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Bitcoin News Roundup – 22Feb. 2015

Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.

Canadian bitcoin exchange Cavirtex ceases active operations, citing the “safety and security of customer funds”. According to Cavirtex, due to a potential compromise of the databases, the company will no longer offer trading, deposit and withdrawal services to its customers. Customer funds will be returned as “Cavirtex remains solvent and that client funds were unaffected during the incident.”

Just 9 months after joining OKCoin, Changpeng Zhao resigned citing “differences in direction”. As Pete Rizzo of Coin Desk writes, Zhao joined OKCoin when the Chinese bitcoin exchange was looking for ways to expand internationally. For many, Zhao’s resignation came as a surprise as under his direction OKCoin became the leading bitcoin exchange in China. There are also concerns raised about the future of the digital currency in China.

The United States Marshals Service will auction 50,000 bitcoins. Sydney Ember of New York Times reports that, following Ross Ulbricht’s conviction for the illegal operation of the online marketplace Silk Road, nearly 50,000 bitcoins were collected worth $12m to be auctioned on March 5.

Bter lost 7,170 bitcoins, worth $1.75 million. According to Swati Khandelwal of The Hacker News, the Chinese bitcoin exchange has been hacked and it offers roughly $170,000 to whoever can retrieve the stolen amount back. Unaffected funds will be withdrawn over the next days. On the same page, KipCoin announced that more than 3,000 bitcoins have been stolen from its platform. As JP Buntinx of CryptoArticles reports, the Chinese bitcoin trading platform has been hacked after several attempts in 2014 to breach the KipCoin server and successfully download the bitcoin wallets.

CNN Money adds bitcoin ticker. Giulio Prisco of Bitcoin Magazine writes that the ticker XBT represents the bitcoin on the CNN Money page in an effort to treat bitcoin as a stock. CNN aims to inform both savvy and traditional investors how to trade in digital currency, what the risks are, and what kind of investment vehicle the bitcoin is. Additionally, on CNN’s show “Inside Man”, host Morgan Spurlock presented a short documentary about the bitcoin and the importance of digital technology, Kyle Torpey of Inside Bitcoins reports.

Payments

Netagio shuts down its bitcoin, USD, GBP and Euro platform. According to Finextra, the UK-based bitcoin marketplace cited “increasing security issues” in the cryptocurrency industry as one of the reasons for restructuring. Netagio CEO Simon Hamblin stated that “we recognize when industry winds blow in other directions and it is time to review and restructure.”

PokerStars may adopt the bitcoin. As Chris Pomoni of NewsBtc writes, PokerStars will increase the reliability of the bitcoin given the established reputation of the online poker website. However, the adoption of the cryptocurrency by PokerStars is practically denied by the company for the moment.

Parkt, the parking reqward startup that rewards customers with parking fees from multiple businesses, integrates bitcoins. According to Bitcoins Channel, customers who go out to shop or eat are rewarded with reward points earned directly to a bitcoin wallet for the amount of parking fees. Parkt CEO Tim Karunaratne stated that “Americans spend on average $1,300 annually for parking and this is annoying.”

Marijuana can be bought atvending machines in Seattle using bitcoins. As Evander Smart of CryptoCoins News writes, the ZaZZZ machines will be placed in registered medical pot dispensaries in select areas in Seattle and verified cannabis users will be able to buy marijuana for medical purposes paying in cash or bitcoin. It looks like there are two sides of the story: according to Hal M. Bundrick of Inside Bitcoins, Gavin Andresen of the Bitcoin Foundation believes that “legal marijuana industries could possibly be one of the biggest industries for bitcoin.” Yet, there are opposing views. Patrick Rea, co-founder of CanopyBoulder stated “You’ve got a gray market industry in cannabis and you combine it with another gray market industry in bitcoin.”

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