Tag Archives: bitcoin news

Microsoft Opens to Bitcoin

Since the end of 2014 Microsoft Corporation has started to test the blockchain technology.

In fact, Microsoft wants to create its own blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) product and since they have opened their Azure cloud computing platform, the American company has added a growing number of partners to its BaaS solution including ConsenSys, Emercoin and MultiChain.
With Azure and BaaS people will be able to use different technologies (from smart contracts to blockchain-based tax reporting services) in a safer and easier way than in the past.
We can’t wait to see the finished product and Marley Gray, Microsoft‘s director of technology strategy, promises that this “certified blockchain marketplace” will be ready within this spring.
The Importance of the Blockchain
Although blockchain is revolutioning the whole payments system, the real revolution are the bitcoins behind it.
The Blockchain is a secure ledger that records and stores every transaction in the network. Thanks to that there is no need for “trusted” third parties such as banks and this is why the Blockchain is a great game changer.
Its implications extend not only to bitcoin transactions, but it can be useful in various fields: from real estate to copyrights, from music to cinema, etc. In fact nowadays there is an increasing number of new startups that are working on innovative projects based on the blockchain with multipurpose uses and aims.
And one thing is certain: if anything was not invented yet, it is just temporary, because the blockchain allows all kinds of experimentation.

About the author: Amelia Tomasicchio is a writer and a journalist of Bitcoin-related news and articles. She started writing about Bitcoin in 2014 and she graduated in Rome with an essay about movie industry related to Bitcoin.

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Amelia Tomasicchio

HolyTransaction Telegram Bot for Crypto Conversion

HT logo with cryptocurrencies
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 Telegram Bot, available to users on both the Telegram and GetGems messaging platforms. The HolyTransaction Bot allows users to 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:

  • ●  Conduct a trade between any of our supported currencies on the HolyTransaction
  • ●  View the most recent cryptocurrency news.
  • ●  Receive details on the current price of any of our supported currencies.
  • ●  List currencies available on the platform.

            ●  List of BOT commands
Lastly, as part of the technology behind the HolyTransaction Telegram 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.
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.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Bitcoin’s Monthly Recap of August 2015

Welcome to HolyTransaction’s eight monthly recap for the year 2015. This past month of August has seen a divided community and increased discussion and involvement from all the Bitcoin industry; during that time, the bitcoin price fell from a high of $280.19 on August 1st to a low of $229.86 on July 31st, according to Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp.
Failed Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles Arrested in Japan
Earlier this month, Mt. Gox’s CEO Mark Karpeles was arrested in Japan in connection with his failed Bitcoin exchange. Mt. Gox was notably Bitcoin’s first major exchange and its downfall in 2014 rocked the industry. Karpeles first claimed that the missing millions from Mt. Gox were taken by a hacker, but he has not admitted to adjusting and misusing customer funds. Now that Karpeles is in Japanese police custody, many are hoping that justice will be served and the truth will come to light.
HolyTransaction and other Companies Leave New York Due to BitLicense
HolyTransaction and many other Bitcoin companies, notably Bitocin exchanges such as BitFinex, have banned users with New York IP addresses. The infamous New York Department of Financial Services BitLicense required companies to apply by an August date. Instead of spending the money to pay this “troll tax” a handful of Bitcoin companies have decided to warn NY users away instead.
Bitcoin Gains Ground Down Under
The Australian Senate Economics Reference Committee released a report in early August that took a deep look at Bitcoin. the report was titled “Digital currency – Game changer or bit player.” Australia notably enacted then rescinded a GST tax on Bitcoin transactions, an action that curbed the growth of the Bitcoin industry in Australia for awhile. Australian Labor Senator Sam Dastyari commented on Bitcoin’s renewed opportunity in Australia: “Without a doubt, the main benefit will be the confidence and certainty that removing a GST will provide to our own digital entrepreneurs, and the foreign businesses who want to set up here.”
Blocksize Debate Rages Between BIP 101, BIP 100, and Bitcoin XT
Different companies, developers, miners, and full node runners have all voiced their opinion on how to raise the Bitcoin blockchain block size. While companies like BitPay and Blockchain.info prefer BIP 101 for the block size increase, mining pools are casting their votes for BIP 100. Meanwhile, Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn are still pushing for Bitcoin XT. In reality, the Bitcoin network will make its decision the way it always has: through decentralized consensus. Most recently, Bitcoin’s developers (minus Andresen and Hearn) have signed an open letter to the Bitcoin community promising to come to a technical consensus on Bitcoin scalability.

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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


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


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


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


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


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.

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Top 10 awesome facts about Bitcoin

Here are ten awesome Bitcoin facts, success or disasters that you may not be aware of, enjoy!

