Weekend Roundup: Reports, Rumors Surround a Possible SEC Crackdown; Jon Matonis Leaves Bitcoin Foundation

New Weekend Roundup from CoinTelegraph

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Weekend Roundup: Reports, Rumors Surround a Possible SEC Crackdown; Jon Matonis Leaves Bitcoin Foundation

1. SEC Investigates Crowdsales, FinCEN Takes Aim at Exchanges

On Tuesday, CoinTelegraph reported on a couple of the US government’s activities in the cryptocoins space. Most controversial, at this point, seems to be the report that the SEC has sent out letters — with gag orders — to organizations that have held crowdsales, asking them to divulge documents related to those sales.

Many from the crypto 2.0 community such as representatives from Mastercoin and Counterparty are on record as dismissing the reports, but Coin Fire — which broke the story — stands by its reporting.

CoinTelegraph has found no reason to deny the authenticity of Coin Fire’s reporting, so this remains a story we are still following.

2. Matonis Passes the Torch to Patrick Murck

Carlo Caraluzzo reported Friday that Jon Matonis had announced he was stepping down as Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation, effective October 31.

“[Patrick] Murck, the new executive director was also one of the foundation’s original founding members and is a well-known Bitcoin advocate. He has been instrumental in explaining Bitcoin to US regulators and helping set the tone for public policy that he summarized as ‘getting the benefits of Bitcoin while mitigating the risks.’”

3. Shopify Opens Up to Altcoin Payments

On Wednesday, we reported that ecommerce platform Shopify had partnered with GoCoin to allow 120,000-plus online retailers to accept payment in Litecoin and Dogecoin.

“Having currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dogecoin that are native to a mobile Internet will be a boon for online retailers, GoCoin CEO Steve Beauregard said in the company’s statement. ‘GoCoin helps online merchants avoid shopping cart abandonment by quickly and easily offering the latest digital currencies as payment options,’ Beauregard said.”

4. Former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt to Advise BitPay and Vaurum

Alyssa Hertig reported Wednesday that the SEC’s longest-serving chairman, Arthur Levitt, had joined payments company BitPay and Bitcoin exchange Vaurum as a regulatory advisor.

“Mr. Levitt has been advising BitPay for several weeks, and yes he has already made contributions to us,” BitPay CEO told Carlo Caraluzzo on Wednesday. “His expertise in the areas of regulation, securities, banking, and policymaking can be beneficial as the Bitcoin industry evolves.”

 

5. Coinbase Giving Users Access To Private Keys Using New 'MultiVault' Service

Ian DeMartino reported Wednesday that Coinbase had introduced a multisig vault service, which will give users controls over their own private keys on that platform.

“When making a new vault for secure storage, users will be given the option of having Coinbase secure their funds or securing it themselves using the multi-signature system. The default is set to a 2-of-3 system, with Coinbase controlling one key, the user controlling the other, and a third key is stored, fully encrypted, in Coinbase's servers.”

Elsewhere

 

Market activity

Bitcoin’s price against the dollar continues a slow downward slide from mid-October’s high in the US$420s. Prices early in the week held tight around the US$355, then midweek the price began to flirt with crucial support levels in the US$330–340 range.

Meanwhile, the number of daily transactions has taken off like a rocket this week. On Thursday, the Bitcoin network saw 93,000-plus transactions, a high-water mark for 2014. The only other times we’ve seen that many transactions in a day was during the Bitcoin price bubble in November/December 2013.

Trade volume for USD exchanges, however, has remained low all week, failing to break through the US$5 million mark.


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