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  1. Welp, Computers are Ordering Illegal Drugs From the Internet Now

    Yes, IRL.

    If someone programs a robot to randomly purchase items, and it happens to order illegal drugs and a forged passport, was a crime committed? And if so... who committed it?

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  2. Microsoft Now Accepts Bitcoin for Xbox Games and More Whether You Know What That Means or Not

    It's OK. You're not alone.

    That Bitcoin thing you keep hearing about but still don't exactly understand (just a guess) keeps expanding, and now Microsoft will let you use it to buy video games if you live in the US.

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  3. PayPal Is Now Accepting Bitcoin Payments, Kind Of

    But what about Dogecoin?

    You know what I hate about online shopping? No matter how I try to fit cash in the little slot on the side of my computer, I can't seem to get it to send over the Internet. Also, I have no idea where I'm supposed to put CDs with all that cash in there. Luckily, PayPal is now working on accepting digital cash in the form of Bitcoin for digital purchases.

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  4. The Winklevoss Twins are Using Bitcoin to Pay for a Trip to Space

    Be afraid, aliens. He's 6'5", 220, and there's two of him.

    Get ready for a sentence that would not have made sense to you even one year ago: Wonder Twin entrepreneurs Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are officially going to space via the Virgin Galactic program, and they're paying the entire exorbitant $250,000 fee in bitcoin. In other news, we live in the future and it is ridiculous.

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  5. Dogecoin, A Cryptocurrency For Doges, Is Now A Thing

    Many bits, very coin

    Man, Bitcoins are so old and busted. What's the going rate now, like, $900 USD to 1 Bitcoin? Laaaame. The new hotness is Dogecoin, the latest in cryptocurrency. Or, as the doges call it, "such currency." Very coin. Wow.

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  6. Surprise! You May Have Been Mining Bitcoins for an eSports Company

    E-Sports Entertainment (ESEA) runs competitive video game leagues and tournaments. That's tremendous. They also sometimes bury Bitcoin mining software in their anti-cheating client without telling gamers. That's less tremendous. They got caught after users realized the anti-cheating client was overtaxing their systems. They're trying to make amends, but folks aren't pleased.

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  7. New Skype Malware Makes Computers Mine Bitcoins

    Bitcoin is all the rage right now, with the price hitting above $100 and people with a background in economics and finance taking it a bit more seriously, so it's only natural that folks would look to capitalize on its current prominence. Those that are looking to get rich quick are even getting inventive, going so far as to create a new form of malware propagating through Skype that turns the host computer into a Bitcoin-mining slave.

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  8. Government Applies New Money Laundering Rules to Bitcoin, Defeating the Purpose of Bitcoin

    Using Bitcoin to launder all the cash from your illegal dealings just got a little harder. The United States Treasury Department just enacted new rules to regulate Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, making it subject to the same level of scrutiny as other forms of currency. That's bad news for anyone looking to launder money using Bitcoin, but it could be good news for proponents of virtual currency for legitimate purposes.

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  9. Virtual Hats and Bitcoins Might Be the Future of Currency [Video]

    Generally speaking, currency exists because we all agree said currency has value. It's essentially abstracting the whole barter system. So, now that the digital age has arrived, does it not make sense that we should start seeing digital currencies come to fruition? We pretty much are already, actually, even if you didn't realize it. PBS Idea Channel and host Mike Rugnetta explore exactly this in their latest video, which asks if stuff like Bitcoins and Team Fortress 2 hats are the future of currency.

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  10. Bitcoin-Central Approved to Operate as Actual Bank, End of the World Clearly Nigh

    Well, folks, it looks like Bitcoin is truly here to stay as the alternative currency of choice. In fact, its "alternative" status might even soon come into question. Bitcoin isn't regulated by any government, or central authority, and therefore the general public has been reluctant to trust in the otherwise intriguing currency. That just might change now that Bitcoin-Central, a known exchange, will essentially be allowed to operate as a bank under French law.

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  11. WordPress Now Takes Bitcoin, Still Won’t Accept Monopoly Money

    Bitcoin has had its ups and downs. The entirely digital currency has seen high-profile thefts, potential debit cards, and even botnets. Even so, the legitimacy of Bitcoin is often questioned, and its detractors often compare it Monopoly money: Valuable within the game, but worthless otherwise. Looks like the naysayers might have been wrong. WordPress has begun accepting Bitcoins, and Monopoly money is still only Monopoly money.

