Bitstamp Bans Russia

Bitstamp declared in an email that they are banning access from all IP addresses originating from the Russian Federation to their website.. The email was posted on Bitcointalk citing a draft proposal, via Coindesk, for Russia to restrict surrogate money. Coindesk claims upon speaking with the deputy minister of finance, Alexey Moiseev, that there are plans to create laws to punish any individual attempting to convert cryptocurrency into Rubles. However, no official law has yet to be implemented banning the use of Bitcoin in Russia, and a draft proposal to amend the use of surrogate money was published on a Russian news outlet which states (translated):

cryptocurrency, production of which is not carried out on the territory of the Russian Federation, will no longer be money substitutes

If ratified the aforementioned amendments would not go into effect until sometime 2017, thus cryptocurrency produced outside of Russian jurisdiction would technically be legal. Bitstamp's preemptive banning of Russian customers, similar to that of Satoshi Dice blacklisting US-based IP addressed, seems completely unwarranted. It has yet to be confirmed whether or not the funds of Russian customers are accessible for withdrawal or have been "frozen" by the exchange.

CoinBase Blames DDoS For Irregular Exchange Behavior

Yesterday morning after a large price decline broomstick fired partially in response to Mike Hearn's temper tantrum, Coinbase's exchange experienced a complete outage. The outage was eventually resolved and trading resumed. Brian Armstrong took to Twitter and blamed the outage on a DDoS. He is claiming the attack consumed 1 TB of bandwidth. Coinbase solicited the services of Cloudflare in late December. This mitigation service served more as a marketing tactic than as a measure to establish actual security – a lesson Coinbase seems to have yet to learn.

Another One Bites The Dust: Cryptsy Edition

The altcoin exchange known as Cryptsy finally went full Gox after more than a year of warnings. Reports then came in that the company moved out of their office without any notice to users. Yesterday divorce proceedings involving the exchange's proprietor, Paul Edward Vernon, were posted to Bitcointalk leading to speculation that the civil court has frozen all of the proprietor's assets including Cryptsy's cold wallet until divorce proceedings have finalized. Cryptsy has acted irresponsible in regards to its users, and has yet to make a public statement of any kind regarding its situation.

CoinBase Bug Bonanza

In late 2012 Coinbase was cultured by startup incubator, YCombinator on a plate of Thayer-Martin agar with the "mission" of "Becoming the Paypal of Bitcoin." The company seems to have had some success on the surveillance side of their mission by tracing user transactions and a slew of ex-customers who claim to have been banned with minimal explanation – a problem Coinbase seems to have despite their penitent userbase. Of special note here is Coinbase's security outsourcing that frequently results in vulnerabilities. Continue reading

Forever 21 Inc Tries Preventing Other Raspberry Pis From Running Software

Forever 21 Inc. raised $116mn in venture funding before a product or business plan was even announced. Earlier this fall the company announced the 21 Computer, a Frankenstein creation using a Raspberry-Pi 2 and a proprietary ASIC which will be obsolete soon given the continual difficulty increases. This computer can be bought for the low price of $400, which allows users to connect to 21 co.'s API a bastardization of the already functioning Web of Trust. Recently code was independently released allowing individuals to run the 21 co. software stack on a $40 Raspberry Pi, to which the CEO of 21 Inc. responded on reddit stating they will be patching the code to prevent non-21 Co. from connecting to their marketplace. Continue reading

Venture Capital Fuels Stupidity In Bitcoin Not Innovation

Venture Capitalists have been flocking to Bitcoin recently in what seems to be a poorly orchestrated fiat invasion. They intend to bring the problems of too much money to Bitcoin and its related "businesses". A very small fraction of the VC capital is hitting the market for Bitcoin, which may be an attempt to assert some sort of fiat control over Bitcoin through price suppression. Continue reading

Current Bitcoin-XT Incompatible with BIP-65

Last year Qntra reported on BIP-65 which adds a new opcode OP_HODL which prevents nLockTime transactions from being double spent before the nLockTime threshold is reached on the Blockchain. Miners following the developers of the "Core" Bitcoin client have been adopting BIP-65, with approximately 25% of the last found blocks claiming to be ready for the soft fork on the version string in the block header. If or when BIP-65 is triggered, it may spell trouble for Mike Hearn's Bitcoin-XT due to deliberate incompatibility. Continue reading

Theymos Threatens Coinbase's Social Media Privileges

Brian Armstrong, CEO of the YCombinator incubated startup Coinbase has been vocal in supporting BIP-101. He claims Coinbase will begin using full nodes with BIP-101 code patched in sometime in December if no other proposal reaches "consensus". Theymos who moderates the Bitcoin subreddit and Bitcointalk, threatened to ban Coinbase representatives if they were to begin promoting software that implemented BIP-101 to the public before a consensus is reached.

Interview with David Francois on Building a Real Bitcoin Business

Operating a Bitcoin business is difficult and, a lot of times is the first step down the road which brings pretty much 9x% to crime within six months to a year (archived). With the excess influx of Venture Capital into companies pretending as to have any involvement with Bitcoin, I sat down with David "davout" Francois CTO of Paymium, formerly known as Bitcoin-Central, to talk about the fundamentals from his personal experience in developing a Bitcoin company that can survive the ruthless climate of the world of Bitcoin. Continue reading