Weekend Roundup: US Agents Charged with Bitcoin Theft, IBM Invests $3 Billion into 'Internet of Things'
Weekend roundup from Cointelegraph
Following Ross Ulbricht's Silk Road conviction, additional details have emerged this week about two of the investigating federal agents charged with extortion, fraud, and theft of bitcoins from the marketplace.
The complaint sheet reads:
"[Drug Enforcement Agency agent Carl] FORCE sought to extort DPR by seeking monetary payment, offering in exchange not to provide the government with certain information if DPR paid $250,000."
Reddit has been requested, by subpoena, to hand over personal data of five users linked to Evolution, a dark net marketplace that vanished with millions of dollars worth of bitcoins belonging to users. The writ order suggests that the apparent scam might be the target of a federal investigation.
Hardware giant IBM, has announced it will spend up to US$3 billion in a specialist unit revolving around the Internet of Things.
The firm is set to found the new project in New York State, with operations based in the cloud, which will then "offer companies ways to make use of the new and multiplying sources of data such as building sensors, smartphones and home appliances to enhance their own products."
The Swiss banking giant UBS will open a blockchain research lab in London later this month. The lab, which will be hosted by fintech accelerator Level39, is set to become a fertile space for exploration and experimentation with blockchain technology for both experts at UBS, as well as the wider fintech community, the bank said.
According to Chief Information Officer Oliver Bussmann:
"Fostering an open and collaborative environment between banks, start-ups and the investor community is essential to ensure we focus on promoting synergies between us, accelerate innovation opportunities and create real value for the industry."
In light of a sudden “executive order” issued by Barack Obama in America, many Bitcoin redditors surmised that it's now illegal to donate money to people like Edward Snowden.
The declaration by Obama states:
"I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order."
In less than 24 hours, nearly 200 unique Bitcoin donations – ranging from 25 cents to US$2,141 – poured into 1snowqQP5VmZgU47i5AWwz9fsgHQg94Fa, the “Official Snowden Defense Fund.”
Author, speaker, and all-round Bitcoin expert Andreas Antonopoulos has launched his new Bitcoin startup Third Key Solutions. Third Key Solutions offers consulting and cryptographic key management solutions for companies using decentralized digital currencies.
Bitcoin integration team Gem has announced raising US$1.3 million in a Series A funding. The start-up seeks to make integrating Bitcoin into websites and app services easier with an easy-to-use set of developer API tools with enhanced security.
Bitstamp has initiated legal action over more than US$1 million in disputed funds related to the sale of nearly 100 million XRP last month. The disputed funds were used by Ripple Labs to purchase the XRP put up for sale through an account allegedly controlled by founder Jed McCaleb, reported CoinDesk.
New Bitcoin ATMs
In light of Cointelegraph's partnership with Coin ATM Radar, we have compiled a list of the latest bitcoin ATMs that went live this week.
On March 30, T-Mobile Poland installed a new bitcoin ATM in its technology center in Warsaw.
The Lamassu one-way bitcoin ATM is located at ul. Marynarska 12, 02-674, and is operated by Bitcoinomat, a project aiming to create the largest bitcoin ATM network in Poland and abroad.
In Sacramento, California, a new Lamassu one-way bitcoin ATM went live on April 1. Located at Boost Mobile, 5127 Franklin Blvd, Ste #1, the device is operated by Coinucopia.
Bitcoin block #350000 was mined on March 30, meaning that a grand total of 14 million bitcoins are now in circulation. This comprises two-thirds of the 21 million bitcoins that will ever exist. Additionally, the mining of block #350000 means that two-thirds of all 25 BTC block rewards have been mined. This might lead to a long-term uptrend due to scarcity, considering that the bounty for miners will be halved to 12.5 BTC per block next year.
Meanwhile, the bitcoin price remained stable, oscillating between 243 and 254 USD/BTC this week, according to Blockchain.info data.
The number of transactions per day reached an all-time high on April 2, with 126,000 transactions.
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