Monday, June 27, 2011

Gavin Andresen Closes ClearCoin Escrow Service

Gavin Andresen, the current Bitcoin project maintainer, has made an executive decision to close his escrow service for Bitcoin traders, ClearCoin. Existing contracts and transactions will be upheld, but nothing new can be entered into the system. He states his reasons for shutting down the website being those of time duress and possibly a hint of perfectionism, below is the official statement he left on the Bitcoin forums:

I've been struggling recently to keep ClearCoin moving forward while I also try to keep core bitcoin on track, and with all the demands on my time I can't spend the time on ClearCoin to make it a project that I'm really proud of.

Closing ClearCoin to focus on the core Bitcoin project is something I'm sure Bitcoin users are happy to accept, as I'm sure there are going to be a plethora of web application developers jumping to fill the hole that is going to be left; however what remains to be seen is how they can establish a trust with the Bitcoin community better and/or faster than Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin project lead.

(Side Note: Last week, ClearCoin was identified vulnerable to cross-site request forgery attacks, issues which Gavin promptly resolved.)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mt. Gox Reopens, New Account And Security Features

Well, as you all know, Mt. Gox reopened this morning, however the hiatus on trading will continue until tomorrow, June 26th, at 15:00 GMT. Until then you can add or withdraw funds in preparation for trading to resume.

Users logging in today will also find themselves amidst several new features:
  • Currency is represented to a more granular degree past the decimal point.
  • User transaction history now shows a BTC <-> USD split.
  • User transaction history now also shows fees incurred.
  • Deposit addresses can be reused and don't ask for the deposit amount.

How many of our readers have to wake up super early tomorrow to start placing their trades?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bitcoin Exchange Values Holding Steady

Despite the shockwaves rippling throughout the Bitcoin community (and the press beyond) following the incidents and Mt. Gox (and subsequently, further compromise of user accounts at other Bitcoin exchanges and websites where users chose the same credentials) the exchange value of BTC seems to be holding steady: it is currently trading at an average value of $15 USD, both domestically and internationally.

Mt. Gox is still not back up yet, as they are still processing user claims on their website. Trade Hill has also suspended trading for several days while they beef up security, however you are still able to deposit and withdraw funds.

One thing is certain, the Bitcoin community and economy are now under close media scrutiny after being featured in the likes of The Economist and The Guardian; and as they say, any press is good press, which means the influx of new BTC users will continue to rise.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kevin Day Makes Show Of Good Faith

In the recent controversy surrounding Mt. Gox and the major security breach they (and the entire Bitcoin community) experienced, the Bitcoin community seems to be in civil dispute about what should happen to the 643 BTC that Kevin Day acquired at a ludicrous rate of 0.0101 USD on Sunday, night of the Bitcoin hackcrash. Community members seem to be trying to burn Kevin at the stake, questioning his actions and morals, some even claiming him to actually be the Mt. Gox perpetrator.

In order to clear his name, Kevin Day (Bitcoin Forum Username: toasty) has put the bounty of Bitcoin in escrow at ClearCoin to be donated to the Bitcoin Faucet after thirty days if the whole sticky mess surrounding the scandal at Mt. Gox does not find resolution. He has requested that the Mt. Gox faculty show a similar token of good faith until that time. We have also reached out for comment to Mt. Gox on this matter.

Read more about Kevin's decision in his official announcement at the Bitcoin forums. You can also keep an eye on the escrow at ClearCoin as well, so you'll know when to head on over to the Bitcoin Faucet for free BTC.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Kevin Day, Instant Bitcoin Millionaire

06/19/11 17:51 Bought BTC 259684.77 for 0.0101

As a result of the market crash caused by the security breach at Mt. Gox yesterday, a man who watched the Bitcoin market crashing (what a hectic 20 minutes) and placed buy orders for BTC @ $0.0101, which placed him in queue above the thousands of users who placed buy orders at $0.01. 250,000 BTC, valuated at $15.00 per unit, equals over 3.5 MILLION dollars! Many of these low denomination transactions can be seen in the video of the Mt. Gox Bitcoin market crash yesterday. Watch the video below for Bruce Wagner's interview with Kevin Day and see his opinion on the Mt. Gox rollback, user security and more!

Read Kevin Day's official post on the Bitcoin forums.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Not Everything Is As It Seems At Mt. Gox

Mt. Gox was hacked and its user database exposed earlier today, as we all have become grimly aware of, but the plot slowly thickens as evidence mounts in contradiction to their official story. If they revise their official statement, you can view a webarchive version here.

Update: Mt. Gox is in fact responsible for the 432,000 BTC transfer, this was them securing all remaining Mt. Gox Bitcoin assets to a secured location.

Mt. Gox claimed that only one user account had been compromised, and ill-begotten funds hadn't surmounted a USD value of $1,000 due to their website's trade sanctions. HOWEVER, live market analysis by BitcoinChannel shows hundreds to thousands of microtransactions being made as the exchange value at Mt. Gox plummeted earlier today.

Be Concerned: MAJOR Security Breach at MtGox

Beware: At 12:30 PM (Pacific) today, 06/19/2011, the user database of Mt. Gox (the largest BTC <-> USD exchange) was leaked. Exposed data includes emails/usernames and hashed passwords.

If you use the password you used to register at Mt. Gox on ANY other website, I would highly recommend the prompt changing of said passwords.

Official Updates On Security Breach @ Mt. Gox

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bitcoin Monitor - Real Time Overview of BTC Market

Bitcoin Monitor is a great little web application and site that gives you a real time overview of the Bitcoin market: trades, transfers, and found blocks! Get an informative look at the topography of the Bitcoin economy at a glance, for time ranges in the last two hours. Make sure to bookmark the Bitcoin Monitor website!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Southern California HoJo Provides Lodging For BTC

Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that has been turning heads left and right recently, has reached yet ANOTHER milestone in gaining traction as a real, accepted currency. You can now stay at one of two hotels in Southern California and pay for your reservation and tenure in Bitcoins; what's more, after checkout, you can choose to have your room deposit refunded to you in cash!

Both hotels, Howard Johnson Main Gate and Red Roof Inn Buena Park, are currently experimenting with the idea of adopting Bitcoin as a payment system, so the process for reserving your room and paying in BTC is not as streamlined as say,, but well worth the small effort to use your digital gold.

More Information & Hotel Contact Details

Monday, June 13, 2011

Buy A Beach House In Tokyo For 3,500 Bitcoins

Well, it seems Bitcoin is being adopted more and and more as a viable, established currency; and now, you can finally buy a house. Well, it's a condo in Japan sky-rise apartment building (on the Onjuku beach front, with a view of the ocean) but who cares!? For just 3,500 BTC this gem on the Pacific Ocean could be yours to vacation in or rent out to tenants! For reference, this condo is located about 3 hours, driving, away from Tokyo.

Check out the listing for the beachfront condo in Isumi-Gun, Onjukumachi-Shinmachi-816-23 on Akasaka Real Estate. You can also follow the realtor's thread on the official Bitcoin forums as well.