Bets of Bitcoin is an anonymous platform that allows users to make bets on current events–everything from hockey to war with Iran to aliens–using the peer-to-peer digital currency Bitcoin. Users place Bitcoin bets on yes or no answers to statements, and the earlier you bet the more BTC you can win. Read More
The Bitcoin community is continuing its bid for mainstream popularity with a new startup that promises to let users order pizza and pay for it using Bitcoins. Because nothing says cryptocurrency like a side of carbs with your carbs. Read More
WordPress.com, which hosts close to 58 million blogs across the world, announced last night that it will now accept payments for upgrades via Bitcoin, the peer-to-peer digital currency. The blog hosting platform says its mission is to “make publishing democratic,” and because PayPal and other payment companies block access in a fair amount of countries, the company has decided to accept Bitcoin, enabling users without access to PayPal to still purchase WordPress upgrades. Read More
The problem with virtual currency is that it doesn’t take an Italian Job-style heist to make off with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoins. There’s no need for expert safe crackers, gun-wielding maniacs or limber laser dippers; despite the currency’s hardcore encryption, all you need is an Internet connection, a hacker and probably some Mountain Dew.
The relative ease and inexpensiveness of robbing a Bitcoin repository has most likely contributed to the rash of heists the virtual currency has endured since June 2011. Bitcoin has certainly seen its share of bad publicity. Over the last 15 months, more than 290,000 BTC have been stolen, according to CNET and Bitcoin talk forum.
A big heist on Monday night signaled the 10th since June, and was so damaging that it has shut down BTC exchange BitFloor, which–according to BitFloor founder Roman Shtylman–is the number one USD exchange in the U.S. (Mr. Shtylman says it also ranks number four worldwide.) The hacker successfully stole 24,000 BTC, which amounts to over $250,000 as of this writing. Read More
The FBI recently estimated that after three years, the Bitcoin economy is worth at least $35 million. Thanks to the uncertainty surrounding certain government currencies, it may soon be worth more. The Financial Post reports that fear over the value of the euro, strained by potential government insolvency in Greece and Spain, has led to a significant uptick in euro-for-Bitcoin trading. Read More
Last week, Betabeat received an email from an anonymous source claiming to have leaked an internal FBI report about the virtual currency Bitcoin. The report, published April 24, revealed the agency is worried the currency could become a payment method for cyber criminals in the near future, and could be used to fund “illicit groups.” (Wikileaks, anyone?) The FBI also determined the currency to be an “increasingly useful tool for various illegal activities beyond the cyber realm,” and could become attractive to money launderers.
The report, titled “Bitcoin Virtual Currency: Intelligence. Unique Features Present Distinct Challenges for Deterring Illicit Activity,” was the FBI’s first research report on Bitcoin. The report was not classified, but it was marked “for official use only.” Betabeat, Wired, and a number of blogs ran with the story without confirming the report’s authenticity, but today we got a call back from the FBI. “It is legitimate, but it was not leaked by the government,” an FBI representative told Betabeat. Read More
A serial Bitcoin entrepreneur, “Andrew Bitcoiner,” contacted Betabeat over the weekend to announce the debut of BitcoinAdvertisers.com, an online advertising network where business is done in the decentralized e-currency Bitcoin. Sign up, name a price, name the number of clicks in the campaign, and write the text for your ad, and BitcoinAdvertisers will charge you in Bitcoins to display your ad on sites in its network. As a publisher, merely type in your Bitcoin address and grab the generated code to place an ad spot on your site. BitcoinAdvertisers charges advertisers a 1 percent fee. Read More
A new Bitcoin commerce site, CoinDL, makes it fast and easy to buy and sell virtual goods from music to avatars. Traders on Wall Street may be speculating with Bitcoin, but it’s efforts like CoinDL that truly bolster the budding digital economy. CoinDL offers a marketplace where you can buy digital goods with digital money: wallpapers, ringtones, avatars, music, videos–basically anything that can be downloaded. “Our downloads are fast, easy, and for Bitcoin only. Scan our QR codes for maximal geek arousal,” the site says.
CoinDL was created by David Sterry, who formerly operated the Bitcoin exchange ExchB. ExchB closed in October as it faced increasing resistance from banks.
“People need to have a way to have a positive experience with Bitcoin,” Mr. Sterry said. “CoinDL enables people to buy digital items for Bitcoin, but also letting them do it really quickly. If things are virtual it can be very easy.” Read More
Betabeat noticed back in August that professional Wall Street traders were taking an interest in Bitcoin. Even though the Bitcoin market is valued lower than in the past, and volatility (read: easy opportunities to flip coins and make fast money) has also flattened out, it seems pro bankers are still trading in BTC. Read More