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eCommerce’s Drone Wars, Bitcoin’s New Island Getaway And Russia’s First Smartphone

Welcome to What’s Trending In Payments – a weekly look at the most popular, irreverent and important stories the payments industry had to offer over the past five days. Which companies grabbed the most headlines – for better or for worse – this week, and which topics have the industry abuzz with intrigue, laughter or disbelief? Featuring breakdowns from the PYMNTS.com staff and commentary by Karen Webster, here’s our take on what all of you payments peeps thought.

Let The Drone Wars Begin: Amazon, Google, UPS Test Drone Delivery

Why It’s Hot – It take a village to raise a kid but it only took Amazon to unleash the tidal wave of drone strategies. Jeff Bezos took to “60 Minutes” last Sunday to reveal his company’s plans to escalate the same-day delivery wars a notch using drones branded as Amazon Air. Still some years away, Bezos says, but the claim here is that Amazon Air can support 30-minute deliveries of things that weigh up to 5 pounds.

Karen’s Commentary – Yikes! I certainly hope that the President doesn’t get wind of this. How much do bombs weigh?

PYMNTS Commentary – Dennis Miller said it best. . . “liked it better when ‘drones’ was a word used to describe boring people.” ‘Nuf said.

Top Tweet – @TBHStew – That awkward moment when your Amazon delivery drone just hovers there, waiting for a tip.

Alderney To Become The Island Of Misfit Currencies

Why It’s Hot – As evidence by the rise of namecoin, peercoin and litecoin, anything resembling a bitcoin these days is pretty much a guaranteed money and buzzmaker. It also marks a move by a government – hey it’s small, but who’s counting? – to view the virtual currency as legitimate.

Karen’s Commentary – Given the popular use cases for bitcoin so far, Alderney will make Lord of the Flies look like a model civilization.

PYMNTS Commentary – We’re told the employees at the Alderney tourism department were startled by the “unfamiliar sound” of phones ringing in their offices this week.

Top Tweet – @andrew_ward1 – Alderney plans to issue physical #Bitcoin – backed by Royal Mint – in bid to cash in on virtual currency boom http://on.ft.com/1j1LnWo via

Russia Enters Smartphone Race … in 2013

Why It’s Hot –
Well, better late than never, they say. Russia may be a few years late throwing their hat into the smartphone ring, but its design is well, certainly interesting. The smartphone has two sides – one that has a Kindle-esque screen on the back, and a more familiar LCD screen on the front, meaning it could be the mobile answer to Microsoft’s two-in-one laptop and tablet.

Karen’s Commentary – (Don’t tell Vladmir I said this, but I think Apple’s position in the smartphone world is secure….)

PYMNTS Commentary – Yep, this is a sure-fire winner judging by how Microsoft’s two-in-one laptop and tablets are flying off the shelves this year…

Top Tweet – @lalpert1 – Russia hopes YotaPhone strikes terror in Apple’s heart. The smartphone race is on! http://on.wsj.com/1iyUakZ #hopes #dreams

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