Handmade cosmetic brand Lush is now accepting Bitcoin

Fancy a long invigorating soak?

Handmade ethical cosmetics retailer Lush has recently started accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment for online shoppers.

The retailer operates around 1,000 physical stores across 49 countries worldwide and has suggested its online adoption will likely influence its in store Bitcoin rollout.

Lush said in a statement that Bitcoin was introduced as part of their “wider strategy to delve into the Blockchain community and provide an ethical viewpoint on its possibilities”.

The firm claims that it would allow them to create more ways of working with a wider range of suppliers, some of whom are from developing countries. Providing an alternative method in these regions will open up new new markets and make transactions more transparent with little to no exchange rates or fees.

The Bitpay ecommerce solution has been utilised and will allow the platform to handle customers who wish to pay with Bitcoin.

Lush is headquartered in Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom. The company was founded by Mark Constantine, a trichologist and Liz Weir.

Lush is expected to make $1 billion in global sales by 2017.

So whether you would like to treat yourself to a long relaxing soak or just smell like a million bucks with Bitcoin, grab yourself one of the many awesome sounding bath bombs from: https://uk.lush.com/products/bath

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Ethereum bounces back

Despite reaching all time highs of around $400 in mid June, Ethereum has been slowly declining. It hits its lowest price of $130 last Sunday. The coin has seen a lot of volatility and panic although this now looks to be abating.

Its steady incline over the last 48 hour period looks promising as it hits $190 at the time of writing. This trend is expected to continue with the price breaching $200 by the end of the week.

ethereum price chart

There is no one reason for Ethereum’s recent decline but the biggest culprit seems to be the Bitcoin split. This has caused panic and uncertainty for many traders across all altcoins resulting in a sea of red.

Also the millions of ETH being raised and dumped for fiat through the recent ICO frenzy has also fueled investor uncertainty and driven down the price.

Even now the recent Tezo Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is worrying many traders with the fear that the project will dump the $200 million equivalent raised on the market in the very near future.

The market cap has dropped from $36 billion to $14 billion. That’s a $22 billion loss with a two-month period.

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Billions stolen from South Korean Bitcoin exchange

Bithumb, the fourth largest Bitcoin exchange in the world was recently hacked resulting in Billions of Won being stolen.

According to the Korean Internet & Security Agency (KISA), earlier this year personal computers owned by staff at the exchange were infiltrated by an unknown 3rd party. Personal information was exploited by the hackers to obtain access to more than 3,000 individual accounts. Servers located at Bithumb’s headquarters were not comprised.

“It is an accident caused by an external infringement on the personal computer of the employee who is not related to the server of the head office.” “Some users Personal information leaked, he explained. However, some customers were found to have been stolen because of the disposable password (OPT) used in electronic financial transactions.” said Dr. Bitsum

Bithumb is South Korea’s largest virtual currency exchange, with annual transactions worth hundreds of billions of won. The cumulative amount of Bitcoin traded at Bithumb last year reached over 2 trillion won.

Bithumb’s 24 hour trading volume on the 4th of July exceeded 100,000 Bitcoin.

https://www.bithumb.com/

On June 29th 2017 Bithumb was made aware of the hack and subsequently reported it to the authorities a day later. At the time of writing hundreds of Bithumb customers no longer have access to their funds and have filed a complaint with the National Police Agency’s cybercrime report center.

Bithumb have promised to compensate its users for loss of personal information amounting to $870 per user (despite losses exceeding this amount), although the company is still investigating and has also hinted at further damages being announced.

Once made aware of the issue the exchange acted quickly in reporting to three government and state agencies. It is still unclear how widespread the damage is.

Due to the laws surrounding Bitcoin and digital currencies in the country it is not yet known if Bithumb will be facing any criminal charges.

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Tonybet Leads The Gaming Market By Accepting Bitcoin Allows Deposits In Bitcoin While Playing In Regular Currencies

With Bitcoin establishing its presence in the online gaming market, Tonybet.com started accepting deposits in digital currency.

An all-around online gaming site has announced it has partnered up with the SpectroCoin e-wallet to become one of the first recognised and well established gaming sites to accept Bitcoin. The site will allow its players to deposit and withdraw funds in Bitcoin, but will convert them to regular currencies while in-play – a feature absent from most sites accepting digital currencies.

The site officials said their intension was to make Tonybet more accessible to a wider range of potential players. However, the introduction of the new payment method had a bigger impact than they anticipated as a number or new signups went up.

Tonybet.com spokesman Warren Lush said: “We’re always keeping up with the latest digital innovations in order to adapt them to our online gaming platform. With the introduction of Bitcoin deposits we saw a dramatic increase in recreational punters and poker players especially from the Asian countries who have been struggling to transfer their funds before.”

