Russian president Vladimir Putin has addressed Bitcoin and other digital currencies for the first time; a legislative bill to regulate bitcoin and digital currency related business activities has advanced in North Carolina and more top stories for July 15.

Vladimir Putin Addresses Use of Digital Currency

Russian president Vladimir Putin is said to have discussed Bitcoin and other digital currencies with the participants of the Klyazma Youth Forum. According to reports, Putin said that it is possible to use bitcoins for some operations. But while some have interpreted Putin's comments as an implicit approval of the use of Bitcoin, it is not clear this indeed what the Russian president intended to mean.

According to a translation by Coinfox, Putin said:

“This money has no real basis and it does not depend on any real entity. In general you can use these ‘coins’, they are spreading more and more. You can use them as the equivalent [of money] in certain segments of economy. This is possible.”

North Carolina Senate Committee Advances Bitcoin Bill

A legislative bill to regulate Bitcoin and digital currency related business activities has advanced in the North Carolina Senate. The bill is meant to make oversight of the digital currency sector more robust. If passed and signed by North Carolina Governor Pat McRory, it would mandate minimum net worth requirement of US$250,000 for Bitcoin and digital currency related businesses who would also be required to post a surety bond.

Study Suggests Blockchain Can Redirect Music Industry’s Revenue Stream to Artists

A new report by the Berklee College of Music and the Institute of Creative Entrepreneurship Rethink Music estimates that around 20 to 50 percent of money generated by streaming is never returned to the artists. The initiative has proposed the blockchain as a solution to tally the transactions and provide greater transparency.

According to musician David Byrne:

“The Rethink Music/Berklee study is a thing of beauty and much needed […] The music business is notoriously complicated, but the recommendations give one hope - that there is indeed a way for this industry to flourish and benefit everyone involved.”

Study Suggests Blockchain Can Redirect Music Industry’s Revenue Stream to Artists

Ten International Lawyers and Academics Publish 'The Law Of Bitcoin' Book

A group of ten international lawyers and academics have published the book “The Law of Bitcoin”. The book is the first of its kind, covering cryptocurrency law of four jurisdictions: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany. It addresses such topics as the intersection of cryptocurrencies and criminal law, taxation, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations, securities law, consumer protection, negotiable instruments, currency law and financial regulation.

Crowdfunded Documentary 'Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It' Premiers Online

One year after raising AU$17k (~US$13k) in a crowdfunding campaign, and days after it picked up two awards at its world premier at Freedom Fest 2015 in Las Vegas, Torsten Hoffmann's “Bitcoin: The End Of Money As We Know It” has been released on several video-on-demand platforms. The film details the practices of central banks and the role of other actors in the financial industry, and presents Bitcoin as a possible alternative to the current monetary paradigm.

Ten International Lawyers and Academics Publish 'The Law Of Bitcoin' Book

Hardware Vulnerability Could Compromise Bitcoin Private Keys

Users storing bitcoin with hardware from SafeNet's brand of hardware security modules (HSMs) have been urged to update their devices or risk losing funds. In a company blog post, Gemini CSO Cam Paya released details of the vulnerability, which he discovered while testing the SafeNet Luna G5 for use in the forthcoming exchange's cold storage. SafeNet has since released a fix, and says there have been no known exploits so far.

Cape Town Incubator Launches Bitcoin Crowdfunding Platform

Cape Town-based social impact incubator RLabs has launched the bitcoin crowdfunding platform mToto. mToto, which translates to “child” in Swahili, is an initiative between Uusi and RLabs which aims to support education and health centers in under-resourced communities in South Africa and to develop tools for innovative challenges and products. mToto will also convert bitcoin into cash for the companies and projects, and hopes to raise enough bitcoin to fund four of them per month.

New Device Steals Encrypted Bitcoin Keys in Mid-Air

A new hack has been created that can steal Bitcoin keys without even needing an online connection; radio waves from a laptop alone can leave users vulnerable to the latest in hacking technology. Created in Israel by Tel Aviv University and the Technion research center, the hacking device can be commonly recreated for about US$300 with many easily accessible parts. It should be noted, however, that the hacking tool only has a range of fewer than two feet, and won't work on all computers.

New Device Steals Encrypted Bitcoin Keys in Mid-Air