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Bitcoin Daily Digest about Kim Dotcom's MegaNet Will Use Blockchain, PokerStars Denies BTC Rumors, Bitcoin Foundation Members, Commonwealth Secretariat to Explore Bitcoin, Stolen BTMs in Amsterdam, Patrick Murck to Advise Lending Network BTCJa, Bitcoin Powers New Worldwide Cellphone Top-Up Service, Virginia Law Firm Accepts Bitcoin, eToro CEO Joins Board at Bitcoin Startup Colu, Russian researchers
Well known internet entrepreneur and political party founder Kim Dotcom send out a tweet in which he announces that his upcoming decentralized, non-IP based network MegaNet will make use of the blockchain. Like many of Dotcom's announcements regarding MegaNet, however, details are lacking, and listeners are left guessing.
The tweet reads:
“The blockchain will play an important role and battery drain won't be an issue with hundreds of millions of phones carrying #MegaNet”
PokerStars, the world's largest online poker site, has countered recent rumors suggesting it will soon start accepting bitcoin. According to a PokerStars representative, the poker site is monitoring the situation, but has no concrete plans:
"PokerStars has no immediate plans to implement bitcoin, and it is not on our development roadmap."
Only some 20% of the potential voters are allowed to take part in the current board member election for the Bitcoin Foundation. A new rule requiring voters to 'activate' their account was missed by up to 1,159 members, leading to their ineligibility to vote.
By adding a new requirement that voters intending to take part in the board election must 'activate' their accounts prior to the poll, the Foundation was trying to solve the problem that inactive members make achieving quorum difficult for electing board members:
“Currently, inactive members essentially function as members who wish all matters submitted to membership vote to fail to achieve quorum and no candidate to be successful. While such wishes must be a choice each member is free to choose, it should not be the default state assigned if no action by a member is taken.”
The Commonwealth Secretariat will hold a hearing on digital currencies on February 17th and 18th called the Virtual Currency Round Table, in order to identify how the nascent technology might benefit the developing world. The two-day event will feature representatives from Europol, the International Monetary Fund, Interpol and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat Josephine Ojiambo said:
“This meeting will help member countries guard against risks and identify ways virtual currencies can contribute to future social and economic development.”
Bad news for the Dutch Bitcoin scene as two Bitcoin-ATMs (BTM's) were stolen in Amsterdam about a month ago. Whoever stole the machines can't really use them since they have serial numbers linking them to the original owners, and if they make contact with the internet either the owners or the producers of the machines will automatically be contacted. Neither will the thief be able to get any bitcoins out of the machines. What's left is the cash money inside, although it's unclear how much that was.
The owner of one of the BTM's, Mr.Bitcoin's Martijn Wismeijer, said he will continue to place BTM's in the Netherlands, however:
“We will keep installing BTM's in Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands, as we believe these machines are an important part of the Bitcoin ecosystem, and they help make bitcoin a little bit less virtual for ordinary people. We will just need to be a bit more selective on where exactly to place them.”
Patrick Murck, who has been the executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation since the resignation of Jon Matonis, has joined the board of advisors of BTCJam, a bitcoin-powered peer-to-peer lending network.
"I am honored to be invited to join the Board of Advisors for BTCJam, one of the most exciting companies powered by bitcoin. BTCJam is creating new on-ramps for people the world over to join the emerging digital economy, not the least is their unique credit scoring algorithm."
Mobile payments pioneer mHITs enters the Bitcoin space with a platform it claims is the easiest way to send phone credit across borders. The new service, BitMoby, lets users transfer between US$10 and US$100 to mobiles in over 117 different countries, without as much as the need to register.
MHITs CEO Harold Dimpel said:
"Mobile top-up is purchased in cash around the world with no customer registration information, so why should we require it? We don’t care who is paying us. So long as we have the funds, we will do the transaction."
Anderson, Desimone & Green, a law firm providing estate planning and administration services throughout Southwest Virginia, is the first law firm in the region to accept Bitcoin as a payment method from clients.
President of the area law firm and estate planning attorney Chris Desimone said that Bitcoin holds many advantages, notably for customers, who are now given more flexibility with transactions:
"I know the world is not caught up to digital currency yet, but I do believe it’s the direction it’s going. We’re not expecting a big boost in business or anything, but I do believe underlying blockchain technology is the way of the future."
Colored coins startup Colu announced eToro CEO Yoni Assia has joined its board of directors. eToro and Assia have been active in the bitcoin ecosphere for a while, most notably because it enabled bitcoin trading for the estimated 2.75m users of its platform in January 20014. Now, Assia will delve into Bitcoin 2.0 related ventures:
”I believe that bitcoin 2.0, specifically the usage of the blockchain itself for different transactions is the killer application of bitcoin.”
Scary news, perhaps especially for bitcoiners: Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based security software maker, says that the U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by several top manufacturers. According to cyber researchers and former operatives, this gives the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world's computers.
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