Microsoft Now Accepts Bitcoin For Digital Purchases In The US

Bitcoin adoption continues to grow apace and now Microsoft has joined the party. In the US, you can now use the currency to buy apps, games, music and videos from the Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Games, Xbox Music and Xbox Video stores.

The Day Computer Games Got Sexy

Welcome to Reading List, a short round up of great science and technology reads from around the internets. This week we have a sexy foray into the first erotic computer game and the story of a scientist whose discovery of the rare element francium ultimately caused her death. Get to readin’.

A Fire Took Out A Huge Bitcoin Mining Operation

It’s 2014, and this is what a mining accident looks like. A massive fire reportedly broke out at a Bitcoin mining facility in Thailand last month, devastating all three of its buildings and possibly millions of dollars in hardware. The fire might just be a wakeup call to all the startups trying to mine Bitcoin on the cheap.

Supposed Bitcoin Creator Is Crowdfunding His Lawsuit... With Bitcoin

Back in March, Newsweek alleged that Dorian Nakamoto was the creator of Bitcoin. Now, though, Nakamoto is raising funds in the cryptocurrency to file a lawsuit against the publication, which refuses to retract its article.

Mining Bitcoin With Pencil And Paper

I decided to see how practical it would be to mine Bitcoin with pencil and paper. It turns out that the SHA-256 algorithm used for mining is pretty simple and can in fact be done by hand. Not surprisingly, the process is extremely slow compared to hardware mining and is entirely impractical. But performing the algorithm manually is a good way to understand exactly how it works.

PayPal Maybe Sorta Kinda Slightly Accepting Bitcoin

PayPal has just taken its very first baby step towards allowing Bitcoin payments for goods, thanks to a partnership with payment processors BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin. PayPal’s move isn’t a wholesale endorsement of the crypto-currency: by partnering with existing Bitcoin payment processors, PayPal doesn’t actually have to handle (or hold onto) any Bitcoin itself, which basically makes this a risk-free move on PayPal’s part.

FTC Shuts Down Bitcoin Mining Company For Operating Like A Scam

The FTC just had a court shut down Butterfly Labs, the specialised manufacturer of Bitcoin mining equipment. It turns out the company has repeatedly failed to deliver on the massively powerful — and massively expensive — computers it sold consumers.

Heroin, Guns, Stolen Credit Cards: Meet Evolution, The New Silk Road

There’s been a power vacuum in the online drug trade since black market Silk Road got busted. It won’t last. The internet abhors a vacuum just as much as nature. The proof is Evolution, a smarter, more morally bankrupt version of the Silk Road that’s on the rise.

Uber, AirBnB And Many Other Services Might Accept Bitcoin Soon

You might soon be able to pay for that Uber ride or that AirBnB reservation using bitcoin. The Wall Street Journal reports that eBay has been working to integrate bitcoin into its Braintree payments subsidiary.

Swag, Vapes And Econ: My Day At The North American Bitcoin Conference

Bitcoin may have emerged from a shadowy corner of the internet, but soon, it will have its own government affairs office in Washington. According to the crypto-currency’s biggest advocates, who assembled at the second North American Bitcoin Conference this weekend in Chicago, Bitcoin is all grown up. In reality, it’s entering adolescence — which is way more interesting.