SCOTCOIN 2Coining House and the Scotcoin Project are pleased to announce their partnership in bringing user friendly crypto-currencies to the people of Scotland and the rest of the world.  Coining House will soon be working with Scotcoin to assist in distributing the new national currency to the people of Scotland through its user friendly virtual wallet service, which is set to launch on the 1st May 2014.

Whilst rapid Scotcoin distribution through Coining House will be a few weeks longer, a user friendly Scotcoin wallet will be available that will enable users visiting scotcoin.orgto claim their free 1,000 Scotcoin without having to download and configure a Scotcoin wallet on their personal computers; a process that many have been struggling with and which Coining House hopes to solve.

The Scotcoin Project, headed by Edinburgh venture capitalist Derek Nisbet, is creating Scotland’s first voluntary opt-in crypto-currency.  Every adult living in Scotland can claim 1,000 Scotcoin at scotcoin.org and soon, at Coining House.

Coining House is a new virtual currency service based in Edinburgh, Scotland, which aims to provide a user friendly experience to people wanting to use Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin and Scotcoin with other currencies to be added over time.

Coining House will launch on the 1st May 2014 with a user friendly virtual wallet service and plans to add a trading platform, payment provider and mobile service later this year.

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Heartbleed Compromises Bitcoin Wallets: Digital Currency Also Built Using OpenSSL

By Ryan W. Neal, ibtimes.com

Bitcoin is the latest digital entity to be added to a growing list of organizations compromised by the Heartbleed bug.

The Bitcoin Foundation said on Friday that the latest version of Bitcoin Core, the open source software that enables the use of the digital currency, used a version of OpenSSL, a cryptography library used to password-protect websites, apps, and Web servers, which was affected by Heartbleed.

“If you are using the Windows version of the Bitcoin Core [graphical user interface] without a wallet passphrase, it is possible that your wallet could be compromised by clicking on a bitcoin payment request link,” the Bitcoin Foundation said on its website. “It is possible [but unlikely] private keys could be sent to the attacker.”

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Bitcoin Price Bounces Back After China-Induced Selloff

By Jason Del Rey, recode.net

The price of bitcoin rebounded 16 percent on Friday after a week of price drops, in response to new fears of a Chinese government crackdown on the fledgling digital currency which sent it below $400 for the first time since November.

Bitcoin was trading at about $420 late Friday morning Eastern Time, after collapsing to $360 yesterday, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index. The selloff earlier this week came as Chinese bitcoin exchanges, including BTCTrade.com, announced that they received notice that their banks would stop supporting bitcoin businesses next week.

Even with Friday’s rally, bitcoin is down about 50 percent over the last three months and more than 60 percent since it topped $1100 last year.

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Bullish on Bitcoin: These Travel Companies Want Your Virtual Money

By Mark Chesnut, huffingtonpost.com

Bitcoin — the alternative currency created in 2009 by an unknown founder — has been making headlines, and not always for positive reasons. But even as the currency’s potential suffered a blow following the collapse of Mt. Gox, the first big Bitcoin exchange, some early adopters in the travel and sports industries are still bullish about the value of this new way of doing business.

These are a few of the travel- and sports-related companies that accept Bitcoin:

Costa Rica Travel Market: After first hearing about Bitcoin, Monica McIntyre — director of Costa Rica Travel Market, an online marketplace for Costa Rica hotel deals — became “fascinated,” she said, “by the idea of a payment method that would allow us to reduce transaction fees from an average of five percent to one percent.”

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6 Things a Bitcoin Millionaire Would Probably Buy

By Destiny Lopez, fool.com

Whether you are for or against digital currency, there is no denying that Bitcoin is making headlines. Created in 2009, Bitcoin is becoming a preferred choice of currency. There is no bank to go through, no transaction fees, and your purchase remains anonymous.

Sure, you can purchase Alpaca socks and pizza with Bitcoin. Even Overstock.com and Gyft will happily accept your Bitcoins. But could you purchase some serious high-ticket items? The answer is, overwhelmingly, yes! There a few people that have put away some serious Bitcoin scratch. And it all, even digital currency, adds up.

Here are 7 surprising big ticket services and merchandise you can purchase with Bitcoin.

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eDigiCash Crypto-Currency Payment Gateway Released

By Mike Weber, pr.com

Belize City, Belize, April 11, 2014 –(PR.com)– SoftPark Technologies Corp. is pleased to announce immediate availability of eDigiCash Express, a Crypto-Currency Payment Gateway. Merchants who do not need full shopping cart capability can now process their payments directly through the eDigiCash Express Gateway and get paid in Bitcoin or Litecoin (other crypto-currencies will follow shortly).

