Philippine Bitcoin Exchange Acquired by SCI

Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI) made an acquisition of the Philippine bitcoin exchange in its effort to broaden its reach in the local market. The company, which is a fintech startup firm, seeks to create solutions that reduce the costs of using and transferring money and cryptocurrency in the Philippine market.

The Philippines is the third largest remittance market in the world, making it a massive hub for money transfers and bitcoin exchange services. According to CEO Sam Kaddoura, the Filipino market is facing the same roadblocks for bitcoin acceptance as in other places in the world but he is confident that their company’s partnership with SCI can help close the loop. “Our main goal is still to increase awareness and adoption of the technology,” Kaddoura emphasized.

Bitcoin Exchange Acquisition

At the moment, SCI already offers bill-paying services, a pre-paid card, and remittance services. Their goal is to help realize the full potential of bitcoin technology by changing the way people think about money and value, ultimately empowering the individual Filipino and engineering the future of finance in the country.

Philippine Bitcoin Exchange Acquired by SCI

Other bitcoin exchange companies in the country include, Bitspark, and Palarin. With the recent acquisition of, SCI CEO John Bailon is confident that they are closer to completing the bitcoin ecosystem in the Philippines. “ is a great first-touch product for consumers,” he explained.

In addition, is one of the oldest and most trusted bitcoin brands in the country. Meanwhile, SCI is the pioneering universal bitcoin company in the Philippines. Their team focuses on rapid execution and iteration has led to the development of strong, original, and robust products. Their existing products include for remittances, Coinage bitcoin platform, payment processor, Bitbit e-wallet, and Bills Ninja for paying bills through bitcoin.

Subscribe to our newsletter

In their recent SEC filing, eBay and PayPal confirmed plans to allow merchants with a standard account to accept bitcoin payments through third-party processor Braintree. This company was acquired by eBay for $800 million in September 2013 and will now be part of PayPal Holdings.

In the same SEC filing, eBay and PayPal have announced the formation of a new corporation called PayPal Holdings that will take over the businesses in eBay’s payments segment. Meanwhile, eBay will continue to operate its marketplace business as a publicly traded corporation.

“As two distinct publicly traded corporations, eBay and PayPal will be better positioned to capitalize on significant growth opportunities and focus their resources on their respective businesses and strategic priorities,” according to the eBay announcement.

eBay and PayPal to Accept Bitcoin Payments through Braintree

Bitcoin Payments Structure

Braintree works in partnership with Coinbase in allowing online sellers to merchants to accept bitcoin payments seamlessly. It also enables customers to pay with bitcoin instantly and securely on any device without manually transferring bitcoin or scanning QR codes.

Currently in public beta, Braintree’s bitcoin payments service claims to have zero transaction fees on the first $1 million in bitcoin sales and a 1% fee for cashing out to a bank account.

With the increased focus on the payments sector, PayPal Holdings can be able to explore new transaction methods such as bitcoin payments, along with Apple Pay and Venno Payments via Braintree. In addition, management can better enjoy the flexibility to pursue new partnership and strategic opportunities that may have previously been unavailable.

Merchants and online shoppers are hopeful that the acceptance of bitcoin payments by these companies could help foster mainstream acceptance of the cryptocurrency. According to Braintree, it will take care of the conversion, transfer, and transaction reporting that fits in with the existing Braintree workflow. “Bitcoin transactions are confirmed in less than a few seconds, eliminating chargebacks, which reduces your exposure to online fraud,” as indicated in its invitation to clients.

The digital currency industry continues to be mired in controversy, as the lack of a governing body and bitcoin standards development pose plenty of security risks. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)Media Lab Director Joi Ito is suggesting that the MIT create a neutral home for cryptocurrency technical coordination.

Ito has helped in the development of the internet itself, and is known for contributing to the start of the first commercial internet service provider in Japan and investing in Twitter’s Japanese services. He was also the former CEO of Creative Commons and has been a board member of the Open Source Initiative, ICANN, The Mozilla Foundation, Public Knowledge and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).