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  12. Study Finds 78% of Bitcoins Stashed Away Like Digital Equivalent of Hoarding

    Bitcoins are probably not the kind of thing one would want to save for a rainy day. Given the volatile nature of the currency, and its somewhat murky legal status, you'd think that those collecting their digital valuables would quickly circulate their Bitcoins to transfer it out to cash or goods. Unfortunately, that just isn't the case. According to a study performed by Dorit Ron and Adi Shamir for the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, 78% of Bitcoins actually remain in accounts that have never performed outgoing transactions.

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  13. Bandit Burgles 24,000 Bitcoins, Basically Bankrupts Bitfloor

    Bitcoin theft is apparently a lucrative business. Bitfloor, a Bitcoin exchange, had around 24,000 Bitcoins stolen yesterday. The founder of Bitfloor, Roman Shtylman, revealed the robbery in a Bitcoin Forum post. At the going rate, this comes out to around $250,000. As of right now, Bitfloor is still down as they try to recover their losses and move forward. Given the fluidity of this particular pseudo currency, chances are slim that they'll ever see those Bitcoins returned.

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  14. Startup Attempting to Produce Bitcoin Debit Cards, Sort of Misses the Point of Bitcoin

    You may remember Bitcoin, the pseudo currency (philosophical arguments about what is and isn't a currency aside) that is obtainable by making computers perform complex equations. Less than a year ago, the price of mining for a Bitcoin became higher than the actual worth of the Bitcoin, seemingly signaling the fall of the currency. However, Bitcoin somehow picked up a bit of steam once again, to the point where one Bitcoin is worth around $10. Now, New York startup BitInstant is attempting to produce Bitcoin debit cards for the everyday Bitcoin user.

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  15. Price of Bitcoin Continues to Plummet, Falls Below Price of Mining for Them

    Bitcoin is a weird thing. While many would argue that currency itself is arbitrary, Bitcoin is a virtual currency backed by tangible currency. One benefit of Bitcoin is that it is pretty much untraceable, allowing people to buy nefarious items across the Internet -- generally drugs. Another benefit of Bitcoin, one that some will speculate doomed the currency to fail from its inception, is that it is able to be generated for what many people would claim is free, as the only real costs involved are the electricity spent on the computing power being used to mine for said coins.

    Well, those doomsayers will be happy to know that the price of Bitcoin has been falling for some time, and has now fallen further than the actual price to mine for some. The worth drops around one dollar every week or so. At least one Reddit user is speculating that one Bitcoin will be worth one USD sometime soon, effectively making Bitcoin worthless -- not in that one USD is worthless, but in that one can simply use USD to pay for things instead of go through the process of obtaining Bitcoins. If you feel the need to monitor your favorite Internet currency, head on over to the numbertastic (or numberterrible, depending on your taste in quantity of numbers) Bitcoin Charts.

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  16. Bitcoin Mining Botnet Controlled via Twitter

    As we all know, Bitcoin is basically fake money that people can automatically generate by leaving a computer on. Sure, to make significant progress, one would need a fairly powerful rig, but Bitcoins are still able to be generated out of nothing -- mined by forcing the computer to complete complex mathematical problems in order to prevent the sudden influx of billions of Bitcoins. The more computational power directed toward solving the mathematical problems, the quicker Bitcoins can be generated. Not everyone can afford to buy a bunch of computers and set them up to mine Bitcoins, so taking after spam email botnets, Bitcoin miners have attempted to compromise other people's computers in order to gain their computational power to put toward Bitcoin mining. Instead of some low-key controller directing the compromised computers behind the scenes, F-Secure found one Bitcoin botnet being controlled over Twitter.

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  17. Bitcoin Trojan Steals Your Wallet

    Hot on the heels of the first major Bitcoin theft -- an amount that nearly reached half a million dollars -- Symantec caught wind of a Trojan out in the wild that specifically targets and steals Bitcoin wallets. The Trojan, called Infostealer.Coinbit, attempts to locate a Bitcoin wallet and email it to the attacker. The above is a snippet of source code Symantec found on what they call "underground forums," which attempts to locate a Bitcoin wallet and uploads the wallet using FTP to the attacker's servers.

