µTorrent has pulled a controversial LiteCoin mining program from its latest update to the popular torrenting client in face of strong protests. 10,000 Spanish ATMs will now pay out Euros in exchange for Bitcoin following a partnership with BTCPoint. MIT Bitcoin Expo wraps up with glimpse of the future over discussion of threshold signatures, and other top stories for March 9.
µTorrent pulls miner code from new release following protests
Popular torrent client µTorrent has had to pull a built-in altcoin miner named EpicScale from the latest release of its software. Thousands of complaints poured in after the µTorrent update silently installed the miner without permission.
“Amid user feedback, on Friday mid-day we paused the offer to allow time for us to do an evaluation … This offer has been made to Windows client installs only, not Mac or Linux machines. It was released to about 6 [percent] of our global population between mid-January and March 6th 2015.”
10,000 Spanish ATMs can now exchange Bitcoin
Following a partnership between BTCPoint and national Spanish bank Banc Sabadell, Spanish Bitcoin users will now be able to use 10,000 ATMs to withdraw BTC into Euros. The service works by the user sending BTC funds to a central account in return for a pin code to enter on the terminal, meaning they won't require a bank card or account.
“It’s important to note that customers don’t need a credit card or account with the banks in order to receive their fiat currency. Also, the operation is commission-free, unlike the similar service offered by Bit2Me, which charges a one percent commission per transaction.”
MIT Bitcoin Expo wraps up
Following a weekend that saw around 300 in-person attendees, and a further 200 joining on a digital stream, the first MIT Bitcoin Expo has been branded a great success. Day two of the event saw Arvind Narayanan the professor of the Princeton Bitcoin course introduce and discuss the advent of threshold signatures.
Utah Bitcoin bill passes first Senate reading
Having already been passed through the state's House of Representative with a 38 to 36 vote in favor, Bill H.C.R. 6 has now also passed its first reading in the Senate. The proposed legislation will form a committee to assess the ways in which the state could accept Bitcoin for payment of state services.
“Following the proposed legislation's arrival at the state's senate though, the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee have already given the bill their nod of approval by three votes in favor to one opposed. The outcome of the legislated Council on Payment Options could therefore be equally favorable.”
New York Observer fails to buy art with Bitcoin
New York Observer argues the art world is furthest behind the technological curve, despite potential benefits to international art dealers. Attending the Armory Show in New York, the Observer magazine quizzed galley owners on whether they had conducted Bitcoin transactions, and found some unwilling to even imagine accepting the cryptocurrency.
“Alright, so nobody is asking about Bitcoin in the art world. What about, say, if a wealthy collector wanted to make a sizable purchase in Bitcoin? “We wouldn’t sell to them, especially if we don’t know or trust them,” said Jessica Fredericks of Fredericks & Freiser. “We just don’t know how Bitcoin works.”
Kenya's powerful M-Pesa network could help Bitcoin spread
With 17 million of the country's 40 million residents using the mobile based finance tool M-Pesa, a string of new start-ups is hoping to leverage the familiarity and penetration of the system to boost Bitcoin. For a country that benefits from the international remittance industry, the cryptocurrency looks set to make a large impact.
“There is an old joke to the effect that you will always know a Kenyan in a foreign city because the first thing they will ask right at the airport is where they can find an M-Pesa agent in town. Of course, this is an exaggeration, but it goes to show how the service is entrenched in Kenyan society.”
Bitcoin Women's Day champions the role of women in digital currency
Celebrating the international March 8 celebration of women everywhere, the Bitcoin community came together over the weekend to mark the role women play in the cryptocurrency sector. With sponsorship from BitPay and the Bitcoin Foundation, the event Bitcoin Women's Day is now set to be an annual occurrence.
“Cointelegraph as a publication is no exception, having been spearheaded from the outset by Maria Jones, who as General Manager has become a familiar face in the community. “I am thrilled that such a concerted effort has been made to bring the values of IWD to Bitcoin.”
University of Michigan economics professor discusses negative inflation and cryptocurrencies
Miles Kimball, professor of economics and the University of Michigan has been discussing negative inflation rates, and the future of cryptocurrencies with Cointelegraph. In a wide-ranging interview Kimball explains his belief that robots may one day be able to set monetary policy.
“Bitcoin is a currency already. But it would not be good to try to use it as a ‘full-service’ currency. A good unit of account needs to have a constant value relative to goods and services. Bitcoin does not do this.”
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