The Leftover Bits 24/4/15: Rand Paul Loves BTC, More Foundation News, ItBit Wants To Be A Bank

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The Leftover Bits is the web’s best resource for daily Bitcoin news and opinion.

ItBit Applies For NYS Banking License

And here I was, thinking people got into Bitcoin to get away from banks.

Bitcoin exchange ItBit has applied for a New York State banking license. If successful, ItBit would become the first Bitcoin company to be legally registered as a bank. This information is according to the New York Banking Authority via Reuters. For its part, ItBit told CoinDesk that they have not confirmed the news.

It seems unlikely that Reuters would put their reputation on the line and unequivocally state that ItBit had filed for the license unless it was absolutely sure, so it is safe to say this is happening.

The move is sure to lend ItBit more credibility. As just about every other article written about this notes, there have been a number of thefts and scams in the cryptocurrency space, this move could reassure potential investors.

This will be an interesting development to watch. What, exactly, does a Bitcoin Exchange with a banking license look like?

Rand Paul Continues to Court Bitcoin Users

Rand Paul is continuing his pursuit of Bitcoin voters and donors. He recently became the first serious US Presidential candidate to accept Bitcoin donations for his campaign. Paul’s people refused to release a transcript of the speech but, according to newsbtc [who, honestly, I hesitate to cite] Rand Paul took a shot at Bitcoin regulation while speaking at a private Bitcoin event in New York.

That Paul won’t release the transcript is concerning, and suggests that he may be trying to say different things to different groups of voters. While he seems eager to please the Bitcoin crowd, Paul has other, larger donors to worry about. Three of Paul’s top ten contributors are involved in the traditional banking industry, including #7 Impala Asset Management, #6 Corriente Advisors, and #2, Mason Capital Management.

It seems possible that Paul is testing the winds, trying to judge just how much money Bitcoin donors will bring in, before advertising to the banking industry that he is championing a technology that may make them obsolete.

Bitcoin Foundation Officially Moves On From Core Development

Yesterday, I reported on Brock Pierce being elected as the head of the Bitcoin Foundation board. In that article, I speculated that, with the Core Development team moving to Massachusetts, the Foundation would abandon Core development funding and work on increasing adoption.

Today, that seems to be confirmed. According to CoinDesk, Executive Director-elect Bruce Fenton stated that the Foundation would not be “working to directly fund core development” in the near future.

This was pretty much a foregone conclusion, with the Foundation too cash strapped to be taking on any serious commitments. Both Fenton and outgoing Executive Director Patrick Murck were supportive of the Core Developers’ decision to accept employment from MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative.

With its leadership seemingly in place, the Foundation has two crucial tasks it needs to tackle quickly: deciding what its goals are now that core development is out of the picture, and figuring out a way to convince donors those goals are worth their hard-earned Bitcoins.