“Another advantage of using Bitcoin for online gaming is that users can also speculate the exchange rates and earn extra. The fast and easy deposit and withdrawal process makes this an even more attractive feature. What’s more is that partnering up with SpectroCoin we not only opened our online sportsbook, casino and poker site to those who wanted to use their digital currency for online gambling, but also encouraged customers to exploit the advantages of using Bitcoin.”

About TonyBet.com

TonyBet.com was founded in 2009 by world famous poker pro, businessman and politician Tony G. The company is now one of the fastest growing betting and online gaming companies in the world. For more information see Tonybet.com

About Spectrocoin

SpectroCoin is an all-in-one solution for Bitcoin. Services offered include a wide range of Bitcoin solutions, from exchange to Bitcoin e-wallet. SpectroCoin builds its business policy on Bitcoin’s philosophy of making financing quicker, frictionless and flexible. The service provides a solution for each client’s needs instead of asking them to adapt to us. That includes every aspect of services, starting from the number of payout methods to the range of support languages available. For more information see Spectrocoin.com

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Britain’s welfare Blockchain sparks privacy concerns

A trial to pay Britain’s welfare claimants using blockchain technology has come under fire by the Open Data Institute.

The Department for Work and Pensions also know as DWP initiated initiated trials with GovCoin Systems earlier in June to pay benefits directly to claimants using a Blockchain system, the same technology behind the decentralised currency Bitcoin.

The Open Data Institute founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt said the system was ‘very concerning’.

The Blockchain provides both complete transparency and security of transactions but also opens up the ‘Big Brother’ discussion as it would allow the DWP to monitor every penny spent by claimants.

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BitMarket Thief Arrested By Polish Cybercrime Unit

The Polish Cybercrime Unit based in Krakow have announced the arrest of a 28-year old man in connection with the theft of around 85,000 PLN from Polish Bitcoin exchange BitMarket.pl

Working from a tip off, the Cybercrime Unit began tracking the perpetrator and subsequently arrested computer scientist ‘Raphael W’ – who according to the police manipulated the BitMarket software to illegally withdraw around 85,000 Zloty or £15,000 Sterling.

The official notice was posted on the Provincial Police Headquarters website but was unclear with regards to how exactly the theft took place and what has happened with the money.

The perpetrator was arrested for breaking the Computer Fraud Act – Art. 287 of the Penal Code with a maximum imprisonment of five years in jail.

Customers of the Polish Bitcoin exchange recently voiced concerns regarding the theft of coins from their wallets.

The exchange recently lost their banking partnership with Bank BPH.

CoinSpectator has reached out to Polish Cybercrime Unit and awaiting a reply.

bitmarket police thief arrest

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DEA Agents in Silk Road Case Face Fraud Charges

Two former federal agents are expected to be arrested on Monday on charges of stealing money while working undercover on an investigation into Silk Road, the once-thriving black market website for drug dealing, a document shows.

The former agents are Carl Mark Force IV, who worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Shaun Bridges, who worked for the Secret Service.

Mr. Force is being charged with wire fraud, theft of government property and money laundering, and Mr. Bridges is being charged with wire fraud and money laundering, according to an affidavit filed in the United States District Court in San Francisco.

The charges stem from their roles in an undercover operation that led to charges in the Silk Road investigation and the shutting down of the website.

Mr. Force, while investigating Silk Road, “stole and converted to his own personal use a sizeable amount of bitcoins,” the digital currency that was used by buyers and sellers on the website, which he obtained in his undercover capacity, the government said.

“Rather than turning those bitcoin over to the government, Force deposited them into his own personal accounts,” the government said.

At the time charges were announced against Ross W. Ulbricht, the man behind the site, in October 2013 and the website was shut down, the authorities called Silk Road “the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet.”

Several thousand drug dealers and other vendors used the site from January 2011 through October 2013 to sell hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs and other illicit goods to more than 100,000 buyers, according to a criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Manhattan.

The website generated more than $213 million in revenue during that period, and Mr. Ulbricht, operating under the pseudonym Dread Pirate Roberts, took millions of dollars in commissions, the authorities charged.

Much of Silk Road’s allure to buyers and sellers was its anonymity: The website operated on a hidden part of the Internet, out of the glare of law enforcement, and deals were transacted in Bitcoins, a digital currency that can be as hard to trace as cash.

Mr. Ulbricht’s defense lawyer, Joshua L. Dratel, argued during the trial that his client was not Dread Pirate Roberts, a character drawn from the book and movie

“The Princess Bride.” Mr. Dratel conceded that Silk Road had been his client’s idea, but he Mr. Ulbricht had turned the website over to others before being lured back as a “fall guy” to be arrested.

