New Jersey has clarified the position of merchants accepting bitcoin as payment, defining it as a “barter” type of sale; mobile operator Orange is searching out digital currency start-ups in Silicon Valley to invest in; GAW mining sued for US$500,000 over unpaid mining electricity bill and more top stories for April 10.

New Jersey introduces taxation on BTC transactions

Issuing a taxation memorandum clarifying bitcoin's taxation position in the state, New Jersey has outlined the digital currency's place within a preexisting barter-taxation policy. The move means that sellers accepting bitcoin are obliged to record the normal dollar equivalent value in their sales records and pay sales taxes to the authority in dollars. Buyers will also need to check if their purchase incurs its own tax burden on top of this.

“In a barter transaction, as in any sale, sales or use tax is due from each party based on the value of the property or services given in trade if what is received in exchange is subject to sales tax. […] When a customer uses convertible virtual currency to pay for property the sale is treated as a barter transaction.”

Mobile giant Orange looking for Silicon Valley digital currency start-ups to invest in

The Silicon Valley arm of Orange is looking to invest in digital currency startups as a way to keep up with the pace of innovation in mobile payments. Citing interest in the way the blockchain could transform international mobile payments, the group's investment could lead to further integration of this technology.

“Orange Silicon Valley has been holding bitcoin events at its offices in San Francisco and is talking to two bitcoin companies, Nahon said. The group can invest $20,000 per startup and is part of global team that can spend up to 3 million euros ($3.2 million) per company.”

Josh Garza's GAW Miners sued for $500,000

Chasing an unpaid bill for US$346,647 plus interest, costs, and legal fees, GAW Miners electricity supplier, Mississippi Power Company, is suing the embattled company after cutting off their power on January 27. User ej4uo9aB1e on BitcoinTalk has been drilling into the figures.

“In 23 days they burned 700,000 kilowatt hour, so 30,000 KW/h per day, so for the time period in this document their farm was burning 1.2 megawatt […] We know they had an AntMiner S4 based farm, which draws just under 0.7W/GH, [...] Based on the information here [...] the total hash rate was 300PH/s, so the "Hash King" was responsible for 0.5% of the Bitcoin network.”

Artist hides BTC 4.87 in a cryptographic painting

Marguerite Driscoll, an artist who has recently specialized in cryptographic puzzle game paintings, has released a painting with the key to a 4.87 BTC wallet concealed within it. The contest is open to anyone who can solve the problem and claim the coins, although competitors be-warned, Driscoll's last game even included a hidden Minecraft server contest en-route to the prize.

PennState investigate if conflicting interests could threaten Bitcoin itself

Ahead of Penn State's Startup Week on April 13-17, the university has published a short news piece from its digital currency researchers outlining what they see as the internal vulnerabilities of the Bitcoin ecosystem.

“[T]he rules governing how Bitcoin operates as a currency leave room for cheats to destabilize the system. First, attackers may abuse the resources of unsuspecting computer users for mining purposes through security compromises. Second, attackers may attempt to redirect or siphon off mining capabilities from a competing pool. Third, attackers may diminish the mining power of competing pools through DDoS attacks.”

Washington doctor becomes the state's first to accept bitcoin payments

A doctor in Bellvue, Washington, USA, has become the first in the state to accept bitcoin payments for their services. Dr. Jason Attaman said he sees the digital currency as easier to use than a credit card, although he plans to cash out the BTC value into USD in order to avoid the volatility.

"Using bitcon keeps the doctor-patient relationship very private, which is something that I like a lot. The downside to bitcoin is that it's volatile. Once valued at $666, one bitcoin is now selling for $245. Generally, if I get a Bitcoin payment I just cash it out for dollars before the values change.”

BitMesh demonstrate working prototype

Working on their “Bitcoin for bandwidth” model, BitMesh has demonstrated a working prototype of their Wi-Fi sharing platform to be paid for in bitcoin. BitMesh has been compared to be “the Uber of ISPs” as it's able to provide this on-demand Wi-Fi service without any of the overhead.

“Highly useful among BitMesh's simple features is its pricing mechanism. Much like Uber, which charges ‘surge prices’ during times of high demand to prevent major supply shortages, BitMesh also rejects the fixed price model.”

BitMesh demonstrate working prototype

Bitcoin featured again in HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’

A teaser trailer for the second series of HBO's popular Silicon Valley comedy show has poked fun at the Winklevoss twins over their net worth in bitcoin. Playing to Bitcoin's image as an obsession of the tech world, the trailer features a cameo by the real twins themselves.

“Ooh the Winklesvoss twins, look at them, they're like two genetically enhanced Ken dolls. Do you know how much bitcoin they're worth!?”

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