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QLD’s First Bitcoin ATM in Police Custody

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The first bitcoin automatic teller machine in Queensland has been seized as part of an investigation into an alleged drug trafficking network linked to the Bandidos bikie gang. Police gang squad officers seized the ATM on Friday morning in a joint raid with customs officials

ATO Bitcoin Ruling Stifles Bitcoin Innovation

satoshi living room

Brisbane-based bitcoin BPAY startup Living Room of Satoshi has suspended operations, after the Australian Tax Office’s decision to treat bitcoin as property made its business model impractical. The startup offered a service free to users which allowed them to pay BPAY bills using bitcoin. It

Bitcoin Hovering Below $400-level

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Investing.com – Bitcoin prices hovered below the $400-level on Wednesday, as investors sold the virtual currency amid bearish chart signals. Bitcoin (BTC/USD) fell $17.17, or 4.21%, to trade at $390.93 on Slovenia-based BitStamp during U.S. morning hours. BitStamp rallied to $416.65 on Tuesday, the strongest

Labor’s Dastyari Urges Banks for Bitcoin Feedback

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Labor senator Sam Dastyari has warned Australian banks not to “act like a bunch of ostriches” with their “heads in the sand” when confronting the rise of bitcoins, as he urged ­companies to provide feedback to a ­Senate inquiry into how to regulate the highly

Lawsky: NY Regulation Not So Bad

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New York’s bitcoin regulations may not be as onerous as many have feared. In a speech at Cardozo Law School in New York on Tuesday night, Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of financial services for the state of New York, said that the state will not require

Newsweek’s False Outing of Bitcoin “Inventor” May Result in Lawsuit

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Back in March, Newsweek published what would have been one of the year’s biggest technology scoops. An article by Leah McGrath Goodman claimed to have unmasked Satoshi Nakamoto, the reclusive — and likely pseudonymous — genius who invented Bitcoin. Goodman pointed to an elderly Japanese-American

Bitcoin Value Drops as Chinese Cash in on Alibaba

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The value of bitcoin has dropped considerably recently, which some commentators have attributed to Chinese bitcoin holders cashing in the virtual currency in large amounts to purchase shares in Chinese internet giant Alibaba, which went public last week on the New York Stock Exchange, reports

FTC Tells Bufferfly Labs to Put Down Bitcoing Mining Picks

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US regulators have moved to shut down Butterfly Labs, a Missouri-based company they allege deceptively marketed computers designed to produce the virtual currency Bitcoin. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said the company charged thousands of consumers between $20m-$50m for its Bitcoin computers and services, but

PayPal Officially Integrates Bitcoin

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EBay Inc. EBAY +0.51% payments unit PayPal is further integrating bitcoin into its payment processing operations, allowing digital goods merchants to accept the virtual currency via its PayPal Payments Hub service. The arrangement, established via partnerships with the three largest bitcoin-payment-processing firms, BitPay, Coinbase and

Greenpeace USA Accepting Bitcoin Donations

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Environmental campaign organization Greenpeace has announced it will start accepting bitcoin donations in its USA division via a partnership with payment processor BitPay. The move offers cost savings for the organisation, as well as the possibility of tapping into new sources of funds. Greenpeace does

MIT Students Battle Authorities Seeking Source Code

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Four MIT students behind an award-winning Bitcoin mining tool will face off against New Jersey state authorities in court today when they attempt to fight back against a subpoena demanding their source code. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is representing 19-year-old MIT student Jeremy Rubin and

Assange: WikiLeaks Avoided Bitcoin to Keep It Alive

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The creator of bitcoin appealed to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange not to use the cryptocurrency to receive donations due to fears that government attention would “destroy” it. The revelations surfaced from Assange’s latest book that comes out this week, When Google Met WikiLeaks. In a

United Way Worldwide Embraces Bitcoin’s Charity Opportunities

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The United Way Worldwide has long offered several ways for supporters to donate, such as workplace campaigns, planned giving and donating stock. A new option was added this week — bitcoin. The move makes United Way Worldwide the largest charity to accept a virtual currency.

Banks Set Bitcoin Adrift from the Isle of Man

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Capital Treasury Services (CTS), the company that links bitcoin businesses to banks in the Isle of Man, is to cut ties with the digital currency sector as of next month. CTS, which is a subsidiary of Capital International Group, currently works with a number of

Bitcoin Currency for an Independent Scotland?

