Bitcoin's Errors: Minor Setback or Final Demise?


Jessamy Nichols, Africa CorrespondentLast Modified: 23:54 p.m. DST, 27 February 2014

Bitcoin Book Plate, Photo by Bitcoin LeatherIn an effort to avoid government regulation and intervention, digital currencies have been created in the last few years and have seen some successes.

The most popular one by far though, has been Bitcoin, which rose from a single coin being valued at $30, to $1100 in the last year alone. This tremendous growth came about from growing confidence and increased usage, as online businesses and electronic transactions switched to accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment.

However, this past Tuesday, 27 February 2014,  Mt. Gox, one of the world's biggest bitcoin trading centers, shut down and stopped trading. This caused a massive ripple effect on the sentiment towards bitcoin as consumers' confidence plummeted in tandem with the currency's value.

Leading up to the abrupt halt in transactions, there had been a few cyber attacks on Mt. Gox in the previous weeks, which may have precipitated Tuesday's events. Different reports are being leaked about the situation, including one that says the halting of trading involved 744,000 bitcoins that were "missing."

The bigger issue in all of this mess? Unlike normal currencies that are covered by government-backed insurance, Bitcoin has no such guarantees. In fact, Bitcoin users may have little to no chance of recovering their funds, and are limited to lawsuits for "negligence" or "breach of contract." Outside of those legal actions, there may not be much else consumers can do, and even if the market can recover, this will ultimately tarnish Bitcoin's reliability forever.

How Bitcoin recovers from this fiasco remains to be seen, but if those who used the currency lose vast amounts of funds without any compensation, the concept of a digital currency without government regulation may be done forever.

Follow Jessamy on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Africa Correspondent: @JessamyNichols

The Hunt for Edward Snowden


Jessica Tanner, Staff WriterLast Modified: 01:41 a.m. DST, 26 June 2013

Edward Snowden, Photo by Pan-African News Wire File PhotosMOSCOW, Russia - As the hunt for Edward Snowden continues, it appears that Snowden is the one with the upper hand.

Although, the whereabouts of the computer contractor who revealed confidential information about The National Security Agency’s surveillance programs are still virtually unknown.

Journalists, government officials, and social media users worldwide are desperately trying to pinpoint Snowden’s exact location.

Russia initially expressed outraged at the United States' suggestion that the country had been complicit in Snowden’s travels. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, was quoted as saying, “I want to say, right away, that we have nothing to do with Mr. Snowden, or his movements around the world.”

However, within the last few hours President Vladamir Putin has acknowledged in an official statement that the whereabouts of Snowden are known, and that he will not comply with President Barak Obama's requests to surrender the alleged spy.

Prior to this admission, The White House was demanding that any country that Snowden sought refuge in give him up, so he could face espionage charges in the United States.

Apparently Snowden was set to board a flight from Moscow to Havana, but instead it was packed with journalists, including a CNN team. This same flight took off this past Monday without the 30-year-old American they were all hoping to question.

There is one source named Julian Assange who supposedly knows where Snowden is hiding, but he refuses to reveal the location. All Assange would say is that the former NSA contractor is “in a safe place and his spirits are high.”

Snowden spent several weeks hiding in Hong Kong, China and betrayed the United Sates by leaking classified NSA documents to journalists. He left the Chinese territory Sunday on a flight to Moscow.

Follow Jessica Tanner on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Staff Writer: @JessTanner1991