FT Alphaphille claims to have discovered that secretive Bitcoin startup 21 Inc. plans to embed ASIC bitcoin mining chips into everyday devices, Bitcoin security platform BitGo is said to be patenting Bitcoin's multi signature capabilities, and more top stories for May 1.
21 Inc. to Embed ASIC Bitcoin Mining Chips Into Everyday Devices
Bitcoin startup 21 Inc. recently made headlines for raising an industry record of US116$ million. Remarkably, however, 21's business plan remained a secret. Up until now. FT Alphaphille claims to have discovered what 21 plans to do:
“Its core business plan it turns out will be embedding ASIC bitcoin mining chips into everyday devices like USB battery chargers, routers, printers, gaming consoles, set-top boxes and — the piece de resistance — chipsets to be used by internet of things devices.”
“According to our knowledgable sources, 21 Inc plans to 'onboard' customers by giving many of these devices away for free, proving once and for all that it’s as easy to earn bitcoins as it is to watch Game of Thrones on the telly.”
BitGo Said to be Patenting Bitcoin Multisig
In a bombshell revelation on r/Bitcoin, Bitcoin security platform BitGo is said to be patenting Bitcoin's multi signature capabilities. Although it is as of yet somewhat unclear whether this entails Bitcoin's multisig capabilities in general, or some BitGo specific application of multisig security, the news has angered many commenters on the Bitcoin subreddit.
BitGo's CTO has since apparently come to Reddit to easy concerns, saying:
“We have no intent to use any software patents in an offensive manner. You can expect to see a more formal announcement on this from us within a few days.”
CEX.IO Bitcoin Exchange Officially Enters the USA Market
CEX.IO announced the official launch of its operations in the US, meaning customers from certain states in the US are able to deposit and withdraw fiat money at the exchange. In order to make this a reality, CEX.IO has obtained a Money Services Business status at FinCEN.
CEX.IO CIO Jeffrey Smith said:
“Entering the US market is great news, as now we can offer our services to users from the USA in full […] We consider this step as the next level in CEX.IO history, and invite all users to check out the easiest way to buy Bitcoin. Officially, on CEX.IO.”
Huobi Bridges Bitcoin with China’s ‘Booming’ Shanghai Stock Exchange
Cointelegraph spoke with one of China’s ‘Big Three’ bitcoin exchanges Huobi's CEO Leon Li and analyst Robert Kuhne on why the Chinese yuan doesn’t actually comprise 80% of BTC trading, and how Beijing’s new policy is fostering Bitcoin startups in the country. And, perhaps more interestingly, Kuhne discussed Huobi's new tool connecting bitcoin and the traditional stock market:
“The key point of using this platform is that bitcoin holders who want to participate in the Chinese stock market can do so without having to cash out their bitcoin holdings […]. There are many bitcoin holders who believe bitcoin will recover and make new highs in the future, so they do not want to sell at the current low price. But at the same time, the bull market in Chinese stocks is just too appealing to ignore.”
Tim Draper Leads US$1.2m Investment in Bitcoin Startup Hedgy
Hedgy, a startup that hopes to tackle bitcoin’s volatility issues, has emerged from Adam Draper's Boost accelerator with a US$1.2 million investment from Adam's father Tim Draper in hand. Hedgy is collaborating with Bitcoin mining outfit MegaBigPower to allow miners to sign smart contracts that hedge mining payments for a predetermined date and price. Hedgy serves as a trusted third-party that helps to suss out the appropriate price using a weighted pricing index called the TradeBlock XBX.
Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Joins Next Gen Payment Startup Planet Capital
Multi-function crossover ATM operator Planet Capital has announced that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is joining its board as an advisor and director. The move, which was confirmed to Cointelegraph by CTO Dan Sokol, marks a decisive step in Wozniak’s affiliation with blockchain infrastructure.
“[H]aving an engineer as innovative as Woz around to look over our shoulders and make suggestions is priceless.”
Bruce Fenton Pledges to Boost Bitcoin Foundation's Transparency
During a presentation at the Inside Bitcoins conference in New York, Bruce Fenton — newly appointed executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation — pledged to considerably increase the foundation's transparency. Fenton hinted specifically at incorporating all of the conditions for transparency as suggested by the National Council of Non-Profits, while in addition suggested using Bitcoin and blockchain-specific methods for providing even more transparency.
Seals With Clubs Operator Launches Defense Fund
Bryan Micon, the operator of the closed down bitcoin-fueled poker site Seals With Clubs who has been charged by the Nevada Attorney General with operating an unlicensed gambling enterprise, has launched a defense fund.
On the crowdfunding webpage, Micon wrote:
“I maintain that I have committed no wrongdoing and have retained the legal services of Chesnoff & Schonfeld, whom I believe are the best lawyers for my case […]. As a husband, father of a 2 year old girl, and outspoken Bitcoin advocate, I desire nothing more than to continue to be with my wife, raise my daughter, and continue to build layers on top of the Bitcoin protocol.”
Interestingly, Micon might argue that bitcoin is not the same as currency in the context of gambling law, a theory that is as of yet untested in US court.
Hollywood Studio Lionsgate Films in Talks to Accept Bitcoin
Hollywood studio Lionsgate Films has entered into a partnership with digital currency payments processor GoCoin. First announced by GoCoin CEO Steve Beauregard at Inside Bitcoins New York, the deal was confirmed by Lionsgate senior vice president Peter Wilkes. Wilkes suggested that Lionsgate is working to integrate digital currency payments into the company's online store, and at several upcoming branded events.
"We continue to explore innovative new technologies for connecting with next generation consumers, and we’re intrigued by the possibilities offered by bitcoins in our media space."
SendChat Integrates Blocktrail’s Security Platform
SendChat, the messaging app build on top of Telegram with built in support for direct bank transfers, has integrated API provider Blocktrail’s security platform. As such, SendChat users can now easily create secure multi-signature transactions create multiple addresses using one master key, and enjoy automatic backups and loss prevention.
Explaining the Blocktrail integration, SendChat Alejandro De La Torre said:
“The Blocktrail integration will provide SendChat users with the highest level of Bitcoin security possible.”