CCN Week in Review: Mt. Gox, Malware, Bitcoin ATMs, and More

February 23, 2014 19:27 UTC

This week on CCN, we learned about Mt. Gox’s continuing woes with hints at recovery, a nasty trojan targeting cryptocurrency users, the first Bitcoin ATMs in the United States, (which our own Caleb Chen tested out!), and more. Here are some of our top stories this week in case you missed them.

Mt. Gox Recovery(?)

Just three days ago, the price of Bitcoin on Mt. Gox fell below $150, due to Mt. Gox suspending all Bitcoin withdrawals. This affected the value of BTC on other exchanges as well, with it being around $550 most of the week. However, there are rumours going around that Gox is planning to resume withdrawals soon, which has caused a recent price surge.

Bitcoin Malware

There’s been a recent increase in malware targeting Bitcoin users. Last week, a trojan called CoinThief targeted Mac users, with one redditor losing 20 BTC ($12,654 at the time of this post). This week, an application called CryptocoinTrader targeted PC users and used screen sharing software to broadcast infected computers’ screens to a location in Russia. Malware targeting Bitcoin users is particularly dangerous since it can result in the loss of thousands of dollars worth of BTC, which is why it’s a good idea to keep most of your Bitcoins in cold storage and only a small fraction for spending on a hot wallet.

First U.S. Bitcoin ATMs

This week, the first American Bitcoin ATMs arrived in Albuquerque, Boston, Austin, and Seattle. One of our writers, Caleb Chen, sold Bitcoin to an ATM in Austin. He reported that “Selling Bitcoin to a Robocoin ATM is a much longer process than buying Bitcoin.” You can read about the entire experience here.

Dogecoin Forks Up

Six days ago, the Dogecoin blockchain forked, resulting in two competing blockchains. This is similar to the Bitcoin fork of March 11th, 2013, which could have been catastrophic, but instead resulted in little to no damage. As such, the important thing is to not panic and make sure your Dogecoin client is updated to version 1.5+. To make sure you’re on the correct blockchain, follow these steps from reddit user “42points

  1. Go to your newly updated, synced dogecoin wallet and open it. Click on Help>>Debug
  2. Now click the console tab and type getblockhash 104679 (“Block number out of range. (code -1)” means you need to wait for your wallet to sync)
  3. If you see 35eb87ae90d44b98898fec8c39577b76cb1eb08e1261cfc10706c8ce9a1d01cf you are on the correct chain and the update is complete
  4. If you see 5a01ea5380f14ec1571523e36b2f3e91747749be9ed216607fc49038a55d15b2 you are on the wrong chain please see [the rest of this post].

Italy’s 20% Tax on All Wire Transfers

The Italian government has decided to impose a huge 20% tax on all inbound wire transfers. Payment systems such as PayPal and Western Union will be affected. However, Bitcoin remains unaffected, which could compel Italian citizens to switch to Bitcoin to conduct business without facing such steep taxes.

That concludes this Week in Review, where we post our top stories of the week every Sunday.

Last modified: March 23, 2014 18:48 UTC

@@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.