Alternative Finances

Another Week Of Rough Waters For Bitcoin

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Bitcoin Tracker | Week 19
Spring just doesn’t seem to have sprung just yet for the Bitcoin market, despite the steady stream of around Bitcoin. Innovators continue to be hopeful and a new Bitcoin debit card has come to market, but news from Australia and China has tempered the outlook, well, actually, caused the price to crater. Bitcoin lost about 15 percent of its value this week and as of 6:30 PM EST is now trading around $379.00. But, since March 26th, since the Chinese government put the kibosh on the Bitcoin, it’s lost roughly 30 percent of its value. But on the bright side, the Insane Clown Posse rap group has embraced it, so life isn’t all bad for Bitcoin aficionados.
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On the Plus Side …

Bitcoin goes to Washington! An ATM was brought to the hill for “show and tell.” Republican Senator, Steve Stockman, hasn’t given up hope that Bitcoin should have the status of a currency. Chicago Sun-Times saw 11% of subscription payments come in from Bitcoin while academics at NYU devised a grad level course to help clear up the confession over the legal status and value of cryptocurrencies.
• April 10, 2014 – Money manager Bill Miller is still quite bullish on the potential of Bitcoin and believes that Warren Buffet has a “logical flaw in his thinking” on Bitcoin.
• April 10, 2014 – Bitcoin payments accounted for 11% of Chicago Sun-Times Subscription purchases this week.
• April 9, 2014 – There is now a virtual currency strictly for Juggalos, the counterculture devoted to the Insane Clown Posse rap group. Hackers might avoid this one because Papa Nutt (head Juggalo) says stealing from the “family” is not something you want to do.
• April 9, 2014 – Republican Senator Steve Stockman revealed a copy of his proposed bill entitled “To change the tax status of virtual currencies from property to currency”.
• April 9, 2014 – BitGo has built an online wallet based on a “hack” created by the chief scientist at the Bitcoin foundation that makes it harder for Bitcoin to be stolen.
• April 9, 2014 - Finance and law professors at NYU, David Yermack and Geoffrey Miller, created “The Law and Business of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies” to help students navigate the murky regulatory environment.
• April 9, 2014 – Atlanta startup BitPay, that develops software tools to allow online merchants to collect payments over the Bitcoin P2P network, is raising a massive Series A funding round.
• April 9, 2014 – The Bitcoin Strategy Group, BitAccess and CAVirtEx met with the Canadian Senate to demonstrate how Bitcoin is purchased and stored. The Canadian Senate also heard from the Bank of Canada, the Department of Finance, economic historians and other academics as well.
• April 9, 2014 – The French supermarket chain, Monoprix, may accept Bitcoin payments on their e-commerce shop later this year. Mais oui!
• April 8, 2014 – The first Bitcoin ATM was unveiled to members of Congress.
• April 7, 2014 – The Cryptex Card, a new global bitcoin-to-cash ATM and debit card, claims to work at 90% of ATMs in the US. The cards are tied to Union Pay and work by sending Bitcoins to an address linked to the card, which then converts it to cash.
• April 4, 2014 – Venture Capital firms continue to invest in and debate Bitcoin, with hot phrases in their pockets including “Libertarians are going to hate this thing when it gets big.”
• April 4, 2014 – The Royal Canadian Mint is putting their digital currency project, MintChip, up for sale and they’ve stopped working on it.

On the Dark Side …
China doesn’t seem to be budging on their decision to halting accounts related to cryptocurrencies and the National Australian Bank has decided to breakup with digital currencies as well. With this news, Bitcoin trading took a dive (but at least they’re not alone and have the NASDEQ for company).
• April 10, 2014 – Bitcoin dropped 10% the day Chinese banks sent out notices to Chinese Bitcoin exchanges announcing that their accounts would be frozen on April 15th.
• April 10, 2014 – The National Australian Bank is cutting ties to digital currencies because they are too risky.
• April 9, 2014 – HeartBleed could prove to be an issue for digital wallet holders.
• April 9, 2014 – BF Labs Inc, a company known for producing Bitcoin mining equipment has spent the last year defending itself against angry customers and is now facing a second class action suit.
• April 9, 2014 – Bitcoin mining may be plateauing.
• April 8, 2014 – The former CEO of Mt. Gox is still nowhere to be found and is said to risk arrest if he enters the United States.
• April 4, 2014 - Christian Decker and Roger Wattenhofer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology doubt the sequence of events that Mt. Gox claimed caused the massive breach.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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