Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!
Bitcoin advocates have spent the past few years trying to sell cryptocurrency to the skeptical mainstream, who tend to be scared that bitcoin is an untrustworthy mirage fit only for drug dealers and criminals. But now that there laws are in the works to help bitcoin become a part of the legit world of financial tech, activists are saying that those laws undo everything bitcoin stands to offer in the first place.
New York State’s attempt to help bitcoin go legit has been the proposal of a “BitLicense,” a license from the Department of Financial Services (DFS) for cryptocurrency businesses that would allow bitcoin startups to operate legally. The license would force companies to comply with a list of legislative demands, including keeping currency receipts, having compliance officers and telling the DFS every time a potential emergency arises.
This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.
Bitcoin has had a history of milestones: the first pizza paid for with Bitcoin, the first house bought in Bitcoin, the first sports team sponsored in cryptocurrency — but for the first time in history, Bitcoin is about to bring two people together in crypto-anarchic matrimony.
This weekend at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Bitnation’s David Mondrus and Joyce Bayo will have a wedding ceremony that concludes with the newlyweds recording their wedding agreement on the Blockchain via Bitcoin ATM. It’s the world’s first ever “Bitmarriage” as the Bitnation blog puts it in a post that’s the world’s first love-story/blockchain-explainer hybrid.
A hacker has appeared to have gained access to Satoshi Nakamoto’s email account, and is now threatening to sell the elusive Bitcoin creator’s personal information to anyone with 25BTC — or around $12,000 — to spare.
The hacker took to anonymous posting site Pastebin to lay out the terms of their shady offer, the Guardian reports.
Since cryptocurrency cultists began buzzing about bitcoin years ago, they’ve hinted that bitcoin’s technology might have much bigger implications than the ability to just move around digital coins. As Bitcoin startups become fintech’s latest craze, these kinds of applications are starting to rear their head in the startup community.
Blocksign, a startup that launches this morning, is using bitcoin’s giant records database, the Blockchain, to build an entirely un-financial application. Their service lets you sign legally binding documents and agreements in the same system that keeps all records of bitcoin transactions.
At first, bitcoin was just the purview of cryptography nerds and libertarian redditors. Since then, digital currencies have been used to fund everything from World Cup betting rings to congressional elections. Now that bitcoin is out in front of legislators and safer than ever to use, investors are starting to pour record amounts into bitcoin startups.
From April through June of this year, bitcoin startups pulled in a record $76.8 million in investments, which is almost as much as the entirety of 2013, CB Insights reports.
Rep. Jared Polis, the “Gamer Congressman,” has been a big advocate for Bitcoin on Capitol Hill. He’s taken BTC for campaign donation, lampooned his colleagues for speaking out against Bitcoin, and invited fellow congressmen to give Bitcoin a shot. Now, he’s helping bring Washington, D.C. its first Bitcoin Startup Demo Day.
Today, a few major Bitcoin startups like Coinbase, BitPay and BitGO will set up shop in the Rayburn House Office Building to convince Washington regulators to embrace Bitcoin. They’ll be joined by major companies who have successfully integrated Bitcoin into their business models, like Expedia, who started taking payments in Bitcoin earlier this summer and have been more than happy with the results.
Jesus died for our selfies
My introduction to Bitcoin came from the smartest living man. Balaji Srinivasan is the youngest General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Currently he is building a development wing for Andreessen—a project that, to my knowledge, no VC has ever undertaken. Ben Horowitz calls him “Young Einstein”.
Balaji is Indian, but has piercing green eyes. Looking at his face is hypnotic. He is a prodigy — he started teaching at Stanford when he was 26. The first time I met him, he took me to brunch in Williamsburg and we discussed asking Nas to record a diss track on this bitch-ass tech reporter whom we both loathe…
The conversation quickly turned to Bitcoin.
It's All About the Bitcoins Baby
What do Tour de France spectators, the NASA’s Mars Rover and potential Bitcoin users have in common? They all love selfies.
A company in the Philippines is taking advantage of our vanity by having millennials convert their cash into Bitcoin in daily “selfie contests.”
While you could have used Bitcoin to bet on the World Cup or purchase 50 Cent’s latest album, there are still very few outlets willing to accept your confusing Internet money.
A new startup called My Coin Solution launched to help make accepting Bitcoin effortless for online vendors.