocol and network, has recently closed a $28 million USD funding round. This round marks their Series A funding and saw many participants from around the world. Ripple has made waves in the digital currency space by sealing deals with several banks around the world. However, Ripple has also faced increasing scrutiny from users wary of centralized control as well as Stellar, an offshoot created by one of Ripple’s original founders which even used some of the same code. Chris Larsen, Ripple Labs’ CEO, commented: “With investors like CME Group and Seagate joining the fold, we’re well positioned to accelerate adoption amongst these key customers.”

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Satoshi

Bitcoin’s Monthly Recap of April 2015

Welcome to HolyTransaction’s fourth monthly recap for the year 2015. This past month of April has tested the Bitcoin community’s resolve; during that time, the bitcoin price fell from a high of $244.24 to a low of $231, according to Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp.
Rand Paul is the First Presidential Candidate to Accept Bitcoin Donations

United States Senator Rand Paul announced that he would accept Bitcoin donations to fund his 2016 presidential bid. Paul believes that his use of bitcoins and his progressive stance on technology will win over the younger generation in the presidential election. Rand Paul and his supporters believe that the government should have a more hands-off approach to money, and Bitcoin promotes just that. Federal campaigns are allowed to accept Bitcoin donations thanks to an FEC decision released earlier.

Bitcoin Summit to Be Held on Richard Branson’s Private Island

Bitcoin supporter and founder of the Virgin Galactic corporation, Richard Branson, has been associated with a new Bitcoin Summit that average Bitcoin users are considering high-brow. Back in February, Bruce Fenton, the current executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation, hosted something called the Satoshi Roundtable on a Caribbean island. Though this Bitcoin Summit uses Richard Branson’s island, the event is hosted by a company, not him. The Summit will take place on Necker Island and will feature lots of people.

Ross Ulbricht Denied Retrial Despite New Charges Against Corrupt Agents

In March, Ross Ulbricht was convicted of running the underground marketplace Silk Road in court. However, weeks after his trial, new charges against agents instrumental in bringing down Ross Ulbricht and the Silk Road came to light. Two federal agents stole money from the investigation, and evidence in that case even supports the theory that the FBI illegally hacked the location of the Silk Road servers. Despite the obvious corruption and potential for subterfuge in the investigation, the sentence from before still stands.

Bitcoin Core Development Funding Moves from Bitcoin Foundation to MIT

Since the hectic reshuffling of the Bitcoin Foundation and its functions, the responsibility of Bitcoin core development funding has passed to the MIT Media Lab. The MIT Media Lab supports various other open source projects in the crypto and tech space. Gavin Andresen, Wladimir Van Der Laan and Cory Fields will now take salaries from the MIT Media Lab. Andresen explained how Bitcoin development will remain un-controlled: “The Bitcoin Foundation was never the center of development; the Bitcoin core open-source software project has been the center, and like most open-source software projects, the developers who work on Bitcoin core are supported in many different ways. Some work for companies that want to see Bitcoin succeed, some for nonprofits, and many are self-funded and self-motivated.”

Bitcoin is Value Added Tax (VAT) Exempt in Spain

The General Directorate of Taxes in Spain has responded to a request for clarification regarding virtual currencies. In their decision, the DGT stated that virtual currencies work as a means of payment and can be labeled as a financial service, and not subject to a VAT. Other countries in Europe have also taken similar stances on the taxation of Bitcoin. Bitcoin startups in these countries are using the clarified regulations to move forward in innovation.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Satoshi

Bitcoin’s Monthly Recap of March 2015

Welcome to HolyTransaction’s third monthly recap for the year 2015. This past month of March has been a real eye opener for the Bitcoin community; during that time, the bitcoin price fell from a high of $258.34 to a low of $244.24, according to Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp.

