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The US Marshals announced this Tuesday (10th) that three different bidders won the third auction of Bitcoins seized from Ross Ulbricht in 2013. Ulbricht, known in the ‘dark web\' as Dread Pirate Roberts, was recently convicted for running the illegal online marketplace Silk Road. The authorities auctioned 50,000 BTC on this occasion. According to Marshals Service spokeswoman Lynzey ...
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The first official LGBT character in the Star Wars universe is Moff Delian Mors, a character in Paul S. Kemp's upcoming Star Wars: Lords of the Sith novel. Read the rest
Abine announced the release of Bitcoin Anywhere, a new service that lets users spend bitcoin at all online merchants that accept MasterCard. The service, currently in an invite-only beta, permits funding of a Blur “Masked Card” from a Coinbase wallet.
Currently, Bitcoin Anywhere is available only to invited users of Abine’s Blur premium service.
Blur Masked Cards are one-time MasterCards created on-the-fly by Abine, which can be used at all online merchants that accept MasterCard, which, in practice, means all online merchants. Masked cards don’t compromise the user’s real name and address and have a built-in limit to avoid hidden charges.
“When a user makes a Masked Card, we are issuing a limited-balance, limited-duration credit card for that transaction. When you generate a masked card we charge your funding source,” said Andrew Sudbury, Abine co-founder and CTO.
Bitcoin Anywhere aims to make bitcoin payments widespread by automatically signing up all online merchants. Only the users know that they are paying with bitcoin, whereas the merchants continue to use their credit card payment systems.
The Abine announcement notes that leading venture capitalists invest in the Bitcoin ecosystem because they are persuaded that more consumers will use Bitcoin if it is accepted more broadly, while Bitcoin companies bet on wide acceptance catalyzing mainstream use.
“What we aim to achieve is to assess consumer demand for a purchasing experience that balances innovation, convenience, compliance and security,” said Sudbury. Abine plans to share the results of the beta program with other Bitcoin companies and interest groups.
Abine is a Boston-based company founded by Rob Shavell, Andrew Sudbury and Eugene Kuznetsov, focused on developing easy-to-use privacy solutions for consumers. Blur, the flagship service of Abine, is an integrated solution for privacy and online life management.
Besides masked cards, Blur offers password management, online forms auto-fill, and one-time disposable email addresses. The premium service costs $39 per year (with discounts for multi-year subscriptions), and includes extra features such as data synchronization across multiple devices, secure backup and a masked phone number.
With Bitcoin Anywhere, Abine enters the Bitcoin ecosystem with the same emphasis on privacy and ease-of-use.
In related news, Australian Bitcoin company CoinJar announced the public launch of the Bitcoin debit card CoinJar Swipe. The card permits spending bitcoin anywhere that accepts EFTPOS. That means just about anywhere since the EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) payment network is widespread in Australia and New Zealand. The CoinJar announcement is titled “Now every Australian business accepts Bitcoin.”
The card also permits withdrawing bitcoin as cash at any ATM in Australia.
Abine and CoinJar are betting on expanding the adoption of Bitcoin by making the digital currency completely transparent to merchants. That seems to make sense, because acceptance by merchants is one of the critical bottlenecks in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Once consumers can spend their bitcoin anywhere, more people will participate in the emerging Bitcoin economy.
Images via Abine.com
The post Bitcoin Anywhere: A Bitcoin to Credit Card Gateway From Abine and Coinbase appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.
London, UK March 10th, 2015
Today, Serica and Factom jointly announced a collaboration wherein Serica will leverage the Factom technology to enhance their transparency & auditing strategy, and the Factom Foundation will use Serica as an important part of its asset allocation model.
Serica Proof of Audit
Serica uses Factom for global custodian auditing
Serica’s token transaction transparency strategy focuses on eliminating trust through cryptography. The Factom technology uses the same cryptography behind Bitcoin to mathematically prove the existence of any data it receives by hashing that data and embedding the resultant traces into the Bitcoin blockchain. This creates a provably time-stamped record keeping system capable of maintaining a near real-time, unforgeable audit trail of Serica’s asset inventory reports, published by its custodian partners.
“With Factom integration, Serica wallet users can take comfort knowing that their assets and the published custodian records, surrounding the chain of ownership will be forever secured by Bitcoin’s blockchain in a way that doesn’t bloat the system” said Taariq Lewis CEO of Serica.
Factom Hedging Plan
Factom selects Serica as part of its asset allocation strategy
Factom has selected Serica to be one of its partners on its asset allocation model. More details will be announced in the coming weeks, along with a breakdown of the best practices Factom will employ in its software sale. Since Serica can offer digital tokens tied to the value of physical Gold and Platinum coins that have massive liquid markets and historically stable prices, this shields the value the Factom Foundation collects from the volatility associated with market price swings and preserves the value contributed by Factoid purchasers.
Peter Kirby, Factom Foundation’s President, stated “It’s important that Factom is able to preserve the value users contribute to our token sale and precious metals are a proven way to achieving that type of stability”.
Who is Factom?
Factom is a generalized data layer for the blockchain that allows users to publish and verify any kind of digital information. The Factom technology is especially compelling for those who want to build trust with users by providing complete transparency and real time audit ability of their systems of record, while at the same time maintaining user privacy. Blockchain based authenticity verification and auditing of document and offers significant value for any business process one wants to make honest and accountable. Check out examples and videos that explain how different companies can use this new platform: Factom.org
Who is Serica?
Serica is disrupting the legacy financial system’s approach to asset management by offering a more modern approach physical asset acquisition and trading that no longer requires a trusted 3rd party or intermediary. Serica created the world’s first blockchain-enabled platform that creates digital tokens representing real world assets fully reserved, 1-to-1 backed by physical commodities including precious metals, soft commodities, and real estate. Serica’s mission is to allow all Bitcoin companies and individuals to trade any physical asset as if it were digital money. With a commitment to full transparency, audits, and compliance, Serica is the most secure, fast, and low-cost way to buy, sell and trade precious metals, anywhere in the world using bitcoin. Serica digital tokens can be obtained at Sericatrading.com.