Banking suspension for Bitcoin service in Poland, Google news feed partnership with Coinbase, Antonopoulos called up for Silk Road trial, and many other events in Cointelegraph news roundup for Sunday 1st February.
1 – Polish bank suspends Bitcoin exchange BitMarket.pl's account
Digital currency exchange BitMarket.pl had its bank account closed after the Polish WNK bank raised concerns about the start-up's Bitcoin trading activity. In a letter to the exchange, the banking subsidiary of Santander explains:
“Bitcoin turnover, which is visible on your account, is not covered by the unambiguous provisions of Polish law.”
2 – Google adds Coinbase to supported partnerships for the Google Now app
Google has enabled Android users of their popular live-updates app “Now” to receive update cards from Coinbase. Promoting the news on the company's blog, Coinbase explains:
“These notifications […] will provide you with timely updates, like bitcoin price changes, the delivery of bitcoin to your Coinbase wallet, and other transaction information.”
3 – Andreas Antonopoulos to appear at the Silk Road trial
Andreas Antonopoulos has been called up as an expert witness for Ross Ulbricht's defense team. The evangelical Bitcoin figure will be providing the court with an overview of the history of Bitcoin and explanation of the mechanics of the system.
“[T]he defense plans to call Andreas M. Antonopoulos to provide expert opinion testimony.”
For in-depth Silk Road trial coverage, be sure to check out our latest weekly recap here.
4 – BTM provider Robocoin may be facing widespread hardware failure
Supposed “inside reports” from inside the international provider of Bitcoin ATMs Robocoin, suggests they may be facing a much higher rate of hardware failure than had previously been thought. Following a failure of its “cash API infrastructure” on January 29, critics “claim Robocoin has been plagued by hardware failures on a larger scale than they’re able or willing to support,” reads the article. “The claims also suggest there are also unspecified (but serious) problems with their software development pipeline.”
5 – Bitcoin users lost US$11 million in scams in the last four years
Researchers at the Southern Methodist University claim Bitcoin users have lost US$11 million in the last four years through scams and frauds. Writing on the subject in a Cointelegraph Op-Ed however, Amanda B. Johnson argues that Bitcoin users “actually came out far, far ahead of dollar users, who suffered a whopping US$4 trillion theft curing the same four years.”
6 – Bitcoin price drops then but rallies back to US$226
Sparking fears of another price crash, the BTC price dipped to US$212 on February 1. Early reports were quick to explain that this was a continued decline, but the market rallied up 4.5% to US$226 by the end of the day. This may be “a bearish signal which may indicate that a further decline in the bitcoin price may be expected, unless something dramatic happens to break the trend.”
7 – Bill filed in New Hampshire requiring the state to accept Bitcoin for payment of taxes
Reported by Bitcoin expert Barry Silbert on twitter on February 1, the bill aims to force the state to accept Bitcoin payments for taxes and fees. With seven sponsors the bill already has some traction, but faces a long road ahead through the legislature.
8 – Bill Gates has warned the AI represents a growing threat
Speaking during a Reddit AMA, the Microsoft founder identified himself as concerned about the future threat intelligent technology could pose to humankind. Gates wrote:
"I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence. First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well."
Nevertheless, other experts see blockchain technology as a method to deliver friendly AI.
9 – Popular international science magazine New Scientist runs Bitcoin special
Popular non-peer-reviewed weekly science magazine New Scientist has run a special series of articles exploring the world of digital currencies and Bitcoin for its 4 million plus readers. The report features sections on its past, future, and current day-to-day “spendability”.
“WANT to buy bitcoins, but not sure where to start? It isn't for the faint-hearted – owners must look after their coins and be prepared to ride out volatile prices. Even the developers warn that the virtual currency is experimental and has an uncertain future.”
10 – Coin Center study finds 65 % of Americans don't know what Bitcoin is.
A study conducted through Google Consumer Surveys, weighed to represent the typical American demographic, found that only 35 % of respondents knew what Bitcoin is. Of those that did, only 20 % had used it. Continuing the research:
“[w]hen asked to state how often Bitcoin is being used for criminal activity versus legitimate activity on a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being ‘Mostly crime, fraud, extortion’ and 10 being ‘Mostly legal transfers, investments’ the median answer was 3.5.”
11 – Two Wall Street Journal writers publish book on the history of Bitcoin
Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey, both writers with the Wall Street Journal's BitBeat, have published a historical examination of Bitcoin's journey to 2015.
“The two wanted to “explore all the possibilities of the blockchain and not get locked into a silly debate about whether the currency should be worth ‘this’ or ‘that.’”
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