The organizer of the Sydney Bitcoin meetup has launched an Australian political party that utilizes Blockchain tech; Ross Ulbricht has asked the judge of the Silk Road trials to impose the most lenient sentence possible, and more top stories for May 25.

Bitcoin Sydney Meetup Organizer Launches Blockchain Based Political Party

Max Kaye, organizer of the Sydney Bitcoin meetup BitcoinSYD, has launched an Australian political party that utilizes Blockchain technology. The party, which is named the Neutral Voting Block (NVB) does not have any policies of its own. Instead, elected officials are told how to vote by participants using a blockchain.

On its website, the NVB writes:

“The Neutral Voting Bloc values conjecture and a culture of criticism above all else. The NVB in and of itself embodies this value and intends to help foster a naturally critical environment to increase the quality of policy output. By focusing on the environment, and not particular policies, the NVB provides a way to upgrade democracy without being bogged down by partisan politics.”

Ross Ulbricht Asks Judge for Leniency

Convicted Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht and no less than 97 of his friends and family members have written to his judge just days prior to sentencing, asking her to impose the most lenient sentence possible.

In his own 1.5 page letter to United States District Judge Katherine Forrest, Ulbricht writes:

“If I do make it out of prison, decades from now, I won’t be the same man, and the world won’t be the same place. I certainly won’t be the rebellious risk taker I was when I created Silk Road. In fact, I’ll be an old man, at least 50, with the additional wear and tear prison life brings.”

Under federal mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, Ulbricht faces at least 20 years in prison and possibly as long as life behind bars.

Bitgold, Inc. Purchases for Nearly CA$52M

In a bold move, BitGold has acquired, a service that allows users to trade and safely store their gold assets, for CA$51.9 million (US$42.3 million). Goldmoney's CA$1.5 billion worth of precious metals will be virtually moved to the Aurum ledger, the backbone behind BitGold’s trade engine.

Roy Sebag, BitGold CEO, said:

“With the technology of the BitGold platform, we can expand the GoldMoney legacy of trust, security, and a client centric purpose to new markets, growing from a much stronger base and benefiting all stakeholders.”

Bitgold, Inc. Purchases for Nearly CA$52M

Famed Mathematician John Nash Killed in Car Crash

John Forbes Nash Jr., the brilliant Princeton University mathematician, whose life story was the subject of the film "A Beautiful Mind," was killed on Saturday in a crash on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Nash is regarded as one of the great mathematicians of the 20th century. He set the foundations of modern game theory while still in his 20s, and his fame grew during his time at Princeton University and at MIT. Following his seemingly accidental death, cryptocurrency commentators are even considering the implications of Nash’s work for decentralized money. Nash was 86.

Famed Mathematician John Nash Killed in Car Crash

CryptoMate founder William Thomas on the Future of Crypto Exchanges

CryptoMate is a recently launched cryptocurrency exchange that sells coins directly to customers via instant bank transfer within the UK. Moving forward, however, the company believes that switching to a peer-to-peer model will allow them to offer a much faster and pleasant buying experience to customers.

In an interview with Cointelegraph, CryptoMate founder William Thomas explained why decentralized, peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges could be the future.


“Unless the banks change their approach soon, British [bitcoin] buyers and sellers will move towards peer-to-peer platforms.”

CryptoMate founder William Thomas on the Future of Crypto Exchanges

Roger Ver Accuses OKCoin of Forgery and Breach of Contract

Roger Ver, commonly referred to as “Bitcoin Jesus,” has accused cryptocurrency trading platform OKCoin of forgery and breach of contract regarding management of the domain name after OKCoin announced it would end its management contract of with Ver due to his checkered past in the financial tech industry. Ver claims to have cryptographic proof of OKCoin forging my signature onto a fake contract.

'The Inevitable Failure of Proof-of-Stake Blockchains and Why a New Algorithm is Needed'

In an op-ed for Cointelegraph, former member of NXT Organization Colin Lacina argues that current mining algorithms as used by different cryptocurrencies all have their shortfalls. He therefore believes that a new algorithm is needed proposing a mining algorithm called Proof of Minimum Aged Stake (PoMAS), which bases its calculations on accounts that have some minimum balance (rather than how much balance they have, as is the case with regular proof-of-stake).

Canadian University to install BTM's and accept BTC for Retail Purchases

The Simon Fraser University (SFU) is the first Canadian University to install BTMs on campus allowing the public to purchase the cryptocurrency. The BTMs will be in each of SFU’s three campuses in Surrey, Vancouver and Burnaby. It is part of the university’s strategy to create a dialogue about cryptocurrency. Additionally, the university's bookstores will begin to accept bitcoin as a form of payment for retail purchases starting tomorrow.

Mark McLaughlin, SFU’s executive director of ancillary services, said:

“What we’re trying to do is get students to talk about innovation and try Bitcoin […] The only way to have an opinion about digital currencies is to learn about it, and we are providing a first-hand experience in that regard.”

Bitcoin ATM Company SatoshiPoint Gains Angel Investors and Plans for Expansion

UK BTM operator SatoshiPoint has confirmed the backing of two Angel Investors, for the purposes of funding expansion plans. The company will be adding to its current locations of Rathbone Place and Old Street Underground London, Manchester, Bristol, and Swansea. The machines will enable users to buy or sell bitcoins, and will be powered by General Bytes software.

Hassan Khoshtaghaza, Managing Director of SatoshiPoint, said:

“These are exciting times for Bitcoin, SatoshiPoint and the UK. I’m really excited to be working with the Angel investors and ecstatic to raise my first round of funding. I have so much positive energy for the future of SatoshiPoint and look forward to seeing the business grow and adapt to the needs of the crypto community in the United Kingdom and further afield.”

Bitcoin in North Korea and Other Places You’d Never Expect

Through the increase of global adoption and awareness, bitcoin is being introduced and accepted in ever more remote parts of the world, and bitcoin enthusiasts are actively trying to promote digital currencies and its benefits for merchants. In a Cointelegraph special, Joseph Young lists eight of the most surprising locations in the world that accept bitcoin, including merchants in countries like North Korea, Kazakhstan, and Iran.

Bitcoin in North Korea and Other Places You’d Never Expect