September 25, 2018

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Bitcoin in the Headlines: Bombers and BitLicenses



Bitcoin in the Headlines is a weekly analysis of bitcoin media coverage and its impact.

fuse bomb

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This week’s news coverage was slightly more varied than last week’s, which emphasized the long-awaited arrest of Mark Karpeles, CEO of defunct bitcoin exchange Mt Gox.

The respite from the crime rhetoric was brief if non-existent, however. Serious but arguably not any less bizarre, was the story that police in the Netherlands were on the hunt for a serial bomber, who was planting explosive devices in various supermarket stores.

The connection to bitcoin, although somewhat loose – the perpetrator demanded a ransom in the digital currency – still served to capture the media’s attention, and in turn, contributed to the technology’s ongoing association with criminal activity.

Elsewhere, with regulation always a hot topic, media outlets devoted time to covering the slew of bitcoin companies that had ceased operations in New York as a result of the passage of the BitLicense, its state-specific licensing regime for the industry.

‘Mass Exodus’

New York skyline

Though the BitLicense may have imposed new requirements on the industry, it has, at least for now, earned bitcoin startups the sympathy of some reporters in the media.

New York Business Journal‘s Michael del Castillo, for example, wrote a piece about the BitLicense’s impact on the New York bitcoin scene.

The piece, titled “The ‘Bitcoin Exodus’ has totally changed New York’s bitcoin ecosystem,” emphasized the negative effects of the law, including the number of firms that have so far announced they will cease to do business in the state.

Del Castillo wrote:

“From the beginning of the process that led to the creation of the BitLicense, the regulation has been controversial. Benjamin Lawsky, the former New York Financial Services superintendent hosted hearings to



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