hi all its hard to keep up with bitcoin these days. this post collects dozens of links/ highlights over the last few months and is admittedly barely scratching the surface. you know its truly hit social critical mass if it makes it into a dilbert cartoon.
latest development (triggering this blog installment), Ross Ullbricht alleged Silkroad mastermind found guilty. currently expected to get a very harsh sentence in ~May. some are talking about a possible life sentence. its bad international PR for bitcoin but also a simple case of “if you play with fire, you might get burned.”[a]
the Silk Road tale is quite the lurid story, wonder if it will be turned into a movie, it has all the right hollywood elements. but lets also keep in mind that its also revealing extraordinary digital innovation such that it might be regarded as the worlds 1st virtual corporation (strong parallels to wikileaks). a complex topic being written about in bits elsewhere… more on that radical/ gamechanging/ paradigmshifting concept in a future blog.
saw a great movie/ documentary “rise & rise of bitcoin”, nice coverage, interviews top leaders such as Charlie Shrem CEO Bitinstant and Jered Kenna CEO of Tradehill, which was once the 2nd highest volume exchange after Mt Gox. surely the documentarians did not envision at the beginning of the movie the two would be involved in serious problems by the end of the movie. both fledgling companies shut down and Shrem was just sentenced to 2 years for money laundering. wow. Kenna said once he had more lawyers than engineers attempting to setup compliance but in the end it was apparently not enough.[l4][l5][m]
the other shoe has dropped and FinCen has clamped down in the last year and there is a lot of corresponding Fear Uncertainty Dread in the bitcoin arena. startups that previously could transact over bank accounts have had them closed based on FinCen classifications and there are tighter regulations. this caused an immediate out-of-country flight of some bitcoin startups.[d]