National News

Bitcoin auction gives the currency more legitimacy

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-07-02 02:00

The US Marshals Service has announced that the bitcoins sold in its auction on Friday went to one, lucky bidder. Now, the almost 30,000 bitcoins have been transferred to that winner. 

The Marshals routinely seize the property of criminals, but only auction stuff off that’s legal. You wouldn’t have a heroin auction, for example. But they did auction the bitcoin seized from the black market website, Silk Road.

Why auction bitcoin?

“Because bitcoin is a legitimate asset," says Gil Luria, a managing director at Wedbush Securities. "And now the US Marshals Service has acknowledged that.”

But even with that legitimacy, bitcoin still isn’t easy to trade. To get it, you have to go to unregulated markets in places like Slovenia or China. Still, CoinDesk US editor Pete Rizzo says the auction helps.

“Is it raising awareness beyond where bitcoin was maybe a month ago?  I think absolutely," he says. "Does it still have a long ways to go?  I think yes.”

The new respectability has pushed up the price of bitcoin.  And even though it fell when the Marshals first announced their auction, it’s made up the lost ground, and then some.

 

 

 

 

 

A 'Lost Generation Of Workers': The Cost Of Youth Unemployment

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-02 00:11

Youth joblessness remains remarkably high across the country, threatening long-term trouble for young people's career trajectories, earning potential and the overall health of the economy.

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For Sale: Vacant Lots On Chicago Blocks, Just $1 Each

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-02 00:00

Empty lots have multiplied in parts of Chicago in recent years, so the city is selling them to homeowners dirt cheap. It's an effort to spark renewal in some of the city's most blighted areas.

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Targeting Overweight Workers With Wellness Programs Can Backfire

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-01 23:49

Companies say it pays to invest in employee health — productivity climbs and many costs of health care drop. But preserving worker privacy while encouraging fitness can be tricky.

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A Woman Wrestles With A Disturbing Family Memento

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-01 23:44

Carol Zachary was 9 when her grandfather gave her an invitation to a hanging he attended in 1917. She peppered him with questions, but the meaning of his gesture still remains a mystery, even today.

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Afghanistan's Slow-Motion Election Strains A Fragile Country

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-01 23:39

The presidential vote was held in April. The two-man runoff came on June 14. Preliminary results expected Wednesday have been delayed as one candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, claims widespread fraud.

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