Richard Branson Invites to Bitcoin Summit On His Private Island

Sir Richard Branson is well-known around the globe for his entreprenuership as well as for his wast fortune. In the Bitcoin community however, he is not only well-known, but also highly respected because he publicly embraces the Bitcoin and believes that it is the future of payments.

He has praised the Bitcoin for its innovative features several times, but he has also backed his word up by action, as seen with him accepting Bitcoins for his space travel company Virgin Galactic as well as having invested in Bitcoin payment processing company BitPay.  

Now Branson has decided that he is going to host a Bitcoin summit on his private island dubbed “Necker Island”, which is located in the British Virgin Islands. The summit will take place from May 25th to the 28th and will feature some of the most respected people in the industry.

A website and a Facebook page has been set up for the Bitcoin summit, where people interested in the Bitcoin summit can read more about what is going to happen, what they will discuss and much more.

“Come visit with Sir Richard Branson on his private island for a set of intimate discussions highlighting critical issues and solutions and to lay out the framework for a world where the humankind is fully benefiting from the amazing technology behind the Blockchain.” The website reads.

Amongst the people attending the Bitcoin summit on his private island is Michael J. Casey who is a Wall Street Journal Senior Columnist, US Business Editor for The Economist Matthew Bishop as well as Hernando De Soto who is the President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy.

The event is not hosted only by Richard Branson, as co-organizer is Valery Vavilov, who is the Chief Executive Officer at BitFury, as well as three Venture Capitalists, George Kivadze, Bill Tai and Suzi Mai.

There will be many other speakers at the Bitcoin Summit event, with more than 30 people already scheduled to make appearences and speak about how they see the future of the Bitcoin and what can be done now to ensure that the Bitcoin continues to expand around the world.

Representation from the regular financial industry will also be there, with people from Morgan Stanley, Pantera Capital and Warburg Pincus will be represented at the event. It will be interesting to see what these great minds will get out of sharing their knowledge with each other, but more importantly how it will benefit the Bitcoin in the long-term.

While the Bitcoin Summit is not open to just everyone, there will be updates on the content of the summit on their social media accounts, allowing people to discuss what they have discussed previously and get an insight to brand new technology.

Arrest Warrant Issued In Nevada For Bryan Micon

While the Bitcoin is moving forward like an unstoppable train across the world, with more and more companies embracing the coin and more merchants accepting it, it’s not everyone who is currently enjoying it as much.

Bryan Micon, professional poker player, former chairman of SealsWithClubs and current owner of SwCpoker, has got a arrest warrant issued on him in the state of Nevada, which practically means that if he goes to the US he will be arrested.

Micon has been charged with a Class B felony, for operating an unlicensed and unregulated poker site in the state of Nevada. Should he be arrested, trialed and found guilty, Micon can be looking at up to 10 years in prison and a fine upwards of $50,000.

While there are no exact details available from the state attorney yet, they have announced that they will be hosting a press conference to give the press the details about the case and what it is exactly that Micon did that was against the law.

What we do know is that the charges against Micon is for running the Bitcoin poker site SealsWithClubs, which was shut down in February, right after Micon’s Las Vegas residence was raided by local police forces and the Nevada Gaming Commission. 

The police raid was unwarranted and Micon explained in this video that his house door was kicked down by police forces with big guns, who didn’t listen when he said that he wasn’t going to do anything. Furthermore they scared his kids and wife during the raid, only to confiscate a few computers.

“A bunch of guys with guns broke down my door, put me in handcuffs, serving a warrant from the Nevada gaming commission. The 10 agents stole most of my electronics” Micon says in the video, adding:

“After I was lead out in handcuffs in my underwear, it was pretty clear that it was proper to leave sooner rather than later and I didn’t really want my two-year-old daughter, whom I love very much, to grow up in a police state where creativity was met with guns and what not.”

