CCN Week in Review: China, Bitcoins to Bits, FEC Bitcoin Donations, and More

Journalist:
Neil Sardesai @@neilsardesai
April 28, 2014

Welcome back to another CCN Week in Review, where we feature our top stories of the week every Sunday. Unfortunately, our awesome media man – Calvin Tran, was unable to get a video for us this week. However, he should be back next Sunday for another video recap of the week’s news. In the meantime, check out this week’s (20 April – 26 April) biggest stories.

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More FUD With China

A recent article from Caixin is causing uncertainty amongst Bitcoiners.

[dropcap size=small]T[/dropcap]he respected Chinese financial news source – Caixin, recently published an article claiming that the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) met with several commercial banks and payment processors and has plans to cut off funding to bitcoin trading. However, this does not affect individuals or merchants. Furthermore, an incorrect translation of the article through Google Translate states that the PBOC wants to “ban all [bitcoin] transactions”. In reality, there is nothing to indicate that the PBOC wishes to ban bitcoin transactions, but that hasn’t stopped the FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt). However, China’s exact stance on bitcoin is, admittedly, confusing, and some Chinese exchanges are planning to take their funding methods and websites overseas. Many Bitcoiners are wondering whatever happened to the “Notice on Further Strengthening Bitcoin Risk Prevention Measures,” which has already passed the 4/15/14 deadline. Unfortunately, PBOC is causing way too much needless confusion for Bitcoin users.

Moving From “Bitcoins” to “Bits”

Not too long ago, bitcoins were worth fractions of pennies, and buying something like a pizza would cost 10,000 BTC. However, now that 1 BTC is worth ~$500 USD, people typically don’t spend entire bitcoins at a time. Instead, someone might request a payment of 0.03 bitcoins for a pizza. But it feels a bit weird to have to think of money in terms of fractions, and so many bitcoiners have already switched to millibitcoins or microbitcoins as a general unit of account. However, there isn’t any official, widely-used denomination of bitcoins, and the issue has stirred up a lot of debate. One of the suggestions that has gained a lot of support is moving from “bitcoins” to “bits”.

“Sending someone 1000 bits sounds better than sending them 0.001 bitcoins, so this should be a move that’s embraced for its ability to lead to more mainstream adoption in the near future.”

FEC Might Allow Bitcoin Donations to Candidates

For anyone unfamiliar with the U.S. election system, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) was created after the Watergate scandal to regulate campaign finance legislation. Its primary purpose is to oversee how Presidential candidates get funding. Many critics of the Commission argue that the FEC is inefficient since its six members are perfectly split by political party, causing deadlock, but that’s a different story. This story focuses on recent discussions calling for the FEC to create guidelines for bitcoin donation acceptance. Politicians such as Texas Congressman – Steve Stockman, have already begun accepting bitcoin donations for their campaigns. The Make Your Laws Super PAC hopes the FEC will allow up to $100 per election/recipient/contributor, and the FEC should make a decision by 5 May 2014.

Reddit Punishes r/technology for Censoring “Bitcoin” and “Dogecoin”

The r/technology subreddit was caught censoring keywords such as “bitcoin” and “dogecoin”.

Last week, reddit’s popular r/technology subreddit was censoring at least twenty keywords, including “bitcoin” and “dogecoin”. The scandal quickly got reddit’s attention, and the site removed r/technology from its list of “default subreddits”. Reddit is well-known for championing transparency, so this sort of censorship sharply contrasts to the site’s reputation. One redditor – SamSlate, has created a “Reddit Censorship Checker” to determine if subreddits are censoring particular keywords.

Denmark’s Liberal Alliance Will Use Block Chain Voting

The Liberal Alliance will be utilizing a blockchain to conduct internal votes at an annual meeting.

The Liberal Alliance political party in Denmark will be the first to use block chain technology for internal voting. Block chain technology is perfect for ensuring that transactions are trustworthy, so this should protect against fraud since it removes the need for a trusted authority.

“…everybody can look under the hood and see what’s going on. It doesn’t get any more liberal – so that’s why it’s an obvious choice for e-voting.”

-Mikkel Freltoft Krogsholm, Liberal Alliance Executive Committee member

And that concludes this CCN Week in Review. Come back every Sunday for our top stories of the week.

Last modified (UTC): April 27, 2014 22:47

Neil Sardesai @@neilsardesai

I enjoy keeping up with the latest stuff in science and technology and have been following Bitcoin for a few years now. I also occasionally post cool stuff on twitter.