Bitcoin Roundup March 16, 2016


Bitcoin payment support in the Windows Store quietly removed [Update: or not] | Ars Technica

Update: Microsoft now claims that the FAQ update was “a mistake,” and that bitcoin support isn’t going anywhere after all.

Original story: A little over a year ago, Microsoft rolled out Bitcoin support for Microsoft accounts, enabling the crytpocurrency to be used to buy games, apps, music, and video on Xbox Live, Windows Store, and (as it was then) Xbox Music and Xbox Video.

Bitcoin users could add up to $100 to their accounts at a time, with BitPay providing the necessary back-end support. 


USAA Expands Bitcoin Integration to All Members – CoinDesk

USAA is expanding its bitcoin integration by allowing all accountholders to connect and view balances on Coinbase from its USAA.com website following its November pilot program.

In a post today, USAA called the pilot run successful and stated that support for the mobile app would likely be rolled out in March. Both USAA.com and the USAA mobile apps were part of the initial trial.

In statements, lead investment associate at the USAA corporate development Jon Cholak, indicated his support for the more widespread rollout, positioning his firm as an early advocate for the technology. 


Ukraine Student Sold Hard Drugs Over Tor in Exchange for Bitcoin

Accepting Bitcoin payments is the easiest way to respect customer privacy over the Internet, but it is not an anonymous payment method. A portion of the hard drugs – worth over 50,000 hryvnia or US$,1825 – were confiscated during the arrest. There is no word on whether or not any Bitcoins have been seized during this intervention. 


Man Charged With Unlicensed Money Laundering In Bitcoin-Related Case – CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News

A federal grand jury has charged one man with operating an unlicensed money transmittingbusiness and two others with money laundering and related charges in the first bitcoin-related case before the Western District of New York, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Western District of New York.

The grand jury has charged Richard Petix of Rochester, N.Y. with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and making false statements. The grand jury also charged Zhe Wang, 20, and Kevin Szura, 20, both of Queens, N.Y., with money laundering, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, conducting a transaction in criminally derived property and money laundering conspiracy. 


BIP75 to Improve Bitcoin Payments Protocol – NEWSBTC

Bitcoin has grown into a promising payments platform which is being increasingly adopted by both big and small-time e-commerce players. There are select brick and mortar shops too which accept bitcoin payments for goods and services sold. As people become familiar with the concept of bitcoin as a payment option, there is still some apprehension about using it for buying goods and services online due to few underlying shortcomings. 


Ghanaian company sets up Bitcoin farm in Africa, claims to be first

Ghanaian IT Solutions Company – Ghana Dot Com (GDC) – has set up what is thought to be Africa’s first Bitcoin mining facility. Nii Quaynor, who holds the position of chairman at GDC, was also one of the main forces which brought internet to Ghana along with his team at Network Computer Systems (NCS), the now defunct predecessor to GDC.

The established Bitcoin producing farm adds several hundred tera-hashes per second capacity to the worldwide Bitcoin pool. The first coins were minted on February 8, 2016 in the facility that GDC claims to be the first on the continent which is dedicated to mining Bitcoins.

Going forward, GDC hopes to be a pioneer of crypto currency and blockchain technologies in Africa. General Manager of GDC, Nancy Dotse said “our approach has been to focus on future technologies and to build communities around the technologies for rapid adoption. We invest in Africa’s technology future. NCS pioneered the Internet in Africa and GDC seeks to pioneer Bitcoin in Africa. GDC will announce its Crypto currency products soon”. 


New York Bitcoin User Charged With Unlawful Money Transmission – CoinDesk

A New York man has been charged with operating an unlawful money transmitting business in connection with the sale of bitcoins, the US Department of Justice announced on Friday.

The government said last week that it was charging Rochester, New York, resident Richard Petix with illegally selling $200,000 in bitcoin between August 2014 and December of last year. Notably, the report does not provide information on any state-specific laws Petix was in violation of when conducting the sale.

Petix’s charges, the Justice Department said, are connected to a wider alleged scheme that involved money laundering as well as the trafficking of controlled substances and stolen goods. 


State-Sponsored Chinese Hackers Deploy Bitcoin Ransomware En Masse – NEWSBTC

There is no denying the ransomware industry is a booming business for internet criminals all over the world, but government-sponsored hacker collectives do not shy away from this malware either. A recentsecurity report by four different firms mentions how Chinese hackers have been using Bitcoin ransomware to target US companies specifically.

As most people are well aware of by now, ransomware is an extremely annoying type of computer infection, as users are locked out of all of their files. Restoring files from a backup is not always possible either, as a lot of Bitcoin ransomware strains delete shadow volumes from the computer as well. But these attacks against US companies were not carried out by your run-of-the-mill basement Internet geek. 


Mizuho to face U.S. lawsuit over Mt Gox bitcoin losses: ruling – Business Insider

A U.S. lawsuit accusing Japan’s Mizuho Bank of concealing problems at the now-bankrupt Tokyo-based Mt Gox bitcoin exchange can move forward, a federal judge in Chicago has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman rejected on Monday the bank’s argument that the case belongs in Japan, finding that the hardship to the bank from trying the case in the United States would be no more than that “routinely tolerated by courts.”

Mizuho provided banking services for the exchange and handled all deposits for U.S. customers. It is part of Mizuho Financial Group Inc , one of Japan’s largest banks by assets. 


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