Bitcoin legality questioned in Thailand

Today the Thai-based Bitcoin Co. Ltd., an online bitcoin currency exchange, was forced to shutter operations after receiving notice from the Bank of Thailand that Bitcoin might be illegal due to the lack of any laws that explicitly allow it. From their website:

At the conclusion of the meeting senior members of the Foreign Exchange Administration and Policy Department advised that due to lack of existing applicable laws, capital controls and the fact that Bitcoin straddles multiple financial facets the following Bitcoin activities are illegal in Thailand:

 

  • Buying Bitcoins
  • Selling Bitcoins
  • Buying any goods or services in exchange for Bitcoins
  • Selling any goods or services for Bitcoins
  • Sending Bitcoins to anyone located outside of Thailand
  • Receiving Bitcoins from anyone located outside of Thailand

Based on such a broad and encompassing advisement, Bitcoin Co. Ltd. therefore has no choice but to suspend operations until such as time that the laws in Thailand are updated to account for the existance of Bitcoin.

Unfortunate news for any of you that live in Thailand and were hoping for a convenient Thai-based bitcoin exchange in the near future. There is some discussion on the development over on reddit and the bitcointalk forums.

Marketwatch: Digital currency threatens gold’s value

A Marketwatch commentary posted today claims that the most significant long-term threat to gold’s value as an investment is the rising popularity of digital currency, such as Bitcoin. From the article:

If you just wanted a reliable place to stash your cash, you had two options — deposits in banks in a currency controlled by governments, or else gold. There wasn’t anywhere else to go.

But new digital currencies such as bitcoin are explicitly designed as an alternative to paper money — and indeed largely mimic gold in their limited supply. Of course gold has been a medium of exchange for a few thousand years — and bitcoin for about five minutes. Still, as it and its rivals grow in importance, gold will have a genuine competitor.

WSJ blogger asks: “Are Litecoins the next big thing?”

LitecoinAt least one Wall Street blogger believes that Litecoins are the next big thing.

The author’s post hits on the standard litecoin vs. bitcoin differences, but mostly focuses the success of CipherMine, a Litecoin-mining company that went public a few weeks ago on the LTC Global Exchange. From the post:

Shares in CipherMine, a company that creates virtual currency Litecoin, soared 500% following their initial public offering on June 24 on a virtual stock exchange, LTC Global Exchange. Since launching less than a month ago, the UK-founded CipherMine has achieved a market value of around £500,000 ($744, 500).

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July!Happy Independence Day to those of you in the US!

Also, just a reminder that today is the last day to purchase one of my custom mining rigs at $76 off!

Mt. Gox resumes USD withdrawal service

Mt. Gox logoMt. Gox has announced that they’ve resumed processing USD withdrawals, via a new transaction backend. There is apparently a backlog for them to work through, so withdrawal requests might still take some time.

CryptoBadger’s custom mining rigs $76 off until 7/4

CryptoBadger's custom mining rigsI just got a shipment of riser cables in, for those of you who were interested in purchasing a custom rig from me. I’ve also decided to take $76 off the purchase price of each rig until July 4th (or until I run out of risers again!), in celebration of Independence Day here in the US!

Click here for information on purchasing one!

Techcrunch: people increasingly familiar with bitcoin; majority trust it

bitcoinTechcrunch posted an interesting article that examines the results of a recent international survey around Bitcoin. It turns out that over a quarter of the people surveyed in the US have heard of Bitcoin, and the majority of those people trust the digital currency. From the article:

So what do U.S. consumers make of Bitcoin right now? Well, according to the survey, just over a quarter (25.3%) have heard of the crypto currency — which means the U.S. is lagging the other two countries also surveyed for the poll, Argentina and the U.K. In those nations, Bitcoin awareness is apparently in the region of a third, with 37.9% and 32.2% Bitcoin-aware respondents respectively. However it’s worth flagging that the research polled far fewer consumers in Argentina and the U.K. (760 and 2,731, respectively) so the margin of error is likely to be higher.

I’m a little surprised by the results and would be interested to learn how the survey was conducted. I know that in my own circle of friends, the overwhelming majority have never heard of Bitcoin. Still, it’s encouraging to see that  awareness around cryptocurrency seems to be increasing.

Mt. Gox temporarily suspends cash withdrawls

Mt. Gox logoMt. Gox today announced that they’re temporarily suspending USD cash withdrawals, due to their existing processes being unable to adequately accommodate increasing activity. Mt. Gox expects withdrawals to be unavailable for about 2 weeks, during which time they’ll be working to increase capacity. Deposits, transfers, and withdrawal requests for currency other than USD are not affected.

Update 6/21: Mt. Gox has posted some comments about the news on their Facebook page, along with a hint about Litecoin finally hitting their exchange next month (see point #6).

Australian retailer now accepting Bitcoin and Litecoin

Gizmodo is reporting that Australian electronics retailer Millennius is now accepting both Bitcoin and Litecoin as forms of payment on its website. While quite a few global retailers have already adopted Bitcoin, Millennius believes that they’re the first to accept Litecoin.

Good news for cryptocurrency, and especially Litecoin—hopefully more retailers follow suit in the coming months.

AMD 7990 GPUs available at Amazon

Amazon has some of the new Radeon 7990 video cards available. These behemoths are essentially two 7970 GPUs on one card, but require less power than two individual 7970s. That package should make it quite a good choice for cryptocurrency mining, if you can stomach the price tag (although it currently comes with vouchers for 8 free games, which defrays the cost a bit if you choose to resell them).

Anyone tried mining with one of these yet? The speed/power consumption ratio should be comparable to a 7950 (the current king of mining), but with a huge advantage in potential GPU density.