Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
Germany seeks to control cryptocurrency transactions. As Lana Smiley of Coin Telegraph reports, following the Munich terror alert, the Christian Social Union (CSU) presented a document with potential solutions to combat terrorism. The document referred to controlling transactions involving the digital currency as a means to prevent terrorism financing. Given that the bitcoin transactions are anonymous, the German government was to have control on them to dry out terrorists from income sources.
Τhe US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) files a motion against GAW Miners. As Stan Higgins of Coin Desk writes, following an SEC suit in December against GAW Miners and ZenMinerfor alleged Ponzi schemes, the two startups have failed to respond to the official complaint on December 28th, thus forcing SEC to file a motion against them. Josh Garza, GAW Miners CEO, was charged with securities fraud and the operation of a Ponzi scheme according to a long-standing investigation that was concluded in December. However, Garza’s name is not mentioned in the file motion.
Softbank co-launches a decentralized fund raising platform. As Joseph Young of NewsBtc writes, Japan’s largest internet and telecom corporation joins forces with Topcoder to launch a blockchain-based fund-raising platform. Aiming at the highest level of security, the new platform will be based on international standards featuring great transparency. Until March 31, contenders will be required to design the blockchain-based platform that could be employed in cross-industry platforms.
Gem secures $7.1 million USD in Series A funding. As Evan Faggart of Bitcoinist reports, the blockchain platform provider is leading the 2016 blockchain investment. The venture capital funding round was led by Pelion Venture Partners, while other participants were Blockchain Capital, Digital Currency Group, KEC Ventures, and RRE Ventures. “We became convinced they [Gem] have the foresight, traction, and leadership necessary to connect the enterprise with the efficiencies and benefits of blockchain,” Ben Dahl, a partner at Pelion Venture Partners stated.
Zebpay raises $1 million in series A funding. As Carlo Thomas of Coin Report writes, the India-based bitcoin wallet seeks to grow its customer base and expand the reach of its mobile bitcoin wallet in India. The funding round was led by Claris Life Sciences, while Amit Jindal, MD of Jindal worldwide also participated. Currently, Zebpay has a customer base of 25,000 users and seeks to add another 100,000 users by the end of 2016.
Pennsylvania state representative reveals delays in defining bitcoin as money due to monetary issues. According to Herald-Mail Media, Republican Adam Harris revealed that several hearings of the Pennsylvania state legislature to acknowledge the virtual currency as money have been delayed due to budget constraints. In fact, Harris has openly spoken about the bitcoin and a likely update on the “money transmitters” section of the Pennsylvania state law.
Cybersecurity regulation agencies claim consumer privacy should be protected. As Marguerite Reardon of CNET reports,Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, and Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, both addressed the role of the internet service providers regarding personal information protection in the CES 2016 that was held in Las Vegas. Given the recent breach of British ISP Talk Talk and the sensitivity of gathering and sharing user information, it was a matter of time to set consumer privacy policies on the table. “The industry needs to address these concerns and be more transparent about how they handle personal data,” Ramirez stated.
Bitstamp enables bitcoin purchases via credit card. As Samburaj Das of CryptoCoins News writes, following the company’s announcement that the Slovenia and UK-based customers can use Mastercard and Visa to buy bitcoins, Italy and Germany are now joining the list. The daily limit is $300 and the weekly limit is $1500 purchases with acredit card to buy less than 1 BTC.