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EFF backs away from Bitcoin

As the Mt Gox outage drags on

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The Electronic Frontiers Foundation in the US has decided it will no longer accept donations via Bitcoin.

While not itself a member of Bitcoin, the organization had been accepting donations via the currency through an account set up by an anonymous third party. However, only coincidentally following the Bitcoin Mt Gox hack-and-crash, the EFF has reversed its stance.

It cited questions about the legal standing of the crypto-currency with relation to “securities law, the Stamp Payments Act, tax evasion, consumer protection and money laundering”. Further, it was concerned that its acceptance of Bitcoins – through an account it did not establish – was being touted as EFF endorsement.

Mt Gox, meanwhile, has blamed its security woes on an unnamed third party, stating that “someone” who performs audits on its system, and had read-only access to their database, had their system compromised.

The exchange re-opening, well beyond Mt Gox’s original schedule, will now not happen until after users have been given the chance to recover their accounts to pre-attack states.

Account holders will have to provide proofs like transaction records or (this is a peach) “notarized documentation”. The exchange won’t open at least until 24 hours after Mt Gox has decided users have had long enough to recover their accounts.

The organization has also posted to the Bitcoin forums claiming that the attack on its systems is a “force majure” event, giving it the right to reverse the trades. The Mt Gox site is currently dropping connections, so El Reg can’t tell you what the organisation’s terms and conditions have to say about force majure. ®

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