Bitcoin Tracker | Week 28
It’s starting to feel like summer! And, now you can book that summer vacation on Expedia using bitcoin! Bitcoin dropped down to below $600 this week, to $584.22 after climbing over the $600 mark to reach $644.13 on June 6th, according to the PYMNTS.com Bitcoin Price index. Despite the slight decline in trading value, news in the industry has been pretty positive this week. This week, PYMNTS.com had a chance to catch up with Adam White at Coinbase to get a bit more scoop on the merchant subsidies made possible when merchants accept bitcoin and escape paying interchange. Not enough activity to move any big needles yet, but we’ve seen the impact of “cash back” in moving consumers to a particular payments instrument. Not a bad idea. And, bitcoin is ‘in’ in Argentina, which may not necessarily be a vote of confidence. This is the country that has mega restrictions on foreign currencies. At least bitcoin can’t be detected by the dogs walking thru the streets trained to sniff out dollar bills stashed in suitcases – you think we’re kidding.
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On the Plus Side …
Bitcoin is generating a buzz across the globe from increasing in popularity in Argentina, to ATMs being installed in Israel and Spain. Expedia now accepts payments for hotel bookings via bitcoin and Capital One is searching for data experts who are well versed in bitcoin, looking to hire analysts to observe and analyze the new, disruptive, technologies.
- June 12, 2014 – There are now 130 physical merchants in Argentina, that accept bitcoin and the number of downloads of bitcoin software has also increased. Governments, not surprisingly are now getting nervous about the use of cryptocurrencies.
- June 12, 2014 – Whoa! Tim Byun, the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing officer at Visa left to join BitPay as Chief Compliance Officer
- June 12, 2014 – Don’t like mining and don’t want to be a minor. There’s an entrepreneur for that. You can outsource mining to HashPlex.
- June 12, 2014 – Coinbase announced merchant discounts, a new feature that allows merchants to offer discounts for customers who pay in bitcoin.
- June 12, 2014 – WSJ’s Norb Vonnegut explained how bitcoin can be used to send money in a pinch to remote locations.
- June 12, 2014 – Ripple LatAm opened in Latin America to make remittance, cross-border payment sending easier.
- June 12, 2014 – CoinVox was created to make bitcoin donations to politicians easier.
- June 12, 2014 – PayPal issued surveys that asked questions about bitcoin and how people rate PayPal against bitcoin.
- June 11, 2014 – Expedia has now added bitcoin payment acceptance for hotel booking on the site. When selecting the option to pay with bitcoin, customers will be directed to a separate website to checkout with Coinbase.
- June 11, 2014 – Both Google and Yahoo! have added bitcoin prices to their financial networks. We still think our index is better.
- June 11, 2014 – A company has emerged in Spain to make digital currency available to everyone. Iberobit has ordered three Bitcoin ATMs and is working to make Spain bitcoin friendly.
- June 11, 2014 – The Middle East has a two-way capable bitcoin ATM after one was installed in Tel Aviv. Israel residents now don’t have to go through online exchanges to use bitcoin.
- June 10, 2014 – REEDS Jewelers, one of the country’s largest jewelry store chains announced that they will accept payment via bitcoin in all retail locations and online.
- June 10, 2014 – Saul Klein, a venture capitalist that has held positions at Skype and co-founder of Kano and Seedcamp, announced that he is increasingly drawn to virtual currencies, saying “It’s very, very transformational”.
- June 9, 2014 – Capital One Financial Corp. is looking for data scientists with Bitcoin knowledge.
On the Dark Side …
Here’s a bitcoin use case for you. PF Chang’s customers whose cards were stolen can now go online and buy their credit card information back with bitcoin. And, a new software is in the works to create a business model for monetizing whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, which has been speculated could spark yet another use case for bitcoin.
- June 13, 2014 – After a data breach that struck PF Chang’s that resulted in the loss of sensitive customer financial information, credit card information of the customers is on sale online, with one site accepting bitcoin for payment.
- June 11, 2014 – A prototype of a software has been developed to create a black market for leaked data. PayPub has as all the features necessary to facilitate a new model of anonymous, for-profit online leaking.
- June 11, 2014 – After six months of accepting bitcoin, Ink Factory says that bitcoin is not fit for retail.
- June 10, 2014 – The Italian Parliament is going to hold two hearings on the risks, promises and opportunities associated with digital currency.
- June 6, 2014 – The Better Business Bureau has issued a consumer warning for Cointerra.
- June 6, 2014 – Bitcoin trading platform, Bitfinex, is distancing itself from Bitstamp’s order books to withdraw the arbitraging platform that has developed between Bitstamp and Bitfinex.