Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bit-Pay Merchant Gateway API Now Online

Bit-Pay.com has come out with the next installment in their merchant service offerings, an API driven payment gateway available for Bitcoin merchants to accept BTC for products and/or services. Bit-Pay's API allows for the integration into existing shopping cart software such as Open Cart or ZenCart and for the creation of custom applications and markets that operate and trade in the Bitcoin currency.

With the API, merchants can programmatically access and manipulate invoice data:
  • Create invoices.
  • Fetch invoices.
  • Receive invoice status updates.

If you're a developer interested in writing wrappers, libraries or otherwise lend a coding hand, get in touch with Bit-Pay, they're looking for you! First, though, you might need to download the Bit-Pay API documenation. (Also, here's a node.js example for you.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

What Can I Buy With Bitcoin?

Well, the real answer is you can pretty much buy anything, but you can't pay your bills with it ... yet! However, when it comes to finding specific things you'd like to buy, that are also available for purchase with Bitcoin, can sometimes be an endeavor.

Jared Ostmeyer, of Search Bitcoin, seems to be paving the way for merchants and consumers of the Bitcoin community alike. His BTC Economy Feed, a web crawler/spider that catalogs items being sold for Bitcoin, powers a portal and search engine where you can watch a live feed of discovered items as well as browse or search for a specific one.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

World's First Bitcoin ATM

Todd Bethell, the man behind the Bitcoin automated telling machine, gives Bitcoin Insider a look into what the Bitcoin ATM is and how exactly it came to be in this two-part interview.

Bitcoin Lecture: Financing the Revolution

Yesterday, at the Chaos Communication Camp, put on by the Chaos Computer Club, a talk about Bitcoin titled "Financing the Revolution" was given. Speaking was Jeffrey Paul, an American hacker and entrepreneur currently living in Berlin.


Financing The Revolution Lecture @ Chaos Communication Camp

(Download the .MP4 video file.)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mt. Gox Acquires Bitomat.pl, Reimburses Lost Bitcoins

In an effort to steward the Bitcoin community back toward positive light, Mt. Gox has announced their acquisition of Bitomat.pl (the Polish Bitcoin exchange that wiped 17,000 BTC out of existence) and decision to reimburse users of the exchange as they roll it into a Polish arm of the Mt. Gox exchange.

The last week has shaken the confidence of the bitcoin community as a whole. Thanks to news of MyBitcoin.com collapsing with an as yet undisclosed amount of bitcoins (now in receivership), and a critical technical problem that resulted in the loss of 17,000 BTC from Bitomat.pl (bitcoin's 3rd largest exchange), the price of bitcoin has dropped into single digits for the first time since May.

Mt.Gox (Tibanne Co. Ltd.) believes that bitcoin and the community will grow and mature past these extremely unfortunate events, just as Mt.Gox endured the June hack event and has continued to prosper. Mt.Gox believes that the bitcoin market will recover from the recent price drop as trust is restored by the alliance of bitcoin related businesses.


Read more about Mt. Gox's official statement of acquiring Bitomat.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bit-Pay: Solving The Bitcoin Merchant Problem

Bit-Pay is a unique new Bitcoin merchant services provider that has come forth with their methods of solving a couple key Bitcoin merchant problems:

  • How can a merchant account for the fluctuation of Bitcoin's exchange value?
  • How can a merchant avoid the security risk of having a 3rd party act as a wallet?

Bit-Pay accomplishes these ends by cutting out the middle storage. It provides the option of instantly converting any payments received in Bitcoin to a supported currency of the merchant's choice. When a customer is routed through Bit-Pay for Bitcoin payment, the request is made in the merchant's currency, the Bitcoins are then sent and exchange, then the merchant's account is debited with the exchanged amount.

Watch the video for a more detailed explanation.

Bitcoin Nodes WebGL Globe

Stefan Thomas, the Bitcoin user behind WeUseCoins.com, has developed a really neat web application for WebGL compatible browsers in preparation for his talk at KPMG Zurich. What this means is you'll need Firefox 4 or one of the later versions of Google Chrome. What the globe represents in detail are Bitcoin broadcast nodes by city, the height and color of bars denote the amount of nodes there.


Credits go to Mike Hearn (of Google) for the idea, dump.bitcoin.it for the data, the Google Globe Experiment, and Planet Pixel Emporium for the Earth's texture.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

MyBitcoin.com Resurfaces, Claims of Major Security Breach

MyBitcoin.com is back up after a near total of ~130,000 BTC suddenly went dark last Thursday evening. Owner, Tom Williams, has issued this statement to the public:

MyBitcoin

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

From the desk of Tom Williams, operator of MyBitcoin.com

For immediate release.

As you have probably noticed, MyBitcoin.com had been down for almost a week due to an unfortunate event.

On Friday of last week we noticed that one of our pooled holding servers was missing a large amount of Bitcoins. After a prompt investigation we realized that the security of our SCI (Shopping Cart Interface) system had been breached by an unknown attacker.