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With Thursday’s Scottish independence referendum too close to call, opponents of an independent Scotland have been stressing the would-be country’s lack of a reliable currency. An independent Scotland could either keep using the British pound and lose control of its monetary policy, join the eurozone’s

Digital Currency Bitcoin Opens its Doors to Wall Street

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As the digital currency bitcoin continues to make inroads into the financial world, more and more finance professionals, advisors, attorneys, and accountants are coming into contact with it. But there isn’t any kind of standardized base of knowledge for them to draw upon. That gave

QLD’s First Bitcoin ATM in Police Custody

atm bitcoin police

The first bitcoin automatic teller machine in Queensland has been seized as part of an investigation into an alleged drug trafficking network linked to the Bandidos bikie gang.

Police gang squad officers seized the ATM on Friday morning in a joint raid with customs officials at the Roastery cafe in South Brisbane.

The proprietor was arrested and faces charges, along with a former member and associates of the Bandidos Brisbane Centro chapter, over an alleged multimillion-dollar methamphetamine trafficking network.

It is not known if bitcoin transactions – which have been accepted by the cafe as payment since it installed the machine in May – played any role in the alleged trafficking.

Superintendent Mick Niland said detectives were “forensically examining the machine as we speak”.

Bitcoin is a digital currency whose growing popularity worldwide, chiefly for online transactions, contrasts with the mainstream finance sector’s reluctance to embrace them because of their fluctuating market value.

Centro have been under investigation by Queensland’s crime and corruption commission for alleged drug and violence offences since 2012, when one of its members was suspected of murdering Jei “Jack” Lee during a cocaine deal.

A divisive presence in the Brisbane underworld and disparaged by older gang members as “Nike bikies” who don’t even ride bikes, most Centro members resigned last year in the wake of the Newman government’s punitive laws targeting bikie gangs.

Niland said the raids were the culmination of a two-year investigation into the network, which allegedly trafficked ice and methylamphetamine oil, which can easily be converted to ice.

“This crime gang was targeted as they are a significant risk to the Queensland community. To date, over $2.6m of drugs have been seized during this operation,” he said.

The cafe was one of 19 places raided across Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan by the joint taskforce on Friday morning.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/oct/17/brisbane-bitcoin-atm-seized-as-part-of-drug-trafficking-investigation

Image credit: Adam Armstrong

ATO Bitcoin Ruling Stifles Bitcoin Innovation

satoshi living room

Brisbane-based bitcoin BPAY startup Living Room of Satoshi has suspended operations, after the Australian Tax Office’s decision to treat bitcoin as property made its business model impractical.

The startup offered a service free to users which allowed them to pay BPAY bills using bitcoin.

It made a small profit based on the price movement on bitcoin exchanges. Now that Australian exchanges must charge users that buy bitcoin 10% of the amount being purchased, that is no longer possible.

Co-founder Daniel Alexiuc says that development gave users strong reason not to use the service.

“If an electricity bill costs either $100 in Australian dollars or $110 in bitcoin, there is a huge disincentive to pay it in bitcoin. It is basically economically infeasible to run the service in this way,” he says.

“Or any Australian-based GST registered business for that matter.”

The company had been growing steadily and was getting about $20,000 a week in bills up until the ATO’s bitcoin guidance announcement.

Alexiuc says he’s not ruling out Living Room of Satoshi returning should the regulation of bitcoin in Australia change.

“My primary goal was to build a useful and innovative startup for bitcoin-using Australians. We have only been open for a few months, and have been cut short from reaching our full potential,” he says.

“So of course I invested a lot of time and money into the venture and it was not profitable yet.

“I’d love to see Living Room of Satoshi make a comeback, but for bitcoin to be truly useful by business in Australia, it needs to be treated as money for GST purposes.

“I plan to continue improving the service in the background and figure out a way to get it running again in anticipation of a change in regulation.”

He’s hopeful the changes might not be too far off.

“Bitcoin is a new concept that didn’t exist when the laws were written, so I am hopeful that regulators will treat it as something different, and not try to shoehorn it into existing definitions of money.”

Despite the impact regulation has had on his startup, he’s still bullish about the future of bitcoin.

“Bitcoin will not be affected by Australian regulations like these, it is an international currency that will continue its rise unabated,” he says.

“But innovation in Australia will be affected, and innovative startups and companies may find it easier to just head overseas.”

Source: http://www.startupsmart.com.au/financing-a-business/satoshis-living-room-no-more-ato-bitcoin-guidance-forces-startup-to-shelve-operations/2014101613435.html

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