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unbanking

This tag is associated with 20 posts

2014-02-01 Crypto-Timeline

Here is a log with relevant legal, regulatory, law enforcement and business risk milestones in crypto-currencies’ race to maturity with links to trusted sources.

The  Key January 2014 Crypto-Events were:

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2014-01-01 Crypto-Timeline

Here is a log with relevant legal, regulatory, law enforcement and business risk milestones in crypto-currencies’ race to maturity with links to trusted sources.

The  Key December 2013 Crypto-Events were:

“Bitcoin Is the Perfect Way to Transfer Money Globally”

[Reading Time: 8 minutes]

Interview with Alan Safahi, founder and CEO of ZipZap

Last July, at the Inside Bitcoins conference in New York City, one speaker in particular made a comment that caused the loudest round of applause in the entire conference when he said: “This country was founded on a separation of church and state.  I think we should also add separation of bank and state.”  It was Alan Safahi, founder and CEO of ZipZap, Inc., a San Francisco-based start-up that aims to revolutionize international money transfers around the world.

Alan has graciously accepted to talk about his company, his vision and the future of digital currencies.

Juan: Please tell us about your background and how you got involved with Bitcoin.

Alan: I am a serial entrepreneur with 28+ years of experience with several start-ups under my belt in technology, telecommunications and financial services.  I was an early adopter in the evolution of prepaid cards in the 1990s, so I have been part of the problem for the longest time!  I got involved with Bitcoin in 2010 and have since been a vocal supporter and activist of digital currencies. I currency sit on the Advisory Board Continue reading

“If Bitcoin Startups Don’t Self-Regulate, Government Regulation Could Get Insane and Hurt the Industry”

[Reading Time: 8 minutes]

Interview with Sebastián Serrano, founder and CEO of BitPagos

One of the highlights of this year for me has been to meet Sebastián Serrano, an unassuming yet deeply intelligent and highly confident young entrepreneur from Argentina who is determined to grab Latin America’s e-commerce and payments system by the horns.  And not let go until it’s completely upside down.  Read on for Sebastián’s insights on the big payments problem facing Latin America, his experience incubating BitPagos in Silicon Valley, and the challenges facing crypto-preneurs.

Juan: Please tell us about your background and how you got involved with Bitcoin.

Sebastián: I’m a software developer and entrepreneur.  Before BitPagos I ran devsAr, a software development company that provided services to technology ventures around the world.  I’ve known about Bitcoin for a few years now. I was initially intrigued by its amazing technology and started mining a little bit last year.  I bought bitcoins for the first time early this year when the price was at around $30, unfortunately not as many as I should have.  I grew up in Patagonia, southern Argentina, and have lived and worked near Buenos Continue reading

2013-11-01 Crypto-Timeline

Here is a log with relevant legal, regulatory, law enforcement and business risk milestones in the crypto-currency race to maturity with links to trusted sources.

The  Key October 2013 Crypto-Events were:

No Banking, No Bitcoin

[Reading Time: 4 minutes]

Last Friday’s news that the Internet Archive Federal Credit Union (IAFCU) had shut down Tradehill’s account must have sent chills down the spine of every virtual currency entrepreneur.  If it didn’t, it should. The IAFCU was supposed to be one of the few, if not the only, Bitcoin-friendly financial institution in the U.S. rescuing virtual currency exchangers from ‘banking oblivion’.  At this point, we can only speculate about the true causes of this unfortunate situation, and we certainly hope it gets resolved favorably, promptly and permanently.

Let’s hope it’s another case of entrepreneurial immaturity, as that would be the lesser evil compared to other potentially more devastating ones.  However, with all due respect to the parties involved in this particular case, there is, in general, a fine line between immaturity and stupidity; one that cannot be ignored in a nascent industry that is riddled with risks, and in which a few bad apples could set the entire industry basket back by years.  My point is: Are convertible virtual currency exchangers doing their homework?

News flash #1 to virtual currency exchangers: you are financial institutions!

Being a financial institution requires a heightened degree of governance –organization, discipline and Continue reading

2013-09-01 Crypto-Timeline

Here is a log with relevant legal, regulatory, law enforcement and business risk milestones in the crypto-currency race to maturity with links to trusted sources.

The  Key August 2013 Crypto-Events were:

“Compliance-Enabled Legitimacy is Key to Bitcoin’s Survival”

[Reading Time: 9 minutes]

Interview with Megan Burton, founder and CEO of CoinX

Early last month, at a Bitcoin pitch contest organized by Ultra Light Startups, the winner, Atlanta-based CoinX, beat the competition by a landslide.  To be precise, the show-stealer was actually Megan Burton, its founder and CEO.  John Frankel, partner of venture-capital firm ff Venture Capital, one of the three expert judges in the panel, said to me: “It was a strong presentation.  She came across as someone who has done her homework and her strategy seems sound.”

Megan, whom I was delighted to meet in person last week at the Inside Bitcoins conference in New York City, has graciously agreed to an interview.  Enjoy!

Juan: Please tell us about your background and how you got involved with Bitcoin.

Megan: My background is in internet and payments security.  I first came across Bitcoin in the spring of 2012, when reading an article on the BBC website about a foreign currency exchange that had been shut down as a result of a security breach.  Nothing out of the ordinary, except that this breach had been due to an encryption Continue reading

Bitcoiners In Denial + Compliance Just the Beginning (Redux)

[Reading Time: 4 minutes] 

For the benefit of those whose low tolerance for verbosity may have caused them to miss my insights-laden interview with David Landsman, Executive Director of the National Money Transmitters Association, the industry’s leading advocate for the rights of state-licensed US money transmitters, I have abridged it considerably and converted it into a more digestible format.

In PART ONE of the interview, David talked about the image problems that all money transmitters have in the United States, the fragmented regulatory regime and the likelihood of a federal license, now that the Bitcoin community has begun to join the fray.

In PART TWO David offered his strong viewpoint on US banks, federal and state regulators.  Also, he provided more details about the legal and PR efforts in fighting the closing of accounts, including anti-trust, administrative and civil rights causes of action.

On the fragmented US regulatory regime and the likelihood of a federal license Continue reading

“Bitcoiners Must Understand that Compliance is Just the Beginning”

[Reading Time: 15 minutes] 

Interview with David Landsman, Executive Director of the National Money Transmitters Association (NMTA) – PART TWO

Longer post than usual, I’m aware, but well worth it –the closing of bank accounts, the Bitcoin Foundation Cease & Desist Order from California…  David comments on it all and gives links to valuable resources!

In PART ONE, David talked about the image problems that all money transmitters have in the United States, the fragmented regulatory regime and the likelihood of a federal license, now that the Bitcoin community has joined the fray.

Read on for David’s strong viewpoint on US banks –very timely, given the increasing closing of Bitcoin operator accounts in the US–, and the reasons why many legal and PR efforts in fighting the closing of accounts have so far been fruitless.

PART TWO Continue reading

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