Unlike eDigiCash standard plans, there is no monthly fee and no registration. Merchants can get their API ID and API KEY online and start using the Gateway immediately. No merchant account, no verification, no red tape.

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Ripple Labs’ Grand Plan to Build a Global Payment Protocol

By Daniel Cawrey, Coindesk.com

It’s no coincidence that Ripple Labs was formed in 2012 to be a part of a payments revolution.

In 2013, the price of bitcoin hit a high that many had not thought possible, creating a sentiment that new and distributed technologies could change the global financial order on a fundamental level.

This enthusiasm is the driving force behind Ripple, and one of the reasons that it has already raised $6.5m in angel and seed funding from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

The company says it has raised capital in its early stages because it aims to build the best global payment protocol, and it needs to hire talented people to do so.

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Bitcoin Falls Below The $400 Mark, Down More Than 60% From Its All-Time High

By Alex Wilhelm, Techcrunch.com

Bitcoin reached another milestone today, with the cryptocurrency falling below the $400 per-coin mark. Bitcoin sold for over $1,100 inside of the last 52 weeks.

The price correction was driven by news from China, as it often has been. Fresh rumors of a government crackdown on the currency in the country, which could blunt demand and adoption, and therefore impair its value, sent the price of bitcoin down a quick 10 percent. It has since continued to slip.

According to Bitcoin Average, the average price of bitcoin is currently around $388, down from a 52-week high of roughly $1,132. Coinbase has the current price of bitcoin at around $394, down from a peak of $1,126.

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China’s Bitcoin Exchanges Say Banks Will Close Their Accounts

By Bloomberg News, businessweek.com

Chinese Bitcoin exchanges said domestic banks closed their accounts after the nation’s central bank barred financial institutions from handling transactions in the virtual currency to curb risk.

BtcTrade said on its website yesterday that an Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. (601288) sub-branch in Hangzhou will close its account by April 15 if it continues to use it for Bitcoin-related settlement services. Huobi.com said Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. will close its account by April 18 and Btc100.org said it received a notice from an unidentified lender to cancel its account.

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Robotic Charlie Shrem Appearance Unlikely at Toronto Bitcoin Expo

By Danny Bradbury, Coindesk.com

Bitcoin Expo 2014, the Toronto-based bitcoin exhibition organised by the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada, started today (11th April) and will run through the weekend.

However, one of the most promising parts of the show – a disembodied Charlie Shrem that was rumored to be appearing via a sophisticated robotic device – seemed unlikely to materialise at press time.

While seemingly far-fetched, the unconventional conference appearance would have followed Shrem’s Skype-based appearance at the Texas Bitcoin Conference in Austin earlier this year.

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Bitcoin Mining Boom Sputters as Prospectors Face Cash Losses

By Olga Kharif, businessweek.com

The bitcoin mining rush is sputtering.

Speculators, known as miners, use powerful computers to solve complex software problems and verify transactions to unlock new bitcoins. They’re finding that the enterprise isn’t as profitable as it once was.

Drawn by the virtual currency’s jump in value last year, digital prospectors have turned the mining industry into an arms race as they buy expensive computing equipment and gobble up electricity. While that worked well as long as bitcoin’s value kept rising, smaller players are now being crowded out by bigger competition, high utility bills and declining prices.

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Preparation For Toronto Bitcoin Expo 2014 Event, All You Need To Know

By Jonathan Kinsley, coinreport.net

Exciting news for the bitcoin enthusiast, supporters, and community at large, the wait is almost over. The much anticipated “Bitcoin Expo” taking place in Toronto is just around the corner. The three daylong event, hosted by the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada aka BAC, will be held at Metro Toronto Convention Center from April 11- 13.

According the BAC website, the overall concentration of the event will,

“revolve around the growth and development of Bitcoin communities worldwide with a focus on collaborative and decentralized models.”

Of the goals of the event is to discuss the future of the digital currency on a global level and how it can be further aided along.

A large selection of bitcoin leaders, renowned speakers and businesses will be present to speak at the event. Bitcoin communities and business startups located in Canada will be highlighted at the event and given a stage where they can display themselves.

