Weekend Roundup: Regulatory Messiness in US, Currency Crisis in Russia, and Time, Inc. Accepts Bitcoin

1. Publisher Time, Inc. Begins Accepting Bitcoins for Handful of Magazines

We reported Tuesday that publishing giant Time, Inc. had begun accepting bitcoin payments for subscriptions to four magazines: Fortune, Health, Travel+Leisure and This Old House.

“We believe this is an important step in helping the publishing industry understand and explore new business models that can be enabled with bitcoin,” Coinbase—which will process the payments—wrote on its blog.

2. New York Relaxes BitLicense Proposal’s Rules … Slightly

Ian DeMartino reported Thursday that the State of New York had eased up a little on what people and organizations would need in order to apply for proposed BitLicenses.

“[NYDFS Superintendent Lawsky] pointed out that the regulations did not apply to individuals holding Bitcoin for personal investments, or to software developers, currency miners, promotional or ‘reward’ points denominated in fiat currencies, or merchants.”

Paul Snow from the Texas Bitcoin Association said in the comments on our story that these changes were not very useful. “I believe the license has not [been] relaxed enough to be useful,” Snow wrote. “I would still advise the banning of New York residences from the client base of any Bitcoin based business.”

3. Bank Supervisory Group Unveils BitLicense-esque National Regulation

Meanwhile, another group has spearheaded an effort to push the same kind of regulations onto state legislatures, William Suberg reported Wednesday.

“The US Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) has produced a draft framework for its idea of digital currency regulation, and is now taking 60 days’ worth of public comments.

“The proposals come under the guise of suggestions, mirroring the organization’s position as a bystander with no direct influence on state policy. Commentators, however, have already likened much of the draft’s content to the New York Department of Financial Services’ BitLicense proposals.”

4. Ford Motor Company Identifies Bitcoin as a Trend for 2015

Diana Ngo reported Monday that American automaker Ford called Bitcoin a trend to watch among consumers in its annual trends report.

“Ford Motor Company released its third annual trends report, highlighting the rising influence of Gen Z and mentioning Bitcoin as an emerging trend arising from the 'Carryless Movement' that puts forward the need of more convenience in the way we transact.”

5. Effects of the Ruble’s Ongoing Woes in Russia<