Mike Hearn says the new XT version will include a “bigger blocksize only” branch; Factom raises US$1.1 million in crowdsale; Australian Securities regulator blocks Bitcoin IPO and more top stories for July 23.

Hearn: New XT Version Will Include ‘Bigger Blocksize Only’ Branch

Bitcoin core developer Mike Hearn has said that the new XT version will include a “bigger blocksize only” branch as a compromise for the blocksize debate. In a Reddit post, Mr. Hearn also mentioned that developers are working on a manifesto that will lay out the principles for future development.


“Once XT 0.11A is launched (which will include the bigger blocks patchset by Gavin and myself), there will be a separate git branch that is Core 0.11 + only those patches and nothing else. Whilst we won't provide downloadable binaries of that branch, anyone who wants to can just compile it in the usual manner and get what you're asking for.”

Australian Securities Regulator blocks Bitcoin IPO

Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), has put on hold a planned Bitcoin IPO by Bitcoin Group Ltd, a cryptocurrency firm seeking to debut on the Australian Securities Exchange, for undisclosed reasons. Before this, the country’s chief securities regulator had also extended the exposure period on July 6.

Factom Raises $1.1 Million in Crowdsale

Factom, a company that offers services through apps on the blockchain, has raised over US$1.1 Million on the crowdfunding platform BnkToTheFuture. The project attracted 323 investors, who provided an average contribution of US$3,400.

In the end, the raised funds exceeded the goal Factom had set by over US$400,000 and the Factom Foundation chairman, David Johnston, has credited that to the increasing interest the company is receiving.


"The community has been very supportive of Factom Inc and I believe people are encouraged to see recent in roads being made with large enterprise groups using the blockchain."

Bitcoin to Remain on Expedia Despite 40% Decrease in Purchases

Expedia senior payment product manager, Connie Chung, has said that the option to pay with the digital currency will remain despite a decline of approximately 40% in bitcoin purchases.

She explained that Expedia considers the existence of demand as the most important factor in its selection of payment methods.

Connie Chung:

"We accept bitcoin as a way of just allowing customers to pay with whatever method they want to pay. For us, Bitcoin is on an even playing field with the other payment types we offer."

Bitphone Becomes First Bitcoin Phone Company, Skype Competitor

Bitphone, a Web RTC based phone that can call SIP addresses and PSTN Phones as well as provide P2P Communications, has become the first Bitcoin phone company to launch.  

Bitphone, which uses bitcoin as low-cost infrastructure and payment method for encrypted calls right from your browser, is set to be a privacy-focused competitor to Skype.

Gavin Stevens, founder Bitphone:

“Bitphone is ideal due to its portable nature ‘No install required.’ We also offer cheaper rates than Skype for registered users.  Plus you only deposit what you need and can get your change back when you're done.”

Bitphone Becomes First Bitcoin Phone Company, Skype Competitor

Ethercoin Price Skyrockets as Ethereum Confirms Frontier ‘Launch.'

Stephen Tual, CCO of Etherium, has confirmed through a blog post that the platform is about to 'launch' a new toolkit for blockchain app developers. The new core software version is called Frontier. The news has triggered a sharp spike in price of Etherium’s native coin, Ethercoin, which dropped to previous levels shortly after.


“There will be no countdown – Ethereum is not something that’s centrally ‘launched,’ but instead emerges from consensus. Users will have to voluntarily download and run a specific version of the software, then manually generate and load the Genesis block to join the official project’s network.”

Ethercoin Price Skyrockets as Ethereum Confirms Frontier ‘Launch.'

OpenBazaar Targeting Unhappy eBay Users

The lead developer of OpenBazaar, an open source project to create a decentralized online market, Brian Hoffman, was recently a guest at This Week in Startups. He explained the project, including its goal to target buyers and sellers unhappy with eBay and other centralized markets.

Brian Hoffman:

“Our initial market is the kind of consumer-to-consumer market, so it is the people selling on eBay and Etsy and doing the homemade goods. [. . .] I think the last time I saw there was a satisfaction survey for eBay 79% of people were happy. So that’s a huge number of people that are unhappy selling on eBay. This is a perfect opportunity for them to go and do something for no fees.”

2 Men from Florida Arrested for Illegal Bitcoin Operation

Two Florida men, Anthony R. Murgio, and Yuri Lebedev were arrested on Tuesday in connection with laundering over US$1 million on the Internet using a bitcoin exchange. According to the US Attorney’s Office, the two had been violating federal anti-money laundering laws since at least 2013.

U.S. attorney’s office: 

“In doing so, they knowingly exchanged cash for people whom they believed may be engaging in criminal activity.” 

2 Men from Florida Arrested for Illegal Bitcoin Operation