ShapeShift is leaving New York and Russia may soon legalize Bitcoin transactions. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 24.
- Cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift will not be complying with the recently released BitLicense regulation by the New York Department of Financial Services. The Switzerland-based exchange will instead terminate all of its services in New York. ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees explained the decision was made because the company is “not willing to take the risk of exposing its users’ personal information”.
- Russia might change its stance on Bitcoin, as the Russian Central Bank is may soon allow and regulate transactions in the digital currency. The news comes as a surprise to say the least, as the Russian finance ministry had already passed a ruling in October 2014 under which the use of digital currencies was termed “illegal”. This ruling would be made into law around this time, so it will soon be found out what news holds true.
- U.S. senator Rand Paul was the first presidential candidate to accept Bitcoin donations, and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden might be on his way to become the second. Biden is not running for president yet, but a political group pushing Biden to seek election has started taking Bitcoin donations. At the very least it makes the group the first democratic movement to do so.
- The 17-year old Ali Shukri Amin from Virginia (U.S.) has pleaded guilty to supporting terrorist group Islamic State (IS). Amin helped IS by suggesting ways in which the group could use Bitcoin to mask the funds going towards it, as well as posting thousands of pro-terrorist tweets on Twitter. Amin can be sentenced to a maximum of 15-years in prison.
- Bitcoin moved back in the green as it ended the week with a gain of more than two percent, or roughly $5 per coin. The exchange rate of the digital currency is now at about $230 per Bitcoin.