Bitcoin is Legal-ish | Plan B 20

Bitcoin is Legal-ish | Plan B 20

A landmark ruling in Germany combined with the media’s attempt to label Bitcoin legal status collide this week on the Plan B show. Plus the security warning Blockchain.info users need to know, and Butterfly Labs pokes the hornets nest!

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Bitcoin now ’unit of account’ in Germany

The German Federal Ministry of Finance said on Monday that Bitcoin is not a full-fledged currency but that it is permissible to use it in private transactions.

But if companies want to use Bitcoins for commercial transactions, they need the permission of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), said Martin Chaudhuri, ministry spokesman.

While not putting Bitcoins on the same footing as formal currencies such as the pound or dollar, Germany’s move does mean that people who have speculated in the online cryptocurrency could be liable for capital gains taxes if they sell them less than a year after acquiring them.

People who have held on to them for longer will not be liable, the ministry told German MP Frank Schaeffler, who raised the question with the ministry. German authorities are trying to work out how — or whether — they could determine taxes due on Bitcoin transactions between individuals.

The most interesting aspect of the German ruling may be the consequences for the rest of the EU. The designation means that any exchange that wants to sell Bitcoin in Germany knows exactly what it needs to do: get a license from BaFin under Article 32 Kreditwesengesetz. Once an exchange is licensed in Germany, it would be allowed to operate anywhere in the EU — a stark contrast from the US, which requires a federal registration in addition to separate licenses from the states.


BFL 600 GH Bitcoin Mining Card

Performance Specifications

  • 600 GH/s nominal performance ( + / – 20% )
  • 350w (0.6w/GH conservative estimate)

Connectivity

  • USB 2.0 – Monarch cards can be used as an external computer peripheral and chained via USB hub. In this mode it can be controlled via an Android host or standard Linux or Windows computer.
  • PCI Express – Monarch cards consume two PCI slots when installed in a standard ATX motherboard. The PCIe format used is 1X for maximum compatibility.

Mining Software compatibility

  • EasyMiner software is provided for Android, Windows & Linux operating systems.
  • BFGminer – Open source available
  • CGminer – Open source available
  • BitMinter – Java Client

Prior to this announcement, BFL’s largest mining rig ran at 500 GH/s and cost $22,484. It required over 100 chips and an enclosure of almost two cubic feet. The new 600 GH/s device will be the first ASIC miner to take the form factor of a standard graphics card.


Blockchain.info Users Need to Update Browser Plugin/Clear Cache

Jesse James has informed me of a problem with the rng used by blockchain.info javascript clients being poorly seeded when initialised in a background webworker task. In some browsers this could lead to duplicate R values being used when signing transactions (Firefox is likely to be particularly vulnerable). This issue effects the transaction signing code only, not the generation of private keys.

Patches have now been deployed, Please ensure you upgrade to the latest version of your Blockchain.info client.

  • Chrome extension – v2.85
  • Fixefox extension – v1.97
  • Mac client – v0.11

Users of the web interface should clear their browsers cache before next login.

Only a handful of addresses are known to be affected thus far. Likely if you have been affected by this problem your coins will have been taken already. All affected users will be refunded in full, please PM me or email help@blockchain.info.

Bitcoin Pick

Let’s clear up some common Bitcoin misconceptions.

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