Shortly after the raid, SealsWithClubs shut down and asked players to cash out their Bitcoins as soon as possible to avoid troubles. Micon then decided that he wanted to continue operating SealsWithClubs and opened up its sister-site SwCpoker, which is currently operating without issues.

The case in general seems a bit like an overkill as SealsWithClubs was not making millions from offering Bitcoin poker. While they did serve US players, there are plenty of bigger poker networks and sites out there who does the same.

Micon left for Antigua shortly after the raid in his home and probably doesn’t plan on going back to the US to face a trial for operating a Bitcoin poker site in the state. Micon stated through his lawyer that he doesn’t feel like he did anything wrong or unethical in operating the site.

“Bryan has always maintained that he committed no wrongdoing, but I’m not in a position to comment on the Attorney General’s filing because I haven’t seen it,” said defense attorney Richard Schonfeld to ReviewJournal.com.

Customers Can Now File Claims For Lost Bitcoins Against Mt. Gox

The Bitcoin and its industries is currently growing like ever before. We see more and more gambling sites opening up their doors to accepting the cryptocurrency, we see more and more mainstream adaption and we see more vendors, charities and online businesses accepting it.

But we don’t have to go more than a little over a year back in time to find the by far biggest bump in the road for the Bitcoin, when the biggest Bitcoin exchange site at the time, Mt. Gox, went bankrupt after months of problems.

Mt. Gox closed its doors officially in February of 2014, but at the time of the closure the customers had not been able to withdraw their funds or Bitcoins for months. Mark Karpeles, the owner of Mt. Gox, denied any issues almost until the end, but there was no way around a bankruptcy for Mt. Gox.

A total of 850,000 Bitcoins were missing for the company, totaling at a value at the time of almost $64 million. The case is the biggest to date in the Bitcoin industry and it should never be replaced, with new security measures in place, better control as well as regulations from many countries.

This doesn’t help the customers who lost their funds very much however. Many lost life-changing money when Mt. Gox closed down and people were so frustrated that they actually travelled to Mt. Gox’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, to try and figure out exactly what had happened.

Mt. Gox has since its closure been subject to several investigations and probes, to try and find out where the Bitcoins went exactly. It was first believed that Mt. Gox was hacked during 2013, where most of the Bitcoins were stolen from the exchange site, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

CoinDesk.com reported earlier this week that the Bitcoins had been going out of the system from 2011 until May 2013, where the company had almost no Bitcoins left and were effectively bankrupt at that point. The Bitcoins had been withdrawn from the company and sold on other exchange sites, leaving the company to operate at fractional reserve basis. 

There is some good news for those who lost their Bitcoins in the Mt. Gox failure, as the site has now opened up for customers to make a claim against the company. To do so is quite simply, as you simply need to visit claims.mtgox.com and fill in your account details by May 29th this year.

Once done you simply submit the claim on the website and the company will then make a decision on what will happen on September 9th this year. While there’s almost no chance that the customers will see all of their Bitcoins back, it is positive that something is done in the case, unlike other Bitcoin exchange sites who closed shop without letting customers filing claims.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter how large a portion of the Bitcoins that the customers will receive back, they will still lose money. The Bitcoin was valued much higher when Mt. Gox went bankrupt than it is now, but for those who uses the Bitcoin without thinking of its fiat-money value, it is still a lot better than getting nothing back at all.

So if you were a customer at Mt. Gox, visit claims.mtgox.com and fill in the claim. It doesn’t take long and you have nothing to lose by doing it.

Bitcoin Now Accepted By More Than 100,000 Retailers Across The Globe

The Bitcoin has come far in the past few years, as the first couple of years it was simply an idea of a futuristic currency that some tech-interested people decided to be a part of. By 2011 it started to be used as a currency online at places like Second World, as well as with the first few gambling sites that popped up.

It wasn’t until around the end of 2011 that the talk about the Bitcoin actually becoming a mainstream payment method started popping up. People started to realize that the fast processing, the security and the ability to process extremely small amounts of money for free was a great idea.

