Detail from “Free Lunch,” by David Kim (click for full image).
David Kim
Welcome to BitBeat, your daily dose of crypto-current events, written by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey.
Bitcoin Latest Price: $460.89, down 7.9% (via CoinDesk)

Crossing Our Desk:

- Beijing still seems to matter for the price of bitcoin. Given that Chinese trading in the digital currency has dried up considerably since the government first started cracking down on banks’ interactions with bitcoin businesses in December, you’d think the market’s capacity to be surprised might have similarly dried up.
But here we are, once again, with reports of some negative statements by officials at the People’s Bank of China and bitcoin’s international price is down sharply. Specifically, today’s $40 drop is being attributed a report in Caixin Online that central bank officials had held meetings with various commercial banks and reiterated their concerns about banks providing services to bitcoin businesses.
The report said that during the closed-door meetings, the officials “specifically criticized various commercial banks for continuing to do business with BTC China,” the country’s largest bitcoin exchange.
The PBOC had earlier set an April 15 deadline for banks to cut off bitcoin firms’ accounts, a development that weighed heavily on bitcoin’s price and caused a further drop in trading in China. But BTC China CEO Bobby Lee said he never received notification from his bankers and so continued to operate after that date. He wasn’t available this afternoon (New York time) for comment.
Friday’s report comes just two weeks before the Global Bitcoin Summit in Beijing, which organizers are billing as the “first global bitcoin conference in China.” It will feature prominent bitcoin personalities such as entrepreneur Roger Ver and journalist and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin.  (Michael Casey)
When you think about what bitcoin is literally, there’s not much there. Just strings of computer code. That’s it, really. But when you think about what bitcoin is figuratively, it becomes something else completely.
The cryptocurrency keeps being a subject of interest to the arts community. The latest example of that was a one-night show on Thursday called “Proof of Work” at a The Sub gallery in the mission district of San Francisco, which called upon artists to explore the connections between digital technologies and the human condition.
The piece that most directly speaks to the bitcoin Zeitgeist was “Free Lunch” by Oakland artist David Kim, pictured above, a multimedia piece that he completed just in time for the show. It shows Dorian Nakamoto – the man named by Newsweek in March as the creator of bitcoin – as he attempts to evade the media during the frenzy after the story broke.
Mr. Kim initially named the piece “Evasive Maneuvers,” but was convinced to change it by somebody at the show who suggested “Free Lunch.” (The title refers to something Nakamoto said.) Mr. Kim wasn’t a bitcoiner before this; he said he’d heard of bitcoin only in the popular culture, but began doing more research when he was asked to be in the show. From his research, he thought the story of Dorian Nakamoto was the most intriguing.
“I sat there for hours, digging into the whole situation,” he said. “That’s when I was inspired to do the image of Dorian.”
The piece is for sale, Mr. Kim said. (Paul Vigna)