Mayor Duggan says that among cybercrimes victimizing Detroit, a city database was frozen in April and held hostage for a ransom of 2,000 bitcoins, worth $803,500 at the current exchange rate of $401.75. Duggan says the money wasn’t paid, and the city didn’t need to use the database, but that it raised awareness about computer crimes:
It was a good warning sign for us
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issues a warning to consumers that says cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin have significant risks because they are unregulated:
If you trust someone else to hold your virtual currencies and something goes wrong, that company may not offer you the kind of help you expect from a bank or debit or credit card provider.
BTX Trader, a cryptocurrency trading platform, launches Celery. It is an exchange that aims to make buying Bitcoin and Dogecoin easy for first time users. CTO Divya Thakur says they chose to support Dogecoin because of its community:
We think dogecoin is a great community. It’s used in sites like reddit, it’s much higher volume than bitcoin tipping and there’s really no good hosted wallet for dogecoin.
Dell begins accepting Bitcoin as payment for purchases on its website. The Bitcoin exchange Coinbase converts the Bitcoin into USD automatically for Dell. A Dell spokesperson says this comes as a result of customer demand:
We put this together quickly as a result of listening to our customers. It’s another way for customers to have a relationship with Dell.
Google partners with digital wallet Coinbase to bring instant Bitcoin conversions to search results. Users can convert between Bitcoin and other currencies by, for instance, typing “1 Bitcoin to USD” into the search bar. Coinbase says:
Now that Coinbase’s API is being used on Google, anyone who uses Google can see a graph of current and past bitcoin values compared to US dollars. They can also use Google’s currency converter to determine how many dollars equal how many bitcoin, and vice versa.
Adult entertainment website Hustler.com offers a lifetime or annual membership to the site in Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin. The payments are handled by GoCoin digital payment processor. Hustler founder Larry Flynt says:
By partnering with GoCoin, our subscribers get extra privacy, and HUSTLER stays ahead of the curve by accepting new digital currencies.
Jerry Brown, the governor of California, passes a bill that reverses the state’s ban on alternative currencies. This includes rewards programs like Amazon Coins as well as crptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin. The bill reads:
This bill makes clarifying changes to current law to ensure that various forms of alternative currency such as digital currency, points, coupons, or other objects of monetary value do not violate the law when those methods are used for the purchase of goods and services or the transmission of payments.
U.S. Marshalls prepare to auction 30,000 Bitcoins seized from Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht. Potential bidders must register and make a refundable deposit of $200,000 for the auction, scheduled for June 27.
Sources tell the Post that Andreessen is competing with Nasdaq to create the first regulated Bitcoin exchange. Andreessen has reportedly reached out to the NY Department of Financial Exchange for more information on the upcoming rules. Andreessen declines to comment on the reports.
In a last minute US government decision, former Bitcoin Foundation member Charlie Shrem is forbidden from speaking at the Bitcoin in the Beltway conference, due to his indictment for a $1 million dollar money laundering offense.
Coinjar is the first bitcoin app to re-emerge on the iTunes App Store after Apple revises its policy regarding the virtual currency.
Currently, Coinjar’s app is only functional in the UK and Australia.
Sveriges Riksbank publishes a report addressing the advantages and disadvantages of Bitcoin, focusing on a number of economic and social benefits of the system.
Virtual currency is one of many innovations on the Swedish payment market. it, like other innovations, is essentially positive, as it can contribute to meeting new payment needs and to making payments cheaper and more secure.
Andresen steps down as lead developer for Bitcoin Foundation today. His responsibilities of maintaining core code for the Bitcoin system were given to Wladimir van der Laan, a dutch computer scientist with a PhD in computer graphics.
Andresen will continue his role as Chief Scientist of Bitcoin Foundation and said he will enjoy being able to concentrate more on protocol-level Bitcoin issues.
I enjoy coding, and I think I’ll be most effective as Chief Scientist if I don’t lose touch with engineering reality and make the mistake of building huge, beautiful, theoretical castles that exist only as whitepapers.
The first of its kind in the country, a Bitcoin ATM is installed at the Bitcoin embassy in Tel Aviv. Unlike standard ATM machines that enable consumers to withdraw cash, this machine credits customers with virtual Bitcoins after depositing cash into the machine. Embassy employee Ayal Segev comments:
I am proud that the embassy has made the first Bitcoin vending machine available in Israel. This is part of our mission, to make Bitcoins accessible to the general public.