Interpol develops its own altcoin for conducting crime research, Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul believes Bitcoin should not be feared or regulated, and more top stories for April 24.

Interpol Develops Altcoin to Conduct Crime Research

The recently inaugurated Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) located at Singapore recently announced their creation of a proprietary altcoin, to be used solely for research purposes by their cyber-crime division in order to develop new tools for crypto currency related crime detection and prevention.

Explaining the move, IGCI Director and former Inspector General of Police with India’s Central Bureau of Investigation Madan Oberoi said:

“It’s a virtual world that we have created, and personnel can come and operate these things and learn by operating them, we felt that these things if you try to teach people from a policing background through PowerPoint presentations, it doesn’t make too much sense. Let them play around and learn more.”

Rand Paul Chides 'Naysayers' Who Want to Regulate Bitcoin

Kentucky senator and Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul told the attendees at his talk at a Union League Club in New York that he became interested in the technology behind the cryptocurrency after reading Netscape co-founder and Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen's take on the payments potential for digital currencies and blockchains. Interestingly, Paul said that he thinks Bitcoin should not be feared or regulated.


"I'm open to innovation, I'm open to ideas, and I think if we had so many naysayers 25 years ago saying we should regulate the Internet or have the government regulate the Internet we'd have never gotten to where we are now."

ItBit Set to Become First US Regulated Bitcoin Bank

Having filed its registration application in New York, ItBit is looking to become the first regulated Bitcoin bank in America. The move would allow the digital currency exchange operationally based in Singapore and with a head office in New York to legitimately take on a more traditional banking service role while meeting relevant legal requirements.

Chief Compliance Officer Erik Wigenhof Plante said:

“The second wave of Bitcoin companies, like ItBit, aims to have institutional investors as clients, and to create trust. With trust of course comes regulation, as without regulation it's very hard to create this trust. Once regulators come out with proper and pragmatic regulation, we will see an upsurge [in Bitcoin] no doubt.”

ItBit Set to Become First US Regulated Bitcoin Bank

Latin America's Largest Social Network Will Pay Its Users in Bitcoin for Content

Latin American social networking giant Taringa! has launched Taringa! Creadores, a revenue sharing program to start paying its users bitcoin for their content contributions. With its 75 million unique visitors and a registered user base of 27 million people, Taringa! is only second to Facebook in Latin American traffic. XAPO, partnering with Taringa! through a simple one-click integration with its secure wallet hopes this will bring access to a core group of users, which are underbanked and could benefit greatly from Bitcoin’s technology.

Latin America's Largest Social Network Will Pay Its Users in Bitcoin for Content

South African Startup Introduces Bitcoin Payments to Smart Meters for Power Grids

South African Bitcoin startup Bankymoon has built the world’s first blockchain smart metering solution for modern power and utility grids. When a smart meter receives a Bitcoin payment, Bankymoon calculates the tariff and then loads the meter. Bankymoon’s integration of Bitcoin payments into smart metering systems for modern grids allows users to “send” electricity, water and gas to anybody else in the world, from anywhere, by topping their utility meters.

OpenBazaar Releases 0.4.0 ‘Portobello,’ Bringing Major Additions

OpenBazaar has released beta version 0.4.0 for Linux and Mac users, dubbed “Portobello.” The update includes some major additions. Security wise, the service now includes HD key signing and an internal messaging system, while it gives the optional third-party arbitrators of the service more features.

On the usability front, the service now supports avatars and up to four product images per listing, the search function has been improved, and a simple walk-through has been added.

OpenBazaar Releases 0.4.0 ‘Portobello,’ Bringing Major Additions

CoinHako is First Insured Bitcoin Exchange in Asia

Singapore based bitcoin exchange CoinHako's bitcoin reserve is now insured by California's BitGo Inc. insurance based offerings. This means that user deposits in CoinHako's wallets are now insured against hacking and theft.

CoinHako CEO Yusho Liu said:

“This will give our end user seven more confidence that the coins held by CoinHako are protected with an insurance based offering and secured with the industry's best practices and technologies […]. This is a big step for ward for the industry.”

Lamassu Plans Added Cost for Bitcoin ATM Operators

Lamassu has announced it will begin charging monthly subscription fees to pay for tech support and software upgrades. While the service is not mandatory, Lamassu said that it will no longer offer free support to customers after the start date.

Lamassu CEO and co-founder Zach Harvey explained:

“Up until this point, we were just giving out support for free, and it’s something that’s just not sustainable. We can’t give full support for free, and it was something that was never included in the price of the machine.”

BitSIM Turns a Dumb Phone into a Bitcoin Wallet

BitSIM is privately raising funds for the production of a small, dual-chip overlay that can be physically placed atop a phone's regular SIM card. Once there, the BitSIM turns that phone – even if it's a “dumb” phone – into a Bitcoin wallet by submitting transactions to the Bitcoin network as encrypted text messages.

Founder Leon-Gerard Vandenberg explained:

“Anything running on top of the Bitcoin protocol is also within the reach of BitSIM users, such as Counterparty assets or via ChromaWallet. On a smartphone BitSIM would cooperate with the HIVE wallet and their full Hive app store as well, which expands services. So BitSIM is a platform [where] it will be possible for a BitSIM developer community to evolve, supporting that ecosystem.”

BitSIM Turns a Dumb Phone into a Bitcoin Wallet

Dogecoin Founder Exits Crypto Community Citing 'Toxic' Culture

Dogecoin founder and Adobe senior manager Jackson Palmer has announced he is taking an "extended leave of absence" from the cryptocurrency community. Calling the ecosystem "toxic," Palmer used the occasion to blast aspects of the industry, while encouraging users of dogecoin not to lose sight of its fun and playful roots.

Explaining his decision, Palmer said:

"All in all, the cryptocurrency space increasingly feels like a bunch of white libertarian bros sitting around hoping to get rich and coming up with half-baked, buzzword-filled business ideas which often fail in an effort to try and do so."

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