Third US Marshals Service Silk Road Bitcoin Auction Completed
http://www.coindesk.com/third-usms-bitcoin-auction-bidder-interest/

Compared with the previous two US Marshals Service auctions of Silk Road bitcoins, the number of participants was lower. However, at 14 bidders placing 34 bids during the auction, the participation is markedly higher than the second Silk Road Bitcoin auction which saw a low of 11 bidders. These USMS auctions have been ongoing since before Ross Ulbricht’s trial because of a deal struck in January of 2014 between the courts and Ulbricht and Ulbricht’s lawyer. At the time of the auction, the block of 50,000 BTC was worth roughly $13.4 million USD. The first auction was won by noted venture capitalist Tim Draper while the second auction was won by SecondMarket, the offerers of the new $GBTC Bitcoin investment fund. There remains one last auction of Ross Ulbricht’s bitcoins, seized during the Silk Road trial, for a block of 44,000 bitcoins. The final auction date has not been set.

Bitcoin Investment Trust Bitcoin “ETF” Shares Trading On OTC Market Before Winklevoss’s
http://www.nasdaq.com/article/the-first-bitcoin-etf-offers-easy-way-to-profit-from-virtual-currency-gbtc-cm450589#/ixzz3VcocZkx0

The Bitcoin Investment Trust, created by SecondMarket, has received approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to launch a Bitcoin fund and sell shares on the OTC market. Though Silbert has since moved on to the Digital Currency Group, his influence is still felt. Notably, the GBTC Bitcoin fund isn’t technically an ETF but it has launched ahead of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust ETF, which was gunning to be the first but is still mired in the regulatory approval process. The current price of a GBTC share, however, is well, over the market price of bitcoin. For accredited investors, there is now a new safe way to bet on Bitcoin volatility.

T-Mobile Accepts Bitcoin in Poland and Even Offers 20% Bonus
http://bitcoinist.net/t-mobile-poland-discount-bitcoin-purchases/

T-Mobile in Poland has started to embrace Bitcoin like no other large telecom service provider before. Polish users of the T-Mobile cell network can now top off their accounts using bitcoin, which is accepted online, and receive a 20% bonus: Talk about incentive! In Poland, T-Mobile is one of the largest mobile phone operators with well over 15 million customers in the European country. The bonus and bitcoin acceptance comes from a partnership with Warsaw-based payments company, InPay. T-Mobile is currently testing out a 3 month trial. The Polish Bitcoin community is strong, as evidenced by this deal. Internationally, there have been Bitcoin for mobile minute credits and/or code conversion websites for years; however, the acceptance of Bitcoin by a major provider in a major country is a major milestone.

Dark Net Marketplace Evolution Admins Disappear with $12 million USD in Bitcoin
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/18/bitcoin-deep-web-evolution-exit-scam-12-million-dollars

Following the arrest of Ross Ulbricht in October of 2013, Evolution was one of many underground marketplaces to spring up on the infamous darknet. In fact, another underground marketplace called Sheep Marketplace also saw its owner disappear with user funds. Users and law enforcement alike have started to look for the thieves that have perpetrated the latest “Bitcoin exit scam.” The Bitcoin price fell on the news of the marketplace disappearing and hasn’t recovered since.

In the standard budget proceedings this year, Chancellor George Osborne released the government’s research on digital currency to date. The United Kingdom has taken an admirable approach to regulating but not stifling Bitcoin and digital currency innovation within the historical world financial capital of London. Future legislation from the UK will include measures to protect and support digital currencies and their related business development. Many Bitcoin companies in the UK stepped up to teach the government about digital currency when the “call for information” was released months ago.

Two Federal Agents Arrested, Charged With Stealing Bitcoins and Blackmailing During Silk Road Investigation
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/03/30/federal-agents-charged-with-stealing-bitcoin-from-silk-road-case/70672058/

Two former federal agents, Carl Force of the DEA and Shaun Bridges of the Secret Service, have been charged with counts of money laundering, wire fraud, theft, and conflict of interest. Agent Force is charged with blackmailing nearly a million dollars worth of bitcoin from Ross Ulbricht, who was recently convicted of running the Silk Road underground marketplace that only used bitcoins. Force also worked at Bitcoin exchange CoinMKT as their supposed anti-money laundering and compliance officer. The evidence and charges against agents directly involved in the takedown of Silk Road did not appear in Ulbricht’s trial because they were sealed at the time. Bridges, on the other hand, allegedly stole nearly $800,000 worth of bitcoins from the government after the bitcoins were seized from Silk Road servers. These newest revelations have undoubtedly shaken things up for those following the Silk Road Bitcoin story with interest.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Satoshi

Bitcoin’s Monthly Recap of February 2015

Welcome to HolyTransaction’s February monthly recap for the year 2015. During this past month of February, the bitcoin price fell from a low of $226.93 to a high of $258.34, according to Bitstamp.

