police has served another arrest warrant on Mark Karpelès; the World Wide Web Consortium prepares to launch a Web Payments Working Group and more top stories for August 21.
World Wide Web Consortium to Launch Web Payments Working Group
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), led by World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, prepares to launch a Web Payments Working Group by the end of September.
The W3C announcement states:
“The Web Payments Working Group is not creating any new digital payment schemes, but rather integrating existing and emerging schemes more efficiently and securely into Web applications […] A standardized message flow should make it easier to automate payments, which will improve the overall security and user experience of making payments on the Web.”
The W3C Web Payments documentation references bitcoin and cryptocurrencies alongside other online payment means such as Google Wallet, Apple Pay, PayPal and iDEAL.
Mark Karpeles Re-Arrested in Japan
Tokyo police has served another arrest warrant on Mark Karpeles, the CEO of failed bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, suspecting he misappropriated ¥321 million (US$2.6 million) of customer deposits into other personal projects. The funds were allegedly spent on purchasing software rights and a US$48,000 bed.
Karpelès lawyer denied the allegations, stating:
“The deposits were used for investments in new businesses while the bed was purchased as interior decoration for his guesthouse, both of which were meant as marketing tools to promote the use of bitcoins […] Despite the long detention period, the fact that investigative authorities could only come up with these reasons to make their case for embezzlement is evidence that Mark was not involved for personal reasons in the disappearance of massive cash and bitcoins.”
Bitmain Launches 'Most Efficient Publicly Available ASIC Yet'
Bitcoin mining ASIC provider Bitmain announced the launch of its fourth-generation ASIC, the BM1385. According to the company, the chip can generate a 45% increase in hash rate while needing 50% less electricity than its former chip, the BM1384.
Bitmain Head of North America Jake Smith said:
“The BM1385 chip represents more than six months of full time research and development work from our chip design team, so it required a significant effort to produce. This being our first full-custom chip design, it took a lot more work than previous chips we’ve put out.”
Mike Tyson’s Bitcoin ATM Goes Live
Mike Tyson’s Bitcoin ATM has gone live near the Las Vegas Strip. The machine was covered in black and white promotional branding, emblazoned with Mike Tyson’s former fighting image and iconic facial tattoo imagery. While “off the strip”, the machine is centrally located behind the Mirage, Bellagio and Caesar’s Palace, and south of Wynn Las Vegas across the street from Planet Hollywood.
BitGold Connects Blockchain Platform to 9 Major Banks
A new partnership between BitGold and nine major banks allows BitGold users to move in and out of the BitGold system, which allows users to transact with gold as they would with dollars. BitGold members with bank accounts at Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi, US Bank, USAA, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, Capital One and American Express will now be able to instantly deposit money from their bank account into BitGold, and vice versa.
BitGold CEO Darrell MacMullin said:
“The BitGold platform is breaking down the barriers to enable access to gold for customers around the world. We’ve now enabled the most modern interaction with US banking systems for enhanced verification, security and unprecedented simplicity in buying and storing vaulted gold for bank customers.”
BitPay's Open Source Copay Wallet Now Includes Dynamic Transaction Fees
BitPay's open source Copay wallet has released a new version. The update includes several improvements of the wallet software, such as advanced sending options, the ability to prevent initiating transactions with unconfirmed funds, and perhaps most importantly: dynamic transaction fees. Users can access the dynamic fees directly through the sending interface and pick between three priority levels, which reflect the different mining fees.
Blackmailers Demand Bitcoin from Ashley Madison Users
At least one user of hacked extramarital affair platform Ashley Madison has received a blackmail email demanding payment in bitcoin. The email was sent by an entity calling itself “Team GrayFlay” and contained the individual’s name and personal address. The user was instructed to send a payment in bitcoin or face exposure.
Factom Launches Release Candidate 2 in Preparation for Beta
Factom has announced the launch of the Release Candidate 2 (RC2) version of the Factom Beta. According to Factom, RC2 includes better Factom block syncing and downloading, improved server to client messaging and error handling, some limited code refactoring and reorganization, and is tested for high numbers of entries. The company is asking for developer input as it works toward its next milestone: Factom Genesis.
Donald Trump Vows to Clamp Down on Mexican Remittances
American real estate mogul and presidential hopeful Donald Trump has announced his intentions to impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages. If Trump’s immigration plan ever goes through, it will likely create a disastrous working environment for any foreign immigrants in the and will increase the transaction fees of remittance outlets, which are already taking a large cut of the migrants’ earnings. Unless, of course, bitcoin can offer a solution.
Harborly Bitcoin Exchange Shuts Down
Texas-based bitcoin exchange Harborly has announced to shut its doors as a result of work on a separate project that co-founder and CEO Connor Black described as “a growth hacking tool and service” currently in private beta.
“We made the decision to close down Harborly around the time we started seeing results with a side project we had been working on internally. Given the nature of the project, we realized that 1) we have to move as fast as possible on it, and 2) we don't have enough resources to continue doing both.”