Australia's Central Bank says digital currency regulation is “not worth the cost” at this stage, presidential candidate Rand Paul accepts donations in bitcoin, Shapeshift adds Counterparty's XCP, and more top news for April 8.

Bitcoin Regulation Not Worth the Cost, Says Australian Central Bank

The Reserve Bank of Australia issued a statement on Tuesday, indicating that it was not in favor of regulating digital currencies at the time being.

The authority said:

"Digital currencies represent an interesting development in the payments and financial system landscape. [...] The Bank's judgment is that the current very limited use of digital currencies means that they do not raise any significant concerns with respect to competition, efficiency or risk to the financial system. Accordingly, it is currently unlikely that any benefits of regulation would outweigh the potential costs."

Presidential Candidate Rand Paul Accepts Donations in Bitcoin

Rand Paul, a US senator from Kentucky, officially announced on Tuesday his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. The senator is the first presidential candidate to accept donations in bitcoin.

"I've been fascinated by the concept of it, but I never would have purchased it myself. I'm just a little bit skeptical," Paul said in an interview conducted last year, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Presidential Candidate Rand Paul Accepts Donations in Bitcoin

Shapeshift Adds Counterparty's XCP

Swiss instant cryptocurrency exchange Shapeshift, announced Tuesday it has added Counterparty's XCP, allowing users to trade instantly the digital currency with bitcoin or over two dozens other cryptos.

CEO and founder Erik Voorhees, stated:

"As perhaps the most famous Crypto 2.0 platform, Counterparty has demonstrated a track record of innovation and professionalism. The Counterparty asset is a natural fit for ShapeShift."

Online Billing Service Hiveage Adds Bitcoin Support

Hiveage, an online billing service for freelancers and small businesses, announced today its integration with Coinbase, allowing users to accept bitcoin payments.

"It is constantly being adopted by businesses, freelancers and ecommerce platforms around the world, and saw a 14% growth in business users in 2014 alone," the company said in a release.

Founder and CEO, Lankitha Wimalarathna, stated:

"Bitcoin is quickly becoming a useful way of transferring value, and it’s been highly demanded over the past few months by our users.

It’s important to us that we support customers who use bitcoin so that they can continue to grow their businesses without having to worry about securing payments. We want all users, regardless of currency, to benefit from our platform."

Tewksbury Police Forced to Pay US$500 Ransom to Hackers

The Tewksbury Police Department was forced to pay US$500 to computer hackers who encrypted the department’s data using a ransomware, reported the Boston Globe.

Tewksbury Police Chief Timothy Sheehan, stated:

"My initial thoughts were we were infected by some sort of a virus. Then we determined it was a little bit bigger than that. It was more like cyberterrorism."

After agents from federal and state law enforcement agencies, as well as two private Internet security firms, failed to retrieve the data after five days, the police paid the ransom with bitcoins, as requested by the hackers.

Coinbase Launches New Developer Portal, Announces Hackathon

Bitcoin exchange Coinbase, announced on Tuesday a new developer portal that provides information and documentation for all the startup's APIs.

In an effort to encourage developers to build more apps, the company further introduced a Developer Sandbox that gives developers access to the Coinbase APIs in a development-appropriate environment. This environment uses testnet, an alternative bitcoin blockchain that, as the name suggests, is dedicated to testing.

Furthermore, the startup announced its second hackathon, BitHack V2. The hackathon will reward the top winner with US$10,000 worth of prizes, and will be judges by leading bitcoin experts and investors.

Developers can submit their applications starting from today until May 19, 11:59pm PST.

Coinapult Back in Business

Coinapult, which went into maintenance on March 17 following a hack that resulted in a loss of 150 BTC, announced the full restoration of its services, according to a blog post published on April 2.

The company wrote:

"Users can now deposit BTC and Lock in addition to withdrawing and Unlocking.

Despite further in depth analysis, we have not yet been able to determine the specific entry point of the attack. We took extensive measures to protect against this sort of thing, and the hacker covered his tracks. Unfortunately, our own disk encryption and other security measures make forensics harder as well."

OneBit to Allows Users to Spend Bitcoins at Any Mastercard Paypass Terminal

Newly announced bitcoin startup OneBit, has built a mobile app that allows users to shop at any store part of the Mastercard Paypass payment network.

Founder Toby Hoenisch said that the prototype was built during a Mastercard Hackathon and received great feedback from the firm. The startup is seeking support and funding to officially launch. 

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