COIN.MX BITCOIN EXCHANGE OPERATORS ARRESTED

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Two Florida men are facing some serious felony charges that intersect both Bitcoin and the money transfer business. According to federal authorities, Anthony R. Murgio and Yuri Lebedev never bothered to get a Money Services Business license for Coin.mx, a Bitcoin exchange. The FBI’s statement on the matter calls Coin.mx / Collectables Club a “phony front business” and mentions that the men also utilized a federal credit union that they bought solely for the purpose of washing dirty money. In doing so, they knowingly exchanged cash for people whom they believed may be engaging in criminal activity. MURGIO and his co-conspirators have also knowingly exchanged cash for Bitcoins for victims of “ransomware” attacks, that is, cyberattacks in which criminals (here, distributors of the ransomware known as “Cryptowall”) electronically block access to a victim’s computer system until a sum of “ransom” money, typically in Bitcoins, is paid to them. In doing so, MURGIO, and his co-conspirators knowingly enabled the criminals responsible for those attacks to receive the proceeds of their crimes, yet, in violation of federal anti-money laundering laws, MURGIO never filed any suspicious activity reports regarding any of the transactions. It goes on to allege that they willfully hid their …

ROBOCOIN ROLLS OUT ROMIT GLOBAL BITCOIN REMITTANCE SERVICE

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Robocoin, a pioneer in bitcoinATMs, has announced the rollout of Romit, which it bills as the cheapest and fastest money-transfer service in the world. The new cash remittance application leverages the bitcoin block chain. Any web-enabled kiosk, ATM or cashier can offer Romit KYC (know your customer)-compliant money transfer services. The service can send money to a smartphone, tablet or PC. By using the bitcoin block chain, the Romit remittance solution circumvents Forex foreign exchange fees, wire transfer fees, and banking requirements. The service could extend Robocoin’s role in the emerging global remittance market. Send money in three easy steps The Robocoin website explains how to send money using Romit in three steps: 1) Enter the recipient’s phone number. 2) Select the destination country. 3) Insert cash into an ATM, or hand the cash to the cashier. Romit then sends a confirmation text message to the recipient with the amount sent and the pickup location. The cash-to-bitcoin-to-cash settlement occurs immediately. Customers do not have to create bitcoin wallets to send money. The Robocoin bitcoin wallet name has changed to Romit. The website presents a cost comparison between Romit, Western Union and Moneygram for sending money from the U.S. to the …

BitLendingClub to Take On Trillion Dollar Loans Market, Encouraging ‘Good Borrowers’

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Cross-border peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin lending platform BitLendingClub, is looking to disrupt the growing lending industry with a unique model that should oust bad players while providing a better framework for “good borrowers.” The Bulgaria-based startup integrated with the Boost VC accelerator program in February, and is looking forward to demo day on May 7, where the team will be presenting its product to an audience filled with influential VCs and industry leaders. Speaking with CoinTelegraph, co-founder and CEO Kiril Gantchev, shared his excitement to be one of the 25 startups selected to integrate Boost VC’s Tribe 5, as well as his ambition to provide greater efficiency to a trillion dollar market that is ripe for innovation. The right incentive BitLendingClub, which works under a ‘Dutch auction’ system that consists in letting borrowers choose the interest rate that matches their requirements, charges fees from loans that have been repaid. The particular element allows BitLendingClub to have “an extra incentive to provide a better framework for good borrowers to repay their loans and bad borrowers to be selected out as early as possible,” and enables the startup to differentiate itself from other existing services that would essentially provide an infrastructure for borrowers …

stellar The New Stellar Consensus Protocol Could Permit Faster and Cheaper Transactions

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Stanford professor David Mazières thinks he has a faster, more flexible and more secure alternative to Bitcoin, MIT Technology Review reports. Two independent reviewers, from Stanford and Cornell universities, agree that the new technology could make digital payments and other transactions cheaper, safer and easier. Alternative blockchains are often dismissed as worthless “me-too” copycats or scamcoins, which, unfortunately, has some element of truth. But Mazières’ approach deserves a place among the serious alternatives to Bitcoin that have been proposed, alongside Ethereum and Ripple. Public digital currency ledgers rely on distributed consensus protocols to propagate valid transactions. In the Bitcoin network, independent nodes (miners) work together without preferential trust relations. In other words, each node implicitly trusts every other node. In the new protocol, called Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP), each node explicitly selects a set of publicly trusted peers, and forwards only the transactions that have been validated by a certain majority of its trusted partners. If correctly implemented with a critical mass of nodes with overlapping trust circles, valid transactions propagate in ripples through the network and eventually achieve systemwide consensus. “Bitcoin is good, but we wanted to start from scratch,” says Mazières. He is persuaded that the SCP can …

Fred Wilson on the Proposed Bitlicense Regulations

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Fred Wilson is a VC and principal of Union Square Ventures. USV invests in bitcoin companies, but not the currency itself. Fred is interested in bitcoin because he believes it can be and possibly will be the financial and transactional protocol for the global Internet.  Here, he shares his thoughts on New York State’s revised Bitlicense regulations. Over the past year, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), led by Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky, has been attempting to create a set of regulations for virtual currency services. They called this set of regulations the ‘Bitlicense’. I have been following this issue closely and participated in public testimony before the NYDFSback in January 2014 that was a precursor to creating these new regulations. While these regulations will only apply to businesses operating in New York State, they will naturally be a precedent for many other states who seek to regulate virtual currency services and as such, we should consider them a potential framework for all state regulation of virtual currency. The initial proposed Bitlicense regulations were published last year and were subject to a comment period which produced more than 3,700 total comments. The NYDFS did an excellent job of working through those comments and came …