Bitcoin Bubble Tracker | Week 8
So, the world’s movers and shakers gathered in that idyllic Swiss enclave known as Davos this past week and agreed on perhaps only one thing: that bitcoin’s future was far from certain. Despite Marc Andreessen’s best attempts to justify his major investment in Bitcoin, Canada, Finland and Sweden have said that they won’t support or legitimize the currency. And, it’s only a matter of time until the tax man (queen?) takes its fair share in the UK. Hey, if you are taxpaying citizen in the US, you can personally thank bitcoin for adding $28 million to its coffers thanks to the sale of bitcoin confiscated in the Silk Road raid. Speaking of Silk Road, the article in the Sunday New York Times about Dread Pirate Roberts aka Ross Ulbricht, its founder and operator, provided a fascinating look inside the mind of this very smart and clever dude.
Ever wonder if Ross and Satoshi Nakamoto are the same person? Well, that’s another topic for another day!
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Well, now what happens in Vegas can really stay in Vegas since a few Sin City casinos have agreed to accept bitcoin. Nothing like living the brand. The GOOG has agreed to give it a look-see and is reported to be noodling what to do. And, eBay UK and US will allow people to sell bitcoin on their marketplaces. Sure beats Pez dispensers. Here’s a spin around all the news that is news on the happy side of bitcoin this week.
- January 22, 2014 – Google says they are pondering how the company can incorporate Bitcoin.
- January 22, 2014- Bitcoin is being used to buy surprisingly boring things on Overstock.com and lots of tech accessories, although the top 25 things bought with Bitcoin is different than the top 25 items sold with traditional payment methods.
- January 22, 2014 – Marc Andreessen explains why Bitcoin matters and why Andreesen Horowitz invested $50 million in Bitcoin.
- January 22, 2014 – Entrepreneurs are interested in the possibility of using Bitcoin to undercut electronic payment technology and reduce the cost to process transactions from debit and credit cards.
- January 22, 2014 – Since the FBI shut down the Silk Road and seized the Bitcoin, the FBI has made $24.4 million in potential profit from the official forfeiture.
- January 21, 2014 – A Nordic VC firm claims to have built the largest database of businesses dealing in Bitcoins to shed light on the virtual currency. There are over 300 companies trading Bitcoin in the database.
- January 21, 2014 – Two casinos in Las Vegas, The D and Golden Gate, will allow visitors to conduct transactions at the gift shop and front desk with Bitcoin a certain businesses on site but won’t start taking the cryptocurrency for bets. The transactions will be processed with BitPay.
- January 21, 2014 – eBay UK and US will create a “Virtual Currency” category for the sale of Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
- January 21, 2014 – The University of Cumbria in England’s Lake District is the first public institution to accept fees in Bitcoin, however for just two courses that deal with currency innovation.
- January 20, 2014 – Koreak bitcoin exchange Korbit raised $400,000 from Angels including Tim Draper AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant, SV Angel’s David Lee and SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert, who created a Bitcoin Opportunity Fund. Also participating are Pietro Dova of XG Ventures, Michael Yang, co-founder of mySimon, and Jay Eum, co-founder of Translink Capital.
- January 20, 2014 – The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) believes that Bitcoin has the potential to revolutionize the financial sector and may be here to stay.
- January 17, 2014 – BitPay claims to have 20,000 separate clients and expects to hit 100,000 by year end.
Countries in the Land of the Midnight Sun didn’t shine the few hours of sunlight they have this time of year on Bitcoin this week. Both Sweden and Finland went on record saying that Bitcoin didn’t meet the definition of a currency. Even investors seem to be crying the bitcoin blues with more sellers than buyers these days. And, those captains of industry and countries in Davos pooh-poohed it as well saying that its use as a viable currency was questionable, including our very own US Treasury Secretary and JPMC Chief Jamie Dimon. Do you think they read some of our stuff?
- January 23, 2014 – At Davos, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew called Bitcoin a “phenomenon” but said that the U.S. Government needs to make sure the currency doesn’t become a funding haven for terrorists and criminals.
- January 23, 2014 – CEO of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon, believes that Bitcoin will eventually end and that “it’s a terrible store of value”.
- January 22, 2014 – Sweden has rejected Bitcoin as a currency and will tax it as another asset like art or an antique.
- January 22, 2014 – A Bloomberg poll finds that investors are bearish on Bitcoin and 47% of respondents say that they would sell Bitcoin and only 11% would buy. 35% say they have no opinion either way.
- January 22, 2014 – Entrepreneurs are saying they don’t care to use Bitcoin as a currency to supplant the U.S. Dollar and believe that Bitcoin’s volatility could wipe out cost savings and the startups will layer their own costs into Bitcoin transactions and undermine the goal of a cheaper system.
- January 21, 2014 – The British tax authority, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, is reviewing the tax structure for virtual currencies which will most likely implement VAT or capital-gains tax on Bitcoin.
- January 21, 2014 – Fortune Magazine is calling Bitcoin Napster for finance. A mixed bag with a lot of legal challenges.
- January 20, 2014 – Finland declared that Bitcoin is a commodity and doesn’t meet the definition of a currency or even an electronic payment form.
- January 17, 2014 – Associate dean of international finance at Tufts University, Bhaskar Chakravorti, said that if Bitcoin is to take off “it will be in countries like Canada or Sweden”. Then less than a week later, Sweden rejected Bitcoin as a currency. Whoops!
- January 16, 2014 – The Canadian government said they don’t consider Bitcoin to be legal tender.