1. FBI Takes Down Silk Road 2, Several Other Dark Markets

Without a doubt, this week’s biggest story was the international crackdown on dark markets called Operation Onymous. The operation included the FBI shutting down Silk Road 2, with at least 10 other black markets going down, as well.

“[Silk Road’s alleged] operator, Blake Benthall, who according to one Gawker story, was a former employee at SpaceX, was reportedly arrested in San Francisco almost exactly one year after Silk Road 2.0 went live on November 6, 2013,” Carlo Caraluzzo reported Thursday. “The site is now offline and visitors to the site are met with an official police warning that the site’s assets have now been seized.”

2. Bitalo.com Puts 100 BTC Bounty Out On Hacker

On Monday, Ian DeMartino reported that Bitcoin exchange service Bitalo.com had suffered a DDOS attack and subsequent ransom request, and the company put out a 100-bitcoin bounty on the hacker’s identity.

“The site was offline for two days before coming back online shortly before publishing. Bitalo.com's owners have informed us that rather than give into the hacker's demands, they will be putting up a bounty on the hacker who goes by the pseudonym ‘DD4BC.’ Information leading to his identity will win the bounty, worth 100 BTC.”

3. ChangeTip Users Spread Bitcoin All Over the Internet

On Thursday, we reported on the viral spread of bitcoin tips on Reddit and Twitter, all facilitated by ChangeTip.

“Some of our most active tippers are so passionate about the service that they tip over 100 people over the course of a month — it simply makes them feel great, happy,” ChangeTip founder and CEO Nick Sullivan said.

4. BitPay Unveils One-Tap Mobile Payments

On Wednesday, Carlo Caraluzzo reported on how BitPay’s new technology, targeting the red-hot mobile payments space.

“BitPay ... is making the process of paying with Bitcoin much simpler, for both merchants and consumers, while at the same time they are also integrating SumUp, a leading European Point-of-Sale (POS) company into its system to allow that company to accept Bitcoin as well.”

5. Circle Releases iOS, Android Apps

On Thursday, Kenny Spotz reported on how Circle is playing catch-up with its new mobile apps.

“From the first interaction, you can tell clean design was a priority. Minimalism is emphasized and the features are well laid out; there’s no confusion finding what you are looking for.”


  • I know a lot of readers are Stefan Molyneux listeners, and he posted a short video/podcast Thursday called “The Hidden Dangers of Bitcoin” that discusses just how entrenched the interests of Bitcoin’s natural opponents are. Here is the YouTube link.

  • Wealthy Russians divesting in weak rubles and possibly soon forbidden from holding dollars might turn to Bitcoin (which is already banned, but still), analyst Brian Kelly writes at Yahoo! Finance, leading to another possible bubble.

Market activity

Normally, we use data from Blockchain.info, but their charts are behaving strangely right now, so we pulled the first chart — which shows the BTC/USD price and trade volume — from BitcoinCharts.com and the second chart — showing total transactions — from Coinbase.

On Monday, a bitcoin was trading for just less than US$330, but we saw a price bump during the week that coincided with all the tipping going on across Reddit and Twitter.

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday all saw on-blockchain transactions numbers above 90,000, a mark we have only seen twice (both times last week) since December 2013’s bubble.

As you can see on late Thursday/early Friday, there was a big spike in volume with someone(s) buying up lots of bitcoins, and the price correspondingly broke through the US$350 mark. By Saturday, the price had settled into the US$340–350 range as transactions took their weekend dip.

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