It’s not just US banks; Canadian banks are refusing Bitcoin businesses

After a string of US banks closing the accounts of Bitcoin businesses, it seems that Canadian banks are following suit, well at least the Royal Bank of Canada, or RBC.

Two Canada based exchanges, VirtEx, and Canadian Bitcoins, have both had their RBC accounts closed…no explanation given.

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Banks too scared to work with Bitcoin businesses

What was an incident now appears to be a trend. Banks are refusing to work with Bitcoin businesses…It would seem out of fear.  In the latest example TransferWise, a business that offers low fee international money transfers, has announced that they will no longer be processing transfers to Bitcoin exchanges as their banking providers are “not comfortable with Bitcoin”.

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Mt.Gox fighting Bitcoin price manipulation

As Mt.Gox is by far the largest Bitcoin exchange the USD price listed on the site is the unofficial Bitcoin price.  With such market concentration Mt.Gox is the obvious first choice for any attempt at market manipulation.

Anyone following Bitcoin will be well aware of the constant DDoS attacks that the exchange has been subject to, but ComputerWorld is reporting that Bitcoin’s Mt.Gox price is also being influenced traders who use the sites trading software to submit large quantities of trades for very small fractions of bitcoins.

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CBC Documentary: The Secret World of Gold

On Thursday CBC, Canada’s national public television channel, broadcast a new documentary, the Secret World of Gold.

The program explored the “the power and politics of gold” and covered a wide variety of gold’s shady history from Nazi gold to The Odyssey Marine, the paper gold market, gold leasing, Fort Knox and gold manipulation. In a surprising move for main stream media, the documentary includes interviews with Andrew Maguire, Erik Sprott and John Embry that discuss the amount of gold held by western central banks and gold market manipulation.

While some don’t believe that the documentary went far enough, it ends with this very relevant question, “in the 21st Century gold still manages to keep its secrets. Perhaps the biggest one of all, where is the gold and who owns it?”

Part I, Part II, Part III

Gold’s price drop leads to surge in demand for physical gold

Golden times for Perth Mint

“Gold sales from Perth Mint, which refines nearly all of the nation’s bullion, have surged after prices plunged, adding to signs that the metal’s slump to a two-year low is spurring increased demand.”

“’The volume of business that we’re putting through is way in excess of double what we did last week,’ Treasurer Nigel Moffatt said, without giving precise figures. ‘There’s been people running through the gate.’”

Gold Drop Spurs Demand From Indian Bazaar to Chinese Mall

“Shoppers in China lined up for gold this week, while in Hong Kong they rushed to buy bracelets and in India sought jewelry for weddings not set until December.”

Chinese Gold Exchange Sold Out – Begins Importing From Switzerland

“the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society has essentially sold out of gold bullion, and must wait until Wednesday for shipments to arrive from Switzerland and London.”

Shortage of gold bars and coins in Dubai, says World Gold Council

“World Gold Council, which has been tracking the global gold market pattern, has found that there is a shortage for bars and coins in Dubai which is creating a supply shortage.”

“Aram Shishmanian, CEO, World Gold Council:  ‘We are already seeing shortages for bars and coins in Dubai, while premiums in Mumbai are at $26/oz and $6 in Shanghai, indicating that buyers are willing to pay more than current spot prices for the metal …Our view is that demand is strong while supply remains constrained, and that this dynamic ultimately drives the long-term price of the metal,’”


TradeHill planning Argentinian Bitcoin exchange as locals continue to struggle with severe capital controls

Argentinian’s are increasing looking for monetary alternatives as the country’s high inflation rate has brought on tough capital controls. Argentinian’s are banned from buying dollars, are subject to a 20% tax on foreign credit card purchases and restrictions on owning and valuing foreign assets. The country’s official inflation rate is 10.6%, but many estimates have the rate much higher, around 26%.

The Bitcoin market in Argentina is small but expanding (having doubled since February) and TradeHill, the recently resurrected Bitcoin exchange, is betting that the digital currency will take off in Argentina.

In an interview last week TradeHill founder Jered Kenna said that “Argentina possibly has the most demand I’ve seen out of Latin America for Bitcoins,” adding that his business has been talking to local banks and is planning a local office.

Zerocoin, a potential Bitcoin extension, aims to improve anonymity

Bitcoin is pseudonymous, but not exactly anonymous. A group of Cryptographers out of John Hopkins University are aiming to change that. The group, led by Professor Matthew Green, has been working on Zerocoin, a proposed Bitcoin extension that would increase Bitcoin’s anonymity.

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Computer Security researcher Dan Kaminsky tried to hack Bitcoin and failed

Via the Business Insider

“Two years ago, I tried to hack BitCoin. I failed. This was very exciting.”

Dan explains why the Bitcoin network, which is “a Pot Of Gold At The End Of The Rainbow for any hacker who could break it”, has performed so well.

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Libertarian Party now accepting Bitcoin donations

Libertarian_LogoThe party’s website states

“Many Libertarians have begun using Bitcoin, a decentralized digital currency. The Libertarian Party is now equipped to accept Bitcoin donations through the services of BitPay. Although BitPay cannot currently handle automatic recurring monthly donations, you may donate through this system as often as you wish.”

Arizona passes gold and silver legal tender bill

But you can’t buy your groceries with silver coins just yet, the bill, SB 1439, still requires the governor’s signature.

The legislation was inspired by Utah’s legal tender law passed in 2011. Arizona’s version would allow Arizona residents to use gold and silver with the same recognition as Federal Reserve notes starting in 2014… assuming of course that your local grocery store is willing to accept your silver coins; the bill does not require anyone to accept gold or silver in payment.