By the start of 2012 we saw companies popping up that offered online retailers the possibility to accept Bitcoins without having to code anything themselves and later on we saw companies like Coinify, BitPay, GoCoin and Coinbase offer Bitcoin payments that are turned into fiat-money instantly after the payment.

All of this has led to the stage that we are currently at – Many smaller Bitcoin specialized companies that accepts Bitcoins only and keeps the Bitcoins  and then the others who wants to accept Bitcoins, but wants to turn them into fiat-money instantly. The ladder group primarily uses the Bitcoin as a mean of saving tons of money in payment processing and reach a new audience.

The great thing is that we are currently seeing a massive increase in smaller and larger companies starting to accept Bitcoins and the world currently have more than 100,000 retailers where you can pay with your Bitcoins, making mainstream adaption very real.

Some of these companies includes Overstock, Microsoft, Dell, Expedia, PayPal, Wikipedia, Twitch and Rakuten, to mention some of the biggest ones. BitPay registered a total of 563,568 Bitcoin payment transactions in 2014, almost tripling the amount from 2013, and they are just one of many Bitcoin payment companies.

The amounts saved in payment processing fees for the companies accepting both fiat-money payments and Bitcoins is estimated at being around $15 million in 2014. $8 million of these was saved through BitPay’s services alone, showing that they are currently market leading in the Bitcoin payment processing field.

While things are currently looking good for the Bitcoin, there is still a long way to go for the Bitcoin. More companies needs to accept the Bitcoin as a payment method, but more importantly they need to create campaigns to attract users to use the much cheaper Bitcoin payment method.

Some companies has from the start of their Bitcoin acceptance created promotions where customers saved money when paying with Bitcoins, which boosted their sales and still saved them money. If companies continue to do these promotions, we should see the Bitcoin becoming more commonly used.

Hopefully we will see the Bitcoin becoming accepted by hundred of thousands of more online shops in the near future, with some of the savings in fees for the companies going back to the consumers in terms of cashback or direct discounts. When this happens, the future looks more than positive for the Bitcoin.

Lawnmower App Invests In Bitcoins For You

If you are into Bitcoins, chances are that you have tried to invest in them for both a short-term and long-term gain in value. While there has been some making a ton of money by being an early adapter, many of us have only been able to make a little profit, if any, by investing in Bitcoins for the sole purpose of investing.

Now there’s good news for those of us who wants to invest in the Bitcoin but never feel like we have a good chunk of cash to put aside for it. A new application has been launched, dubbed “Lawnmower”, which helps you invest in the Bitcoin every time you do a purchase with your credit card.

The application was introduced just last week and what it does is genius for those interested in investing small amounts daily, with higher risks but also potentially higher rewards. It basically tracks all of your credit card and bank transaction movements and rounds up the amount.

So if you are out in a cafe and spend $9.77 on a sandwich, it will round up the amount to $10 and use the remaning $.023 to invest in Bitcoins. While this is seemingly a small amount of money, with all the transactions that you might do over the course of a year or even several years, it can provide you with high-value investments in Bitcoins over time.

While there is no guarantees that the investments will give you any sort of profit, due to the volatile nature of the Bitcoin, it is a great tool for those of us who believes in the Bitcoins future and wants to continue to support it.

“We’re promoting these tiny little purchases every day. It’s really for the saving, investing side of Bitcoin’s growing uses” Alex Sunnarborg, Co-Founder of Lawnmower said to Fortune.

The application is meant as a tool for young investors and entrepreneurs, helping them invest without having a minimum amount of money that needs to be invested. It is also meant to appeal to the younger generation mainly, due to them spending a massive amount of time on their smartphones nowadays.

There is no fees for using the service per se, however as they have teamed up with Coinbase for the service, you will be subject to the standard exchange fees charged by them when you exchange your funds into Bitcoins through the application.

