Bitcoin trading has been vibrant last week, with prices of the digital currency skyrocketing higher by more than 25% at one point, however, during the past three days a big chunk of those gains have been given back.
We take a look at major developments around the industry with our weekly Bitcoin Picks column.
Silk Road 2.0 Taken down, Operator Arrested: “This Silk Road, in whatever form, is the road to prison”
Silk Road’s reincarnation, Silk Road 2.0, has faced the same fate as its predecessor. It has been seized by the FBI and shut down. Its alleged operator, Blake Benthall (a.k.a. “Defcon”) was arrested in San Francisco. In Dublin, another two men were also reportedly arrested due to their affiliation with the site.
The dark net site now displays a notification that it has been seized as part of a joint law enforcement operation by Europol, Eurojust, the FBI, US Department of Justice and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Following is a link to the full story about the destiny of Silk Road 2.0.
Russia Reduces Proposed Fines for Bitcoin Usage, Community Unimpressed
Russia’s Ministry of Finance has been gracious enough to lower the proposed fines for dealing in Bitcoin. The fines are stipulated in a draft bill that will ban all use of Bitcoin, including its mining, distribution and dissemination of information facilitating the aforementioned.
The size of the fine depends on whether the violator is an individual, official or company, and if the violator is actually performing the prohibited activities or disseminating information.
Following is a link to the full story about the Russian government’s fines related to Bitcoin.
Is it Worth the Pain? NFC Chip Implant Lets You Store Bitcoins in Your Body
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A Dutch entrepreneur has had two NFC-enabled chips implanted under his skin, allowing him to store bitcoins in his body.
Martijn Wismeijer, founder of Mr Bitcoin, which operates Bitcoin ATMs in Europe, has also used the chips for other applications. These include programming an alarm to ensure he wakes up on time and also plans on installing an NFC-enabled door lock at home, allowing him to ditch his house keys.
Following is a link to the full story about the Dutch entrepreneur taking his privacy to the next level.
Post FIX 4.4 Compliance, Coinsetter Creates Equity Incentives to Attract Market Makers
Expanding incentives to attract institutional financial firms on their platform, Coinsetter announced today that it is offering 10% in company equity to professional market makers who provide liquidity on the Bitcoin exchange.
The program is similar to that of electronic trading platforms for equities and foreign exchange trading where market makers are provided equity, or offered attractive rates to invest in the platform in exchange for liquidity. The equity model provides incentives for market-making firms to promote the exchange and price tight trading spreads to help the platform become competitive and valuable over the long run.
Following is a link to the full story about Coinsetter’s announcement last week.
Bank of Canada Ponders Bitcoin Benefits Amidst Mounting Popularity
Canada has had a unique relationship with cryptocurrencies, notably Bitcoin. According to Canadian tax laws, salaries received in Bitcoin are viewed as barter income and are taxed based on the equivalent in Canadian dollars, which has led to a trend of employees receiving their salaries in Bitcoin.
As a result of the growing popularity of Bitcoin domestically, Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins reiterated the necessity of awareness in dealing with currency buoyed by such loose regulation and consumer protections.
Following is a link to the full story about the Bank of Canada’s views on the digital currency.