The merchant services space hasn't quite taken off the way "the community"1 anticipated. Despite the mass-adoption-via-merchant-adoption expectations of some folks, it turns out that spending Bitcoin doesn't send the price "to the moon" but rather ironically depresses the price as merchants cash out their coins to cover operating costs.2 I know right, who could have predicted ?! Continue reading
Yesterday's news about two Federal Agents arrested for various allegedly corrupt and self serving actions has introduced a substantial number of complications that could jeopardize the government's case on appeal. The charging document (plain text document image) rather than merely affecting the future disposition of the Ulbricht Silk Road case offers a number of lessons on operational security people involved with can take to heart as well as a good number of laughs. Continue reading
March was an eventful month for the Bitcoin Foundation as mod6's latest update informs us. The highlight of the month was the release of a Bitcoin software reference implementation as version 0.5.3.1 which includes a build script to create statically linked binary executables from the foundation's source code release. Since the month's release work has continued on building and testing the reference software on a number of platforms, and work to continue porting the software to more software platforms and hardware architectures is planned for the future. Now that the foundation has released a reference implementation, they plan to develop a roadmap of future development goals and projects to pursue next. The full statement contains a number of acknowledgements recognizing the substantial number of people who have contributed to the Foundation success and accomplishments it has enjoyed in its first five months.
Today block 350,000 was mined to the Bitcoin blockchain. Its commitment to the chain means 14,000,000 bitcoins will have entered circulation so far out of the 21,000,000 total coins. The mining of the final third of the Bitcoin monetary base will be a very different affair than the first third. Hobbyists running commodity general purpose computers have been replaced by specialists operating in data centers and running single purpose mining hardware which, incidentally, is becoming increasingly commodified. The next block subsidy halving is scheduled for block 420,000, by which point 15,750,000 coins will have been mined.
Wired reports that earlier this month, a Baltimore ICE agent subpoenaed Reddit for the personal data of five users who frequent the subreddit /r/DarkNetMarkets. Requested information included names, IP addresses, the dates and times that they accessed Reddit, phone numbers as well as any financial information. The five users mentioned in the subpoena include NSWGreat, evosmith, Z-L, GWERN and DEEPTHROAT_. Continue reading
Two Federal Agents involved in the undercover operation to bust the Silk Road have been arrested for stealing money taken over the course of the Investigation. Arrested were DEA Agent Carl Mark Force IV and Secret Service Agent Shaun Bridges. Mister Force IV in particular is alleged to have stolen a number of Bitcoins from the Silk Road and taken possession of them personally instead of remanding them to Government custody as was expected of him as his theft occured in the course of his undercover work. Agents of the fiat system simply can not resist the allure of better money. Given that the investigating agents could not be trusted to not take Silk Road proceeds for their own use, the serious question of what other liberties were taken during the investigation remains.
Update: The full unsealed complaint is available here. Uncompressed images of the pages may be browsed here.
The New Zealand Herald brings us the story of a lawsuit between a Greek shipper and an advocacy group which was dismissed by a Federal court in New York after the Department of Justice invoked the state secrets privilege. Neither party to the lawsuit is a part of the government or a contractor known to be conducting national security work on behalf of the United States Government. For a lawsuit between private parties to end upon the invocation of the State Secrets privilege is unprecedented. Continue reading
Mycelium customers who only recently began to receive their Entropy device after lengthy delays are now facing the real possibility that their devices have been tampered with en route to its destination after one customer from Canada and another from Japan claimed their packages were opened prior to delivery.
Canadian Redditor literarydevice made the following comments and shared the following pictures via imgur: Continue reading
PayPal, an early and centralized attempt at establishing a primitive form of Internet money, has announced a settlement with the United States Treasury Department. PayPal will pay the Treasury Department 7.7 million United States Dollars for having disregarded sanctions enacted by the United States Government against Iran, Cuba, and others. Examples of transactions and accounts PayPal admits allowing span from 2009 to April 2013 when PayPal enacted a system to screen in real time for prohibited payments. PayPal reports spending substantial effort over the past two years to strengthen its ability to comply with sanctions.