Bitcoin Weekly 2013 July 10: Flattr Adds Bitcoin Donations, First DEA Seizure of BTC, Bitcoin Machine ATMs Coming this Summer


It’s been a weird week for Bitcoin value, while it seemed to be holding fairly level at $90 last Bitcoin Weekly, the value fell to near $65 but is now hovering around $77. It’s not uncommon for the price of bitcoins to show volatility and this is a common complaint about its adoption by the population at large, retail outfits, and businesses in general. However, due to the increasing liquidity of the currency and increased media attention is only going to drive more interesting behavior in the market.

The media attention and further adoption–such as we’re seeing in this Weekly with Flattr and the upcoming roll out of the interesting Bitcoin Machine from Lamassu. Also in the news is information about the DEA’s seizure of 11.02 bitcoins in a Silk Road bust involving the trade of illegal substances.

Social Microtransaction Facilitator Flattr Adds Bitcoin

As of the 4th of July, the social microtransaction company Flattr has added the ability to submit Bitcoin as payment.

Flattr is well known model for content creators to take small (microtransaction level) payments from content consumers to show their support. By filling a reservoir of money, consumers can use their account to give money to creators via “flattring” them.

As of this advancement, Flattr has made it possible to fund that reservoir with BTC.

Not yet available is the ability for creators to withdraw in BTC.

Interestingly, BTC itself rather makes a system like Flattr a little bit obsolete when it comes to handing out microtransactions–however, the value add that Flattr has over Bitcoin alone is that there’s a social media element that allows Flattr users to show public support alongside their monetary support.

DEA Drug Bust of Silk Road User Leads to Bitcoin Seizure

Last month, it came to the community’s attention that the first known seizure of virtual currency by the US had taken place. The DEA sized 11.02 bitcoins from an account connected to one Casey Jones on April 12, 2013 as part of a drug-related bust involving buying and selling illegal substances via the well-known black market website Silk Road.

So far, it’s speculated that the “seizure” is less the taking of the account that holds the bitcoins;  but instead of the receipt of them during the process of a sting that involved the transfer of the illegal substances.

Updates to this story since then have seen several news outlets–Ars Technica, The Post and Courier–that Eric Daniel Hughes, 31, of St. Philip Street in Charleston, arrested by the DEA on suspicion of being Casey Jones and owner of those Bitcoins who is alleged to have exchanged the cryptocurrency for illegal drugs has since denied being Jones and denies previous ownership of the bitcoins involved.

Bitcoin ATM Set to Roll Out this Summer

The idea of an ATM that you can exchange bitcoins for money has been an interesting topic for quite some time, and now it looks like it’s coming. Lamassu makes an ATM device that can exchange currency notes from over 200 countries into the popular cryptocurrency and it’s being called the Bitcoin Machine.

On the subject of distribution, it looks like it’ll be spreading far and wide:

“I don’t want to speculate at this point, but we have received over 80 inquiries from more than 40 countries. We are optimistic that we will see our machines in all continents by the end of the year,” Co-founder Zach Harvey told CNBC.

Lamassu’s Bitcoin Machine is set to be rolled out in late August and distributed to customers across the globe. The target wholesale price for one machine is $4,000.