What do government bonds and bitcoin have in common? Some investors think they're just a bit safer than the euro at the moment. Economic uncertainty in Europe is at an all-time high, and it doesn't look to be easing anytime soon. The levels of Greek debt are astronomical. If anti-austerity parties gain power in the upcoming Greek elections, and refuse to cut government services, they're likely to default on that debt, meaning financial turmoil for all nations in the European Union. As a result, European investors are shifting their cash out of Europe and into other, safer investments, like the US Treasury Bonds, and, yes, even bitcoin. Bitcoin is a virtual currency created by applying computer processing power and time to solve a particular problem. Bitcoins can be transferred over peer-to-peer networks, and can also be used for real-world purchases. The advantage of bitcoin as a currency is that it is decentralised, and the supply of bitcoins is controlled by an algorithm, rather … [Read more...] about Bitcoin safer than the euro?
Bitcoin exchange uk
In this two part series I'm looking at the practicalities of buying and selling Bitcoins. Off we go As I mentioned in Part 1 , "mining" is no longer a practical way to get into Bitcoins because of the requirement for specialised hardware and because it's very difficult for small scale operations to get any money to drop out in that way. The easiest way to get started is to send some "proper" money to a Bitcoin exchange. There are a few of these, the most famous being Mt. Gox. I used Bitstamp -- my method of selection being "random". I went to Bitcoin Charts to find a list of exchanges, and went through a few until I found one that made me feel in some way vaguely confident. You can't get started on this journey with a credit card -- you need something more like hard cash. I had to phone my bank to incept a wire transfer to Bitstamp's bank. This happened to be a bank located in Slovenia. The problem with credit cards is that they can be clawed back on the lightest … [Read more...] about How to buy and sell Bitcoins — Part 2: Practical
Would-be clients of upscale escorts in Birmingham, UK now have way to pay for escort services that's just as discreet as cash and more secure: Bitcoin has officially entered the realm of sex work. The world's oldest profession met the world's youngest currency as escort agency Passion VIP announced it now accepts payment for its adult companionship services in bitcoin. Located in the second most populous British city (after London), Passion VIP is hoping the introduction of bitcoin payments will open up a new market by giving clients an alternative payment method. Passion VIP (birminghamescorts.co.uk, site NSFW) told us, We felt there were probably a lot of people out there who had Bitcoins and no way to really enjoy spending them. Accepting bitcoins seemed an obvious extension of our own interest in the currency. Bitcoin is called the currency of the Internet: it is a new, peer-to-peer exchanged, decentralized electronic form of cash that can also be described as a … [Read more...] about The world’s first Bitcoin escort agency
Among technology pundits in the West, conventional wisdom is that Bitcoin is an idea that has failed. The crypto-currency lost 43 percent of its value in the first weeks of 2015, amid stories of hacks and collapsing exchanges. But from an African perspective, reports of Bitcoin's death seem to have been wildly exaggerated; at least, that's what a number of new startups and their investors are hoping. Earlier this year BitPesa, a Kenyan digital currency exchange, was able to raise $1.1m on the premise that Bitcoin could be a cheap way for Kenyans to move money across borders - from the UK back to their families, for example. The Australian exchange Igot has recently launched in Kenya as well. The problem these Bitcoin entrepreneurs aim to address is the high cost of remittances, with traditional money transfer companies like Western Union charging an average of 12 percent to transfer money to Africa, according to the Overseas Development Institute. "I know people who pay 17 percent, … [Read more...] about Betting on Bitcoin: Could Africa be the answer for the maligned cryptocurrency?
