Bitcoin exchange Gemini is one step closer to being launched and Silk Road Architect Variety Jones is turning himself in.Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 40:
- The Silk Road sage continues as Silk Road Architect Variety Jones has published a series of accusations against someone with the alias Diamond, whom is believed an unknown corrupt FBI agent. Diamond is said to have threatened to kill Variety Jones, and to torture Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht’s family, in order to obtain the keys to a wallet previously belonging to Ulbricht containing 300,000 BTC (worth more than $70 million at current rates). Diamond appears to possess a lot of classified information regarding the Silk Road case, which is what has led Jones to believe that it must concern an FBI official. As a result of these events, Jones writes that he will be turning himself in.
- The Winklevoss twins are one step closer to launching their New York-based Bitcoin exchange Gemini. The exchange has received approval from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to operate as a trust company, similar to itBit. The latter company is the only other Bitcoin exchange currently already operating this way. With this approval Gemini will not have to apply BitLicense as well, as a banking license brings a stricter set of rules and regulations.
- A new study has found that Google searches can be used to predict Bitcoin trading volumes. The research focused on the keyword ‘Bitcoin’, which was found to be a predictor for market volumes almost three days in advance. Sadly, volumes cannot be traded so it’s not possible to make money with this knowledge, although the information seems useful for exchanges. An earlier research from 2014 did link media hype to Bitcoin return, finding that it provided predictive information with regard to the currency’s price.
- Five Russian banks have recently undergone DDoS attacks followed by a letter demanding BTC to prevent future attacks. This type of extortion has increased significantly in popularity, as the use of Bitcoin leave attackers practically anonymous. The cyber-extortionists might have picked the wrong target for their attack, as proposed changes to Russia’s cryptocurrency law would turn paying the ransom into a criminal act punishable by up to two years in prison.
- The price of Bitcoin has managed to find its way up again, increasing by more than two percent this week to a current rate of about $239 per BTC. The price of Ethereum also appears to be bottoming out this week, although it did lose another five percent of its value. One ETH is now trading at roughly 70 cents.