Facebook Messenger adds a new payment feature, Coinapult gets hacked for 150 BTC, MGT Capital Investments suspends merger discussions with Tera Group, 'Evolution' Dark Net marketplace turned out to be a scam, and more top stories that happened on March 18.
Facebook Announces P2P Money Transfer Feature
Facebook announced a new payments feature that allows users to send money through its messaging app, Facebook Messenger, by linking their Visa or MasterCard.
The company said it was not looking to "build a payments business," but rather offer a nice and convenient feature that will make Facebook Messenger "more useful, expressive and delightful."
The new feature is expected to roll out in the US in the coming months.
Admins Exit 'Evolution' Scam
Evolution, one of the largest black marketplaces on the Dark Net, vanished overnight with admins reportedly exiting what turned out to be a scam scheme.
"I have admin access to see parts of the back end, the admins are preparing to exit scam with all the funds," a former staff member wrote on Reddit.
"Not a single withdrawal has gone through in almost a week. Automatic withdrawals has been disabled which is only doing on rare occasions.
I am so sorry, but Verto and Kimble have f*cked us all. I have over US$20,000 in escrow myself from sales."
As of today, the exact amount of consumer losses is not yet known but it is estimated to be in the millions USD.
Coinapult Hacked for 150 BTC
Bitcoin startup Coinapult has suffered a security breach that resulted in a 150 BTC loss, or US$42,000 at press time.
Coinapult was put under maintenance to investigate on the compromise of its hot wallet, and warns customers to not send bitcoins to existing Coinapult addresses.
CoinDesk Slims Down Editorial Team
Digital currency news service CoinDesk, has "over the past couple of months" laid off two sub-editors and cut back a handful of freelancers’ contracts, CoinDesk CEO Jeremy Bonney told the Wall Street Journal.
Bonney further explained:
"In the early days of CoinDesk, things were so frenetic – many of us would wake up at 4 a.m. to publish the latest price updates, or be working on the weekends with our partners trying to drag us away from our laptops.
We expanded the team last year to make things smoother and easier, but as our processes got better, some of those extra staff weren’t always being used to full capacity."
Next-Gen Social Network Synereo Releases Whitepaper
Synereo, a next-gen decentralized and distributed social network, has released its whitepaper in which it reveals how the technology and network model work.
Synereo’s goal is to empower the users of its network by allowing them to retain ownership of their identity and the information they create – in stark contrast to the social networks currently in existence.
The whitepaper reads:
"In Synereo, our digital identity reverts to our control. We are free to construct it as we see fit and establish and utilize our reputation; it’s about our connections with others; about the communities we form; about the trust placed in us by our peers. Synereo, therefore, was not created only for reclaiming our financial value. It’s about reclaiming our social capital."
Counterparty Co-Founder: 'We Do Not See Overstock's Medici as a Competitor'
In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, Counterparty co-founder Evan Wagner answered a few questions about his company's plans, Symbiont, the split from Overstock’s Medici program, their new desktop wallet release, and more.
"We founded Symbiont to address real problems that exist in the structure and operation of traditional financial markets. Our thesis is blockchain technology in conjunction with the development of smart securities can solve these previously intractable problems.
Since we left the Medici project we have not had any communication with Overstock.com so we can't comment on what they are building or how they plan to execute on their vision. What we can say is that we are big supporters of Medici and we do not see them as a competitor."
Darkcoin Rebrands to Dash
Open-sourced and privacy-centric digital currency Darkcoin announced it has rebranded to Dash, short for "digital cash." The new name is expected to be used officially and in external services starting March 25, according to a release.
"We believe our new brand Dash will better represent all aspects of our platform and make it more accessible to end users," the organization said.
"We are only changing the name, no technology is affected by this. The coin, the blockchain and the people will be the same. Users don’t need to act on this, the next update of the wallet will have the new brand and it will be a standard update."
MGT Capital Investments Suspends Merger Discussions With Tera Group
MGT Capital Investments Inc. announced on March 17 it had suspended discussions with Tera Group, Inc., owner and operator of TeraExchange, LLC, a Bitcoin derivatives exchange regulated by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
On February 27, the two companies had entered into a Letter of Intent in order to finalize and execute a definitive merger agreement. However, the self-imposed deadline of the LOI expired on March 16, and the parties did not reach a binding extension, according to a release.
The said agreement was intended to found Tera Group going public on the New York Stock Exchange.
Texas Bitcoin Conference: Bitcoin 2.0, Blockchain Tech and Cybersecurity
The 2015 Texas Bitcoin Conference has unveiled its program and will be focusing on Bitcoin 2.0, blockchain applications, and cybersecurity for Bitcoin-based systems, according to a release.
Sumabala P. Nair, IBM business analytics and strategy architect, will give a keynote speech and discuss how IBM’s Project ADEPT is leveraging blockchain technology for world-scale Internet-of-Things architectures.
Other speakers include Shawn Wilkinson of Storj, Airbitz’s Paul Puey, as well as Steven Sprague of Rivetz.
The 2015 Texas Bitcoin Conference will take place on March 27 – 29, at the Moody Theater in Austin.
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