Rumours around BitPay, a platform that processes payments in bitcoin for merchants, is raising the field’s biggest round yet. The company is raising $30 million on a roughly $160 million valuation in a round led by Index Ventures, with Richard Branson and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang participating.
With BitPay’s previous funding round, the company’s financing tops the combined $26 million that Boston-based rival Circle has raised from Accel Partners, or the $31 million that San Francisco-based Coinbase raised from Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures or the $20 million round that Benchmark led for Xapo.
Coins.ph launched in the Philippines last year offering a Bitcoin trading platform in the country. Following this, it is now set to provide a Bitcoin payment service for daily deals sites MetroDeal and CashCashPinoy this month, with the aim of giving more payment options to consumers. Given the low credit card penetration in the Philippines and nearby Southeast Asian countries, Coins.ph co-founder Ron Hose believes this can help increase e-commerce transactions in the region.
Singapore bitcoin ATM producer Tembusu announced today it has closed its seed funding round and raised over S$300,000 (US$236,600), just one and a half weeks after launching its first machine and after the company itself was valued at S$5.1m (US$4.02m).
Company spokesman Jarrod Luo said the extra capital would form the bulk of the working capital the startup requires to “fulfill its outstanding machine orders in a timely fashion”, including stockpiling raw materials and expanding its team.
Tembusu was the first company to open a bitcoin ATM in Singapore, and it is also the first to design and manufacture its machines there. It is also Asia’s first home-grown bitcoin ATM producer, having just beaten South Korea’s Coinplug to launch by a couple of days.
At press time Singapore has six active bitcoin ATMs, with several companies racing to increase that number. Another Singapore company, Bitcoin Exchange, launched a Lamassu ATM in a busy Singapore shopping mall right after Tembusu’s release.
Since the collapse of Mt. Gox, and now in its wake a Canada-based virtual currency exchange called Flexcoin was also forced to shut down last week. Flexcoin said flaws in its software code enabled hackers to make off with bitcoins worth around 440,000 euros. “As Flexcoin does not have the resources, assets, or otherwise to come back from this loss, we are closing our doors immediately,” it said in a statement. A message posted on its website explained that the attack had exploited a flaw in its code on transfers between users and involved inundating the system with simultaneous requests to move coins between accounts “Flexcoin has made every attempt to keep our servers as secure as possible, including regular testing,” it said, adding it had repelled thousands of attacks over the past few years. “But in the end, this was simply not enough.”
More twists in the bizarre Bitcoin theft scandal still sweeping the webdom. After the recent fall of mighty Mt. Gox as the CEO Mark Karpeles personal blog called MagicalTux.Net aparantly has been hacked, along with his Tumblr and Reddit accounts. The current controller of these accounts used them to post a MtGox2014Leak.zip" that claims to show "relevant database dumps, csv exports, specialized tools, and some highlighted summaries compiled from data. We wouldn't recommend downloading the file or running its included executable (pictured above, it claims to be from Mt. Gox parent company Tibanne Ltd.), but some already have.
Several bloggers who posted on Reddit and Twitter report they've verified their personal account balances with the data in it – in addition an Excel Spreadsheet was made available and tied to the user id included in their first Mt. Gox registration e-mail. As yet no one has commented on the database leak, but Mt. Gox has updated its website tonight with a spam warning PDF claiming that phishing emails are being sent to former users. Considering that personal details may be among data loosed from the exchange's servers, if you used the same password on MtGox.com and other sites, we'd recommend changing it right away. Source
Nakamoto is a Japanese-American descended from Samurai who born in July 1949 in the city of Beppu, Japan, where he was brought up poor and as a Buddhist by his mother.
She migrated to California in 1959 bringing Satoshi with him and he graduated from California State Polytechnic University at the age 0f 23. For the past 40-years he has not used his birth name and in 1973 changed his name to Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto. He signs his name Dorian S. Nakamoto. The name Nakamoto appeared in the 2008 whitepaper introducing bitcoin, but the moniker was widely believed to be an alias for a person or group.
• Newsweek magazine identified Temple City, California resident Satoshi Nakamoto as the elusive founder of Bitcoin in a cover story published today
• But the 64-year-old model train enthusiast denies having anything to do with the digital currency
• He led a pack of reporters on a car chase to the Associated Press headquarters in Los Angeles today where he told his side of the story
• Nakamoto says he never heard of Bitcoin until three weeks ago when his son called to say that he had been contacted by reporters
The man Newsweek claims is the founder of Bitcoin led reporters on a car chase today after denying he had anything to do with the digital currency.
Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, 64, was described as 'the face behind Bitcoin' in a Newsweek cover story published today, but when reporters showed up at his home, a confused-looking Nakamoto dodged their questions before speeding off to the Associated Press offices in Los Angeles to tell his side of the story.
Nakamoto spoke with reporters at the AP for two hours, telling them that he had never heard of Bitcoin until three weeks ago when his son called to say he had been contacted by a reporter.
Nakamoto acknowledged that many of the details in Newsweek's report are correct, including that he once worked for a defense contractor. But he strongly disputes the magazine's assertion that he is 'the face behind Bitcoin.'
Since Bitcoin's birth in 2009, the currency's creator has remained a mystery. The person —or people— behind its founding have been known only as 'Satoshi Nakamoto,' which many observers believed to be a pseudonym.
