- 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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Today, 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.
Thu, Jun. 12, 6:40 PM
- The U.S. Marshals Service says it will auction off 29K+ Bitcoins (BITCN, BTCS) seized during its investigation of drug marketplace Silk Road. (auction details).
- Bitcoin prices, above $625 yesterday, have fallen allmost to $550. The Silk Road stash has a current value of ~$16M.
- Meanwhile, popular Bitcoin wallet/exchange Coinbase says it plans to offer merchant clients an automated means of giving discounts to shoppers who pay in Bitcoin.
- After handling their first $1M in Bitcoin transactions for free, Coinbase charges clients a 1% fee - easily below the 2%-4% fees typically charged by credit-card processors.
- Yesterday: Expedia joins Bitcoin bandwagon
Wed, Jun. 11, 6:34 PM
- Two weeks after Dish Network announced it'll accept Bitcoin (BITCN,BTCS), and five months after Overstock did so, Expedia has done the same.
- Not surprisingly, the online travel giant doesn't expect huge initial volumes. But its size - 2013 gross bookings totaled $39.4B - makes its vote of confidence a big one.
- Last month, eBay CEO John Donahoe suggested PayPal will eventually support the virtual currency, but didn't give an ETA.
- Coinbase currently shows a bid-ask spread of $625.46-$626.49.
- Previous: Bitcoin jumps as Apple signals a measure of approval
Mon, Jun. 2, 6:25 PM
- Apple, which previously took a hard-line stance against Bitcoin (BITCN, BTCS) wallet apps, has updated its App Store review guidelines to state apps "may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions."
- Coinbase is now showing a Bitcoin bid-ask spread of $673.68-$675.89, putting the virtual currency well above a Sunday close of $646.01. It's now up ~71% from an April 10 price of $395.34.
- Previous: Dish Network to accept Bitcoin payments
Thu, May. 29, 8:03 AM| 1 Comment
Thu, May. 8, 6:15 PM
- Brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss disclose that they've chosen to list Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust (BITCN) on Nasdaq, as the fund slowly moves toward public approval.
- “The fact that the S.E.C. has allowed the S-1 to progress this far is an indication that it may actually happen,” says Wedbush's Gil Luria.
- The fund would buy one Bitcoin for every five shares; management fees are as yet undecided.
- The brothers' own index was valuing a single Bitcoin at $443 today.
- Previously: Report: Prospects for Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF approval look good
Mon, Apr. 14, 5:40 PM
- "Obviously it gets a lot of press and we have considered it ... but we’re not hearing from customers that it’s right for them and don’t have any plans within Amazon (AMZN +1.3%) to engage Bitcoin (BITCN, BTCS)," says Amazon payments chief Tom Taylor.
- Nonetheless, Taylor says payments is something Jeff Bezos now considers a priority. “The pressure I feel from Jeff is, ‘Go faster.’”
- In an attempt to challenge PayPal's (EBAY +1%) online/mobile payments dominance, Amazon launched a payments solution for unaffiliated merchants last October. It's also reportedly working on a Kindle-based retail checkout system - Taylor wouldn't confirm or deny the project - and a PayPal-like P2P payments system.
- Taylor even suggests Amazon is open to providing a payment-processing network that would compete against Visa and MasterCard. But he adds Amazon's offering "would really have to be something much better" than alternatives to launch.
- In the near-term, Amazon wants to use mobile devices to eliminate "pain points" in offline payments - examples include using a phone to quickly pay for parking or a restaurant meal. PayPal has similar ideas.
- A lingering issue for Amazon: Some retailers are uneasy about providing sales data to a major rival. For his part, Taylor insists "people we think of as competitors don’t have a payments problem."
Thu, Apr. 10, 6:23 PM
- Bitcoin (BITCN, BTCS) is currently showing a bid-ask spread of $380.22-$381.97 on Coinbase. The cryptocurrency last traded at these levels in mid-November, when its was in the midst of a parabolic run to $1,100.
- The apparent trigger: Chinese exchanges have begun receiving shutdown notices from banks (previous). They'll have to stop allowing Bitcoin-related bank deposits by April 15.
- Leading local exchange BTC China has already seen an 80% drop in trading volume from its peak. It's prepping legal "workarounds" to deal with a shutdown.
- In addition to the Chinese news, a massive selloff in risk assets (headlined by a 130-point drop for the Nasdaq) might have also taken a toll.
Thu, Mar. 27, 4:00 PM
- Bitcoin (BITCN, BTCS) prices are down more than 8% following Chinese media reports stating China's central bank (the PBOC) has ordered state-owned banks to stop transacting with businesses that make use of the cryptocurrency. Coinbase is currently showing a bid-ask spread of $518.59-$522.26.
- The reports haven't been independently confirmed. The CEO of local Bitcoin trading site BTC China says the order (if it exists) would prevent clients from depositing funds via their bank accounts. He adds the PBOC might not make a formal announcement, but simply enforce the ruling via direct channels with banks.
- This month has already seen the PBOC take a harder line on online/mobile payment services, such as those offered by Internet giants Alibaba and Tencent. In December, the PBOC barred financial institutions from giving Bitcoin pricing, buying/selling the currency, and insuring Bitcoin-linked products. The move was seen as an attempt to more tightly regulate the yuan.
Wed, Mar. 26, 9:21 AM
- Circle Internet Financial - a company aiming to make digital currencies like bitcoin easy to use - raises $17M in a Series B funding round and has begun offering its first product by invitation.
- The initial product, says CEO Jeremy Allaire, is aimed at mainstream consumers who may not know much about digital currency, and tries to create a simple way for them to convert money into bitcoin. "What we’re trying to do is introduce user interface metaphors that are more similar to Gmail or Skype."
- Related ETFs: BITCN, BTCS
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