The team behind Lawnmower believes that they can help convert more mainstream people over to the usage of Bitcoins through the app, making it easier to get into the whole Bitcoin world without having to go through the troubles of explaining your bank what the Bitcoin transactions are for.

The application is already seen as a success as many young people have already signed up for the services and started using it. It is believed that more and more will use the application within a few months, which may lead to a higher demand for Bitcoins and thus increase the value over time.

Australia Decides Not to Regulate Bitcoins and Other Cryptocurrencies

It’s interesting times in the Bitcoin world these days. While more and more countries has decided to go in and officially regulate the Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Australia has gone in the exact other direction and decided officially that they will not be regulating it.

The news broke on April 7th, when the Reserve Bank of Australia (RSA) released a press release where they stated that they are not in favor of regulating Bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency. Basically they do not see it as a threat to the Australian market and believes that it would be a waste of ressources to regulate it.

“Given the very limited use and acceptance of digital currencies in Australia, digital currencies do not currently raise any issues for the bank in terms of the bank’s monetary policy and financial stability mandates,” Tony Richards, Head of Payment Policies at the Reserve Bank of Australia said in an announcement.

Basically this means that they do not see any problems in two parties deciding between each other to settle outstanding payments in Bitcoins or in another cryptocurrency, should they wish to do so.

At the same time however, the RSA announced that they do see a need to find a way to cooperate between countries when international Bitcoin transactions are being made, to ensure that there is no money-laundering being done, that the taxes are being paid as well as protect any consumer paying with Bitcoins.

The RSA will still continue to monitor the Bitcoin and how it evolves in Australia, in order to be able to regulate it on a later point, should it be found necessary to do so. They noted that Bitcoin exchange collapses such as Mt Gox should not be able to happen if the correct regulatory framework is in place and that consumers in such cases needs to be protected more.

So what does this mean for Australians who wishes to use the Bitcoin? Basically it means that they still need to follow the standard taxation laws of Australia in regards to commodities, but that everyone is free to own and use as many Bitcoins as they wish to do without any legal interference from them.

This paths the way for Australians and Australian companies to use the Bitcoins as they wish, either to shop online, gamble or even do smaller money transfers at the low cost that the Bitcoin offers.

While the Australians are not that adaptive of Bitcoins yet, it may just be the boost that it needs to take the next step. With companies now knowing that they can legally accept Bitcoins without troubles and for consumers to know that they can spend them likewise, the adaption in the country should increase significantly over the years.

There’s still a small issue with Australian banks not being found of Bitcoin transactions made in consumer and business accounts, but hopefully that will change now that the RSA has made a public statement that they see no need to regulate it.

Betkurus Bitcoin Gaming Site Receives $670,000 in Investments

The Bitcoin gaming industry has been growing rapidly the past years, with more and more new sites popping up, as well as established sites integrating the cryptocurrency as a payment method. Furthermore it is expected that the Bitcoin gambling industry will grow even more in the next few years, which makes it interesting for investors looking towards the gambling industry.

While the Bitcoin gambling industry started out with some small sites started by people with little to no experience in the field, it is now seeing a takeover from experienced gambling industry people. These people are looking to take the Bitcoin gambling industry to the next level and make it as popular as the fiat-money industry currently is.

One of the sites who are looking to benefit from the popularity of the Bitcoin is the Turkish Bitcoin gambling site betkurus.com, who serves customers from around the world, but started out in Turkey.

The site was launched back in October of 2014 and went in a direction that we see more and more sites do, obtaining a gaming license to offer regulated and safe games. They hold their license in Curacao, who regulates all financials, games and everything else to ensure the safety of the players and the games at all times.

Betkurus is looking to take over a substantial part of the Bitcoin gambling industry and has just received $670,000 in investments to make that happen. The investment came from Hong Kong-based payments provider company CoinMatrix, who are looking to help Betkurus develop their product line to gain market shares.