According to an economist at the 'stability department' of Sweden's central bank, the Riksbank, Bitcoin could be used to strengthen financial systems in the face of disruption to a main payment processing network. The fact that Bitcoin was designed to function beyond the reach of central banks and regulators has often seen it cast as a risk to consumers and those dealing in virtual currencies. As the European Banking Authority (EBA) has previously warned, Bitcoin exchange rates are volatile, exchange platforms and wallets can be hacked, and holders may face tax liabilities. Hoping to prevent Bitcoin volatility infecting traditional financial systems, in July the EBA then told European national regulators to "discourage credit institutions, payment institutions and e-money institutions from buying, holding, or selling virtual currencies". But what about the risks that regulated financial services themselves introduce — for example, a multi-day outage at a major bank due to … [Read more...] about Sweden: Bitcoin is wild west, but it could be a central bank’s backup plan
Ernst & Young (EY) plans to hold a global auction next month on behalf on an "undisclosed seller" to sell off AU$16 million worth of bitcoin that was confiscated as the proceeds of crime during 2015. Approximately 24,518 units of the digital currency will be sold off via a 48-hour sealed bid auction from 20 to June 21, 2016. EY said bidders will be able to submit bids on 11 lots of 2,000 bitcoin and one lot of approximately 2,518 bitcoin, where bidders will be able to bid on one lot or multiple lots. "Interest in this technology continues to grow. The number of bitcoin transactions since 2012 has quadrupled, and parties are seeing more opportunities and uses for the technology," said EY transactions partner Adam Nikitins. Nikitins went on to say that he believes interested parties would predominately be from North America and Europe, and have experience in dealing with bitcoins such as digital asset investment managers, digital currency exchanges, and investment banks and hedge … [Read more...] about EY to auction off AU$16m of seized bitcoins
Bitcoin is little more than a "fraud" which will eventually blow up in the faces of traders, according to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. Speaking to attendees at a banking conference in New York this week, the executive blasted the cryptocurrency industry, saying it "isn't going to work." "If you were in Venezuela or Ecuador or North Korea or a bunch of parts like that, or if you were a drug dealer, a murderer, stuff like that, you are better off doing it in Bitcoin than US dollars," he said, according to The Guardian. "So there may be a market for that, but it would be a limited market." Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency, and perhaps the most well-known, which can be used to make purchases, trade on Bitcoin exchanges, and is considered as an asset by some, a currency by others. At the time of writing, one Bitcoin is valued at $3,886, having hit a $5,000 all-time high on September 2. Dimon believes Bitcoin is only fit for those who need to circumvent traditional, traceable banking … [Read more...] about JPMorgan calls Bitcoin ‘fraud’ only for use by criminals and North Koreans
Video: Criminals hack cash machines -- without cards or PINs A newly-discovered hacking group had managed to steal potentially millions of dollars from US, UK, and Russian banks in the past two years, researchers claim. The group, dubbed MoneyTaker, has successfully managed to attack over 20 financial institutions, banks, software vendors, and law firms worldwide in order to conduct fraudulent transactions, use money mules to withdraw cash stolen from companies, and steal valuable corporate and sensitive information. Researchers from Group-IB said in a recent report that MoneyTaker has primarily targeted card processing systems, such as the AWS CBR (Russian Interbank System) and SWIFT. The group has been linked to 16 victims in the US, one in the UK, and three in Russia. The first attack was detected in 2016 when money was stolen from a US bank by compromising First Data's network operator portal. Since then, companies in California, Utah, Oklahoma, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, … [Read more...] about MoneyTaker hacking group steals millions from US, UK, Russian banks
Video: Why rising bitcoin prices are not all good news for ransomware writers In the last few months, the cryptocurrency industry has exploded with investor interest appearing to be at an all-time high. The price of Bitcoin alone has surged thousands of dollars in the past few weeks, topping $16,500 at the time of writing, and while some investors plea caution and anticipate a crash, the rise has highlighted just how much interest there is in digital coins and alternative payment methods. Over the course of the past year, traditional financial institutions have begun exploring cryptocurrency and its backbone infrastructure, digital ledger technologies known as blockchain, with some banks going so far as to offer their clients cryptocurrency-supporting trading accounts and options. This month, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro went as far as to … [Read more...] about The risky business of bitcoin: High-profile cryptocurrency catastrophes of 2017
Last year at this time, valued at just $13.50, one Bitcoin could get you a movie ticket if you could find a theater that had 1) heard of Bitcoin and 2) accepted it. Fat chance. Luckily, Bitcoin owners had a different form of entertainment: the fiscal version of She’s All That. “Last year’s nerd money fad has become this year’s most talked about product,” writes Patrick Young. Get the Free Tracker App to find a Nintendo Switch in Stock Disclosure: Author owns Bitcoin that remain from her week of living on them.Here’s a timeline of Bitcoin’s dramatic year, which may give you a sense of why Bitcoin shot up from $13 to over $700 in its fourth year of existence. (I’ll be documenting Bitcoin’s rise at longer length in an e-book coming out soon.) JANUARY– Bloomberg notes the that price of Bitcoin tripled in 2012.– Bitcoin has a $13,000 booth at the Consumer Electronics Show, paid for by Bitpay (the Paypal of … [Read more...] about Bitcoin’s Incredible Year