A variety of developments transpired in the cryptocurrency realm this week, perhaps none more groundbreaking than musings surrounding Russia’s potential ban of bitcoin – meanwhile, a NJ school district found itself under siege by ransomware.
“Bitcoin Paradise” Isle of Man Introduces Regulation
Last year, Isle of Man held much promise of becoming the highly sought “Bitcoin paradise”, a standing which a number of other islands subsequently became candidates for.
Authorities pledged support for the industry even when discussing anti-money laundering (AML) measures. They expressed an openness to accepting bitcoin for tax payments, and a number of free professional services for Bitcoin startups sprung up.
Bitcoin Ransomware Cripples NJ School District, “Operating like its 1981″
The entire IT network of the Swedesboro-Woolwich School District in Gloucester County, New Jersey, has been crippled by ransomware demanding 500 bitcoins, currently worth roughly $122,500.
The District is home to four elementary schools in the area. The schools’ operational activities have been disrupted considerably. E-mail, documents and online resources have been rendered inaccessible. The scheduled Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams, which are administered online, have been delayed.
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Accused Bitcoin Ponzi Operator Trendon Shavers Pleads Not Guilty
The accused operator of the first high profile bitcoin Ponzi scheme, Trendon Shavers, has pleaded not guilty. Arrested last November, he faced up to 40 years in prison, plus fines.
Operating under the alias “pirateat40” in the online forum where he recruited investors, his Texas-based Bitcoin Savings and Trust amassed 764,000 bitcoins. The funds under his care, at the time, comprised a significant proportion of the entire float of bitcoins. He disappeared from the public eye in August 2012 and is accused of transferring 150,649 BTC to a MtGox trading account and misappropriating over $600,000 worth for personal use.
Russian Finance Minister: Bitcoin Ban to Take Effect This Year
Russia’s Deputy Minister of Finance Alexey Moiseev has reportedly told a national banking conference that the country will move to ban Bitcoin this year.
The Ministry of Finance still appears determined to forge ahead with its proposed ban, despite opposition from the Ministry of Economic Development, who pointed out that such a ban also has ramifications for non-cryptocurrency related businesses. The Interior Ministry has said that it will defer to the judgment of the central bank on the matter.