Besides the massive investment in Betkurus, CoinMatrix also integrated cutting-edge payment systems into their platform. It is now possible for customers to have instant Bitcoin-to-fiat deposits done on their accounts, without having to wait hours for the site to find the correct exchange rate.

This provides players with the possibility to turn their Bitcoins into fiat-money instantly at market rate and gamble anonymously on the site, through the currency of their choice which includes USD, Euro and many more.

There’s no need for any banking accounts, to verify their identity or similar hassles before starting to play. It also provides the stability in value that the fiat currency provides along with the security of the Bitcoin as every transaction is recorded on the blockchain.

The Bitcoin gambling industry is currently being valued at around $320 million annually, but the numbers are increasing every year, with the fiat-money gambling industry also integrating Bitcoins as a payment method in a rapid paste.

While this does provide a great way to gamble without having to care about the volatility of the Bitcoin, it is not going to replace Bitcoin-only gambling. Many people prefer to just deposit their Bitcoins, play and then cash out, without having to think about the fiat-value of their coins.

There are many good sites that you can bet with Bitcoins on, which you can find in our review section.

 

 

BetOnline Has Integrated Bitcoin As a Payment Method

Since the Bitcoin was launched and starting reaching the first tech crowds, it has been used for gambling. It started out with just a few dice sites, a poker site as well as a few other sort of casino sites, but it gradually grew to a multi-million industry when the Bitcoin increased in value over the course of three years.

What attracted the tech crowd to gamble with the Bitcoin was that it was anonymous, easy, secure and most of all fast. There was no need in having to keep the funds in the site as withdrawals could be paid within a matter of 30-45 minutes, allowing players to always keep their funds somewhere safe.

It took a few years, but gradually the established gambling industry began to see the benefits of the Bitcoin in the gambling market. The anonymity, the fast and cheap transactions, the security of the network  and the big market capitalization has made a big impression on many sites, especially those serving customers from the US.

BetOnline.ag has been one of the biggest bookmakers in the US for the past decade, having had to change their business model several times along the years due to new laws, restrictions and so on. A site operating in the US market will always have to pay a premium fee for any company who can help process payments, whether it is a deposit or a withdrawal, given that they can even find anyone to help them.

They offer not only betting on American sports, as well as rest-of-world events, they also offer their customers the chance to play a wide variety of casino games as well as battle other players from around the world in a game of poker.

Now they finally embraced the Bitcoin and all that is good about it and started to offer it to their customers. Not only has it been a success, it has been a massive success, as BetOnline can report that Bitcoin is now their second most used payment method after the traditional credit card and it’s moving closer and closer.

When you make a deposit with Bitcoins to BetOnline, the Bitcoins will be converted into $ at the exchange rate that they provide on the screen. The exchange rate is an average rate taken from several different exchange sites, to provide a fair exchange for the users. The minimum deposit amount in Bitcoins is equivalent to $20, while users can withdraw a maximum of $2,000 per day in Bitcoins.

While deposits are almost instantly credited to your account, withdrawals may take a little longer due to the fact that they need to have time to process it from their end. Usually it will take around 48 hours, which is industry standard for sites who doesn’t only deal in Bitcoins.

BetOnline is far from the first US-facing site to integrate Bitcoins as a payment method, but they are amongst the biggest to do so. It marks an interesting time in the gambling industry, as the Americans has found a cheap, reliable and anonymous way to gamble online without being worried about the banks reporting them, while the sites don’t have to look over their backs to see if the DOJ is watching.

Due to the popularity the Bitcoin is currently experiencing in the US for the gambling industry, it is natural to believe that many will begin using their coins to pay for other things, both online and offline. This could lead to an increase in revenues for the Bitcoin accepting stores and thus attract more companies to accept it. Gambling may be leading the way for more mainstream Bitcoin acceptance and perhaps it can help the value increase over time.