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Bitcoin: All You Need to Know as Virtual Money Gets Real

By Kimberly Warner-Cohen, wallstcheatsheet.com

Maybe you dismissed digital currency after all the strange headlines. Perhaps from the start Bitcoin seemed too complex and you skimmed past the topic. But as congressmen use bitcoin ATMs on Capitol Hill, retailers like Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) begin accepting bitcoins for payment and venture capital investments in cryptocurrency soar, it’s clear digital currency isn’t fading out just yet. Here are some basic questions, answered, that can help get you up to speed.

What Exactly Is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is the name of a digital currency system that is also referred to as cryptocurrency as it relies on cryptography for creation and transfer. Bitcoin with a lower case “b” doubles as a generalized term for digital currency. Bitcoins can be obtained by purchase through an exchange or via transfer into a user’s digital wallet.

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The bitcoin mining rush sputters as profitability wanes

By Olga Kharif, irishtimes.com

The bitcoin mining rush is sputtering. Speculators, known as miners, use powerful computers to solve complex software problems and verify transactions to unlock new bitcoins. But they’re finding that the enterprise isn’t as profitable as it once was.

Drawn by the virtual currency’s jump in value last year, digital prospectors have turned the mining industry into an arms race as they buy expensive computing equipment and gobble up electricity. While that worked well as long as bitcoin’s value kept rising, smaller players are now being crowded out by bigger competition, high utility bills and declining prices.

“If you mine at the moment, you have to be very lucky to get anything,” said Mehmet Vatansever, who bought $16,000 worth of mining computers in February to chase after new bitcoins. “It’s a very difficult business.”

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Cyprus Issues Arrest Warrant for Neo & Bee CEO Danny Brewster

By Stan Higgins, Coindesk.com

Danny Brewster, founder and CEO of Cyprus-based bitcoin depositary institution Neo and payment service Bee (known collectively as Neo & Bee), is now wanted by domestic law enforcement officials.

The Cyprus Mail reported that an arrest warrent has been issued for Brewster, who earlier this month was reportedly accused of defrauding customers.

The embattled CEO has been named as a “person of interest” in an investigation of the troubled Cyprus-based bitcoin savings and payment network, and three formal fraud charges have been filed against Brewster, law enforcement sources told the media outlet.

Police may also issue a European warrant for Brewster’s arrest.

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Graduate Level Bitcoin Course Planned for NYU?

By Ali Najjar, Coinreport.net

Two professors from New York University’s Law Schoool and Stern School of Business are planning graduate-level bitcoin mining courses for the fall 2014 semester. The courses are designed to evaluate the value of bitcoin and what impact it has on the economy.

NYU Bitcoin Course

Finance professor David Yermack and law professor Geoffrey Miller are looking to educate students on the concerns, confusion and interest of digital currencies. Both scholars constructed a course outline to their superiors titled:

“The Law and Business of Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies.”

Topics such as money laundering and measuring the currency’s trading activity will be addressed. The state of whether or not bitcoin should be classified as a currency will also be discussed.

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Bitcoin ATM Unveiled on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.

ntd.tv

Despite skepticism surrounding the security of the federally unregulated Bitcoin digital currency, company Robocoin unveiled to members of U.S. Congress what it considers the ‘Bitcoin’s first ATM’.

“Bitcoin is a digital, decentralized digital virtual currency, and Robocoin is the easiest way for people to buy and sell Bitcoin with cash,” said Robocoin CEO Jordan Kelley.

At least two lawmakers attended a media event held on Capitol Hill Tuesday, which Robocoin used to demonstrate how money could be withdrawn from the ATM.

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Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme

By Monty Sloan, houstonianonline.com

When I first wrote about Bitcoin, The Houstonian received a nice letter calling me an idiot.

Now, I have to admit some days that’s a pretty accurate depiction of me, but when it comes to the famous internet “currency” I’d say if anything, I was too easy on the people that have dived into the digital pyramid scheme.

And that’s exactly what Bitcoin is – a pyramid scheme.

You see, last time I wrote on the subject I mentioned the few token Bitcoin “millionaires” that have become the messiah figures for Bitcoin investors. What I unfortunately failed to mention is that all of their millions are out of their reach.

Even if there were a Bitcoin exchange with enough money to cash out a fraction of these people’s digital coin hoard, which there isn’t, a single exchange of that magnitude would cause the already pathetic value of Bitcoin to plummet to worthlessness.