Payment Processor Stripe Lets Its Businesses Accept Bitcoin Simply

Starting a few weeks ago, the popular online payment processor Stripe ended its Bitcoin beta and rolled out the ability to accept bitcoin to any of its business customers. International businesses that use Stripe include Facebook, Lyft, and Kickstarter. Any of these companies could now start accepting Bitcoin with just a few lines of code. Stripe processes Bitcoin payments for a cost of .5% and uses Coinbase to facilitate the fiat settlement. Bitcoin’s reach expands by thousands of merchants and Stripe, which has also backed other cryptocurrencies in the budding industry, shows just how serious it is about Bitcoin and the power of the blockchain.

Dread Pirate Roberts Unmasked: Ross Ulbricht Convicted On All Charges

After hearing days of testimony from both sides, the jury in the historic Silk Road trial found Ross Ulbricht guilty on all charges. The jury found the government’s evidence that Ross Ulbricht was operating Silk Road under the pseudonym ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ since day one. Ulbricht’s defense, led by lawyer Joshua Dratel, rested his entire defense on suggesting that Ross Ulbricht may have founded Silk Road but he had long ago left it to a successor, who then came back around to frame Ulbricht. The chat logs from the laptop that was taken from Ulbricht’s hands at a public library where he was using it may have been forged, the defense alleged. The jury was not convinced, and Ulbricht is now behind bars pending sentencing later this year.

CNN’s Morgan Spurlock Of Super Size Me Finds The Inside Scoop On Bitcoin

Morgan Spurlock, of Super Size me fame, has done it again with an episode in his CNN show Inside Man. He spearheads an entire episode dedicated to the new e-currency known as Bitcoin. The episode follows Spurlock as he survived on only Bitcoin for a week. That means that he only lived on things that he could spend bitcoins on, and learned a lot about it in the process. He lived his week in New York where he was able to talk bitcoin with Bitcoiners from the New York Bitcoin Center. The episode went a long way in introducing Bitcoin to a largely uneducated populace and a different demographic.

Dell Starts Accepting Bitcoin In United Kingdom and Canada

Ousting Newegg and TigerDirect, Dell is now the largest electronic retailer that accepts bitcoin internationally. Earlier in February, Dell announced that it was happy with its US bitcoin pilot and was not extending bitcoin acceptance to Canada and the United Kingdom. The international company emphasized that businesses and customers are using bitcoin to purchase just about everything that Dell has to offer. Dell has even processed as much as $50,000 worth of bitcoin for a single item purchase, a large server system. Dell uses Coinbase as a third party payment processor to accept bitcoin. In Dell’s words: “This form of payment is clearly resonating with consumer, small and medium businesses.”

Ledger Hardware Bitcoin Wallet Startup Raises 1.3 Million Euro Seed Round

French hardware Bitcoin wallet maker Ledger recently announced the closing of a 1.3 million euro seed round led by French VC fund XAnge Private Equity. Other investors such as Hi-Pay and Pascal Gauthier, CEO of Bitcoin stealth startup Challenger Deep. Ledger’s first hardware wallet offering, the Nano Wallet, was released at the end of 2014 and was quite popular. Ledger was created by a fortuitous meeting of minds at the French la Maison du Bitcoin, the first “Bitcoin embassy” in Europe. To date, Ledger has already sold thousands of Nano wallets in several dozen countries. Future plans for the bitcoin wallet include NFC and Bluetooth LE capabilities. The startup has also announced plans to move to America with the new funding and participate in some accelerators.

