Circles, Blades And Windows

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Bitcoin Tracker | Week 52    

This week’s bitcoin trivia: What software company now accepts bitcoin for purchases?

That would be Microsoft. It was looking like a pretty sleepy pre-holiday week for bitcoin until Microsoft announced that it would be accepting bitcoin payments for content purchased on Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox platforms, kinda. Of course there a stipulation to this, as customers can only use bitcoin to load money into a Microsoft wallet or create digital gift cards. Direct payments with the crypto currency are not supported quite yet and this is limited to U.S. customers.

Speaking of kinda, bitcoin is still kinda stuck in the $300’s. Prices are down, transactions are down. Bitcoin is now around the $350 mark, but bounced between $345.48 and $367.21 according to the Bitcoin Price index.

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On the Plus Side …

From Bing to Bitcoin. Yep, Microsoft took a big step this week and will accept bitcoin for Windows Phone and Xbox purchases. As you can imagine, the crypto currency community is pretty pumped. And, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission claims to have oversight over digital currency derivatives – we’re not entirely sure what that means quite yet for regulation, but it is good to know that maybe someone will be providing clarity on regulations soon (fingers crossed).

  • December 11, 2014 – Microsoft began accepting bitcoin for Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox purchases and is working with Bitpay to accept bitcoin. According to BitPay, Microsoft is serious about supporting bitcoin and reportedly has a vision for bitcoin, BitPay and the blockchain.
  • December 11, 2014 – Timothy Massad, a chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) told a senate committee that digital currency derivatives fall within his agency’s limit.
  • December 10, 2014 – Circle announced that they have hired Paul Camp to be their CFO. Camp formerly worked for both Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan’s transaction services department.
  • December 10, 2014 – Blade Financial is a new platform for payment processing and they are pitching their service to digital currency companies that want to offer debit card services to customers but don’t have the capabilities to do so. Blade is led by the former GM for American Express’ prepaid card unit.
  • December 9, 2014 – The exchange SecondMarket, based in New York won 48,000 bitcoins of the government’s latest bitcoin auction of Silk Road assets.
  • December 8, 2014 – A new decentralized marketplace has launched called Bitmarkets. It was designed to operate over the anonymity-preserving network Tor, because the designers of Bitmarkets believe that transaction privacy is a “basic human right”.

On the Dark Side …

Show me the money. Despite the hype about new bitcoin wallets, Reuters reported that they have no bitcoins in them. Speaking of wallets, a bitcoin exchange and wallet company closed down and another wallet company was pulled from web due to security issues.

  • December 11, 2014 – Figures obtained by Reuters show that although bitcoin “wallets” are continuously being created, many of them are empty.
  • December 11, 2014 – Even supporters of cryptocurrencies believe that bitcoin will be displaced by alternative crypto currencies with superior features.
  • December 11, 2014 – Bitcoin Wallet provider Blockchain was pulled from due to security issues and the head of Blockchain’s product engaged in a Reddit spat with a Coinbase engineer.
  • December 11, 2014 – Bitcoin exchange and wallet service, CoinJelly, announced that it is closing all user accounts within 24 hours claiming that the ownership of CoinJelly is changing hands.
  • December 8, 2014 - The world’s most popular web-based Bitcoin wallet service,, suffered a security lapse during a software update that affected hundreds of users.
  • December 8, 2014 – Bitcoin prices remain relatively flat and the volume
  • December 7, 2014 – Private equity firm FirstMark Capital managing director, Lawrence Lenihan, despite being a “bitcoin bull” believes that many of the current bitcoin entrepreneurs don’t understand how the traditional financial system works.



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