Week In Tech: Bitcoin, Bills and Buzz Aldrin
While in Octopus HQ there’s been no bigger topic than the freeeezing London weather, Coinbase customers have been suffering from hot sweats this week. The news that the digital currency exchange has given up user records for a US court order has been at the forefront, and freaking out some bitcoin fanatics. It’s not all panic though, elsewhere we’ve seen some pretty cool innovations this week including *spoiler alert* 4G on the actual moon.
Coinbase tells 13,000 users their data will be sent to the IRS soon
There’s at least 13,000 people feeling a little bit nervous about bitcoin compliancy right now – and 50 Cent isn’t one of them. Digital currency exchange Coinbase has agreed to hand over details of its customers over to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). After an initial heavy resistance to the court over in November, Coinbase is currently sharing details on its customers from 2013-2015, including taxpayer IDs, names, addresses, and transaction records. One person who won’t be on the list – 50 Cent. In one of the odder stories of the week, the rapper admitted that rumours of him swimming in $8 million of cryptocurrency weren’t true. In fact, he now actually has less cash on him than his namesake. Poor guy.
Barclaycard trials bill-free Amazon Go-style restaurant
Halves? But you had a starter! Getting a restaurant bill isn’t enjoyable (unless someone else is paying!) In response, Barclaycard is now trialling its new Dine & Dash app at a London branch of Prezzo. All the hungry Italian-food loving diners need to do is tap a box in their middle of their table with their smartphone to check-in, then their meals will be automatically charged on the app. Got that friend that never pays you back? The app also allows customers to split the cost between individuals. Result.
The moon is about to get better mobile signal than the London Underground
Technology has clearly changed since Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon in 1969. Now, nearly 50 years on, Vodafone and Nokia have got together to launch a 4G network on the moon. Yes, seriously, the moon. As part of a mission with Berlin-based PTScientists, the network will launch in 2019 from Cape Canaveral on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. With 4G due to be coming onto the Tube in the same year, it’s become the technology space race none of us asked for.