Need for Bitcoin Standards

According to Ito, having a neutral academic home for bitcoin discussions can give a lot more stability for the cryptocurrency. He hinted that they might announce some plans in the next couple of weeks and that they will be collaborating with other high profile MIT experts such as economist Simon Johnson and cryptographer Ron Rivest.

As it is, the closest thing to a governing body with bitcoin standards is the Bitcoin Foundation, which has also been subject to a lot of scandals lately. There has also been a lot of opposition to the foundation’s leadership position in the cryptocurrency industry. Even Bitcoin Foundation board member Olivier Janssens mentioned that the group is effectively bankrupt due to two years of ridiculous spending and poor decision-making.

“What I’d like to do as a contribution from MIT – and this is one of my first forays into going Institute-wide from the beginning, by bringing Simon Johnson for the economics and Ron Rivest for the crypto – is to try to come up with a non-commercial, neutral place for academics to talk about Bitcoin,” says Ito. “What I’m really trying to do is offer us as one of the neutral places to do this. And I do think academia plays a role.”


Ripple Labs has shared its plans to expand to the Asia Pacific region by opening a digital currency office in Sydney, Australia. The company, which was formerly known as OpenCoin, developed the Ripple protocol which interconnects the world’s financial systems to enable the secure, real-time transfer of funds in any currency.

Ripple Labs is a San Francisco-based startup funded by investors from Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, IDG Capital Partners, and Core Innovation Capital.

Digital Currency Acceptance in Asia Pacific

With its latest move to open a digital currency office in Australia, Ripple Labs is hoping to expand its market reach to the region. “We are excited to formally unveil a presence in Asia Pacific — an area that has been aggressively pursuing faster payment technologies for both domestic and cross-border payments,” mentioned Ripple Labs CEO Chris Larsen.

This expansion is targeted to meet the growing demand for digital currency in the Asia Pacific market. With the Ripple currency, any form of value such as currencies or commodities can be exchange worldwide.

Banks and financial institutions in the Asia Pacific region can now have better access to Ripple services, which include money transfer and payment services. Dilip Rao has been appointed as the managing director of Ripple Labs Asia Pacific and he cited that he is thrilled to have the company serve markets in India, Singapore, and the Middle East. Rao was the founder and CEO of Australia’s first peer-to-peer payments company, Paymate.

Ripple Labs also has plans to open more digital currency offices in central and eastern Asia within the year and the next. The company also has plans to tie up with large institutions and central banks to foster increased acceptance of the digital currency. At the moment, numerous third-party gateways are already in existence in Japan, China, Israel, South Korea and India, which might provide a bit of competition for Ripple Labs.

Coinone, a bitcoin exchange in South Korea, recently announced a multi-signature wallet. According to its CEO Myunghun Cha, it was time for the bitcoin exchange to offer “equal level of safety and control” as other multi-signature wallet providers.

The company makes use of a third-party API through BitGo, which they deemed as the answer to many security concerns facing exchanges and online wallets. “With its implementation, we hope to bring in more users from the national and international pool of bitcoin users,” Cha added.

Coinone Bitcoin Exchange Operations

Coinone was built by Devign Lab with $200,000 in seed funding from K Cube Ventures. According to its website, this bitcoin exchange guarantees 0% fees on bitcoin trades and provides a simple and easy-to-understand user interface. It also offers exchange options for new and advanced users.

Coinone’s hot wallet is secured with SSL certification and cold storage, with the multi-signature approach adding another level of security for the bitcoin exchange. Its fast servers are geared to match real-time bitcoin volatility and allows traders to execute positions with a single click.

At the moment, Coinone is the first bitcoin exchange in the country to offer a multi-signature wallet, which enables users to have complete control of their funds. Unlike traditional online wallets, having a multi-signature provides three private keys and two out of these three are required to unlock the wallet.

Two keys are provided to the user only while a passcode and a backup QR code key are held by Coinone. A user can be ensured that the bitcoins in his wallet will remain safe even if he has lost his login information. Aside from that, the user will have full control of the wallet even if the exchange is down. Coinone also provides multi-platform support, allowing trading on a PC or through its Android app.

