Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
Following Ross Ulbricht’s trial that started last week, Robert M. Faiella, a bitcoin trader known as “BTCKing” faces four years in prison for his liaisons to Silk Road 2.0 marketplace. As Nick Marinoff of NewsBtc writes, Faiella was exchanging legal currency for bitcoinsto purchase drugs from the illegal online marketplace. Additionally, Brian Richard Farrell, a staff moderator known as “DoctorClu” is arrested for “conspiracy to distribute heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine.” Don Reisinger of CNET reports that, following Farrell’s arrest, the FBI is determined to eliminate those who use the power of the Internet to “set up black markets for illegal goods.”
Coinbase established a new funding record by raising $75 million in Series C financing.The leading bitcoin platform has raised the interest of major financial institutions, including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), USAA, and Spanish multinational BBVA, among others. According to the Bitcoin Examiner, Coinbase views the funding as “solid growth capital to continue driving global adoption of Bitcoin.”Tom Farley, NYSE President, considers the investment in Coinbase as a partnership with “a leading platform that is bringing transparency, security and confidence in an important growth market.”
The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) is worried about the bitcoin expansion. As Jerin Mathew of International Business Times writes, in a submission sent to the Treasury, the BBA believes that the cryptocurrency’s anonymity and decentralized nature can facilitate the attempts of terrorists to gain access in the UK’s intelligence services. The BBA is strongly opposed to Chancellor George Osborne’s proposal to make the UK the “global center of financial innovation” with the use of digital currencies and warns that the expanded use of the bitcoin could negatively impact the sterling and the UK financial system.
Federal Reserve Bank acknowledges Ripple network as “a reference to the true potential of Bitcoin’s public ledger system.” David Andolfatto, Vice President and Research Director of Federal Reserve Bank thinks that integrating the Ripple network into the Federal Banking Systems can bring significant benefits to the US financial and banking system. Yashu Gola of NewsBtc reports that, although Andolfatto is an advocate of the ledger, he also indicates that “Fed economists are not thinking about implementing such a technology for now.”
Winklevoss Twins plan to establish a fully-regulated bitcoin exchange under the name Gemini, which will be completely financed by the Winklevosses. Kyle Torpey of Inside Bitcoins reports that, Gemini is, in fact, the second US established bitcoin exchange after Coinsetter. It is expected that both bitcoin exchanges will be regulated with the aim of attracting both institutional and retail US investors who are afraid to exchange fiat currency for bitcoins overseas. Gemini will work only with US banks and will be “in full compliance” with consumer protection laws and bitcoin regulations.
With a new regulation issued by the Australian Tax Office (ATO), Australia includes the taxation of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into the non-cash barter transactions. JP Buntinx of Cryptoarticles reports that, according to the new guidelines, a 10% income tax is applied to bitcoin transactions of $10,000 or more. Bitcoin miners are also subject to the same taxation for any income gained from selling the mined bitcoins.
Having already established a bitcoin payroll system in the US, Bitwage launches “International Payroll for the Individual”, aglobal payroll solution to facilitate the compensation of employees abroad. Katherine Fletcher of Coin Report writes that, Bitwage in cooperation with the bitcoin exchange in the Philippines, Coins.ph, will allow employees who work in a US company abroad and do not have a bank account to get equally compensated in the local currency by receiving funds on their mobile phones and shop at more than 63,000 international merchants, who have adopted the digital currency.
Paymium, the European platform for bitcoin trading, announced a partnership with Ingenico, the leading point-of-sale (POS) solution providers. YannickLosbar of Cryptocoins News reports that Paymium has created an app that is being hosted on the Telium Tetra Marketplace, Ingenico’s POS terminals application. The new partnership will enable European retailers to convert their existing terminal into a bitcoin-ready POS, thus facilitating the adoption of the cryptocurrency by European brick-and-mortar companies.
Capitalizing on its recent partnership with WalPay, Netagio, the bitcoin exchange platform, announced the launch of credit and debit card payment options for its institutional and retail investors, enabling them to instantly trade bitcoins for USD, EUR and GBP. According to PRNewswire, Netagio enables customers from 114 countries, to deposit funds with their credit and debit cards and instantly exchange them with bitcoins free of banking fees.
Braintree, a PayPal subsidiary, launched the v.zero platform to provide access to US retailers to accept bitcoins. Joon Ian Wong of Coin Desk writes that Braintree integrated Coinbase into its software development to provide retailers with innovative tools and payment methods. Braintree officials stated that “Bitcoin is growing in popularity for consumer and merchants alike.”
Zebpay, the winner in the CoinAgenda conference startup competition, launched a mobile wallet for Android phones. As Armand Tanzarian of Coin Telegraph writes, Zebpay’snew application is designed to enable any use to transact bitcoins and instantly send them to their Android mobile contacts.