1. Edward Snowden Accepting Bitcoins for His Defense Fund

On Thursday, Carlo Caraluzzo reported that American whistleblower Edward Snowden is accepting bitcoins to finance his legal defense.

“Snowden is accepting donations in PayPal, credit card, check, bank transfer and now, of course, Bitcoin. Donations can be made at this location. The donation website is in fact owned and operated by WikiLeaks and is registered by Julian Assange, who made his name after publishing hundreds of thousands of documents that were very embarrassing to the US government.”

2. Ecuador Central Bank Launches Its Own E-Money System

On Sunday, December 28, Diana Ngo reported that Ecuador began requesting citizens older than 18 to open an electronic money account as the first in a three-phase rollout of its system.

“From mid-February 2015, the second phase will consist of processing the first transactions with the delivery of the electronic cash, the issuance of commercial receipts, and the allowance of bank transfers. In the second half of 2015, users will be able to pay for utilities, tax obligations, orders and other use cases, using the electronic money, continued the release.”

3. ChangeTip Adding Facebook and Slack

On Friday, Ian DeMartino reported that ChangeTip made tipping on Facebook available to select users, and that tipping on Slack is available, too.

“With around 1.35 billion active users according to Statista, Facebook obviously increases ChangeTip's potential user base. The use case for ChangeTip is similar to Twitter, giving Bitcoin users an easy way to tip content creators they enjoy, even if those creators don't know anything about Bitcoin themselves.”

4. Bitreserve Raises $9.5 MM via Crowdfunding

On Tuesday, Charlie Richards reported on Halsey Minor’s Bitreserve and the monumental amount of investment it raked in.

“Launching their 'B' investment round back in mid-November, the Bitreserve team set out to raise the US$4.6 million they saw as necessary ‘to reach cash-flow positive’ on the crowdfunding sites CrowdCube in the UK and Venovate in the US. Having now hit the US$9.5 million figure, Bitreserve looks set to become the second best crowdfunded digital currency project, following Ethereum's 31-million BTC sale (worth US$18 million at the time) of it's ‘ether’ units.”

5. Coinbase Tracks How Users Spend Their Bitcoins

On Sunday, December 28, Carlo Caraluzzo reported that Coinbase “seems to be tracking what their customers are buying with Bitcoin and closing any accounts involved in transactions that the company objects to.”

“It is probably no secret that Bitcoiners are not fans of regulation. What is generally misunderstood though is that the aversion is not to regulating in general. We understand that in the real world, the big financial powers are never regulated in a practical sense. Consumers, on the other hand, are heavily regulated.”


  • Speaking of Edward Snowden’s revelations, Der Spiegel has a story about how the NSA is tracking and recording Skype calls, which should come as a surprise to absolutely no one at this point.
  • Vitalik Buterin wrote a lengthy posted called “On Silos” at the Ethereum blog: “There is room for many projects that are currently in the crypto 2.0 space to succeed, and so having a winner-take-all mentality at this point is completely unnecessary and harmful.”
  • Bitcoin 2.0 and Tokenizing the User ExperienceSo perhaps share this one with your curious friends.

Market activity

If I could treat this space like a Pitchfork album review, I suppose I would just post a photo of Rodney Dangerfield here mopping sweat from his brow. Like this.

All week, the Bitcoin price hovered between US$310 and US$320. On Saturday morning, EST, the price tumbled another level, falling below that key US$300 threshold.

Meanwhile, the number of transactions each day has been relatively low compared to the way they have been trending upward through the second half of 2014. This week’s high point was just over 85,000 transactions on Wednesday.

USD exchange trade volumes even failed to crack US$3 million on any given day this week.

Keep an eye out next week to see whether activity picks up, which could indicate that this week was just affected by the holidays.

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