2014 Story of the Year: Mt Gox Finally Dies

This year's biggest story in Bitcoin actually predates the founding of Qntra. Back in February Mt Gox finally closed its doors. Since Jed McCaleb opened it for Bitcoin Trading in July of 2010, through its astounding three years of incompetence and mismanagement under Mark Karpelès Mt Gox had served as a central source of drama and uncertainty in the Bitcoin space. Continue reading

The SWIFT Institute Calls For Research Into Risks Faced By Third Party Payment Providers

The SWIFT Institute, an organisation founded in April 2012 which receives funding and secretariat services from global giant SWIFT, is calling for proposals for research into the risks – money laundering, terrorist financing, gambling, fraud and phishing – third party payment providers using virtual currencies such as Bitcoin face. The selected proposal will be awarded a EUR 15,000 grant with completed research and a working paper to be submitted by August 2015. Continue reading

Collected Points From the NSA's Recent Document Dump

Numerous media outlets are going deep into the NSA's recent Christmas Eve document dump while Der Spiegel is supposing itself to cover new Snowden documents.In addition to the unsurprising post-Snowden revelation that NSA analysts routinely acted outside of their legal ability to monitor, a number of technical revelations came out about the NSA's surveillance abilities as they care to disclose them two years ago. As this document dump was an official agency disclosure take it with a grain of salt or several trucks full of salt as you feel necessary. Continue reading

Canberra Times: Police Concerned Over Online Drug Purchases

According to the Caberra Times the phenomenon of "tech-savvy young people" buying drugs online is leading to police and "crime experts" expressing concern over the phenomenon. One of the cited "crime experts", Dr Susan Goldsmid of the Australian Institute of Criminology, when asked about the size of online drug markets and the population patronizing them could not offer a response other than saying it was an "unknown" while also offering that it was unlikely in her estimation that users are buying drugs online when they have access to the traditional physical networks typically used for commerce in drugs.

Bitcoin Alliance of Canada Founder Steps Down

A circulating press release which made its way to Digital Journal reports that Anthony Di Iorio, founder of the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada is stepping down as Executive Directory. The release cites a desire to focus on his businesses and his family. Among his his replacement's businesses are CaVirtex which is a Canadian Bitcoin exchange, and a venture that refers to itself as the Bitcoin Strategy Group.

While Some Ponzi Schemes Implode, Other Fraudsters Double Down

As this year draws to a close, so too have a few of the ponzi operators masquerading as cloud miners in the Bitcoin and altcoin space. Given the concept of cloud mining lends itself to being an ideal means for scammers to conduct fractional reserve mining or straight up ponzi schemes involving no mining at all, you can expect to see such shenanigans continue in 2015. Three 'cloud miners' which appear to have gone belly up this past week are Hashie.co, LTC Gear and Hash Profit. Continue reading

Extortionist Tormented Finney's Last Months

Today Wired published a piece about the struggles of Hal Finney's family at the hands of an extortionist during the last months of his life. Reportedly Hal's wife Fran had not come forward publicly before out of fear that doing so could endanger the investigation, she is speaking publicly now with the blessing of the investigating agent. Among harassing phone calls was an instance of Swatting that forced the Finneys into the yard last winter. The extortionist was seeking 1000 BTC from Hal Finney.

Bitcoin Bowl Recap: NC State Wins (34-27)

Despite putting up the first points and attempting a late comeback, the UCF Knights couldn't overcome the NC State Wolfpack. In the first twenty one minutes of the game the lead had changed hands 4 times with a UCF field goal establishing a score (0-3) followed by an NC State touchdown (7-3), UCF touchdown (7-10), and another NC State touchdown (14-10). After that UCF was never able to retake control of the lead. Continue reading