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Patrick Ulrich
Baseball fan, technology addict, political junkie
Baseball fan, technology addict, political junkie

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Micro Loans with Bitcoin

Did you know that you can get a business loan without ever stepping foot in a bank? You can by using bitcoin! Sites like Bitbond link business owners with investors looking to help finance small business loans.

The process works as a business owner will request how much they would like to borrow and the time period for which they would like to repay the money. This will create an "auction" where for the next 14 days any investor can contribute as little or as much as they would like toward the borrower's goal. If the loan gets fulfilled within the 14 days then the borrower gets the funds but if not then what was designated to the loan gets returned back to the investors.

As some of you may know I operate a Bitcoin Teller Machine business on the side in my home state. To start this business I originally placed a loan on BTCJam (another lending site) for enough funds to launch the machine and operate for a few months. It was far easier than dealing with a bank and allowed me to get started very quickly!

Recently I've been toying with the idea of expanding into a new location in my state but was always on the fence back and forth. I finally decided I would give it a shot and posted a new loan request to Bitbond seeking the funds to get started. It funded in a little over a week which not only gave me the funds I needed but validated my idea against a larger group of investors.

If you have a business or would like to start one and are in need of funds I would highly recommend checking out Bitbond. Not only does this save you the time of dealing with a bank but it also allows you to support the growing bitcoin ecosystem and investors who are willing to support you.

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SEC Expected to Decide Bitcoin ETF's Fate By Friday

The US Securities and Exchange Commission's decision on the much-anticipated bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is expected by Friday, according to a source with knowledge of the agency’s deliberations.

The SEC has an 11th March deadline to make a decision regarding the proposed rule change that would clear the way for the ETF, which would be the first of its kind. Yet because the 11th falls on a Saturday, that decision will come before that date – potentially before Friday, the source said.

The decision, regardless of the outcome, will cap a more than three-year period since investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss first filed with the SEC in mid-2013.

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Texas Lawmaker Proposes Constitutional Right to Own Bitcoin

A Texas lawmaker has put forward a proposed constitutional amendment that would protect the right to own and use digital currencies like bitcoin in the state.

Texas House Joint Resolution 89, sponsored by Representative Matt Schaefer, would alter Article I of the Texas state constitution to enshrine the right to use any "mutually agreed upon medium of exchange". The bill was introduced on 2nd March.

What’s more, the amendment would impede any government effort to interfere with that use or ownership.

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Bitcoin Price Sets New All-Time High

The price of bitcoin has reached a new all-time high.

Bitcoin prices hit a high of $1,172.09, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) – surpassing a level first set more than three years ago in November 2013, when the BPI reported an average price high of $1,165.89.

The move followed a morning of price gains, coming amid the longest period ever in which bitcoin's value has stayed above $1,000.

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Better Bitcoin Privacy, Scalability: Developers Making TumbleBit a Reality

TumbleBit is probably one of the most promising technological advancements built on top of Bitcoin to date. Not only does it offer one of the best — if not the best — privacy related innovations so far, it can also provide significant scaling benefits as a payment hub. The solution is also fully compatible with the current Bitcoin protocol and, most important, it is in an advanced stage of development.

“The prospect is good that before summer we will have software that regular users can safely use,” one of TumbleBit’s inventors, Ethan Heilman, told Bitcoin Magazine.

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Illinois Legislator Calls for Blockchain Working Group

A draft resolution submitted to the Illinois legislature has proposed the creation of a working group dedicated to blockchain technology.

House Resolution 120, filed on Wednesday by state representative Michael Zalewski, would establish a 12-person group focused on researching the tech. Public records show that the resolution has been referred to the House Rules Committee for consideration.

At its heart, the draft calls for Illinois to investigate how state and local-level governments can utilize blockchain – work that is already being done, in a way, by a consortium of government agencies in the state. State officials have also developed a regulatory framework for businesses looking to work with digital currencies like bitcoin.

The resolution states:

"...the Illinois Legislative Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Task Force [will] study how and if State, county, and municipal governments can benefit from a transition to a blockchain based system for recordkeeping and service delivery…"

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Leading Indian Bitcoin Exchanges Form Association, Aim at Self-Regulation

Leading Indian Bitcoin exchanges including Zebpay, Unocoin and Coinsecure have formed an industry-wide organization called the Blockchain and Virtual Currency Association of India.

Earlier this month, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released a document designed to warn users against Bitcoin and its apparent risk. The RBI suggested users to actively look into the risk and unpredictability of Bitcoin trading before they initiate in any activities involving Bitcoin or other digital currencies.

Saurabh Agarwal, co-founder of Bitcoin trading and wallet company Zebpay stated:

“While we have been planning to create an association for some time, we finally pushed things after the circular.”

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Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF Offering Expands to $100 Million

New documents filed for the bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) sought by investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss reveal that the size of the offering has grown to $100m.

The years-long effort – delayed more than once by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – is aimed at providing a means for investors to gain exposure to bitcoin without actually having to buy the digital currency.

The SEC is expected to make a decision on the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF later this year, with its self-imposed deadline of 11th March inching closer. Speculation around the approval is such that at least one exchange has moved to offer a prediction market, letting traders bet on the possible outcome.

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Two of China's Biggest Exchanges Stop Bitcoin Withdrawals

Two of China's most widely used bitcoin exchanges have announced that they will suspend bitcoin and litecoin withdrawals for one month effective immediately.

Yuan recharge, withdrawals and other services will not be affected, the exchanges said.

In public posts that showcase the increasingly coordinated nature of exchange policy in the region, both OKCoin and Huobi said today that the move was a bid to bolster their anti-money laundering (AML) capabilities and prevent "illegal transactions". In the case of OKCoin, only it's portal is affected.

Both OKCoin and Huobi indicated that their platforms would now go through an “upgrade” to combat “money laundering, exchange, pyramid schemes and other illegal activities”, though no further details were provided.
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