SA News • Thu, Dec. 11
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- Bitcoin prices are continuing to crash, and it looks like the sell off is picking up speed.
- We could be witnessing a "run" on Bitcoin.
- We advised staying away from the virtual currency in a previous article; we're restating our thesis after taking into account the latest news.
- Bitcoin will grow in popularity since it has advantages over fiat currencies.
- The winners of the Bitcoin revolution are Amazon and Overstock.
- The losers of the Bitcoin revolution are Visa, PayPal, MasterCard, MoneyGram, and Western Union.
- Bitcoin’s volatility makes it an unreliable medium for financial transactions.
- A Bitcoin-generated free market system becomes an inherently adversarial process, pitting the best interests of the buyer against the best interests of the seller.
- Rising concerns about the security of the Bitcoin software indicate that its economic system is vulnerable to externalities.
- Bitcoin may actually violate the principles of the free market economy that it purports to establish.
Rejecting Fiat - The Electronic Vs. Physical Edition
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Thu, Dec. 11, 9:42 AM
- Microsoft's U.S. customers can now use Bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) to make purchases of apps, games, and videos for Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox hardware. The software giant is partnering with Bitcoin payment processor BitPay to support the cryptocurrency.
- Overseas customers aren't supported yet. Also, Microsoft isn't supporting direct purchases - users have to add Bitcoin to a digital wallet, or use it to create digital gift cards.
- Bitcoin prices are up $5.45 over the last 24 hours on Coinbase - the payment processor is showing a bid-ask spread of $355.67-$356.43. Bitcoin prices have bounced since plunging below $300 in early October, but remain far below their late-2013 highs.
- Other companies supporting Bitcoin payments to some degree include Expedia, Dish, Overstock, Dell, and Newegg.
Tue, Nov. 18, 4:02 AM
- The U.S Marshals Service has announced that it will auction 50K Bitcoins (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS), worth around $19M, seized in connection with the now-defunct online bazaar Silk Road.
- The auction, scheduled for Dec. 4, comes just five months after the Marshals Service’s first Bitcoin auction, when it sold nearly 30K Bitcoins confiscated from Silk Road.
- Silk Road was shut down in October 2013 after officials said it was online marketplace for illegal drugs and other illicit activities.
Mon, Oct. 13, 12:53 PM
- Though considering tech stocks "somewhat overvalued," famed VC/PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel thinks the problem pales when compared with a bond/fixed-income bubble "of massive size." (video)
- Thiel: "Tech investors always overrate growth and always underrate durability ... 75%-80% of the value of these companies exists a decade or more in the future ... You can measure growth, but you can't measure durability."
- Thiel also reiterates his view that Alibaba (BABA -0.1%), like other Chinese Internet names, is a political entity. "You're betting on Jack Ma staying in the good graces of the Communist Party."
- He's a fan of the eBay/PayPal (EBAY -1%) split, but disagrees with Carl Icahn's call for PayPal to go on an acquisition spree. "I think mergers only make sense when there are real synergies .. and it's not obvious what the synergy between PayPal and any other business would be at this point."
- GSV Capital (GSVC +1%) might be disappointed to hear Thiel state he thinks "it's going to be a while" before analytics software vendor Palantir (co-founded by Thiel) goes public. Palantir, valued at $9B in a late-2013 funding round, made up 11.2% of GSV's net asset value at the end of Q2.
- A cautious stance is shown towards Bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS). "I think it's worked on the level of a currency ... but it's not yet worked on the level of a payments system, and you need to get the payments system to work."
- As data breaches pile up, Thiel expects cybersecurity to remain a big problem - "So much commerce is happening on the Internet and we often have no good intuition of how poor the security is." - that needs to be addressed by software. Cybersecurity plays FireEye (FEYE +3.1%) and CyberArk (CYBR +6.5%) are among the high-beta tech names rallying today.