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Bitcoin ATM to be showcased in front of Canadian Senate Committee

By Andrew Moran, pfhub.com

In front of the Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Wednesday, developers of BitAccess, a Canadian bitcoin ATM, will demonstrate the kiosk’s various functions and features and reportedly assist Conservative Senator Irving Gerstein in acquiring some bitcoins.

Haseeb Awan, the co-founder of the one-year-old Ottawa, Ontario-based bitcoin startup, will highlight the benefits of these kinds of machines and to educate lawmakers who are still unaware of what the digital currency is before they decide to regulate it. This will reportedly be the company’s very first international showcase of its third generation bitcoin ATM.

The demonstration is part of the Senate’s 18-month study entitled “Risks, Advantages and Promises of Digital Currency.”

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What Bitcoin Users Need To Know About Heartbleed

By John Biggs, Techcrunch.com

If you’re using a bitcoin wallet or an online wallet or exchange, Heartbleed could be a very real problem for you and your BTC. Luckily, things have finally settled down after a few days of panic and there are a few very easy ways to ensure you’re protected.

First, understand that the core bitcoin protocol, which transfers bitcoin through the system, is unaffected. “Whilst the Bitcoin Core client will be updated to 0.9.1 to address the OpenSSL vulnerability, the core developers stress that the Bitcoin protocol itself is not affected by the Heartbleed bug,” wrote Venzen Khaosan on CryptocoinsNews.

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For Bitcoin, No News May Not Be Good News: ConvergEx Group

By Teresa Rivas, blogs.barrons.com

After the string of bad news earlier this year, Bitcoin has remained in the news, from scrutiny from the U.S. government to backers trying to restore confidence in the cryptocurrency, and Goldman Sachs denying it could ever replace gold.

Bitcoin supporters may be unhappy with all the coverage, but the alternative might be worse, writes Nicholas Colas, ConvergEx Group’s chief market strategist. In a new thought experiment, he examines five fictional headlines that could further damage Bitcoin in 2014—but perhaps the most damaging of all might be no news at all, as a lack of splashy, sexy developments may be part of what is pressuring the price lower.

Colas writes that he is neither a Bitcoin advocate or skeptic, but simply “the most fascinating intersection of technology, money, and human trust to come our way since the popularization of the Internet in the 1990s.” He likes its potential as a disruptive technology, but also notes that it has plenty of high profile detractors and real concerns surround its future.

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Legg Mason’s Bill Miller: Buffett is Wrong About Bitcoin

By Pete Rizzo, Coindesk.com

In an interview on CNBC’s popular morning program ‘Squawk Box’, Legg Mason’s Bill Miller dismissed Warren Buffett’s statements on bitcoin as flawed.

The former Legg Mason CFA, chairman and CIO, and current portfolio manager for the Legg Mason Capital Management Trust reiterated his support for bitcoin, directly addressing the legendary investor’s opinions on the subject in the process.

Buffett has been outspoken in his views about bitcoin as an investment, calling its value a ‘mirage’ and urging investors to ‘stay away’ from the digital currency, though his statements have suggested he sees value in bitcoin’s underlying technology.

In contrast, Miller has been open about owning bitcoin and what he sees as its potential to maintain and grow its value long-term.

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Bitcoin Price Drops 10% as Chinese Exchanges Stop Bank Deposits

By Jon Southurst, Coindesk.com

Bitcoin prices crashed today as Chinese businesses began receiving official deposit shutdown notices from banks, confirming recent suspicions of an impending crackdown. Exchanges will stop account recharging via bank accounts between now and 15th April.

Even though the news has been anticipated for over a week now, bitcoin prices sank under $403 from a high of $450.74 on the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index after companies began making public announcements on their sites.

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Survey Results: 59% of Merchants Accept Bitcoin to Boost Ecosystem

By Pete Rizzo, Coindesk.com

From Californian wineries to bars in Beijing, 2013 was widely considered a banner year for bitcoin, as business owners around the world began to take advantage of the technology to cut costs and woo new and influential consumers.

Unsurprisingly, expectations were high for 2014, and so far, it’s delivered with major brands such as Lord & Taylor, Overstock and TigerDirect following the lead of early adopters to accept bitcoin for payment.

Still, while merchant adoption of bitcoin and other digital currencies is on the rise, less is known about these new additions to the digital currency ecosystem as a demographic – why they accept bitcoin, how they do so and whether they consider their experience with bitcoin to be positive.

In Part One of this series, we’ll seek to better define the merchants who are operating in the space to paint a picture of this influential sector of the expanding ecosystem.

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