Matonis: Government Ban On Bitcoin Would Fail Miserably

Jon argues that Bitcoin was designed to operate ‘underground’ and that any ban would only draw a large amount of attention to the currency serving to strengthen it. “The demand for an item, in this case digital cash with user-defined levels of privacy, does not simply evaporate in the face of a jurisdictional ban.”

After all, since when has banning things actually worked??

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Bloomberg: Bitcoin’s Gains May Fuel Central Bank Concerns

In their ‘Chart of the Day’ post Bloomberg notes that “An increase in the value of bitcoin, the world’s largest online currency, may fuel concerns that virtual money could undermine the role of central banks.”







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Coding in my Sleep: Dwolla Begins PayPal-Style Account Suspensions

Dwolla is a popular method of moving funds between USD and Bitcoin largely because they “claimed zero chance of chargebacks and appeared to be a small business run by decent people who weren’t necessarily Bitcoin-friendly but at least didn’t seem to be Bitcoin hostile.”

However it seems that Dwolla is going the way of PayPal and has now begun suspending accounts do to ‘suspicious activity’,  especially the accounts of user who it suspects are acting as a virtual currency exchange, forbidden in it user agreement.  And it seems this move may be due to regulatory pressure.

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Central banks could be pressured into competitive devaluations

Reuters is reporting that the Bendesbank chief, Jen Weidmann, is concerned that central banks are being pressured to pursue more aggressive monetary policies that could risk a “currency war”.

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Iowa now accepting some tax payments via Dwolla

According to Fast Company, Iowa has begun accepting some tax payments via Dwolla. The cigarette stamp tax, which generates around $100 million for Iowa, will be the first tax that Iowans will be able to pay via Dwolla. However the Governor, Terry Brandstand, says he’d consider expanding Dwolla payments to other fees and taxes in the future as well.

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The Economist: Airtime is Money – pre-paid mobile phone minutes as currency

In a recent article, The Economist takes a brief look at the continued, and growing, use of mobile air time as money in many African countries.  It would seem that banks everywhere, Africa included, just can’t give people what they want. Mobile air time holds its value and can be transferred in small amounts quickly and anonymously.

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Two Bitcoin Conferences in 2013

The two conferences will cover different topics and will be held in California and Vienna.

The first, sponsored by the Bitcoin Foundation, will be held in San Jose California on May 17-19 and is titled “The Future of Payments”. Discussion will be on Bitcoin technology, Bitcoin mining, Bitcoin business and regulatory issues.

The second, in Vienna November 1-3, is titled “unSYSTEM”. This conference, as Bitcoin Magazine put it, “is pushing even further in the direction of activism.” Many of the speakers  are known activist rather than Bitcoin developers or entrepreneurs.

IEEE: Ripple Credit System Could Help or Harm Bitcoin

I’ve been hearing a lot about the new version of Ripple, both excitement and criticism. while I have yet to read up on the specifics of the version due to out this month, I am both intrigued by the possibility of decentralized exchange and concerned with developer Ryan Fugger’s original goal for Ripple as ‘debt money without artificially imposed scarcity.’  I can’t imagine unlimited debt money as a serious competitor to Bitcoin, however, the IEEE seems to disagree with me. In the below review they speak with Ripple’s developers and beta testers.

“Within a few weeks, a new option will be available: a system called Ripple, which allows individuals to create credit and disburse it to people within a peer-to-peer social network. The project could be used to implement what many Bitcoiners have been asking for—a decentralized currency exchange. But if the more-ambitious parts of the design pan out, the credit created in Ripple could itself become a new form of digital currency and the first formidable competition for Bitcoin.”

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