Sweden to Become World’s First Cashless Country

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A study by the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm shows that Sweden is on track to become the world’s first cashless country. Today, five of six major banks in Sweden are already refusing to operate with cash. As a result, and considering the latest Tax Authority guidelines, Bitcoin has the potential to become a commonly used currency in Sweden. Fully digital People are becoming increasingly accustomed to using bank cards to pay even for the smallest purchases in Sweden with four out of five purchases made electronically. Now, with the increasing penetration of mobile and P2P payment systems, the necessity to use cash is quickly becoming obsolete. Niklas Arvidsson, a researcher in industrial economics and management at KTH, stated: “Cash is still an important means of payment in many countries’ markets, but that no longer applies here in Sweden.” Moreover, the recent launch of mobile payment app Swish from several major Swedish and Danish banks is already revolutionizing the local banking system, says Arvidsson. As a result, several major banks are refusing to accept cash at all. According to Arvidsson, there are less than 80 billion Swedish crowns in circulation (about EUR8 billion) and out of that amount, …

Governments Seize the Opportunity to Control Bitcoin

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With the recent announcement of the Blockchain Alliance “A Public-Private Forum to Help Combat Criminal Activity on the Blockchain” founded by Coin Center and the Chamber of Digital Commerce, CoinTelegraph highlights some recent events overlooked by the Bitcoin industry that immediately precipitated the announcement including an FBI “playbook” and European seizure survey. Ever since Let’s Talk Bitcoin broke the story in June 2013 that the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) seized 11.02 bitcoin from a bitcoin user, the internet has been aflutter what exactly it means to seize bitcoin and the extent of control that law enforcement has over everyone’s favorite cryptocurrency. At the time, Bitcoin superstar Andreas M. Antonopoulos stated that “There is no indication the Bitcoin protocol was compromised.  “Seizure” is probably a word used to imply that money was received in the process of a Silk Road sting operation, rather than actually bitcoin seized from the user’s wallet.” Andreas’ words still hold true today. At its core, literally Bitcoin core, it is not possible to seize bitcoin.  However, it is possible to seize bitcoin depending on how a Bitcoin user interacts with the cryptocurrency (including sending it to law enforcement unbeknownst to the user — as was likely …

Is Silicon Valley Turning into a Bitcoin Hub?

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Silicon Valley has gained its popularity for being the home of several tech and online startups, which later on grew to become the fast-rising companies of today. According to Bitpay Chief Commercial Officer Sonny Singh, the trend among venture capitalist groups in the valley is to invest in bitcoin and related technologies like the blockchain. “You can see the rapid growth of the VC investments in the bitcoin space,” explained Singh. He mentioned that investments in bitcoin companies has grown thrice this year compared to last year. Growth in Bitcoin Companies “Two years ago, bitcoin wouldn’t have been on that,” said Singh. “It shows how much of a traction bitcoin has gotten in just over the last two years. It’s really come a long way and I imagine in the next two years, it will be much higher actually.” Singh also pointed out that around a year ago, they had been convincing large companies to accept bitcoin. This time around, these same companies such as Dell and Microsoft are explaining to their customers why bitcoin is important. “We’ve seen the ecosystem change quite dramatically,” concluded Singh. Data from industry analysts has also revealed that bitcoin is taking over financial services …

Bitcoin’s Dark Side Could Get Darker –

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Investors see riches in a cryptography-enabled technology called smart contracts–but it could also offer much to criminals.     Some of the earliest adopters of the digital currency Bitcoin were criminals, who have found it invaluable in online marketplaces for contraband and as payment extorted through lucrative “ransomware” that holds personal data hostage. A new Bitcoin-inspired technology that some investors believe will be much more useful and powerful may be set to unlock a new wave of criminal innovation. That technology is known as smart contracts—small computer programs that can do things like execute financial trades or notarize documents in a legal agreement. Intended to take the place of third-party human administrators such as lawyers, which are required in many deals and agreements, they can verify information and hold or use funds using similar cryptography to that which underpins Bitcoin. Some companies think smart contracts could make financial markets more efficient, or simplify complex transactions such as property deals (see “The Startup Meant to Reinvent What Bitcoin Can Do”). Ari Juels, a cryptographer and professor at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, believes they will also be useful for illegal activity–and, with two collaborators, he has demonstrated how. “In …

KIM DOTCOM JUST WARNED ABOUT A SIGNIFICANT GLOBAL STOCK MARKET CORRECTION ON TWITTER, TELLS FOLLOWERS “GET SOME #BITCOIN”

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Kim Dotcom, the outspoken founder of Megaupload, Mega and other firms, recently tweeted about the Chinese Stock Market. The Chinese stock market experienced turbulence in late July and early August and since global stocks have taken a slide.    In the tweet, he suggests his Twitter followers “Get some #Bitcoin.” Dotcom, a German-Finnish Internet entrepreneur, businessman and political activist, was accused of criminal copyright infringement and other charges by the US Department of Justice. He is fighting etradition proceedings in New Zealand. Having founded the file hosting service Megaupload, and Mega, authorities charged that he enabled the file sharing of copyrighted material. His home was raised in 2012 by US authorities.   His next business venture after Megaupload, Mega, launched in January 2013 – one year after Megaupload was closed down. Mega is a cloud storage service using encryption. When PayPal ceased serving Kim Dotcom’s Mega, he tweeted about Bitcoin. Dotcom has long supported Bitcoin, as can be seen here.

TREES CEO MARSHALL HAYNER: “CANNABIS WILL BE A BIGGER INDUSTRY THAN BIG TOBACCO… AND IT NEEDS BITCOIN”

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The San Francisco-based dispensary, Trees, wants to hook you up with a cannabis kit, so all of your needs are taken care of in one place. The company acknowledges that – with technology like vaporizers, dabs, and so on, cannabis has become pretty complex (especially after a dome straight to the head). So for that reason, Trees stocks the latest tech and glassware for your blazing pleasure and packages in a convenient form. Medicinal use of cannabis in California has been legal since 1996. While in Colorado and Washington cannabis is recreational, in California, the legalization of recreational is on the ballot for next year. The medical industry have allowed a booming medical marijuana industry to grow. Trees unique product is “the original craft cannabis box.” The company offers a beginner model for $99 and two boxes for $149, each containing flower, extracts, and accessories. CEO of Trees, Marshall Hayner, garnered much press for his idea about delivering the craft cannabis box via drones. The idea of delivery by drones, popularized by Amazon, has come across some issues in the US with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), NASA and Verizon citing safety concerns. But, in the near future, your Trainwreck …