The two operators of the bitcoin exchange service have been charged for working without a money transmission license; New York-based bitcoin exchange itBit launched its Global OTC Agency Trading Desk and more top stories for July 22. Operators Arrested for Running Illegal Bitcoin Exchange

Anthony Murgio and Yuri Lebedev, the two operators of the bitcoin exchange service, have been charged by US prosecutors for working without a money transmission license in violation of federal anti-money laundering statutes. According to a statement from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, which collaborated with the US Secret Service on its investigation of, Murgio and Lebedev knowingly handled funds tied to bitcoin ransomware attacks.

The agency noted:

“In doing so, Murgio, and his co-conspirators knowingly enabled the criminals responsible for those attacks to receive the proceeds of their crimes, yet, in violation of federal anti-money laundering laws, Murgio never filed any suspicious activity reports regarding any of the transactions.”

itBit Announces Launch of Over-the-Counter Trading Desk

New York-based bitcoin exchange itBit announced that it has launched its global over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk. This agency offers trades between large investors and is targeted toward clients who are interested in transactions over 100 bitcoin.

Bobby Cho, director of trading at itBit, said:

“With the itBit Global OTC Agency Trading Desk, our customers will be able to access a regulated OTC market through their existing itBit exchange accounts, matching OTC buyers and sellers through itBit’s global network of clients across more than 100 countries.”

New Cornell Paper Suggests Mining Pools Will Shrink in Size

A newly published Cornell University paper suggests that Bitcoin mining pools should eventually become smaller in size. The author, Ittay Eyal, comes to this conclusion because he believes pools are incentivized to attack each other through a block withholding attack, making it risky to allow any unidentified miners to contribute to pooled mining.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Eyal explained:

“For a long time the block withholding attack was considered a sabotage-only attack. It would cost money to cause damage to another pool. But it turns out that it's not just useful for sabotage. One pool can actually increase its own revenue by attacking a competitor. (…) The way to overcome this problem is to mine with a private pool.”

New Cornell Paper Suggests Mining Pools Will Shrink in Size

VPN Provider Cyberghost Launches Pro-Privacy Initiative, Refers to Bitcoin

Cyberghost, mostly known for their VPN services, has set up its own tech incubator in order to safeguard user privacy. The company has funded their own “pot” of €100,000, which will be split equally among participating tech startups.

Describing his vision for a decentralized future, Cyberghost Co-founder and CEO Rob Knapp referred to Bitcoin as an ideal:

“The future of file storage is decentralized. Like Bitcoin. Nobody can ever switch down Bitcoin […] Nobody can ever influence, control, manipulate it, whatever.”

British Parents are Paying Children in Digital Currency, Report Finds

Over a quarter of British parents pay their children in digital currencies for use in gaming communities such as Minecraft and Moshi Monsters or online services like iTunes, a UK survey has found. Separately, one third now opt to transfer a weekly amount into their children’s (digital) bank accounts.

David Webber, managing director at Intelligent Environments, said the increase in usage of digital devices by youngsters has altered the way we handle money:

“Nothing has changed more than the way in which we manage our money; our research shows that in a world of apps, e-books, digital music, and online games, more children than ever are asking for their weekly allowance digitally to fuel modern-day spending such as in-app purchases, in-game currency and digital music downloads."

WikiLeaks ‘Drowning in Material’ in Post-Bitcoin World

In a recent interview, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange spoke about the resurgence of the platform, and the release of new evidence proving US Secret Service surveillance of the German government on an unprecedented peacetime scale.

Talking about the increase in published material over the last few months, Assange stressed that the site never stopped posting documents, but that some of these had not been of great interest to Western media.

WikiLeaks ‘Drowning in Material’ in Post-Bitcoin World

HYPR Announces Biometric Tokenization Software Development Kit

Biometric Security Firm HYPR has announced general availability of the HYPR Biometric Tokenization Platform. The company's biometric authentication software development kit (SDK) is designed to support all devices with built-in support for biometric sensors, including fingerprint scanning, facial or voice recognition, and more. According to HYPR, several Bitcoin platforms are integrating HYPR to prevent payment fraud across their user base.

NXT Votes Unanimously to Add Coin Mixing Anonymity

The community behind NXT, the finance 2.0 blockchain platform, has voted unanimously to implement CoinShuffle, a coin mixing anonymity technique for NXTcoin and other 'Monetary System' tokens. The votes will be weighed on July 26 based how much NXT each voter holds, after which implementation is expected in the next major release.

NXT Votes Unanimously to Add Coin Mixing Anonymity