But Newsweek's story alleged that Nakamoto was not a pseudonym but instead a real man.
They tracked Nakamoto down to his modest home in Temple City, California, after a two-month investigation in which they unearthed shadowy dealings with US military technology contractors, his mysterious work for the FAA in the aftermath of 9/11 and claimed that he could be potentially sitting on a $657 million fortune from his invention that he mysteriously refuses to touch.
The reclusive and secretive Nakamoto, whose own brother described as 'an a**hole', was interviewed on his doorstep - as Newsweek appeared to solve one of the largest mysteries of the digital age.
Is this the face behind Bitcoin?
'I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it,' he said to the magazine's reporter about his connection to the now troubled online currency. 'It's been turned over to other people,' he said without specifying who. 'They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.' In a later AP interview, Nakamoto said he was misunderstood in a key portion of the Newsweek story, where he tells the reporter on his doorstep, 'I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it.' Asked by the AP if he had said that, Nakamoto said, 'No.' 'I'm saying I'm no longer in engineering. That's it,' he told the AP.
'And even if I was, when we get hired, you have to sign this document, contract saying you will not reveal anything we divulge during and after employment. So that's what I implied.' 'It sounded like I was involved before with Bitcoin and looked like I'm not involved now. That's not what I meant. I want to clarify that,' the AP reported him as saying.
The Bitcoin Foundation, an advocacy group promoting the adoption of the digital currency, said '...We have seen zero conclusive evidence that the identified person is the designer of Bitcoin.'
'Those closest to the Bitcoin project, the informal team of core developers, have always been unaware of Nakamoto's true identity, as Nakamoto communicated purely through electronic means,' it said in a post on its website.
Describing his appearance as he answered the door, the Newsweek reporter said that anyone would have trouble believing this was the man whose creation could potentially revolutionize the financial system and could be a multi-millionaire.
'He’s wearing a rumpled T-shirt, old blue jeans and white gym socks, without shoes, like he has left the house in a hurry.
His hair is unkempt, and he has the thousand-mile stare of someone who has gone weeks without sleep,' wrote investigative reporter Leah McGrath Goodman.
Startled by his apparent discovery, Nakamoto called the police to intervene - claiming that he would be in danger if he spoke to the reporter.
'So, what is it you want to ask this man about? one of the officers asked the Newsweek reporter.
'He thinks if he talks to you, he’s going to get into trouble.'
'I would like to ask him about Bitcoin. This man is Satoshi Nakamoto,' said reporter Leah McGrath Goodman.
Hong Kong — A shop selling the virtual Bitcoin currency opened in Hong Kong last Friday, as fresh concerns grew in Asia over the currency's viability and security.
Touting itself as the world's "first" physical Bitcoin retail store, Hong Kong-based exchange ANXBTC said it could help raise the popularity of the crypto-currency.
It came on the day that Japanese Bitcoin exchange MtGox was forced to file for bankruptcy protection, saying it had lost nearly half a billion dollars' worth of the digital currency in a possible theft.
ANXBTC Chief Executive officer Ken Lo said the MtGox saga was only "a drop in the bucket" and the Bitcoin market remained bullish.
"There is no shortage of demand," Lo told AFP at the opening ceremony of the shop located in the residential district of Sai Ying Pun, where people later queued to open an account or make purchases.
"What we want to do is enable people to have an easier way to purchase Bitcoins," Lo said.
"I'm quite bullish in the long run," Daniel Chan, a 27-year-old blogger who purchased one Bitcoin, which amounts to around HK$5,000 (US$644) from the store, said.
The Bitcoin market would improve as it matures, Chan said.
"I feel virtual currency is a trend. I will save up to buy when the price drops," Charlie Wu, a 22-year-old from Shenzhen in mainland China who travelled to Hong Kong for the opening ceremony, told AFP.
Analysts have warned that the lack of government support and security risks may fuel further uncertainties for the digital currency.
Late last year, the People's Bank of China (PBoC), the nation's central bank, ordered financial institutions not to provide Bitcoin-related services and products while cautioning against its potential use in money-laundering.
Vietnam has also banned its banks from handling Bitcoins, saying the virtual currency is not legal tender in the communist nation.
Japan's finance minister said earlier Friday he had always thought Bitcoin was suspect and that the country might take action following the MtGox debacle.
Photo: Philippe Lopez, AFP
Bitcoin has in recent months, received increased interest and gained wider acceptance as payment method, it has also has picked up a growing volume of large venture capital investors. The current price of around US$517 per bitcoin, the total estimated circulation is worth an approximate US$6.4 billion.
Yesterday Chris Matthews from WSJ reported that an unnamed source informed him that federal prosecutors issued a subpoena to MTGox this month. No further comment from the U.S Attorneys office in New York has yet been issued.
MtGox closed its trading operations yesterday night over what it says were "recent news reports and the potential repercussions on MtGox's operations and the market." Shortly after WSJ borke the story Reuters akso relaed a report that the Japanese aithorites were also investigating the Tokyo-based exchange. "At this stage the relevant financial authorities, the police, the Finance Ministry and others are gathering information on the case," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in a news conference, according to Reuters.