You suddenly wish you could go back to university, but you only have bitcoins left because of your forward-thinking state of mind? Do not panic: you are now able to pay your tuition fees with Bitcoins for the famous New-Yorker university of The King’s College!

However, if you are not living on the American soil, be aware that it exists the same kind of initiative, for example by the University of Cumbria in the United Kingdom, or also by the University of Nicosia, in Cyprus. The latter also features a degree in « Digital Currencies » for its student that highlights Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Boulevard

Are you visiting the Netherlands? Do not miss the Bitcoin Boulevard located in the Hague, which offers a unique feature: A high majority of shopkeepers who are located on the two streets that go alongside the channel – Bierkade and Groenewegje – now accept Bitcoin, following an initiative submitted by Hendrik Jan Hilbolling and Peter Klasen.

You can therefore have dinner in one of the nine restaurants that participate to the operation, or you can go shopping in the art gallery also located there, thanks to your favorite cryptocurrency. Some other streets seem to follow the same move, in particular in the United States: for example, the North-American Bitcoin Boulevard located in Cleveland Heights, in Ohio.

The first transaction

Bitcoin has enabled 43 472 379 transactions since its creation through its network. However, you will be certainly interested by knowing who initiated the first transaction.

It is no one else but Satoshi Nakamoto, the fantastic Bitcoin and underlying technology creator, who sent 100 bitcoins to Hal Finney on January 12th, 2009.

Hal Finney has been involved for a long time in the cryptography community. For years, he has been working with PGP Corporation, developing one of the most famous encryption system (The company was holding the rights for the PGP system, developed at the origin by Phil Zimmermann). He launched then the first anonymous remailer used to encode his emails, and was also implicated in the cypher-punks’ movement.

On a Bitcointalks post, Hal explained how it happened:
When Satoshi announced the first release of the software, I grabbed it right away. I think I was the first person besides Satoshi to run Bitcoin [client]. I mined block 70-something, and I was the recipient of the first Bitcoin transaction, when Satoshi sent ten coins to me as a test. I carried on an email conversation with Satoshi over the next few days, mostly me reporting bugs and him fixing them.
After a few days, Bitcoin [client] was running pretty stably, so I left it running. Those were the days when difficulty was 1, and you could find blocks with a CPU, not even a GPU. I mined several blocks over the next days. But I turned it off because it made my computer run hot, and the fan noise bothered me. In retrospect, I wish I had kept it up longer, but on the other hand I was extraordinarily lucky to be there, at the beginning. It’s one of those glass half full half empty things.

The million dollar Bitcoin pizza

On May 22nd, 2010, a Bitcoiner named Laszlo Hanyecz paid to a Bitcointalks forum user not less than 10 000 BTC for two Papa John’s pizzas. What can be considered as an incredible amount (5 619 700$ worth of BTC nowadays) was equivalent to 30$, according to the exchange rate applied at this time, estimated to 0,003 cents per Bitcoin. Mr. Hanyecz said he had acquired these bitcoins by mining on his computer.
“It wasn’t like bitcoins had any value back then, so the idea of trading them for pizza was incredibly cool,” said Mr. Hanyecz. But when asked about the current value of the cryptocurrency, he adds: “No one knew it was going to get so big.”
Questioned about possible regrets, he adds:
“No, not really,” Mr. Hanyecz said. Then he sold his bitcoins when the price was around 1$, getting 4000$ “That was enough to get a new computer and a couple of new video cards, so I’d say I ended up on top.”

A Bitcoin master swindle

On November 4th, 2011, a BitcoinTalks forum user named pirateat40 has announced the creation of a Bitcoin investment fund, promising to the investors a return on investment of 7% per week.
Despite numerous suspicious elements and ridiculous incentives to invest such as “It’s growing, it’s growing!”, “I have yet to come close to taking a loss on any deal,” and even “risk is almost 0”, the fund encountered a fast and great success: according to the SEC report, more than 700 467 BTC, the equivalent of 411,7 million dollars, have been collected by Trendon Shavers, a.k.a pirateat40.
Contrary to the presentations made to the investors, the fund was not performing any trading activities; in addition, the users have never seen their « invested » bitcoins again.

