Blockchain Blog

Bitcoin News for the week of 12/1/14

From the U.S. Government auctioning off thousands of bitcoins, to Blockchain releasing our new Tor .onion address, it’s been an eventful and compelling week in bitcoin. In addition, the bitcoin network exceeded 100,000 transactions per day, which is another milestone that together we have achieved and can celebrate about. Read about all this news and more below in our weekly bitcoin news recap.

Pictured: a secure HTTPS connection to Blockchain’s .onion address using Tor

Improved Security for Tor Users

In response to recent attacks on Blockchain users by malicious Tor exit nodes, Blockchain has begun working with some of the world’s leading Tor Project researchers and security experts to improve security for users that choose to utilize Tor’s privacy enhancing software. Blockchain has also become the second website ever (the first was Facebook) to be issued an HTTPS certificate for our .onion address.

Securing Users with Tor and SSL

Along with the hidden service and signed certificate, Blockchain has switched to HTTPS across the site and enforced secure connections on both the clearweb domain and the onion site with Strict Transport Security (HSTS) (which will be preloaded for the clearweb domain in all major browsers, and hopefully also for the onion domain), and will also implement dynamic public key pinning with Public Key Pinning (HPKP).

BitPay Integrates With DriveWealth to Bring Bitcoin to Investors Worldwide

BitPay, the world’s largest bitcoin payment processor, announced that they have integrated with DriveWealth, a mobile investment platform available worldwide. DriveWealth will become the first financial services company to allow users to fund their account with bitcoin.

Bitcoin Advances in Spain and Europe

The great potential for crytpocurrencies and Bitcoin in particular to change business practices is becoming a reality all over the world. The United States continues to be the main beacon for technological innovation in business, but Europe is also part of this story.

Argentina has more than 8,000 Bitcoin Users

According to latest reports, Argentina is one of the biggest economies of the crypto revolution called Bitcoin. Jon Matonis, executive director of the Bitcoin Fundation, said that “Argentina is one of the countries where more uses have been found to use this tool because the monetary issues that are hurting the country.”

Aussie Bitcoin firm Coinjar flees GST to set up in UK

Australia’s biggest cryptocurrency platform, Coinjar, has relocated its headquarters to the United Kingdom in a bid to avoid the recently introduced GST charge on bitcoin transactions. Coinjar has incorporated as a UK company and shifted its offices to Level 39 at the high-profile Canary Wharf complex in London.

U.S. Govt. Auctions Off Seized Silk Road Bitcoins

DFJ Partner Tim Draper discusses the U.S. government’s auction of 50,000 bitcoins as it disposes of the virtual currency seized after closing down the illicit Silk Road marketplace last year. He speaks on “Bloomberg West.”

Proposed US Law Calls For Five-Year Moratorium on Bitcoin Regulation

HR 5777, a new bill submitted to Congress by US Representative Steve Stockman (R-TX), calls for a five-year moratorium on digital currency regulation within the US. The bill, titled the Cryptocurrency Protocol Protection and Moratorium Act, would hold off any “statutory restrictions or regulations” for the five-year period after 15th June 2015.

Daily number of bitcoin transactions exceeds 100K

Daily Bitcoin Transactions Pass 100,000 Milestone

The number of daily bitcoin transactions has passed the 100,000 milestone, but questions remain about the exact cause of the spike. Data from Blockchain shows a total of 102,220 transactions, although other metrics like transaction fees or bitcoin days destroyed do not support it. These two metrics remain relatively flat, while the sheer number of transactions is going up.

Innovating with Bitcoin at MIT

With this research project, the MIT community will have the opportunity not only to shape the evolution of digital currencies, but also to improve the lives of everyone who will use the follow-on inventions that our campus could deliver. The ideas, inventions, and entrepreneurial endeavors the students will generate because of their early exposure to digital currencies is likely to have a profound impact on the rate and direction of innovation in this space.

Bitreserve Brings Bitcoin To The Gold Standard

The bitcoin-based financial services company Bitreserve is merging one of the newest innovations in currency with the world’s oldest. Through the institutional precious metals trading house Gold Bullion International, Bitreserve has created a new gold standard, linking its bitcoin currency exchange and payment services with gold.

Image courtesy of

LibertyX Brings Bitcoin Buying to 2,500 US Retail Stores

Liberty Teller, the bitcoin ATM operator that manages machines in high-profile locations near US universities like Harvard and MIT, has officially rebranded as LibertyX, expanding its network with 2,500 new bitcoin buying locations in 33 US states.

Important announcement for Blockchain API users

On December 14th, we will be dropping http:// API requests and automatically redirecting all requests to https://. If you are currently using http:// please ensure your applications will handle a 301 redirect properly or are explicitly updated to make requests via https:// only.

Blockchain API Profile: BitPagos

Continuing our API series, this week we are introducing a company whose efforts is rooted in spreading the value of cryptocurrencies throughout Latin America. Sebastian Serrano, CEO, joins us for a quick chat to learn more about BitPagos, a company that is showing merchants and consumers the benefit of bitcoin, as an alternative to traditional banking and government-issued currency.

Bitcoin set to take over the financial world: Book

Bitcoin, the digital currency which remains a mystery to many, will some day replace the whole global financial system, doing the job of banks, insurance companies, credit card issuers and even trusts, a new book asserts.

MasterCard is Upside-Down Down Under

Global payment processor MasterCard sent a letter to the Senate Economics Committee in Australia as part of that government’s “Inquiry into Digital Currency”. MasterCard boasts of operating the world’s fastest payment processing network in more than 210 countries and territories. Yet, this $102 billion corporation is actively soliciting the Australian government to “level the playing field” between it and the open-source project known as Bitcoin.

Meet the Team: George Mandrik, User Operations Manager

If you’ve ever been in need of help with your Blockchain wallet, chances are you’ve opened a helpdesk support ticket. George Mandrik, User Operations Manager, has been leading and managing a good majority of helpdesk operations for over a year.