All posts by Chris Clark

Texas Congressman Steve Stockman

congressman steve stockmanYesterday, Texas Congressman Steve Stockman introduced a new House Resolution (HR 5777) entitled: “To protect cryptocurrencies.” Congressman Steve Stockman is a Republican, from Texas’s 36th Congressional district, who has become one of cryptocurrency’s most ardent supporters in politics. Back in May, Stockman introduced HR 4602: Virtual Currency Tax Reform Act after the IRS revealed its virtual currency guidance for taxation. Texas has established itself as one of the most friendly states towards Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

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Winnings Donation

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Charities hit the jackpot: Anonymous Las Vegas gambler donates his $14million slot machine winnings to good causes

By Khaleda Rahman for MailOnline
08:49 01 Dec 2014, updated 09:22 01 Dec 2014
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It only took local man $20 and five minutes to win big on Megabucks game
He is not a regular, but decided to visit Rampart Casino with his best friend who was visiting Sin City
Plans to use some of his winnings to build new church, which has been holding services in a high school gym
A gambler who scooped more than $14million in five minutes on the slots is planning to donate his winnings to charity.

The Las Vegas man – who is choosing to remain anonymous – is not a regular at the Rampart Casino in Summerlin.

But on his lucky day, he decided to play Megabucks with his best friend who was visiting Sin City.

Jackpot: The casino tweeted this picture of a novelty check to announce the local’s big win. A casino spokeswoman said he plans to donate some of his winnings to charity +3
Jackpot: The casino tweeted this picture of a novelty check to announce the local’s big win. A casino spokeswoman said he plans to donate some of his winnings to charity
And it only took him a few minutes and $20 to win big – $14.3million in total, some of which he plans to use to give his local church a new home, NBC News reported.

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Casino spokeswoman Jenifer Smith said he wants to fund a new building for his church, which has been holding services in a high school gymnasium.

General manager Michael Gaughan Jr. said: ‘We pay large jackpots all time, just today we are paying $14million to a lucky local.

‘It doesn’t get better than this.’

Lucky: The anonymous local is not a regular at the Rampart Casino in Summerlin, pictured, but was decided to visit with his best friend who was in town +3
Lucky: The anonymous local is not a regular at the Rampart Casino in Summerlin, pictured, but was decided to visit with his best friend who was in town
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US Marshals to Auction Bitcoins

Want a virtual piece of law enforcement history? You’re about to get your chance. The US Marshal’s Service is holding an auction on December 4th that will sell off 50,000 Bitcoins from Ross Ulbricht (aka Dread Pirate Roberts), the alleged founder of the black market website Silk Road. You’ll need plenty of real-world cash to get your hands on this digital currency, though. The feds are selling the digital currency in batches of 2,000 to 3,000 coins, and you’ll need to place a minimum $100,000 deposit by December 1st to claim one of them. Not exactly an impulse purchase, then. At least this isn’t the last auction you’ll see — police seized a total of 144,000 Bitcoins in the Silk Road bust last year, and roughly half of them have yet to go on sale.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer]

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Sheriff forced to pay $500 Bitcoin

‘Every sort of document that you could develop in an investigation was in that folder. There was a total of 72,000 files,’ Detective Jeff McCliss said
Officials think the malware came from an ad someone in the department clicked on
‘Is it better to take a stand and lose all that information? Or make the payment grit your teeth and just do it?’ said the detective
The Dickson County Sheriff’s Office in Middle Tennessee ended up paying a ransom after a malicious computer program blocked access to their files.

Detective Jeff McCliss told WTVF-TV that malware on a computer locked the agency’s case files, which included autopsy reports, witness statements and crime scene photos.

He says the malware, called ‘Cryptowall,’ doesn’t tamper with files on a computer, but keeps them locked until a ransom is paid.

No choice: Jeff McCliss grimaced when he was forced to pay $500 worth in bitcoins in order to retrieve case files locked by a computer virus called Cryptoware +3
No choice: Jeff McCliss grimaced when he was forced to pay $500 worth in bitcoins in order to retrieve case files locked by a computer virus called Cryptoware
‘Every sort of document that you could develop in an investigation was in that folder. There was a total of 72,000 files,’ McCliss said Tuesday.