Our response was rash, but necessary. We simply switched the system off until we could have system-wide forensics performed. The forensics took some time, as the system is quite complex by nature.

After weighing all of our options, we have realized that we have no option but to go into receivership. We will settle all accounts with a online claim process that we are currently in the process of working out.

We will release more detailed information about the security breach, the claim process, and our balance sheet in the next few days.

Tom Williams

Third Largest Bitcoin Exchange LOSES Wallet.dat

Bitomat.pl, the leading Polish Bitcoin exchange, as well as the third largest Bitcoin exchange internationally, reported several days ago a total loss of their Bitcoin wallet due to an extremely risky server configuration using Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud service. Bitomat had chosen to use the EC2 default state configuration, which resets itself to "factory default" after each reboot. After changes to increase the available RAM to the virtual machine, the EC2 instance was rebooted and promptly wiped. No off-site backups were taken, so in effect 17,000 BTC (~$170,000 USD value) have been "deminted" and will forever be unavailable to the network. Bitomat's owner has put the exchange service up for sale in an attempt to recoup the lost funds and repay wallet owners, you can find a copy of his official statement below:

I wish to hereby inform all bitomat users of the system failure that occurred on 26 July 2011 and of its consequences.

Let me begin with an apology for such a long delay in releasing this statement. I postponed it only for the benefit of the investigation of the causes and people responsible for the failure. Unfortunately, to date, despite intensive efforts, I haven't been able to establish the foregoing.

I also think that any longer delay wouldn't be justified and I owe you an explanation.
On 26 July 2011 at about 11:00PM, I noticed that bitcoin server was out of resources and I had to increase RAM. As a result of this operation, the virtual machine was deleted and all data lost, including bitcoin wallet and its backups.
I have established that data was lost because settings of the virtual mashine were changed, although I didn't change them myself. Amazon Web Services Company, which hosts our servers, says that the cleared machine has been set up to be irretrievably destroyed (including the data on the disks) at the shutdown.

I'm still trying to establish who has changed the settings and whether I will be able to recover the lost data. Unfortunately cooperation with Amazon Web Services is very difficult. As soon as I realized that my virtual machine was lost I have ordered AWS premium support, talked to the manager and asked for securing of the disk data. So far, without success.

Up to now I haven't been able to clearly determine the causes of the failure. I presume that's the result of third party actions, which wanted to hide their illegal activities or intentionally wanted the service to crash. If that's so, I will report the case to the authorities.

I'm still trying to recover the lost data, but it requires support from the server's owner (and that, as I mentioned earlier, is difficult).

At this point I wish to inform and assure you that your money deposited with wire transfer and not converted to BTC and unpaid money from the sale of BTC remain safe and intact. At the same time I am counting on your help in solving this problem. I realize that the situation is very difficult, and that you are concerned about your BTC funds. We are constantly working on a solution to this crisis, and I'm open to your suggestions.
Today I intend to:
* Cancel all active orders
* Restore the site and in particular enable PLN withdrawal

Your suggestions and ideas are welcome.

I would like to inform you that I had several conversations with potential investors from home and abroad. Www.bitomat.pl service is on sale for 17,000 BTC. If you are interested, please contact us at [email protected].

Regards
Bartek Szabat
Administrator of www.bitomat.pl

BTC Trader Market Charting & Analysis Application

BTC Trader is an open-source, cross-platform charting and technical analysis application for the Bitcoin exchange market. It is being developed and maintained by Coinfreak of the Bitcoin forums.

  • Live data feed from bitcoincharts.com
  • Daily data feed from Yahoo Finance
  • Rich collection of tech-analysis tools
  • Facebook and Twitter integration
  • Automatic updates

Where in the World is Tom Williams?

It seems a manhunt is on within the Bitcoin community for one suspect Tom Williams after his website started to malfunction and then ceased to serve pages to visitors at all. When the MyBitcoin.com server was taken offline, so was the gamut of Bitcoin wallets belonging to thousands of users. Tom Williams has yet to surface for air to provide any official statement, good or bad, to shed light on the situation.

Several Bitcoin users have gathered together in a private investigation and have uncovered some very interesting facts regarding MyBitcoin.com and its services. MBC was registered using a series of shell corporations based out of Charlestown, Nevis in the West Indies via a proxy domain registration service, ProxyShark. Further looks based on the address listed for the domain and into other accounts hosted on the same server as MyBitcoin revealed some interesting data; several of the other hostees have historical ties to the Bitcoin community, these parties have been reached out to in hopes that at the very least they have further information on finding real contact information for the owner of MyBitcoin. Read the entire details of the MyBitcoin.com private investigation, curated by MrTiggr of the #bitcoin-police on Freenode.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kevin Rose and Philip Rosedale Discuss Bitcoin

In this episode of the Foundation series, Kevin Rose (Digg) and Philip Rosedale (Second Life) discuss Bitcoin, its past and its current state, and speculate about the project's future.