The task force DEA agent who worked on the Silk Road case allegedly extorted hundreds of thousands of dollars from Ulbricht, two-thirds of bitcoins have now been mined and more top stories for March 31.
Former Feds Charged With Stealing Silk Road Bitcoins
In a bombshell revelation, the task force DEA agent charged with going undercover to communicate online with Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht A.K.A. Dread Pirate Roberts allegedly used several online aliases to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin from Ulbricht. He is now charged with money laundering, wire fraud, theft and conflict of interest.
Additionally, prosecutors charged a former special agent with the U.S. Secret Service who allegedly accessed Silk Road accounts using password information from a Silk Road customer service representative arrested in a drug sting. He is also charged with wire fraud and money laundering.
Another milestone for the Bitcoin economy: Bitcoin block #350000 was mined yesterday, which means that a grand total of 14 million bitcoins are now in circulation. This, of course, entails 2/3d of all 21 million bitcoins that will ever exist. Additionally, the mining of block #350000 means that 2/3d of all 25 BTC block rewards have been mined.
IBM to Invest US$3 billion in ‘Internet of Things Unit’
IBM has announced it will spend up to US$3 billion in a specialist unit revolving around the Internet of Things. The hardware giant said it will “offer companies ways to make use of the new and multiplying sources of data such as building sensors, smartphones and home appliances to enhance their own products.”
IBM’s first partnership will involve part of The Weather Company transferring its data to the cloud in order for IBM customers to use it in tandem with its analytics tools. High-profile names are said to already be involved, including Continental AG and jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney.
Joel Cawley, GM for information and Insights as a Service at IBM said:
“When I think about this, my business is building service delivery environments. We have been looking for a handful of anchor tenants. Twitter and The Weather Company are great anchor tenants. We can build a lot of stuff around this.”
In the latest hurdle to beset the cryptocurrency sphere in Australia, a new government tax paper has listed Bitcoin among the methods which make it difficult for authorities to track tax avoidance. The paper published by the treasury states that when the current Australian tax system was designed, new ways of transacting, including cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, were not contemplated.
The end result, the government says, is that:
“These developments make determining the appropriate tax outcome for a particular company in a specific country difficult, and raise concerns about the ability of companies to relocate profits to minimize their tax.”
Popular social network Reddit has been requested, by subpoena, to hand over personal data including names, IP addresses, records of session times and durations, phone numbers and financial data of five users linked to Evolution, a dark net marketplace that vanished with millions of dollars worth of bitcoins. The writ order suggests that the apparent scam might be the target of a federal investigation.
It seems like the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force has taken note of the issues hindering partnerships between Bitcoin businesses and banks.
At a Brussels meeting with industry figures last Friday, the anti-money laundering policy maker proposed a risk-based approach that ensures every digital currency business is evaluated on an individual basis. This means that banks would identify and assess the money laundering and terrorist financing risks they are exposed to, setting the appropriate mitigation measures accordingly.
Factom Crowdsale Launches Today
Factom, the data layer extension for the Bitcoin blockchain that turns a number of hashes into a single periodic hash in order to help businesses manage their data, will launch its crowdsale of the associated tokens – Factoids - at 10:00 AM CST today. The crowdsale is hosted by Coinify, and will run for a consecutive 45 days.
Charlie Shrem ponders using bitcoin in prison
Former BitInstant CEO Charlie Shrem, who started his two-year prison sentence yesterday, wrote an article for Motherboard in which he wonders if bitcoin could hypothetically be used as currency in prison.
"I'm obsessed with bitcoin, and I'm going to prison. So of course I wanted to know if I could continue to use bitcoin on the inside," Shrem writes, although he is also aware of the fact that it would not be allowed:
"As it turns out, running a Bitcoin system in prison is illegal - the Bureau of Prisons strictly forbids 'possession of money or currency, unless specifically authorized' - but it's still a fun thought experiment."
Shrem's full thought experiment can be read here.
Antonopoulos' New Startup Third Key Solutions Launches
Author, speaker, and all-round Bitcoin expert Andreas Antonopoulos has launched his new Bitcoin startup Third Key Solutions. Third Key Solutions offers consulting and cryptographic key management solutions for companies using decentralized digital currencies.
“Bitcoin’s multi-signature feature is an incredibly powerful technology for digital currency security. However, technology is not enough. Security depends on technology, process, and people. Third Key Solutions offers consulting and key management services that provide the process and people to complement the technology.”
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In a bombshell revelation , the task force DEA agent charged with going undercover to communicate online with Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht A.K.A. Dread Pirate Roberts allegedly used several online […]