Google Reinstates Bitcoin Rewards Game Suspended for ‘Deceptive Practices’

The game was yanked from the app distribution venue last week with little explanation, said Amy Wan, CEO of Bling, the company behind the app. Google reinstated the game on Jan. 30, shortly after the GooglePlayDev Twitter account reached out to Bling. This happened after Bling conducted its own Twitter campaign, Wan said.

Bitcoin Blast, a mobile game that gives users small amounts of bitcoin for playing, has been reinstated to the Google Play store.

Google did not provide any further clarity around why the game was originally pulled. The company originally told Bling the game was suspended for “deceptive practices”, without clarifying what those practices were. The search engine-turned-digital-infrastructure provider also provided no explanation for the game’s reinstatement.

A Google Play Store spokesperson did not respond to CoinDesk’s request for comment.

“We did inquire after resubmission, but never received a response as to what Google Play perceived as deceptive”, Wan said.

While the game is able to keep its more than 20,000 ratings, it has now lost its rankings in the Play store, Wan said.

“We’d like to thank our users who came out and supported us. We were absolutely overwhelmed by their response”, she said.

Bitcoin Startup Casa Names New CEO as Node Service Goes Open-Source

Bitcoin startup Casa is charging into 2020 with a new look – by winding down its hardware product and shuffling its front office.

CEO Jeremy Welch is stepping down from the role with current head of product Nick Neuman taking the helm. CTO Jameson Lopp will remain in his current position but will join the board along with Neuman.

Welch’s decision to step away from his position was linked to personal matters and not the firm’s product decisions, Welch and Neuman said.

Meanwhile, Casa is getting rid of its node; well, at least its physical implementation.

Neuman told CoinDesk in an interview the firm will ditch its purple-and-white hardware product in favor of bolstering its subscription service. Welch told CoinDesk in October the company had shipped more than 2,000 devices to buyers in over 65 countries.

Casa Node will now be run on open-source software available on most any computer which can be paired with a $10 monthly subscription to its key service. As Neuman said, it’s equivalent to bitcoin key management for the cost of a Netflix subscription.

When asked about possible revenue concerns – given that the lowest Casa Node package currently runs for just under $400 – Neuman said the firm is looking to capitalize on a strong 2019. For Casa, that means learning from its customers.

“A lot of people weren’t coming to us for the cost. They were coming to us for the security, the peace of mind”, Neuman said. “We don’t expect this to materially affect our revenue as a company.”

As for other Casa Node features, Neuman said the firm is close to integrating with Coldcard, a bitcoin-only wallet. Generational bitcoin payment plans via inheritance services and different service accounts similar to a checking and savings account are also in the lineup, he said.

“Our main focus is around the success that we’ve seen so far and the growth that we expect to continue to see through this year”, Neuman said.

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