Questions

Looking forward to seeing many of you soon in South Beach! Tomorrow and Friday (I hope) guest posts from Richard Brown at IBM and an update on bitcoin in the Middle East.

But today…

More questions than answers regarding the bitcoin market’s massive selloff, but here are things I’m looking to triangulate by the end of this weekend:

1) This recent price action doesn’t smell like a mere correction or sudden changes in supply and demand. It looks like market manipulation, yet no one seems to have any proof of anything unethical just yet, much less illegal.

2) What percentage of bitcoin miners are going to be forced out of the market with this recent downdraft? Maybe more importantly: who’s even left standing? The biggest problem from this sharp downtrend is that it’s going to exacerbate bitcoin’s mining centralization issues. If these price levels persist, bitcoin becomes much more political and vulnerable.

3) There doesn’t appear to be such a thing as circuit breakers built into any of the exchanges, no “uptick rules” or other mechanisms for preventing rampant short selling on some of the overseas exchanges. That could give small groups of large traders the leverage they need to drive most of the price action (in either direction, but especially to the negative). How many margin traders on Bitfinex, OKCoin, etc. and has this wealth transfer from the losing trades gone to savvy traders or “market manipulators”?

4) I want to know: who is Whale Club?

Events

The North American Bitcoin Conference, Miami, FL (January 16–18)
Winter doesn’t have to suck. It’s not too late to escape down to Florida for the second annual Miami Bitcoin conference this MLK weekend. Tickets are just $200, and this is the best Bitcoin or fintech conference you’ll be able to go to for months. The Chamber of Digital Commerce is also hosting a “Regulatory Hackathon” at the Miami event, an AML compliance bootcamp focused on how to establish and keep banking relationships as a digital currency venture. Hope to see you there!
http://btcmiami.com/

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Bitnet, San Francisco, Belfast, London (VC-backed)
-Leading digital commerce platform & former Visa team.
-Open positions: Engineering (Customer Success, Lead UI, Product, DevOps), Sales Director (EMEA), Sales Engineer (San Francisco)
-Check out Bitnet (https://bitnet.io/careers.html) and email jobs@bitnet.io

Coinbase, San Francisco (VC-backed)
-Largest “universal services” bitcoin company.
-Open positions: Security Engineer, Software Engineer (2–3 years mobile product development), Regulatory Compliance Investigator, (1 year conducting SAR investigations)
-Check out Coinbase (https://www.coinbase.com/careers/)

BitGo, Palo Alto (VC-backed)
-The leading Bitcoin multi-sig security company
-Open positions: Back-end / Front-End / iOS / Security Engineers, UX Designer
-Check out BitGo (www.bitgoinc.com/jobs) and email jobs@bitgo.com

Bolt, San Francisco (VC-backed)
-Stealth startup focused on consumer applications of Bitcoin.
-Open positions: Security Engineer, Ruby Engineer, UI/UX Designer, Executive Assistant.
-Check out Bolt (bolt.com) and email jobs@bolt.com.

Elliptic, London (VC-backed)
-Vault and enterprise digital currency services.
-Open positions: Software engineers and business development gurus.
-Learn more and apply at elliptic.workable.com

Today’s Tid Bits

Bitcoin’s Price, Mining Hashrate Reflect Unsynchronized Bubbles
http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2015/01/13/bitbeat-bitcoins-price-mining-hashrate-reflect-unsynchronized-bubbles/
After a 67% price decline in 2014, bitcoin has started down 30% since the beginning of the year. As most know, bitcoin’s price is not a reasonable gauge of the prospects for the digital currency’s technologies future, but it has been affecting the profitability of mining. However, the price decline has led to a 30-fold surge in the hashrate, the main measure of the size and power of the bitcoin mining network.
Bitcoin Trading Slump Blamed in Delta Financial Service Cut
http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-trading-slump-blamed-in-delta-financial-service-cut/
Delta Financial, a company where customers can earn interest on their bitcoin deposits, has announced that it will “cease current services,” on January 30th. This also includes its trading products. The Hong Kong and Vancouver-based company also said users will no longer be able to sell bitcoin through their platform. Delta Financial cited the struggling bitcoin price as the reason for the service changes.
UK-Based Firm Becomes First Bitcoin Company to Receive KPMG Accreditation
http://cointelegraph.com/news/113297/uk-based-firm-becomes-first-bitcoin-company-to-receive-kpmg-accreditation
Elliptic, a UK-based digital currency services company, announced it has received ISAE accreditation from the giant accounting firm, KPMG. The accreditation was granted to Elliptic following a review and audit of the company’s financial controls and regulatory compliance. Currently, Lloyd’s of London, an insurance market, underwrites Elliptic.
CoinTerra Sued for Over $5 Million
http://newsbtc.com/2015/01/13/cointerra-sued-5-million/
C7 Data Centers in Utah is suing major bitcoin mining and hardware company, CoinTerra for unpaid services and breach of contract. CoinTerra recently issued a message to its users saying that for the time being they would be unable to issue any payments, due to an alleged debt. C7 is seeking a total of $5.4 million in court fees, damages and related charges.
Bitstamp Back Online, But Did Bitcoin Traders Return
http://www.coindesk.com/bitstamp-back-online-bitcoin-traders-return/
Following a major hack, Bitstamp spent much of the last week offline, temporarily closing what had been among the top three exchanges for BTC/USD trading. After resuming trading, Bitstamp quickly regained the majority of its volume, but has fallen to third-place on the BTC/USD leaderboard from its second-place position before the hack. However, it is estimated the Bitstamp will have to spend an entire year’s worth of income to replenish its lost customer reserves from the hack.

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