- Tech ETFs: XLK, VGT, TECL, IYW, ROM, TDIV, TECS, IGM, RYT, QTEC, PSCT, FTEC, FXL, REW, MTK, PTF
Sun, Oct. 5, 1:51 PM
- Coinbase is now showing a bid-ask spread of $293.80-$294.22. That puts Bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) over 55% below its June highs, and roughly 75% below its late-2013 all-time highs.
- Plenty of theories are being thrown around to explain the decline. Bulls argue a stronger dollar is taking a toll, as is dollar conversion by the growing number of merchants/platforms accepting Bitcoin. Bears argue a speculative bubble is bursting, with the total value of Bitcoins in existence falling towards a level that reflects their actual usage (still relatively low).
- Bitcoin Watch states Bitcoin's total market cap is now just slightly above $4B. 852K Bitcoins (current value of $250M) were sent over the last 24 hours.
- Fred Wilson, still an ardent believer in the cryptocurrency, has observed Bitcoin's 2-year chart bears some resemblance to Gartner's diagram for the hype cycle surrounding important new technologies.
Tue, Sep. 23, 2:19 PM
- PayPal (EBAY +0.6%) has struck deals with major Bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) payment processors Coinbase, BitPay, and GoCoin to enable Bitcoin payments for digital content through the PayPal Payments Hub. The Payments Hub allows digital content providers to quickly handle payments via PayPal, credit cards, and other payment types.
- Notably, the deal doesn't cover PayPal's own widely-used digital wallet, and also doesn't involve PayPal processing Bitcoin transactions itself. In addition, pre-sales (i.e. payment for a product/service to be delivered later) won't be supported.
- PayPal has taken a relatively cautious approach to Bitcoin, even as a number of major firms (inc. Dell, Expedia, Dish Network, and Newegg) have embraced the virtual currency. However, the company's independently-run Braintree unit threw its weight behind Bitcoin earlier this month.
- Bitcoin prices, under pressure in recent weeks, have rallied thanks to PayPal's move. Coinbase currently shows a bid-ask spread of $427.29-$427.61.
Fri, Sep. 19, 1:37 PM
- Bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) prices are down $25 today, and over $70 on the week. Coinbase is currently showing a bid-ask spread of $400.29-$401.90.
- The Alibaba IPO is viewed as a possible culprit - Bitcoin Magazine observes volume at both major Chinese and European exchanges is well above daily averages, leading it to think investors are unloading Bitcoin positions to buy into Alibaba.
- Quant trader Raffael Danielli isn't buying the theory. "Selling your Bitcoins yesterday (and during the night) will only put USD into your Bitcoin exchange account. From there you have to still transfer it to your stock broker which usually takes a couple of days."
- Though the list of high-profile Bitcoin supporters has kept growing in recent months, Bitcoin prices are now down ~40% from their June highs, and ~65% from all-time highs set last fall.
Thu, Sep. 11, 1:57 AM
- Bitcoin exchange Coinbase is expanding into 13 European countries, allowing users with European bank accounts to now buy and sell Bitcoins (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) in exchange for euros.
- The move marks Bitcoin's accelerating adoption, and will add to the company's already 1.6M customer accounts.
- European purchases and sales will initially be limited to €500 a day, but will be increased in time. Coinbase allows U.S. users to buy and sell up to $50,000 a day in Bitcoin.
Tue, Sep. 9, 2:25 AM
- eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) will start processing payments in bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) at its Braintree payments subsidiary, part of its PayPal unit.
- Braintree will roll out the capability in the coming months, and will work with bitcoin exchange Coinbase to enable payments in the virtual currency.
- The move could potentially allow PayPal’s 152M accounts to use the currency as payment, prompting wider use and acceptance of bitcoin.
Thu, Aug. 21, 7:00 AM
- In response to the NY Department of Financial Services' proposed "BitLicense", three of the biggest Bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) exchanges in China (BTCChina, Huobi and OKCoin) have released a joint letter addressed to NY regulators which warns of far-reaching consequences due to their pending legislation.