After consulting with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the FBI, McCliss said the agency determined the only way to get their files back was to pay the asking price: $500 in bitcoins.

Officials think the malware came from an ad someone in the department clicked on.

‘Is it better to take a stand and lose all that information? Or make the payment grit your teeth and just do it?’ he said.

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Bitcoin going to Break 400 USD

bitcoinAfter almost one month where the Bitcoin price has been floating below 350 USD per BTC (and even lower), the price has recently increased drastically. For the first time since October 15th, 2014, we might see a Bitcoin worth more than 400 dollars.

Also read: “How to Trade Bitcoin“

The third quarter of 2014 has been quite hard on Bitcoin owners and traders seeing the Bitcoin price lose position against the US dollar. Some have even said that the Bitcoin price could crash even harder and go below 275 USD per Bitcoin.

The Bitcoin Price Chart Speaks For Itself

If you take a look at our new Bitcoin price chart, you can clearly see a positive trend taking place where the upcoming resistance level to break is 400 USD per bitcoin. The chart below shows Bitstamp’s buys and sells, including the buy/sell pressure ratios. For the last 24 hours and the last hour, there have been more buys than sells which pushes the BTC price upwards.

bitstamp bitcoin price chartThe Bitfinex price chart shows the same trend giving us, as I see it, only one possible outcome: the Bitcoin price will move above 400 USD within the next day or two. I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t.

CCN
Is this price trend caused by Raoul Pal’s comment about one bitcoin being worth 1 million USD? Or because of macro-factors explained in this analysis? What do you think?

Disclosure: I do own bitcoins, trading at own risk. Images by Shutterstock.

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Cambridge Bitcoin Meeting

Cambridge Bitcoin MeetupThe Cambridge Bitcoin Meetup group is hosting four Bitcoin education events in November. The events will feature presentations from prominent Bitcoin personalities such as Nic Cary, Jon Lee, and Vlad Zamfir and are designed to give students a crash course in cryptocurrency and entrepreneurship opportunities for Bitcoin enthusiasts.

Also Read: MIT Bitcoin Project is Live – Undergraduates Receive $100 in Bitcoin

Upcoming Cambridge Bitcoin Events

On November 11, Blockchain CEO Nic Cary will speak at the Cambridge Centre for Mathematical Sciences. His presentation, titled “The Bitcoin Revolution – Wallets and Opportunities at the Dawn of a New Industry,” will give a broad overview of the bitcoin industry and advise budding entrepreneurs about developing opportunities in the Bitcoin space.

Following Cary’s talk, Ethereum coder Vlad Zamfir will give the month’s most technical cryptocurrency discussion on November 13. His talk, which will also be hosted at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, will emphasize mathematics, proof of stake, and crypto-economics.

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Less than one week later, on November 18, BTC.sx CEO Jon Lee will discuss bitcoin trading and entrepreneurship at the Cambridge University Engineering Department. His discussion will focus on Wall Street’s foray into bitcoin trading and what affects the bitcoin price.

Finally, the student-run Oxford Blocktech Network (OBN) will host a networking event at the Cambridge City Hotel on November 24. In addition to socializing with fellow bitcoiners and listening to presentations from sponsors such as Ethereum and CoinScrum, student attendees will receive £10 in bitcoin for free.

Note: Some of these events require pre-registration, so attendees should make sure to sign up on the Cambridge Bitcoin Meetup group page.

What do you think? Do you plan to attend one of these Cambridge events? Comment below!

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Illegal Las Vegas Search

The FBI allegedly employed the ruse against the recommendation of an assistant U.S. attorney
In total eight men were arrested in July after federal agents posed as repair technicians and raided three villas at the Caesars Palace hotel
Under U.S. law, a person whose property is inspected generally must waive his constitutional protections against unreasonable searches unless authorities obtain a warrant
More like a play from Ocean’s 11 than the standard operating guidebook for FBI undercover operations, agents tricked their way inside three luxury villas at Ceasars Palace, Las Vegas, to gather evidence to bust an illegal sports betting ring.

