Bitcoin Today: Prices Continue to Rally Above $8,000 Heading Into the Weekend

Bitcoin continued to climb Friday after breaking out in early trading a day earlier. By the afternoon’s action, bitcoin had rallied near $8,220 on heavy trading volume. Before the rally late this week, prices had been trapped under the $8,000 threshold since March 28.

These are the cryptocurrency stories you need to know for Friday, April 13.

Indian Exchange Loses $3.3 Million

Coinsecure, an Indian bitcoin exchange, announced on its website that 438.318 bitcoins worth about $3.3 million were stolen from the service after a single employee exposed the exchange’s private keys. The private keys, which are pieces of cryptographic code that move blockchain-based digital assets, were made public by chief security officer Dr. Amitabh Saxena, Coinsecure said. The exchange said Saxena claimed he was attempting to distribute bitcoin gold to its customers when he exposed the keys. “We feel that he is making a false story to divert our attention and he might have a role to play in this entire incident,” Coinsecure wrote in a report to cybercrime regulators.

Louisiana Mayor Suggests ICO

Joel Robideaux, mayor of Lafayette, La., asked his city’s citizens this week to consider an initial coin offering (ICO) in a bid to help the cash-strapped municipality get a handle on its finances, local media reported. Lafayette is reportedly in dire financial straits, and locals have shot down other cash-generating tactics including raising taxes, eliminating the parks department and annexing unincorporated land. Mayor Robideaux suggested Lafayette launch its own cryptocurrency and sell it through an ICO. He said the city could use the funds to “develop solutions targeting government inefficiencies, and, more importantly, alternatives for financing public infrastructure.”

Mastercard Bets on Blockchain

Mastercard Inc. (MA) announced this week that it plans to employ new blockchain specialists in an upcoming hiring round of 175 technology developers, Coindesk reported. The new tech hires will work from Mastercard’s Ireland office, where its research and development business, Mastercard Labs, is headquartered. The company said the aim of the new hires is to further the development of more efficient payment systems. Last September, Mastercard filed a patent for a blockchain system recording purchase orders, invoices and transaction data. Then in November, the company filed another application for blockchain-based solutions aimed at increasing the speed of transaction settlements.

Bermuda Eyes Regulation

The Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) has asked the public for feedback on a new anti-money laundering law to better regulate local cryptocurrency activity. The new law is geared toward setting up more formal regulations for cryptocurrency in order to attract crypto investors, traders and businesses to the island. The rule would require exchanges, wallet services, payment providers and cryptocurrency businesses to retain customer information. Bermuda’s Minister of National Security Wayne Caines told local media this week that Bermuda “can’t keep up with the amount of people who want to come to Bermuda … It’s actually phenomenal.”

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