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Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht's stash of 50,000 bitcoins will be auctioned by the US Marshals in an auction on March 5. Pre-registered participants will have the chance to place bids during a six-hour window, with the winning bidder contacted on March 6.
The value of bitcoins has decreased from $1,147 in December 2013 down to $238 over the weekend.
"This sealed bid auction is set for 50,000 bitcoins separated into two series: Series A (10 blocks of 2,000 bitcoins), and Series B (10 blocks of 3,000 bitcoins," according to a public statement from the US Marshals. "You will not have the opportunity to view other bids. You will not have the opportunity to change your bid once submitted."
The bitcoin cryptocurrency is struggling in the United States and other developed nations, but could have a major impact in sub-Saharan Africa. Around 75 percent of the population don't have a traditional bank account, and while more users rely on mobile phones to make transactions, it can be a slow and expensive process.
There were up to $1.8 billion in remittance fees, with a traditional money transfer charging a 12 percent transfer fee. Embracing bitcoins would help speed up the process, so money arrives to the recipient faster, while also being much cheaper.
"Bitcoin can greatly alter the remittances industry and beyond," said Michael Kimani, head of the African Digital Currency Association, in a statement to CNN. "From seven days [for a transaction to clear] using banks and PayPal, down to 20 minutes speaks volumes."
Since its public launch in October, Apple Pay continues its march towards becoming the mobile payments leader - with consumers testing the service, and more businesses willing to give it a try. Apple Pay now has two-thirds control of the surging mobile payments market, according to the Robert Baird's analyst group.
Whole Foods embraced Apple Pay and mobile payments have increased 400 percent, the company said. Meanwhile, Apple Pay is responsible for 80 percent of mobile payments, with that number rising even higher.
"There are still a limited number of vendors that are supporting it, but our expectation is that's going to continue to grow just given the early success the early vendors are having with it," said Will Power, senior research analyst of Robert Baird, told CNBC. "Right now, the Apple iPhone - hard to believe - seven years later or so is as well positioned competitively really as it's ever been."
AMD has been spending considerable time on the software side of its hardware game with technologies like HSA, Mantle, and the still fresh Omega drivers.
But now it looks like it's time the company really spreads its wings when it comes to its Catalyst driver suite, with AMD hiring a CPU performance engineer to help them optimize their graphics drivers in CPU heavy gaming workloads. AMD has a few specific requirements for this engineer to join the team, where it has listed on his job description: "The responsibilities include analyzing CPU bound benchmarks and games to identify a variety of CPU bottlenecks in drivers, optimizing the drivers, and providing optimization actions to ISVs".
The job description continues: "The candidate will analyze new CPU architecture impact on driver performance and translate into actionable tasks. This position requires the candidate to collaborate with graphics and CPU architects at multi-sites across multiple graphics driver components".
It's kind of an end of an era for Sony, with the Japanese giant falling on its sword in multiple of its failing divisions. We've seen the company sell of its VAIO laptop business, which is now making a comeback, but there's some more news that many will be sad over.
Sony wants to make a 25-fold increase in its profits, by concentrating on products that actually make the company money. Considering the company has just recorded its sixth net loss in seven years, many can see why. Sony's stock on the other hand has actually grown by 80% in the last 12 months, as its CEO, Kaz Hirai, has been restructuring the core of Sony's business.
Hirai has been able to do this by focusing on making less products, to ensure they're making the right products, that sell well. This effort of restructuring will continue, but now the company has announced it will be pulling out of more markets. In the end, Sony will be making the PlayStation its near sole purpose, as well as making Sony camera sensors for companies like Apple. The company has thought of pulling out of the TV market with its Bravia brand, as LG and Samsung have been making serious inroads in the TV business over the years.
Today it was announced that David Thodey will be stepping down as the Telstra CEO, with chief financial officer and group executive international, Andrew Penn, taking up the role as of May 1, 2015.
As revealed this morning by Telstra chairman Catherine Livingston, Thodey was praised as an "outstanding chief executive," with further mention that the company has seen a double in their value since his appointment in 2009. Thodey, 60, will be helping Penn transition into the position over the next few months - stating that "our journey to being a world class customer service organization is generational progress. We have achieved much change but there is a lot more to do."
Working in Melbourne, Australia - Penn will be receiving a fixed remuneration package of $2.325m, including superannuation and the eligibility of short-term incentives. It might sound like quite a lot, however Telstra has reported another record half-yearly profit, with its $2.085 billion figure meaning a 22.4 percent increase when compared to the previous period.
Samsung has purchased U.S. mobile payments firm LoopPay, giving the South Korean electronics company a strategy to compete with Apple Pay. It looks like a new mobile payments solution will be introduced on March 1, during Samsung's Galaxy S6 smartphone event.
Unlike Apple Pay, LoopPay's solution can convert traditional point-of-sale (POS) systems so they are able to accept contactless payments. Customers tap their smartphone next to a LoopPay card reader connected to the POS, with Samsung saying 90 percent of current systems support the mobile payment technology.
"Our goal has always been to build the smartest, most secure, user-friendly mobile wallet experience, and we are delighted to welcome LoopPay to take us closer to this goal," said JK Shin, co-CEO and head of Samsung's mobile business, said in a public statement.
The number of stores and services now accepting bitcoins may top 100,000 worldwide, but it appears actual purchases using the volatile cryptocurrency remains low. There also is increased skepticism because of a continued drop in bitcoin value in recent months, frightening away potential investors and customers.
Bitcoin supporters say the cryptocurrency is far from dead - and urge owners to show patience during a rough time - especially as there are potential uses for bitcoin technology besides just finance.
"There are some breakthroughs in technology that are going to endure whether bitcoin survives or not," said David Yermack, professor of finance at the New York University Stern School of Business, in a statement published by the Boston Globe.
There was an interesting post that I read yesterday somewhere in the world of Reddit, but it was late and I was laying in bed. I awoke today to the news being spread throughout the Internet, that Apple could purchase Tesla Motors sometime in the next 18 months for an absolutely gigantic $75 billion.
The rumors are coming from Interent entrepreneur and angel investor Jason Calacanis, who is saying that all the dominoes are lining up for Apple to acquire Tesla. Calacanis said that he has no insider information, but he has said that Apple's all of the sudden interest in building cars, and Tim Cook's "obsession" with renewable energy are giant hints. Calacanis wrote: "No one else in the world could actually make a run at Tesla, because they either don't have the cash and, most importantly, they don't have the ability to give assurances to Elon that they won't f- it up. Apple's design team, software, and global distribution would actually LEVEL Tesla up".
Remember, this probably won't happen - I would dare say it will not happen, but the rumor is interesting nonetheless. Maybe Apple is testing the waters by pushing this rumor out into the world?
If you thought Samsung and LG only battled it out in the TV and smartphone industries, you'd be wrong. Remember, both of the South Korean electronics giants also fight it out in our laundries, too.
Well, South Korean prosecutors have charged LG executive Jo Seong-Jin and two other LG employees with purposefully damaging Samsung washing machines in an German retail store. Jo's lawyers don't think there's enough evidence of the fact, most of which is probably because the washing machine can't talk, but it doesn't look like Samsung will roll over and take it easily.