Here is an infographic explaining the whole swindle scheme

More Bitcoin users in Poland than in France

While France is way ahead in terms of GDP (2,737,361 Millions of USD, FMI, 2013) at the 5th position, and Poland is at the 22nd position (516,128 Millions of USD, FMI, 2013), it seems that there are more Bitcoin users in Poland than in France!
This is the stunning fact that the download statistics of the most-downloaded Bitcoin client (Bitcoin-Core, totalizing 5M+ downloads) seem to indicate since January 2009: it has been downloaded 124,748 times by users having an IP located in Poland since January 2009, against 106,780 in France.
A first sketch of the explanation can be found in the progressive state of mind adopted by the Polish government:
Everything that is not forbidden is allowed. However, in light of EU legislation, we can’t recognize Bitcoin as legal tender or electronic money. Bitcoin capital gains are taxed as ordinary income. […] We don’t stand in the way of bitcoin’s development, but we need a declaration from its users whether they expect any regulations to be introduced or rather prefer the government to stand aside.
Krzysztof Piech, Ph.D. from Warsaw School of Economics, said that Poland is in the top 10 in the number of bitcoins mined, and Polish bitcoin trading volume is one of the biggest in the world. He also emphasized bitcoin’s potential for the Polish economy.
However, to reassure our French readers, we want to add that in terms of Bitcoin nodes, one has to admit that France keeps a clear advantage.

64% is the estimated part of present « ghost » Bitcoins on the Blockchain according to a study made by the California University

The history of Bitcoin is regularly studded by stories of users who have lost their private keys and who are not still able to use their bitcoins. See two examples of bitcoins who have not been spent for a very (very!) long while:
• 1FeexV6bAHb8ybZjqQMjJrcCrHGW9sb6uF : 75,957 bitcoins which have never been spent. Address created on March 1st 2011.
• 12tkqA9xSoowkzoERHMWNKsTey55YEBqkv : 28,150 bitcoins which have never been spent. Address created on April 5th, 2010.
The computing power of the Bitcoin network is 7468 times higher than the one of the cumulative 500 world supercomputers
Indeed, the computing power of the whole Bitcoin network is estimated to 2 046 364 Pflop/s, against 274 Pflop/s for the cumulative 500 most powerful world supercomputers.
First of all, it is important to note that Bitcoin miners are not performing any floating point operations (FLOP) but only integer calculus. How have we then been able to proceed? It’s very easy, in fact:
1 hash = 6.35K integer operations
1 integer operation = 2 floating point operations
1 hash = 12.7K floating point operations
Then, using this rate of one hash = 12,7K flop, and by analyzing the current hashrate of the Bitcoin network which peaks to 161 131 086 gh/s on July 31st 2014, we get an estimation of 10^9*161131086 H/s * 12700 = 2 046 364,7922 Petaflops. So much computing power that could have been possibly used in modelization purposes, for medicine, astronomy, physics. Damn bitcoiners!

The largest transaction ever made on the network: 194 993 BTC


It represents more than 114 million of dollars, according to the effective rate on 07/31/2014. « A shitload of money » is the comment submitted by the recipient of the funds about the transaction. We can only agree!

Some reddit users, such as gen_gen, had fun by trying to identify the author of this colossal transaction :

Interesting findings:

Going further down the tree from that tx shows that these two addresses are extremely likely Bitstamp cold wallets:17ewBhK712mY2E4uPAbinThibdY2LRyabd (85,993 btc)1DKH2oZtrcAAoZXsNJQnKBwKYaYdx5KrVV (39,200 btc) Also based on https://blockchain.info/tx/5d8a61b66c003743ba782b0b3931a782d8e0f1cdd8e4c2551faf15fc9334bdb5, it looks like 1Drt3c8pSdrkyjuBiwVcSSixZwQtMZ3Tew is a Bitstamp hot wallet.

And gen_gen was right!

Bitcoin’s Tiger Woods

In October 2009, so more than 10 months after the launch of the cryptocurrency, the bitcoins was traded at an extremely competitive rate: 1$ for 1,309BTC which is equivalent to less than 0,00076$ per Bitcoin.

Assuming you had spent 308 dollars in order to acquire your first 403,712 bitcoins, and that you would have sold them in December 2013 at the famous peak of $1240 / BTC, you would have a fortune of $501,556,440, which is the personal wealth of Tiger Woods added of one million of dollars ($500 000 000)!

Not a golf fan? No problem, let’s focus on soccer. You would have had to spend 80$ in bitcoins (104,720 BTC) in order to overtake the fortune of the international star Christiano Ronaldo, namely $130 000 000.

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Crowdfunding campaign aims to promote Bitcoin at NASCAR

(CoinDesk) Following the dogecoin community’s sponsorship of NASCAR driver Josh Wise at Telledega, bitcoin may soon boast its own promotional racer in the iconic US series.
Rookie driver Alex Bowman and his team, BK Racing, have announced their involvement in a crowdfunding campaign called ‘Bitcoin23’ that aims to bring a bitcoin-themed car to the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
The campaign kicks off today and runs until 20th August, with the aim to promote bitcoin while supporting the 21-year-old driver.
With the support of the bitcoin community, the organisers hope to raise $100,000 for a full sponsorship.
If successful, the team and driver will run the bitcoin-branded car during the Labor Day weekend race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on 29th-31st August.
Bitcoin is changing the way people think about how they spend money and pay for things,” said Bowman.

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