Research indicates that blackmailers may have extracted thousands of dollars in bitcoin from those seeking to buy silence in the Ashley Madison hack; the US Marshals Service revealed that it is likely to auction off any remaining bitcoins confiscated from Silk Road sometime in 2015, and more top stories for September 7.
Research Indicates Ashley Madison Bitcoin Blackmail Reaps Profits for Extortionists
Network security firm Cloudmark, Inc. Software Engineer and Research Analyst Toshiro Nishimura has found that blackmailers may have extracted thousands of dollars in bitcoin from those seeking to buy silence in the Ashley Madison hack. Nishimura and his team found 67 transactions totaling 70.35 BTC or approximately US$15,814 that fit the profile of the type of bitcoin transactions as demanded by hackers threatening to publicize information of users of the dating service for people already in a committed relationship.
Final Silk Road Bitcoin Auction Likely for 2015
The US Marshals Service (USMS) revealed that it is likely to auction off any remaining bitcoins confiscated from convicted Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht sometime in 2015. The event will be the final auction involving bitcoins from the Silk Road investigation, with 44,336 BTC (some US$10 million) being offered up to prospective investors.
A USMS spokesperson said:
“We still don’t have any dates to announce, but do expect to [hold the event] before the end of the year.”
M-Pesa’s API to Ease Integration with Other FinTech Platforms
Safaricom, the mobile network operator behind Kenyan mobile payments system M-Pesa, has released an Application Programming Interface (API) for all developers who want to create solutions tied directly into their payment systems.
Safaricom’s website reads:
“The new M-PESA platform dubbed G2 (for M-PESA 2nd generation platform) offers versatile integration capabilities that our development partners can take advantage of, to create excellent M-PESA journeys across the different industries they serve.”
Bitcoin ‘Stress Test’ Might Violate UK Laws
The bitcoin stress tests planned by CoinWallet could breach UK law, a legal professional has suggested. According to Eitan Jankelewitz, associate at UK law firm Sheridans, the Computer Misuse Act 1990 in the United Kingdom makes it an offense to deliberately cause disruption to computer systems with intent, an assessment that was first made by Bitcoin Core developer “btcdrak”.
“I’m inclined to say there is a good argument that the CoinWallet stress tests would be a breach of section 3 of the CMA 1990.”
Chopcoin Launches with New Skill-based Gambling Game
Bitcoin based multi-player online game Chopcoin.io has officially launched. The German-developed offering sees players control a tiny, fast orb that grows in size as it moves across the screen while swallowing other orbs. Players must only eat orbs – or other players – smaller than their size. The six German founders of Chopcoin.io make money by chopping off a small cut of the proceeds, while the round winner takes the pot.
Simon Dixon: Bitcoin Solves 3 Major Problems in the Financial System
Simon Dixon, entrepreneur, former investment banker and author of the book Bank to the Future, explained in an interview with Epicenter Bitcoin that our financial problems are derived from money, “simply because money is debt.” Dixon explained the concept behind money and banks, and more importantly, what money actually is.
“Positive balance in a bank account simply is somebody else’s debt, which is created into existence by the banks. 97% of the money in the economy is created this way, which means the only way to drive sustainability of an economy is to have more debt.”
A decentralized currency like bitcoin should be used to create a sustainable and debt free economy, Dixon explains.
Payments Veterans Join Brazilian Blockchain Startup
Brazil-based Bitcoin startup Rippex has announced that the former founders of digital payments gateway PagSeguro joined its team. Rippex co-founder Rafael Olaio indicated that Ricardo Dortas Schonhofen and Paulo Lavinas Barbosa will join the company through a partnership with business development firm CloudPar, though they will be working in a full-time capacity.
“For some time we have been designing models for financial institutions and thinking of how we could use this technology to improve payments. We thought they could be helpful for their practical knowledge in digital payments in scaling the company, because PagSeguro grew from one to 900 employees.”
Gavin Andresen: Nobody Wants to be the High Priest of Bitcoin
Bitcoin never had a clear future, but it looks even cloudier in the midst of the unpleasant, yet weirdly magnetic, block size debate. The debate, which eats up /r/Bitcoin, has led to the meta question of Bitcoin “governance” – a buzzword that sums up the question: What happens when developers and stakeholders don’t agree? What’s the best process to address this?
Gavin Andresen, who has a unique perspective on the topic as Bitcoin’s former lead developer, joined Epicenter Bitcoin for a conversation on just that.
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