Blockchain Blog

Here’s a recap of what happened in Bitcoin this week

Every week, we are going to be posting a weekly recap of Bitcoin news, headlines, events, and information. This will be part of an ongoing series of posts from Blockchain, so stay tuned. Additionally, you can sign up for the Blockchain newsletter, which will be sent directly to your inbox every week, and will have information on Blockchain and Zeroblock.

Without further ado, let’s recap what happened!

Square now lets sellers accept Bitcoin on their own storefronts
Square announced it has added support for paying with Bitcoin. As a result, buyers can now use Bitcoin to purchase goods and services on Square Market, which allows sellers to create an online storefront with online payment processing.

Forbes’ Andy Greenberg launches a fundraiser for Hal Finney
If you don’t know who Hal Finney is, please read about him in the Forbes article. He is one of the pioneers of Bitcoin. Unfortunately, Hal has come upon hard times fighting ALS, a debilitating disease and needs help. Over $5K has been raised for Hal.

Finding Equilibrium: Searching for the true value of a Bitcoin
Vinny Lingham, CEO and co-founder of Gyft, wrote an interesting take on the state of Bitcoin, and why current prices are lower than they were just a few months ago. Obviously anyone’s guess can be given on Bitcoin prices, but this article makes some important observations.

St. Louis Fed: ‘Enforcing Outright Bitcoin Ban Close to Impossible’
Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis David Andolfatto released a report on Bitcoin, and it gave the Bitcoin community another peak into what financial regulators think about when I comes to Bitcoin. One of the most interesting slides in the report has to do with Bitcoin’s effect on taxation. It talks about how the recent IRS ruling could limit Bitcoin’s attractiveness as a currency, but the St. Louis Fed also admitted that “enforcing an outright ban is close to impossible.”

ZeroBlock Android Update
We announced a new update for ZeroBlock on Android that has been much anticipated. ZeroBlock for Android is now updated with BitStamp charts. We have also fixed some bugs and added small UI changes. Check it out!

Fighting to Protect Our Users
Blockchain has made some small wins in the last week on security. Lead by our CSO Andreas Antonopoulos, and working closely with cyber security agencies, we were able to take down a number of phishing websites targeted at our users, those with domain names that are very similar to ours. These sites are shut down for good!

Banks working with Bitcoin companies in China rumored to close accounts
What is a good news recap without a rumor? This week, sources in China said that banks that work with Bitcoin companies had to stop taking deposits and close down those bank accounts. Reports out of China have largely been differing in information, with no real clear report that this is true. However, some of the speculation has caused a lot of questions of what is happening in China in relation to Bitcoin. Most recently, BTC China made an announcement that they haven’t received any official word from PBOC regarding restriction of deposits or withdrawals. So as it stands now, it’s business as usual.

New Texas Memorandum Outlines Initial Bitcoin Exchange Guidelines
The Texas Department of Banking has released a supervisory memorandum outlining its regulatory stance on digital currencies within the guidelines set by the Texas Money Services Act. The document draws a line of distinction between bitcoins and other digital currencies and sovereign currencies like the dollar. According to the memorandum, digital currencies are not recognized as legal tender in Texas because they lack backing from an institution like a central bank, do not have intrinsic value and do not carry any guarantees of redemption.

BitPay opens European Headquarters in Amsterdam
BitPay opens its European Headquarters in Amsterdam. This office will handle sales, implementation and merchant support for BitPay’s 7,000 merchants in Europe, with the goal of acquiring and serving 30,000 merchants in Europe by the end of 2014.

Gweek podcast 140: Understanding Bitcoin
Guest Andreas M. Antonopoulos talks to Dean Putney and Mark Frauenfelder, of BoingBoing, in a podcast answering questions about Bitcoin.

The world’s first Bitcoin Job Fair will be held May 3rd in Sunnyvale, California
Join leading companies in the crypto-currency and crypto-equity space; learn about career opportunities in one of technology’s leading ecosystems. Get access to top talent in the digital currency community; hire Bitcoin developers, altcoin creators, and blockchain experts.

Bitcoin is going to space, literally!
Project BitSat is working to see how Bitcoin can be operated in space. One of the key tenets is that bitcoin block data is easy to distribute widely. One of the ways we may keep bitcoin healthy and free is finding alternative ways to distribute block chain data. This provides remote or off-grid bitcoin access, and some resilience in case the primary P2P mesh network is disrupted.