Alternative Finances

Bitcoin Hits A Wall (And Drops)

bitcoin

Bitcoin Tracker | Week 36    

As summer wanes, the news about bitcoin is starting to heat back up, but not in a good way. The price of bitcoin is dropping a bit and the CFPB is warning consumers against its use in a big way.  CFPB Director Richard Cordray said, “Virtual currencies are not backed by any government or central bank, and at this point consumers are stepping into the Wild West when they engage in the market.” The U.S. wasn’t alone in their warnings and skepticism, with European Banking regulators also asking banks and financial institutions to steer clear of virtual currencies. Although they didn’t name bitcoin specifically, there’s little doubt as to what the officials were alluding to.

 

But, hey, at least Bitcoin has general consumer awareness going for it. A survey of about 900 consumers revealed that more people had heard of Bitcoin than heard of and/or used some of the digital wallets floating out there (no names mentioned but a hint is the one that is in the process of being rebranded). And you can now pay your Dish bills with bitcoin and someone plunked down 85 of them ($50k) to buy stuff from Dell.
Bitcoin is way down from last week, when (8/7) trading was $589.65 according to PYMNTS.com Bitcoin Price index and now down below 500. As always, if you have any news you’d like to share, please send it our way at contactus@pymnts.com.

On the Plus Side …

With the help of Coinbase, more merchants are able to accept payment via bitcoin and this week Dish TV was the merchant that came on board. New rounds of funding went into a P2P bitcoin lending platform and Rakuten has also started to accept bitcoin payments for their shipping services.

  • August 14, 2014 – Dish TV now accepts Bitcoin Payments.
  • August 14, 2014 – Coinist, a rating service for digital currency products and securities, announced it has launched a public beta with a special focus on the Bitcoin 2.0 and Ripple ecosystems, in addition to unveiling its Coinist Top 40 ratings.
  • August 14, 2014 – The first marketplace for buying and selling bitcoins with other users was launched.
  • August 13, 2014 – P2P bitcoin lending platform Bitbond secured seed funding, led by VC Point Nine Capital.
  • August 13, 2014 – BitPay, after their $30 million round of funding is increasing staffing in their office. The team now includes Sonny Singh formerly of Jumio as chief commercial officer, Steve Pratt formerly of Visa will the companies director of business development and Gregg Zigler formerly of PayPal will become a senior developer.
  • August 13, 2014 – BitAccess launched to build a network of Bitcoin ATMs worldwide.
  • August 13, 2014 – Overstock.com Inc’s sales through bitcoin are expected to add 4 cents per share to its earnings.
  • August 12, 2014 – Rakuten Super Logistics, an order logistics company owned by Japan-based e-commerce giant Rakuten, has begun accepting bitcoin payments for its shipping services.
  • August 11, 2014 – Bitcoin firm Payza launched bitcoin buying operations.
  • August 10, 2014 – The head of ETF and vice president of transaction services for Nasdaq OMX, David LaValle, argues that Bitcoin ETF is a win-win solution for traders, investors, the exchange and the issuer.
  • August 9, 2014 – Michael Dell tweeted that Dell received an order that was paid for with more than 85 bitcoin      (approximately $50,000)

On the Dark Side …

You know you’ve made it when there is a conspiracy theory surrounding a concept or event that you are involved with. A new group emerged that claims that bitcoin is run and operated by the CIA or NSA.  The European Banking Authority has asked for supervisory authorities to discourage banks and credit unions from dealing in virtual currencies.

 

  • August 14, 2014 – Gavin Anderson, a well-known Bitcoin developer, said “I suspect many of [the Bitcoin cloud mining companies] will turn out to be Ponzi schemes.”
  • August 14, 2014 – The European Banking Authority, the EBA, has called on national supervisory authorities to discourage banks and credit institutions from buying, holding or selling virtual currencies.
  • August 13, 2014 – The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a new warning to US consumers, saying a bit more than “buyer beware” by inviting complaints and stating that it is risky and used by hackers.
  • August 11, 2014 – A hacker with access to a Canadian internet provider hijacked net traffic from large foreign networks to steal more than $83,000 US in virtual currency over a four-month period
  • August 9, 2014 – A group that claims to track the activities of government organizations alleges that bitcoin is a project run by the US National Security Agency (NSA) or Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

 

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Latest Insights: 

The Which Apps Do They Want Study analyzes survey data collected from 1,045 American consumers to learn how they use merchant apps to enhance in-store shopping experiences, and their interest in downloading more in the future. Our research covered consumers’ usage of in-app features like loyalty and rewards offerings and in-store navigation, helping to assess how merchants can design apps to distinguish themselves from competitors.

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