Happy Sunday! With the end of a rather eventful week, it’s time for the Bitcoin News in Review. This week was all about New York’s BitLicense, Dell accepting Bitcoin, Charlie Lee re-proposing merged mining, and more. Check out this week’s top stories after the break.
If you’ve been following this week’s Bitcoin news, you’ve probably heard of New York’s BitLicense. On 17 July, Superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services Ben Lawsky revealed a state-level attempt to regulate digital currencies such as Bitcoin. Any person or company that services New York residents with “Virtual Currency Business Activity” will require a BitLicense. This attempt at regulating cryptocurrencies has received mixed responses. Some companies such as itBit have welcomed the new regulatory guidelines.
“We believe this framework is important for the ecosystem to operate in a compliant and trustworthy way, and shows the DFS’ ongoing dedication to improving the stability of the industry.”
Others such as BitPay have been more cautious and some like Erik Voorhees, founder of Satoshi Dice, have blasted the BitLicense proposal.
“…This is not consumer protection. This is explicit surveillance of private citizens who are not accused – nor even under suspicion – of committing a crime…”
Many cryptocurrency users are worried about the potential ramifications of BitLicense. Under the proposed regulations, Satoshi Nakamoto could be considered a criminal. It’s even possible that mining and other Bitcoin businesses in the U.S. will shut down. Essentially it’s come down to this:
“Will Bitcoin compromise aspects of its decentralization to facilitate mainstream acceptance and adoption, or will the community resist government regulation on principle?”
Dell Accepts Bitcoin Payments
On 18 July 2014, Dell became the largest e-commerce business to accept Bitcoin. Not to be outdone by Overstock, TigerDirect, and others, Michael Dell took to twitter to make the announcement. According to Dell, the company will accept Bitcoin payments because,
“Bitcoin is a new payment option intended to offer even more flexibility for customers. Bitcoin payments can be made easily from anywhere in the world, and offer reduced payment processing costs.”
Like many companies (Expedia, Dish Network, etc.), Dell is using Coinbase as its payments processor. Dell is also offering customers a 10% discount on select products if purchased using BTC. As several big-name companies have already begun accepting Bitcoin, it’s very likely that more will follow. Amazon? Netflix? Apple? Who’ll be next remains to be seen.
Charlie Lee Re-Proposes Merged Mining
The creator of Litecoin – Charlie Lee, has said it once and he’ll say it again. Dogecoin is at risk of dying out. While the altcoin has a very vibrant community, “The hashrate is so low that it’s getting dangerous. It’s getting to the point where anyone with a small ASIC farm can attack it… Dogecoin was not designed to survive.” That’s why Lee is suggesting merged mining. Miners would mine and receive both Litecoin and Dogecoin at the same time. However, this does not mean that Dogecoin would be tied to Litecoin. Regardless, the Dogecoin community has shied away from the merged mining proposal in the past. “…they’re prideful. They think that [Dogecoin] can survive without it…I think that people don’t like the term ‘merged mining’.”
Mintpal Hacked; VeriCoin Forks As a Result
The popular altcoin exchange Mintpal was recently hacked, and the attacker targeted the exchange’s large VeriCoin holdings. In fact, Mintpal was in control of 30% of all existing Vericoins. However, Mintpal and the VeriCoin developers have come up with an elegant solution. VeriCoin has soft-forked, essentially resetting the blockchain to just before the security breach. All VeriCoin transactions that occurred after the breach have been erased. While everything worked out in the end, this event highlights an example of the dangers of centralised coin storage.