Attorney for the Southern District of New York Attorney has asked the judge the Ulbricht case to issue a life sentence; Bitfury has developed a light bulb that mines bitcoin and more top stories for May 28.

Government Attorney asks for life sentence for Ross Ulbricht 

The government of United States through the Attorney for the Southern District of New York Attorney is seeking a life sentence for Silk Road’s “king-pin” Ross Ulbricht.

The submission comes in the wake of Ulbricht, his family, and close confidants writing to judge Hon. Katherine B. Forrest, asking to be given the minimum sentence of 20 years as allowed by law based on his charges.

The document reads:

“Given the enormous quantities of drugs sold on Silk Road, in combination with other aggravating factors, Ulbricht’s recommended sentence under the United States Sentencing Guidelines is life imprisonment.”

Regulation and tax breaks for Bitcoin proposed by N.J. lawmakers

Two New Jersey Assemblymen, Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) and Mukherji (D-Hudson) have proposed a bill that not only regulates digital currency companies but also offers them tax breaks. This they believe will put the state at the forefront of a growing new FinTech industry.

Assemblyman Mukherji (D-Hudson):

"I want to encourage innovation here in New Jersey. I think there's an opportunity for job creation. You need a lot of firepower by way of technology to be in this business. [The bill] would try to ease some of that burden."

Bitstamp announces USD, Euro or GBD Debit Cards for its clients

Bitstamp announced on Thursday that its clients can now receive USD, Euro or GBD denominated debit cards either in virtual or plastic forms. The first 100 applicants will get them for free, after which the cards will cost US$10.

Number of Bitcoin ATMs Worldwide hits 400

While the installation of Bitcoin ATM has slowed down in past few months, the number of machines that enable users to buy and sell cryptocurrency has reached and all time high of 400 worldwide. 42% of these machines are two-way meaning that you can use it to both buy and sell bitcoins.

Bitfury has developed a light bulb that mines bitcoin

According to a tweet by Marc van der Chijs, a venture capitalist in Vancouver and co-founder of Tudou, Bitfury has developed a light bulb that mines bitcoin when you screw it in. Going by comments on Reddit, it is a welcome technology though difficult to implement in Europe where incandescent bulbs are outlawed.

Australian Think Tank: Bitcoin could end up consuming 60% of World’s energy

An Australian based Think Tank has reignited a debate over the global consumption of energy by bitcoin mining. Long Future Foundation has made projections to the effect that the Bitcoin network could end up consuming a staggering 60% of all energy generated around the world.

Guy Lane, the spokesperson for the Foundation, said:

"While Bitcoin is a virtual currency, it has very real economic, social and environmental effects, it has the potential to have an enormous impact on our global resources and energy use if not managed properly.”

Ex-Investment Bank CCO Joins Kraken

Howard Bernstein is now the Chief Compliance Officer at Kraken. The Bitcoin exchange has announced on its website. Mr. Bernstein, who is an ex-Investment CCO, will help the company comply with US laws as it plans to expand into the country.


“With his breadth of experience, Howard is the ideal person to oversee compliance at Kraken. He will manage day-to-day compliance operations, engage regulatory officials and lawmakers on Bitcoin policy, and help us anticipate and prepare for future regulatory changes.”

Howard Bernstein is now the Chief Compliance Officer at Kraken

Fintech firms flex muscles at FinTech Demo Day in South Korea

On May 27, 2015, Fintech companies showcased various technologies in the second round of FinTech “Demo Day” in Seoul, South Korea. The monthly Demo Day is organized by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) to help local companies promote their solutions to bankers, the government, and other entities. 

FSC Chairman Yim Jong-Yong:

"The government sees this as critical to making the fintech industry a new growth engine, not just a temporary boom. We have carried out a full-scale reform of the unreasonable regulations in the financial sector that hindered the emergence of fintech services."