Privacy Centric Cryptocurrency Dash Unveils InstantX Transactions

The new version of the Dash Core wallet, v.0.11.1, will include InstantX. InstantX adds on top of existing Dashsend and MasterNode anonymity features that will have the industry standard 6 confirmations in an average of 1.25 minutes. Dash is different from Bitcoin because it uses the X11 hashing algorithm instead of the SHA-256 algorithm, which makes it much more ASIC resistant. Upon the successful implementation of the InstantX feature, the Dash price experienced a notable rise in value at the exchanges. The Dash development team has promised future updates and new features, some that have been seen on Bitcoin’s wish list and some that have not.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Satoshi

Bitcoin’s Monthly Recap of January 2015

Welcome to HolyTransaction’s first monthly recap for the year 2015. This past month of January has been a great opener for the Bitcoin community; during that time, the bitcoin price fell from a high of $321 to a low of $226.93, according to Bitstamp.

Bitcoin Exchange Bitstamp Loses 12% of Bitcoins in Security Breach
Early in January, the world was again shocked by another high-profile Bitcoin theft from a high-volume Bitcoin exchange. Bitstamp, the exchange in question, halted trading on 1/4/15 after telling customers “we have reason to believe that one of Bitstamp’s operational wallets was compromised on January 4th, 2015.” The Bitcoin exchange avoided their booth at the Bitcoin World at CES 2015 and worked to fix and migrate their exchange while trading, withdrawals, and deposits were halted for several days. Bitstamp has since returned and offered zero trading fees for a limited time as a form of apology. Many attribute the fallen Bitcoin price to the high-profile Bitcoin exchange theft.

Coinbase Raises $75 Million USD in Series C Funding Round
Coinbase recently announced the closing of its $75 million USD Series C funding round that Bitcoin users around the world have been expecting since late last year. The Bitcoin service has currently raised $106 million USD to date. Round participants included DFJ Growth, USAA, the NYSE, and more. In a good sign for the company’s investor confidence, previous investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Ribbit Capital also joined in the round. Besides Coinbase, other Bitcoin companies have started off the year strong with millions of dollars in funding for Bitcoin 1.0 and Bitcoin 2.0 applications and technologies thus far in the year.

Coinbase Launches Lunar: Supposedly the First Regulated American Bitcoin Exchange
Coinbase has just announced its Bitcoin exchange, called Lunar, which industry experts have been suspecting to be in the works for months now. Coinbase seems to have been drawn out to release its Bitcoin exchange by the announcement of the Gemini Bitcoin exchange by the Winklevoss twins. Lunar currently only supports roughly half of American states; additionally, Coinbase has taken some criticism for claiming to the “first” and “regulated” in this space. The California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) has told Bitcoin media sources: “The California Department of Business Oversight has not decided whether to regulate virtual currency transactions, or the businesses that arrange such transactions, under the state’s Money Transmission Act. California consumers should be aware Coinbase Exchange is not regulated or licensed by the state.”

Reddit Decides to Ditch RedditNotes and Cryptocurrency Engineer
Former BitPay employee Ryan Charles has been recently let go by Reddit amid internal company strife and change of direction. The former-CEO of Reddit, Yishan, was apparently the one that was pushing for a Reddit cryptocurrency, popularly dubbed Redditnotes. Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing anything from Reddit anytime soon, and Ryan Charles won’t be involved. Charles has already started planning his next move in the Bitcoin sphere, where he believes that Bitcoin 1.0 opportunities are still widely available and largely unexplored.

Ross Ulbricht Stands Trial for Alleged Role as Dread Pirate Roberts on Deep Web Market Silk Road
Ross Ulbricht and the Silk Road trial started this past month in a monumental case for both privacy and Bitcoin. The government is presenting evidence that Ross Ulbricht is none other than the Dread Pirate Robert (DPR) that ran the Silk Road for the entirety of its existence. Ulbricht’s defense lawyer, Dratel, tried to make it clear to jurors that digital evidence could be planted, fabricated, distorted, moved, or “manipulated.” Even has Silk Road 1.0’s trial is just finishing, Silk Road 2.0’s legal consequences are also unfolding. Meanwhile, Silk Road 3.0 and over a dozen copycat Deep web marketplaces continue to thrive.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Satoshi