This week in Bitcoin we lost a pioneer in the bitcoin world, Hal Finney. Hal passed away this week due to ALS disease. Hal was the first person to receive a bitcoin transaction from Satoshi Nakamoto, helped get bitcoin off the ground and turn it into what it is today. We owe him a lot of gratitude. Rest in peace, Hal. To read more about Hal and his contributions to bitcoin, you can read Nakamoto’s Neighbor: My Hunt For Bitcoin’s Creator Led To A Paralyzed Crypto Genius.[Blockchain iOS users: Pick up the new wallet update](https://twitter.com/blockchain/status/504677402199740416)
We released an update to our popular mobile bitcoin wallet for Apple iOS. You can get the most up-to-date by visiting the App Store and downloading it.
Congratulations goes out to BitGive, who has become the first official tax exempt bitcoin charity. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officially recognizes it as a charitable organization in the US. This means that any gains made by the foundation will not be taxed, thus directing more money to its supported causes.
Dominica is set to be the first nation to adopt bitcoin following a successful collaboration between island officials, Coinapult, Aspen Assurance, Bitcoin Beauties and the College Cryptocurrency Network, who have partnered to deliver the project, officially titled The Bit Drop.
Leading Bitcoin proponent and Blockchain investor, Roger Ver, has pledged to match all bitcoin donations to Antiwar.com during our summer fund drive, up to a total of $10,000 USD value of bitcoin.
The Australian tax commissioner has left open the possibility that the digital payment system bitcoin could be considered legal tender in Australia. Bitcoin has been described as a digital currency where users can pay for goods and services.
The Blockchain mobile bitcoin app is featured in Fox News 13 broadcast while talking about BitPay and merchant adoption, specifically in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Bitcoin is catching on at U.S. online merchants including Overstock.com and Expedia, as customers use a digital currency that just a few years ago was virtually unknown but is now showing some staying power.
Global banking giant Santander has commissioned a study investigating the potential impact of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on the banking sector. As the 43rd largest company in the world, the multinational megabank has branches on five continents and upwards of 180,000 employees.
Agora Commodities found success in the industry, accepting credit cards and cash/bank transfers for gold and silver. However, following a conversation with a friend and fellow gold investor, Castillo decided to add bitcoin payments at the end of 2012 to his then-new company. The rest as you say, is history. And with much success in bitcoin, Castillo dropped credit cards in favor of bitcoins.
Korean bitcoin exchange Korbit has raised $3 million in Series A funding led by SoftBank Ventures Korea and Pantera Capital, with participation from BAM Ventures, and returning investors Bitcoin Opportunity Corp., Tim Draper, Pietro Dova, and Strong Ventures. The startup told TechCrunch that it will use its Series A to improve the quality of its products and services and make additional hires.
Consolidation is not uncommon in new, emerging industries and bitcoin mining is no exception. However, like all things bitcoin, it is moving at a somewhat faster pace than consolidation in traditional industries.[North Carolina mulls Legislation, but not a BitLicense in sight](http://cointelegraph.com/news/112369/north-carolina-mulls-legislation-but-not-a-bitlicense-in-sight)
Digital currencies and lawmakers are formally crossing paths ever more frequently. In the US, it is North Carolina which most recently took on the challenge of marrying them together with local legislation – more pragmatically, it would seem, than in New York.
The bitcoin industry has formed a political action committee that it could use to shower lawmakers and party committees with donations. The Chamber of Digital Commerce, a month-old trade group for digital currencies and assets like bitcoin, registered a political spending group with the Federal Election Commission this month.
A special congratulations goes out to Bitcoin Core developer Greg Maxwell, who announced over IRC that he has left tech giant Mozilla to work fulltime on Bitcoin Core development.