It’s been a rocky start for bitcoin in 2015, but it seems that everything — including the price — is beginning to stabilize. We’ve already had our first major bitcoin hack earlier in the year, and now we’ve also had the first major bitcoin conference of 2015. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories in bitcoin from the past week.
Price crashes to $160
The one piece of news that has brought bitcoin some mainstream attention over the past week has been the price crash. It seems that a crashing or skyrocketing bitcoin price is the best way for the digital currency to find its way into mainstream news outlets, and whether that’s a good or bad thing is a topic that is heavily debated by the bitcoin community. The bitcoin price hit a low of $166.45 on Hong Kong based exchange Bitfinex, although it has mainly hovered around the $200 mark since Thursday.
North American Bitcoin Conference
The North American Bitcoin Conference took place in Miami, Florida over the weekend, and the event was filled with plenty of speakers and panels who shared their thoughts on where bitcoin is headed in the near future. Many individuals in the cryptocurrency community were interested in asking GAWMiners CEO Josh Garza questions about the recent Paycoin controversy, but he ended up not speaking at the event. Instead, Garza walked the event floor with a pair of bodyguards.
UK Banks Believe Bitcoin May Be Used by Terrorists
Some of the biggest banks in the United Kingdom have shared their doubts over whether or not transparency is available for bitcoin transactions. The BBA, which represents the largest banks in the UK, has questioned whether or not users of bitcoin should be allowed to use a digital currency that is potentially anonymous in nature. The group representing the major banks claimed that bitcoin users “need to be able to demonstrate that transactions are legitimate.” In addition to worrying about criminal and terrorist financing, it seems that banks aren’t interested in competing with Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention.
Homeland Security Thought MtGox CEO was Behind Silk Road
The Silk Road trial kicked off in New York last week, and some headline-grabbing revelations have already come out of the Manhattan courthouse. The most shocking bit of news to come out of the trial up to this point has been that Homeland Security originally fingered Mark Karpeles, former CEO of MtGox, as the mastermind behind the online drug marketplace. This revelation came during questioning of a Homeland Security agent by defense attorney Joshua L. Dratel. In the early days of bitcoin, Silk Road users often went through the MtGox exchange to gain access to the bitcoins needed to buy various items on the Tor-powered marketplace. A team of Homeland Security agents began tracking Karpeles in 2012, and a separate investigation lead to the seizure of funds from bank accounts owned by MtGox. The trial is set to continue on Tuesday.
Xapo Turns to Satellite Company for Extra Bitcoin Security
In an effort to improve the security of their bitcoin wallets, Xapo is turning to a company in Silicon Valley who focuses on satellites. Although the “fort knox of bitcoin” won’t be placing their bitcoins in space, the bitcoin storage provider is partnering with Satellogic in an effort to keep a closer eye on their bitcoin cold storage wallets from the sky. The rather secretive bitcoin company would not share the exact details of the new partnership for security reasons, but it’s interesting to see the lengths that some storage providers will go to in an effort to provide the best security possible for their customers. There have been plenty of bitcoin thefts in the past, so it shouldn’t be surprising to see more companies take a closer look at their own security procedures.