Mr. Ulbricht was convicted on Feb. 4 of multiple counts; four of the charges, including distributing narcotics on the Internet and engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, carry potential life sentences. The judge, Katherine B. Forrest, is scheduled to sentence Mr. Ulbricht on May 15.

At the trial, the government also accused Mr. Ulbricht of commissioning the murders of five people whom he saw as threats to his enterprise. Although the prosecutors say they found no evidence that anyone was harmed, they cited the murders-for-hire as evidence that Mr. Ulbricht was willing to use violence to protect his lucrative operation.

Source WSJ

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LazyCoins Goes “FAST” With New UK Banking Partnership

Scroll to bottom for Q&A With LazyCoins CEO

London-based Bitcoin exchange LazyCoins has announced a new partnership with a major financial banking service to provide customers with lightening fast transactions, a step ahead of their ‘Lazy’ name.

The new partnership see’s the implementation of a local deposit and withdrawal option for customers based in the United Kingdom and Ireland with a bank in the jurisdiction.

lazypay

The Faster Payments Service (FPS) has long been the envy of banking institutions around the world, payment times between different banks often took days, but with the new banking partnership, in most situations the transaction’s are almost instantaneous opening LazyCoins customers to speedy trading environment no other exchange can currently provide. Current FIAT deposit and withdrawal methods on other exchanges can take days and even weeks with high fees.

“Depositing £100 into Kraken cost me £35 in banking fee’s, the new announcement from LazyCoins would make this free to deposit £100 into the platform wallet and would take minutes” said Mark Hulme, a local Bitcoin trader in London.

LazyCoin’s banking announcement is notable because bitcoin startups in the UK are currently forced to bank elsewhere in the EU such as Poland and Latvia. This is due to the fact that financial institutions are reluctant to get involved due to their perceived high-risk factor and bureaucracy.

LazyCoins is doing the impossible so to speak, going where other Bitcoin exchanges such as CoinFloor and Safello have failed by providing the FPS service.

With the UK government slow to provide a solid compliance or regulation protocol for exchanges, LazyCoins has taken this into their own hands and is fully regulated and licensed as a Money Business License (MSB) which would currently cover them for operations under current legislation. Although recently Britain took a significant step towards becoming a global bitcoin hub on Wednesday as the government announced it would regulate digital currencies for the first time by applying anti-money laundering rules to exchanges.

“In a further boost to its credibility, the company has secured its Money Business License (MSB) from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Now a fully licensed bureau de change for GBP and Euro markets, LazyCoins users can now enjoy faster payments and same day deposits. Their European customers, the Brits in particular, are likely to find this interesting as it makes it easier for them to buy, trade and spend their bitcoins in the UK.

“In the coming months, we’re also launching LazyPay, an application that makes it easy for merchants to accept payments in Bitcoin, while dramatically reducing their cost of doing business. With a number of London merchants already signed up, we’re going on a mission to spread the word and make bitcoin part of everyday life,” Said Danial Daychopandan, CEO and founder of LazyCoins.

Another recent exchange which looked promising after announcing Faster Payments Service integration was “Mimex”, but a worrying blog post on the company’s website cited liquidity problems and the website is currently down. The founder failed to respond for comment.

LazyCoins Q&A

We caught up with LazyCoins founder and CEO, Danial Daychopandan.

  • 1) You have the backing of a financial partner for ‘Faster Payments’ can you reveal who you are working with?

– Given this point has been a little contentious for other firms, we would prefer not to disclose this information, at this time. While we have, of course, presented ourselves transparently to our business partners, we would not like to get drawn into “If LazyCoins, then why not us?” debate. However its not a secret, our banking details are available to our verified users.

  • 2) How do you plan to keep ahead of competion, such as UK exchange CoinFloor who have been a main exchange in the UK?

– First of all, we welcome all Bitcoin businesses. The more entrepreneurs and companies that help drive wider adoption of digital currencies the better it is for all in our industry.

And our brand and company ethos is all about making bitcoin a part of everyday life. So we see ourselves as a bitcoin portal, rather than just an exchange.

Besides, we believe focusing on solving our customers’ problems and creating valuable services is way more important than staring at the competition.

  • 3) Many exchanges in the UK have had the backing of a bank, but were shutdown, do you have an agreement? are you concerned this will happen to LazyCoins?

– We’re a licensed Bureau de Change and practice strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-money Laundering (AML) requirements – even though it’s not yet a UK law for bitcoin companies. We also have fiat-to-fiat markets for forex traders. Our banking partners understand our model and have given us their support. This is a rare position to be in.

  • 4) With the ‘Faster Payments’ option for customers to deposit, is this just open to just UK customers or does it expand to European banks?

