Bitcoin core developer Jeff Garzik has signed a deal to have his full-node satellites built, ready to be launched into orbit. IBM is rumored to be working on its own version of Bitcoin designed to introduce instant euro and dollar payments. Large sybil attack discovered as huge node network found to be working to undermine blockchain anonymity, and much more that happened on March 13.

Garzik signs deal to deploy his BitSats to space

Bitcoin core developer Jeff Garzik has brought his plans to deploy blockchain full nodes into space on mini satellites a step closer to reality. Garzik's Dunvegan Space System's company has signed a deal with Deep Space Industries, to build the first 24 of the mini-sats ready to be launched into orbit around the planet.

“Dunvegan plans to have the BitSats keep a complete record of bitcoin’s ever-growing blockchain ledger, thus acting as crucial “full nodes” to backup bitcoin’s all-important core database at a time when the number of earth-based computers providing this vital storage service has declined.”

IBM may be developing Bitcoin alternative

According to a rumor yesterday, IBM may be looking to use blockchain technology to create its own digital payments system. The development would presumably aim to bring a trusted name to the concept of instant funds transfers and payments.

“The objective is to allow people to transfer cash or make payments instantaneously using this technology without a bank or clearing party involved, saving on transaction costs, the person said. The transactions would be in an open ledger of a specific country's currency such as the dollar or euro.”

Blockchain may be under sybil attack from a “compliance” monitoring group

Users on Bitcointalk have noticed a “regulatory compliance” company, Chainalysis, running nodes on the blockchain aimed at absorbing transaction data to be sold to clients seeking to trace funds. The action puts the anonymity of Bitcoin transactions further at stake. /r/bitcoin user 321432 explains:

“These fake nodes have been observed for quite a while now, around 5% of the total listening 'nodes' in the network are owned by this company. They do nothing but aggressively announce themselves to attract more people to connect to them and de-anonymise themselves. For all we know they own even more nodes than this, it's impossible to know how deeply they have sybil attacked the network.”

Texas Bitcoin Conference returns to Austin

The annual Texas Bitcoin Conference is this month returning to the city of Austin. Focusing on the issues of Bitcoin 2.0, and the Internet of Things, the conference will also host a Hackathon with a collective prize fund valued at over one million US dollars.

“The 2015 Texas Bitcoin Conference today announced that three renowned thought-leaders will be making keynote presentations at this year’s event, taking place March 27 through 29, at the Moody Theater in downtown Austin”

Bitmain DDoS attacks continue, company places 10BTC bounty on its attackers

Hackers have warned the mining equipment manufacturer and cloud mining operator Bitmain that it will face concerted DDoS attacks unless it pays a 10BTC ransom. Bitmain has responded by instead forewarning its customers, redoubling its protections, and placing a 10BTC bounty on the attackers' identities.

“This morning we received a concerning email from a group of hackers threatening Bitmain and our services with a DDoS attack and demanding a ransom payment to prevent the attack. Bitmain is committed to providing the best service possible to our users, and will not invite future attacks of this sort by giving in to the demands of hackers.”

BBC examines Bitcoin's future

The BBC has published a long piece examining the possible future of Bitcoin. Discussing the idea that Bitcoin has yet to find its “killer app”, the international broadcaster instead writes an accessible summary of Bitcoin and its rival cryptocurrency payment systems, and their applicability.

“Worries by banks about the money laundering risk from cryptocurrencies has stunted use of block chain technology in the UK banking sector till now. But the money laundering risk from cryptocurrencies can be overstated, believes Dr Robinson.

The risk is there, but there is a publicly available database, and everyone can look at it, and see every block chain transaction that's ever been made.”

Chinese Yuan dominates Bitcoin trades at 80% volume

Research has shown that up to 80% of Bitcoin's trading volume is now driven by the Chinese Yuan. In comparison, the US Dollar made up 19% and the Euro a low 1%. The popularity of Bitcoin in China appears to continue despite a clampdown by the People's Bank of China on the digital currency.

“About 80 percent of bitcoin volume is now driven by the Chinese yuan, according to data from Goldman Sachs. The U.S. dollar is the second most used currency for transactions, followed by the euro, the bank said in a new report. The bank's findings correlate with data from Bitcoinity, a popular website used to track market data.”

Ghana to host its second Bitcoin CoinFest event

Occurring on March 17, Ghana's Bitcoin event CoinFest is set to run for the second time. Organized by the Dream Bitcoin Foundation, the event will take place in the city of Kumasi. The event is aimed at raising the profile of cryptocurrencies in the country, especially among young would-be entrepreneurs.

“By attending the event, you will hear from speakers in the Crypto world, receive great knowledge about Bitcoin and other Crypto-currencies, and have a lot of fun with other participants. This event will feature tremendous speakers and panels on the ideas behind a free society and the actions necessary to implement them.”

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