The Bitcoin Job Fair is set to take place in Sunnyvale, California by April 18 and is sponsored by bitcoin startup 21 Inc. The company joins other sponsors, namely BitPay, BitGo, ChangeTip, and ShapeShift in the annual event.

This event is produced by FinTech accelerator Plug and Play Tech Center and Coinality, a digital resource center. Last year’s Bitcoin Job Fair saw participants of over 30 startups and 400 attendees.

Bitcoin Job Fair Highlights

Plug and Play director Scott Robinson is expecting a larger audience this year, as the cryptocurrency has gained a stronger following in the past months even as bitcoin prices had been falling. The industry has encountered a lot of controversy, which he believes should spark more interest.

In particular, this year’s Bitcoin Job Fair would focus on the changes in the bitcoin industry, as more well-capitalized industry leaders are hoping to create more jobs related to the cryptocurrency sphere. “Last year, there was a larger emphasis on engineers and developers, I think this year it has widened,” Robinson explained. You see a lot more marketing and business development opportunities, because they can afford to pay somebody with those responsibilities.”

Coinality CEO Daniel Roseman mentioned that larger VC rounds are expected for this year’s event, which are mostly responsible for the increase in hiring in the industry.

21 Inc is seen as a secretive bitcoin startup company, as it has managed to $5m in 2013 as a bitcoin mining firm then raked in $116 million after disappearing from the limelight. The company has confirmed that it is currently hiring and seeking to expand its operations.

Robinson added that he has been contacted by larger financial market players for hiring opportunities in the bitcoin industry in order to better understand the technology of the cryptocurrency. He hinted that major companies are likely to participate in the Bitcoin Job Fair this year to look for potential employees.

Bitcoin miners servicing GAW were sued by Mississippi Power Company (MPC) for non-payment and breach of contract earlier this month, with the company seeking close to $350,000 including interest and court fees for the lawsuit. In particular, the company is claiming around $224,000 in services repayment, $50,000 in costs for GAW, and $73,493.48 in utility claims.

The lawsuit was filed last week in the Southern District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, with MPC being represented by Balch and Bingham LLP.

Bitcoin Miners Lawsuit

GAW has already ceased bitcoin miners operations for months before the lawsuit was filed. According to the complaint, “By GAW failing to make payments on a monthly basis for electric service provided by MPC, it is in breach of the contract. Additionally, by failing to complete the one-year term under the contract, GAW is in breach of the contract. Due to GAW’s breach of the contract, MPC has suffered certain damages, including, but not limited to, the Installation Cost, the Monthly Minimum Amounts and the Past Due Balance.”

According to the court filing, GAW became a client of MPC in September last year and the power company spent $49,335.20 transformers and equipment to supply GAW with electricity. However, GAW allegedly failed to meet its payment obligations and made only one payment between the start and end of the services from MPC.

“MPC began to provide electric service to GAW on or about October 15, 2014. Since that time, MPC has billed GAW on a monthly basis. To date, GAW has only made one payment to MPC for the electric service provided, despite MPC’s monthly billing statements being sent to GAW,” as indicated in the complaint. On January 27, MPC shut off power to GAW as requested by the latter.

Neither GAW nor MPC provided further clarification on the matter, as lawyers of both parties are settling the dispute in court.

Bitrated, a startup bitcoin company based in Israel, is working to bring trust back to bitcoin after the cryptocurrency has been mired by negativity in recent years. As a cryptocurrency, the lack of regulation for bitcoin has been seen as both an advantage and disadvantage.

For one, the anonymity of transactions has been seen as a more secure approach for payments by some while others see it as a change to participate in illegal dealings. The use of the blockchain as a ledger for transactions, which is the unique selling point of bitcoin, has also been frequently questioned.

Bitcoin Company Proposals

Some say that exposing the parties involved in transactions and increasing regulation on the bitcoin industry could solve the security threats while others think that this could be damaging to the very nature of the cryptocurrency. Bitrated aims to create a trust platform that could upgrade the security of bitcoins while keeping transactions anonymous.

