Former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges plead guilty to stealing over US$800,000 worth of bitcoin while investigating Silk Road; a Goldman Sachs global investment research analyst praised blockchain technology, and more top stories for September 1.
Silk Road Investigator Shaun Bridges Pleads Guilty in Bitcoin Theft
Former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges has plead guilty to stealing over US$800,000 worth of bitcoin during an investigation into online black marketplace Silk Road. The 33 year old Bridges admitted to money laundering and obstruction of justice in federal court in San Francisco. Bridges also admitted that his theft made convicted Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht believe that another individual was stealing from the digital black market, and helped Ulbricht try to hire someone to kill that person.
Goldman Sachs Analyst: Blockchain Tech Will Change Asset Ownership
In a recent podcast, Goldman Sachs global investment research analyst Heath Terry addressed both Bitcoin and the blockchain, praising the distributed ledger as a technology that would have massive implications for asset and ownership transfer.
“We’re first pitch, first inning in terms of seeing how companies are going to use the technology […] It’s fascinating in really early stages, but it’s hard to see a world where blockchain technology doesn’t change the way we think about asset ownership.”
Ukraine May Soon Legalize Bitcoin
According to Ukraine’s Bitcoin Foundation (BFU), Ukraine may soon legalize Bitcoin. BFU and Ukraine’s National Bank (NBU) representatives recently met to get a better understanding of what Bitcoin technology is, and how to approach it from a regulatory standpoint. The BFU now said that the NBU is seriously looking into the possibilities of implementing Bitcoin’s technology into the financial system.
BFU Board of Directors member Aleksandr Momot explained:
“Right now, the National Bank is trying to come to terms with the existence of such a currency, which doesn’t have an emission center or single owner, and understand how to work with it moving forward.”
Citigroup Eyes Blockchain Technology
As the latest in a series of major banks, Citigroup is looking to tap into the potential of blockchain. According to Aditya Menon, managing director of global digital strategy at the United States headquartered banking and financial services company, Citigroup is also experimenting with the idea of its own fiat-backed digital currency.
“On the blockchain, there are two parts that interest us. One is, today we are one of the largest movers of money -up to US$1 trillion or more on a daily basis -because we’re the only bank that actually operates in 100 countries. So, there is obviously an opportunity around our own general ledgers.”
USAA Develops Thesis on Blockchain Technology
Victor Pascucci, the head of corporate development at USAA, has said that blockchain technology is a game changer. He explained that he has not seen many technologies that meet this description during his nearly 20 years in the VC sector. Pascucci also stated that his organization is developing a thesis on the application of the blockchain.
Decentralized Marketplace Build on Top of Bitcoin Released
Reddit user _miracle-max_ has released a working release of his Drop Zone project. The Drop Zone Protocol is a decentralized marketplace layer that is written on top of Bitcoin. While it is by no means a finished project, the functioning command line client allows for the selling, buying, and facilitation of secure messaging between buyers and sellers using nothing but the Bitcoin blockchain and the Bitcoin testnet.
Chinese Bitcoin Exchange OKCoin Stops Accepting US Deposits
American OKCoin users have been informed that they cannot deposit dollars, bitcoin or litecoin anymore. The Chinese bitcoin exchange cited regulatory issues, but also stated that the ban on American deposits is temporary. OKCoin is still allowing American users to withdraw their money and trade on their platform; however, there is no timeline for the return of bitcoin deposits.
African Remittance Firm Beam Stops Bitcoin Service
African “rebittance” service Beam has announced it will no longer focus on using bitcoin in an attempt to disrupt the Ghanaian remittance market. Beam CTO Falk Benke said that a revamped version of the service will instead focus on international debit and credit cards. Benke cited the lack of local bitcoin adoption, the high cost of exchanging bitcoin for Ghanaian cedi and the volatility of bitcoin against fiat currencies as the reasons underlying the decision.
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