Hong Kong investment firm MyCoin may have lost US$387 million amid allegation of it being a pyramid scheme, Andreas Antonopoulos says to give Bitcoin “two years” following 2014's record investment in the technology, IBM plans to give away US$18,000 worth of bitcoins in a “rain” of the digital currency at a São Paulo event, and much more news that happened on February 7 and 8.
1 - MyCoin reportedly bankrupt, losing US$387 million in users funds
Hong Kong based Bitcoin investment firm MyCoin has reportedly gone bust in the face of pyramid scheme allegations. Up to 3,000 private users are believed to have lost funds totaling over US$387 million.
“[I]nvestors only received an online account upon submission of their Bitcoin, with no proof of payment and no verifiable information regarding refunds or plausible safety nets. In December, MyCoin began prohibiting full account withdrawals unless further investors were found.”
2 - Andreas Antonopoulos: “Give Bitcoin Two Years”
Speaking at the Bitcoin and Blockchain Summit in San Francisco, Bitcoin expert Andreas Antonopoulos has said 2014 was a good year for the digital currency in terms of both investment and interest. Drawing parallels between multi-signature technology developed in 2012 and deployed last year, Antonopoulos implied much of the benefit will be seen in 2017.
“[I]n 2014, during ‘the worst year of bitcoin,’ 500 start-ups received US$500 million in investment generating tens of thousands of jobs — and none of that innovation has come back yet, because they just started. Give us two years.”
3 - IBM gives out US$ 18,000 in BTC at Brazilian event
“The distribution of prizes in the rain is cyclical and will be repeated for two hundred (200) times, the extent to which participants continue in the capture of bitcoins during the "rain". After each rain, [there] will appear on the phone display a message that the participant captured their success with prizes, instructing him to verify the e-mail address registered to view the exact amount of Bitcoins captured.”
4 - De-centralized exchange seeks de-centralized crowdfunding
Decentralized exchange BitSquare is seeking crowdfunding on decentralized fund raising platform LightHouse. Marrying up the two sides of the decentralized tech world, the start-up is hoping to raise 120BTC to produce an exchange not vulnerable to a single point of failure accident or attack.
“LightHouse is a decentralized crowdfunding platform. It was originally proposed by Olivier Janssens as a way to fund changes to the Bitcoin Core code in a decentralized manner, until Janssen's plan to overhaul the BTC Foundation comes to fruition it has been re-purposed as a general decentralized crowdfunding platform. He kicked off the BitSquare funding with a generous 10 BTC donation.”
5 - Lower income individuals more likely to use Bitcoin
Generating their results from meta-analysis of existing international Bitcoin opinion polling, the 2014 Survey of Bitcoin Polling has found that low-income individuals responded as more likely to use Bitcoin in the future. Using the data from 21 English language polls, the survey aims to create a general picture of attitudes towards Bitcoin.
“[The survey] found that across various population segments from different geographical areas, knowledge is low, trust is weak, and adoption rates among customers and merchants are slow.”
6 - Voting opens for CoinTelegraph and Ziftr's competition
Having posed the question, “What will it take for Bitcoin to gain mass-acceptance?” CoinTelegraph and Ziftr are offering a top prize of 0.5BTC and 500 ZiftrCOINs to our readers' favorite user-submitted answer. Voting is open now, and you can read our top three entries here, and an excerpt from one below:
“Retailers begin to notice that a significant number of consumers own bitcoin and worry that if they don’t accept the currency they will be at a competitive disadvantage to the retailers who do. This leads to mass adoption by retailers that are trying to avoid being left behind in the new cryptocurrency revolution.”
7 - Africa's “Cheetahs” are embracing Bitcoin and driving economic development
The growth of a young, educated, and ambitious generation of entrepreneurs, and professionals in Africa is driving economic change in the continent, and they're becoming more interested in Bitcoin.
“They believe Bitcoin can save Africa from being ruined by intellectual buffoons. The bumbling political leaders can no longer suck our blood with fiat money. Unlike fiat money, no government controls Bitcoin. It is a form of digital currency, and can only be held electronically.”
8 – Peter Thiel calls Bitcoin a brilliant breakthrough
Speaking at the UCLA, Peter Thiel the American entrepreneur called Bitcoin a “rare” “brilliant breakthrough.” Drawing on it as an example of innovative technology, Thiel found Bitcoin sprung to mind as a genuine new technology whilst comparing it to amalgamations of technology such as the iPhone.
“In our society we're very focused on incremental iteration, where it's something where you're steadily improving things over time. We occasionally have this form that's more like this “brilliant breakthrough”, something like Bitcoin or something like that, which is quite rare.”
9 - Lessons can be learned from the Ross Ulbricht Silk Road trial
In a CoinTelegraph op-ed on the subject, four lessons have been drawn from the experiences of Ross Ulbricht at trial, ranging from the idea that drugs will lead to crypto-currency's mass adoption, to the idea that crypto users cannot find justice in state-run courts.
“Imagine how many state employees like Jared Deryeghiayan collected fat salaries – for years – to infiltrate the site's administrative operations. To track down and seize the servers on the other side of the world.”
10 - /r/bitcoin implements Mentor Mondays
Seeking to help and educate newcomers to Bitcoin, the community at Reddit's /r/bitcoin have started a series of AMA style sessions where those with questions about the digital currency can ask them in an open forum. With questions ranging from BitLicense to “How does BIP70 work?” the range of the subreddit's expertise is on show.
“Ask (and answer!) away! Here are the general rules: If you'd like to learn something, ask. If you'd like to share knowledge, answer. Any question about bitcoins is fair game. And don't forget to check out /r/BitcoinBeginners”
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