Currently, Bitrated runs a reputation management system, a multi-signature verification for payments, and an arbitrated marketplace that allows for payment reversals. These components are modelled based on a web of trust, which involves a social graph of relationships among its users.

The bitcoin company also makes use of trust scores called Bitrating in order to have metrics for how trustworthy users are. This employs an algorithm that uses information from the client’s social media profile, such as Reddit, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Founder Nadav Ivgi says that his bitcoin company is hoping to leverage existing social media accounts into adding security features and reputability to transactions. “Some of that information is about identifying throw-away sockpuppet accounts, some is about verifying the user identity – by leveraging the fact that services like PayPal and Coinbase already verify the user’s identity and expose it via their API – and some is more likely related to trustworthiness,” he explained.

While bitcoin is a virtual currency that is not usually found in physical form, a bitcoin startup company recently launched physical versions of the cryptocurrency. Low-cost denominations of 1/100th to 1/10th of a bitcoin can be bought from Finnish company Denarium available on pre-sale as of April 13.

The company is taking this step to encourage increased adoption of the digital currency and to help more people understand how it functions. This follows in the footsteps of Casascius, a company that previously tried to sell bitcoins in physical form in 2011.

Bitcoin Startup Prospects

Although the digital currency is slowly gaining acceptance in the online arena, there are still plenty of naysayers who doubt that bitcoin can be used as a general means of payment. In offering low-cost physical coins whose values are based on current market levels, the bitcoin startup is aiming to foster better understanding for the cryptocurrency.

Denarium CEO Henry Brade clarified that Casascius did not actually stop selling bitcoins due to lack of demand but that it had to cease because of regulatory problems. In Finland, the regulatory environment is clearer in terms of the bitcoin industry so he believes that Denarium is strategically placed.

“We want the coins in the hands of bitcoin enthusiasts all over the world so that they can use them as gifts to friends and family and while doing that they can explain what bitcoin is about,” Brade explained. He says that the company is working to ensure that everyone can get involved in the world of bitcoin.

As of now, the bitcoin startup is focusing its efforts on the markets in Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia. The company is waiting for the market to grow in Africa before deciding to target that market as well. In addition, Brade confirmed that South America is also being considered as a possible target market.

Following a hacking incident last month, bitcoin firm Coinapult was able to restore its services and is back online. The payment processing company implemented a series of security improvements designed to prevent further outages.

Coinapult users can now lock and unlock their deposits with the bitcoin firm to fiat currencies or assets. The hacking incident, which occurred mid-March, prompted the firm to halt its operations and make the announcement via Twitter.

Bitcoin Firm Security Upgrades

The bitcoin firm attack resulted to a loss of 150 BTC, which was approximately equal to $43,000 then.Coinapult COO and CFO Justin Blincoe clarified that customer deposits were not affected and that the hack was aimed at the company’s hot wallet, which stored its own funds.

Bitcoin Firm Coinapult Recovers from Hacking Incident

With that, the bitcoin firm decided to encode multi-signature security, which means that every withdrawal must now be cosigned by a Coinapult executive. “This manual cosigning is an extremely safe method of operation, but will result in delays making withdrawals. Our team will only be cosigning transactions during the hours of 9am-9pm in Panama (UTC−5),” according to Coinapult’s blog post.

The post also indicated that it was prioritizing moving to a client-side signing system and that the company is working hard to restore instant withdrawals. However, Coinapult was still unable to identify the specific entry point of the hacking attack.

In any case, Coinapult decided to move to new servers and a new hosting location. Aside from that, Coinapult is now protected by CloudFlare, a service which aims to improve the availability of websites and mobile apps.

Earlier this year, a few bitcoin firm hacking incidents were also seen, including Bitstamp’s loss of approximately $5 million in January. In Canada, bitcoin exchange CAVirtex was forced to halt its operations after losing sensitive security information such as passwords and two-factor authentication in an attack.