    Bitcoin users do have the option to encrypt their wallet for an extra layer of protection, but if someone is clever enough to steal a Bitcoin wallet, chances are they are clever enough to break an encrypted wallet open. Still, it's always better to be safer. For more info on the Trojan, head on over to Symantec's details page, and hopefully someone creates the computer equivalent of those old wallet-to-pocket chains for Bitcoin wallets sometime soon.

    (Symantec via Hacker News)

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  18. Almost Half a Million Bucks Stolen in First Major Bitcoin Theft

    A Bitcoin user has lost 25,000 Bitcoins -- the digital peer-to-peer currency that is all the rage in digital peer-to-peer currencies these days -- which currently translates to nearly half a million tangible bucks at $487,749.

    First thing that I noticed is that my slush's pool account got hacked into and someone changed the payout address to this: 15iUDqk6nLmav3B1xUHPQivDpfMruVsu9f I then changed the password and proceeded to run some antivirus and anti malware scans. Some stuff was found, but they were all cleaned up and they were all in my windows user profile temp dir which I deleted all the temp files. God I can't even type properly. Sorry folks I'm a bit emotional now. I then left another virus scanner running and went to sleep. When I woke up I check my bitcoin wallet. I leave the client running to help the network, and I notice -25,000 (and a transaction fee) gone.

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  19. Senators Want an Investigation into Bitcoins

    Since its inception, enthusiasts and watchers of virtual P2P currency Bitcoin have wondered aloud whether the government would tolerate a decentralized, difficult-to-track cryptocurrency which could in theory -- and in some cases even in practice -- be used to pay for illegal drugs and prostitution. As of this week, this question has become a less hypothetical one, with Senators Charles Schumer and Joe Manchin writing a letter addressed to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and DEA head Michele Leonhart expressing their concerns about Bitcoin. The senators' letter comes on the heels of a Gawker report on Silk Road, an online marketplace whose users can exchange Bitcoins for "any drug imaginable." Reuters:

    "The only method of payment for these illegal purchases is an untraceable peer-to-peer currency known as Bitcoins. After purchasing Bitcoins through an exchange, a user can create an account on Silk Road and start purchasing illegal drugs from individuals around the world and have them delivered to their homes within days," the senators' letter states. "We urge you to take immediate action and shut down the Silk Road network." The DEA is "absolutely" concerned about Bitcoins and other anonymous digital currencies, agency spokeswoman Dawn Dearden said when asked for a response to the senators' concerns. "The DEA is constantly evaluating and analyzing new technologies and schemes perpetrated by drug trafficking networks. While we won't confirm or deny the existence of specific investigations, DEA is well aware of these emerging threats and we will act accordingly," she said.
    While the senators notably do not appear to be advocating for a shutdown of Bitcoins themselves (should such a thing indeed be possible), Bitcoin users have expressed concern that a crackdown on Bitcoin exchanges with bank accounts -- the chokepoints where users trade cash for Bitcoins -- could be on the horizon. But government action isn't the only reason would-be early adopters should be cautious about Bitcoin: For a good general critique, see Adam Cohen's on Quora. (Reuters via Techmeme)

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  20. Why Would Police Confuse Bitcoin Miners with Marijuana Growers?

    Bitcoins are a P2P-based digital currency produced by siccing computers' horsepower on solving difficult, time-intensive math problems. As we mentioned in our article on browser-based Bitcoin generation, the cost of the electricity it takes to produce Bitcoins on average exceeds the monetary value of Bitcoins produced, but that hasn't stopped some folks from trying their luck at Bitcoin mining anyway, sometimes working alone, sometimes in pools. As it turns out, all that electricity use has its downside: Namely, it can make serious Bitcoin miners look like marijuana growers to police. (Marijuana farmers use up a ton of electricity on lights to grow the plants indoors.) Now, there are (possibly apocryphal) stories among the Bitcoin community that some miners have had their homes raided or even been arrested when local police confused one kind of electricity-intensive activity for the other. And high electricity bills can be used as probable cause for issuing a search warrant. According to one IRC chat on the subject:

    Given the libertarian leanings among many of the people to whom an untraceable, P2P currency would have appeal, don't expect it to go over well if Bitcoin-prompted police raids become a thing in the future. (Bitcoin Miner via ComputerWorld)

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