- On July 17, the Department of Financial Services proposed issuing a BitLicense which would protect consumers, prevent money laundering and enforce cyber security, but the exchanges see too many restrictions in the proposed license.
- At issue are enhanced customer checks and that restrictions in NY could lead to limitations in other jurisdictions.
Wed, Aug. 20, 1:54 AM
- Overstock (NASDAQ:OSTK) is preparing to accept Bitcoins (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) for its international sales as of Sept. 1, transforming the company into the biggest online merchant to extend the payment option beyond the U.S.
- Since January, several established retailers, including Expedia and Dell, have started accepting Bitcoin for domestic sales, although the new move by Overstock suggests a more widespread adoption of the virtual currency to the international space.
- CEO Patrick Byrne says he expects the company to record $6M-$8M in domestic Bitcoin sales this year and was optimistic that it could pull in an additional $2M internationally.
Mon, Aug. 18, 3:57 PM
- Under pressure early at about $500, the price of bitcoin on the BTC-e platform suddenly plunged to $309, where just three trades took place. In the three minutes around those trades, there were 1,554 individual trades - a large number considering there are entire days when volume is around 5K.
- Prices have since recovered, with the last price being $458.77, down 6.9% on the session.
Fri, Aug. 15, 3:23 AM
- eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), which has been contemplating bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) transactions since last year, may now start to accept the virtual currency at its Braintree payments subsidiary, part of its PayPal unit.
- Braintree processes more than $12B in annual payments, including many online and mobile companies like Uber and Airbnb.
- eBay and PayPal wouldn't initially accept bitcoin, but that could change over time.
Fri, Jul. 18, 5:38 PM
- "Now you can buy digital with digital," reads a blog post in which Dell announces it's accepting Bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) payments on Dell.com.
- The IT giant is partnering with popular Bitcoin payment-processor Coinbase, and is launching a promotion through which buyers of Alienware gaming PCs can get a 10% discount (up to $150) by paying via Bitcoin.
- Dell joins a Bitcoin supporter list that also includes Newegg, Expedia, Dish Network, and Overstock. The virtual currency's low transaction fees have given merchants an incentive to accept it, even as its volatility leaves others cautious.
- Coinbase is currently showing bid-ask spread of $627-$630.
Tue, Jul. 1, 1:06 PM
- Newegg, known for having a tech-savvy customer base (fits well with the demographic profile for Bitcoin early adopters), is partnering with Bitcoin (BITCN, BTCS) payment processor Bitpay to allow its 25M+ customers to pay with the virtual currency.
- The online electronics retailer says buyers can pay by scanning QR codes on their phones, or by providing digital wallet address info. It joins Overstock, Expedia, and Dish Network in handling Bitcoin payments.
- Following a recent selloff caused by the government's auctioning of 29K+ Bitcoins seized during its Silk Road investigation, Bitcoin prices have once more topped $650.
Fri, Jun. 27, 8:00 AM
- Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles no longer believes that any more of the 850k bitcoins (BITCN, BTCS) that were lost when the exchange collapsed will be found.
- This past February, the now defunct exchange lost 850k bitcoins, approximately $500M, after a series of hacking attacks hit its systems. A month later Mt. Gox found 200k of the coins, and kept the search going to find the rest.
- Two weeks ago, the company received approval to file bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S., and is still awaiting approval for a settlement and sale of its business.
Wed, Jun. 18, 3:26 AM
- Mt Gox, the failed Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange, is now able to file Chapter 15 bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. after receiving court approval.
- In February, Mt Gox said it suffered a hacking attack resulting in a loss of 850k bitcoins (BITCN, BTCS) - around $500M in current prices. After the website shutdown, the company filed for bankruptcy to protect its U.S. assets.
- The company is now awaiting approval for a settlement and the sale of its business. In March, Mt Gox found 200k of its lost bitcoins, and is now trying to reach a deal to split up the coins with U.S. customers, in addition to a 16.5% stake after Mt. Gox is sold.
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