To get away with their incredible ruse, federal agents first turned off Internet access to the villas then impersonated repair technicians to gain entry to get around a warrant, according to defense lawyers challenging the practice.

Dramatic new video, filmed through the lapel camera carried by one of the undercover agent’s, shows the level of subterfuge that the FBI used to bust the soccer World Cup gambling ring in Sin City

Undercover: Federal agents impersonated repair technicians at the Caesars Palace resort in Las Vegas to surreptitiously collect evidence in an investigation of online sports betting during the 2014 World Cup +5
Undercover: Federal agents impersonated repair technicians at the Caesars Palace resort in Las Vegas to surreptitiously collect evidence in an investigation of online sports betting during the 2014 World Cup
The video shows investigators devising code words to use while they were inside, a back-and-forth about the cover story for an agent, who adopted the name ‘Sam,’ which he had used ‘for other stuff’ in the past, and a brief exchange about how another investigator should dress for the role of a technical repair nerd.

‘If you put on that shirt, you have to look the part. Go all the way,’ said Mike Wood, an outside technician working for Caesars, advising Nevada Gaming Control Board Agent Ricardo Lopez before Lopez headed to one of the suites the morning of July 4. An FBI agent, Mike Kung, accompanied him also undercover.

The AP obtained about 30 minutes of audio and video recordings of the covert reconnaissance.

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Inside the Las Vegas villa, Lopez appeared to try to fix an Internet outage for several minutes while glancing around the room and asking more than once to view a laptop screen to verify that Internet connectivity was still down. Defense lawyers said in their filing that Kung, the FBI agent, was sent inside because he spoke Chinese.

Still undercover, Lopez appeared to call Wood from inside the villa and asked him to ‘check the frame,’ the code they had previously worked out. In a brief back and forth, Wood responded that he would ‘trace the wire and make sure it’s tied down good.’

The FBI employed the ruse against the recommendation of an assistant U.S. attorney, Kimberly Frayn, according to lawyers for four of eight men charged in the case.

Defense lawyer Thomas Goldstein, who is challenging evidence the government collected in what he described as an illegal search, said that was code to turn Internet access back on.

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Ledger X

ledgerxLedgerX is a new financial industry startup based out of New York, the home of the upcoming BitLicense. Despite the overcast pall of incoming regulations, LedgerX seems prepared for any happenstance. The new group has raised venture funding from Lightspeed Ventures and Google Ventures. Lightspeed Ventures has previously invested in other digital currency startups including Blockchain.info.

Google Ventures, on the other hand, has put money into Buttercoin and OpenCoin, the company behind Ripple, which some might argue until they’re blue in the face is the #2 cryptocurrency in existence. Series A funding came from Lightspeed Ventures in summer of 2014, and seed funding came from Google Ventures earlier in the year.

Also read: United States CFTC to Discuss Bitcoin Futures’ Future

LedgerX: CFTC Approved Bitcoin Futures

LedgerX hopes to be America’s first US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulated Bitcoin futures exchange. Elsewhere in America, TeraExchange has already launched as America’s first regulated Bitcoin swaps exchange. LedgerX has many veterans of the financial industry as supporters. James Newsome is the former chairman of the CFTC and former CEO of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Now a director on LedgerX’s BOD, Newsome explained:

CCN: World’s Largest & Leading Independent Bitcoin News Source

It’s no different than with corn farmers. They’ve got all this corn, the grain markets have been volatile. They could enter into hedging contracts knowing exactly what it’s worth, and not worrying about volatility. Newsome brings his lobbying firm, Delta Strategy Group, to bat for LedgerX. Besides Newsome, LedgerX has also retained Thomas Lewis, a former CEO of Ameritrade Holding Corp as a member of the BOD. Newsome left the WSJ with these words:

Whether we like it or not, [bitcoin] is being used by legitimate companies as a form of currency. You can’t keep your head in the sand and act like it doesn’t exist. It’s apparent that there’s going to be a regulated derivatives market that develops. Would you prefer that to happen in the U.S., or do you want that to migrate to London, Dubai, or Hong Kong?

What do you think of LedgerX? Comment below!

Images from Shutterstock.

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