Now a fully licensed Bureau de Change for GBP and Euro markets, LazyCoins users can now enjoy faster payments and same day deposits. Brits in particular, will find this attractive as it makes it easier for them to buy, trade and spend their bitcoins in the UK. Our European customers can use Sofort or SEPA transfers, which are not instant but usually credited within 24 hours.

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Polish Bank ‘Bank BPH’ Suspends BitMarket’s Business Account

A promising Polish Bitcoin exchange sees bank account suspension

Until recently, the Polish banking system went against the trend by offering support to digital currency businesses, and the future looked bright for many start-ups in this sector.

Other major European banks, too, were similarly supportive in providing bank accounts to bridge the fiat-related operations. Unfortunately, this has stopped, now that Bank BPH has suspended the bank account of popular bitcoin exchange BitMarket.pl.

The disappointing news follows closely behind the suspension by Handelsbanken of the bank account of Stockholm-based exchange Safello, who only recently had introduced a faster deposit and withdrawal method for UK customers.

This is worrying news for exchanges still needing the support of the traditional banking system for users to fund and withdraw their accounts with fiat to purchase bitcoins.

Until now, many European countries have been willing to work with bitcoin businesses; months down the line, however, these same businesses have had their bank accounts suspended with little to no notice. The suspicion is that, behind the scenes, government officials having been exerting undue influence.

Polish exchange BitMarket discovered its business account had been suspended on 26 January, but initial reports from the bank pointed towards a technical glitch.

BitMarket founder Michal Pleban recently told CoinDesk that BPH’s closure of the bank was sparked by an alleged fraudulent transaction flagged up at the local district attorney’s office.

By not providing proper notification to BitMarket regarding the closure of the account, the bank failed to follow normal procedure. This has raised doubts about whether the bank was closed for legitimate reasons, such as breaking the terms and conditions, or whether government officials are working behind the scenes to cripple the bitcoin industry.

The immediate closure of the account also caused deposit and withdrawal problems for BitMarket’s customers, as the technical section which communicates with the bank was never turned off, even though the account was closed.

I hope the recent spate of closures is not a sign of bigger things to come in Europe. According to an industry insider, if the closure was not to the result of a glitch, other exchanges such as CoinFloor, another exchange based in the UK which secured a Polish bank account with Polish PKO Bank, may be on the verge of no longer having a bank account.

‘I am currently on a quest to find a bitcoin-friendly bank in Poland,’ said Michal.

Corruption in the Polish banking system is well documented, and many smaller banks are run by the mafia operating on the fringes.

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Seller says he’ll only accept Bitcoins for his $3M (15K BTC) luxury villa

– Luxury villa for sale for 15,000 Bitcoins

– ‘There are hundreds of Bitcoin millionaires out there, and it’s burning a hole in their pocket’

3bfront new one
Font view of the $3 Million luxury villa

Fancy views of the beautiful Mediterranean coastline with the prime minister as your next door neighbour? Then maybe it’s time to move to Caesarea for a slice of your very own paradise.

The property owner is offering his luxury villa for sale at nearly $3 million, but wants the buyer to pay in Bitcoin.

The villa is located on the Mediterranean coast, in a quiet cul-de-sac in the exclusive Caesarea area, and boasts seven large bedrooms, five bathrooms and a safe room, not to forget the outdoor heated pool shaded by tropical palm trees.

The luxury property was listed on BitPremier last week, a high-end website for ‘astute buyers in the Bitcoin community’, where shoppers can find everything from super yachts to vintage cars and private islands, all purchasable with the cryptocurrency.

Potential buyers will be surrounded by the wealthy elite, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Valery Kogan, who has a cool net worth of nearly $2 billion and is a close friend of Vladimir Putin.

Nethanyahu_2336312b
Neighbour Benjamin Netanyahu

 

Appearing on Israeli prime time television,the property’s owner, Eli, said,

‘I want to make history by selling my property for Bitcoin. Whether the price goes up or down, I’m prepared to take the risk.

‘There are hundreds of Bitcoin early adopters who became multimillionaires literally overnight, and it’s burning a hole in their pocket.

‘The location is not the normal place for a holiday home for anyone from outside Israel, but the Caesarea coastline is a hidden gem.’


Bitcoin is bought and sold on a peer-to-peer network independent of any central control. The currency’s cryptographic features make it attractive to the tech savvy, and enable anyone to shop online without fear of censors or government regulation.

The cryptocurrency was trading at £218 on the exchange yesterday, and recently, companies like Dell, Virgin Galactic, Expedia and PayPal have offered customers the choice to pay with the digital currency.

Pool view from the luxury villa
Pool view from the luxury villa

The property is for sale here: https://www.bitpremier.com/5-real-estate/178-beautiful-7br-luxury-villa-caesarea-israel

 

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