Bitcoin Tracker | Week 12
To ignite or not to ignite, that is the question. Well, Market Platform Dynamics Founder David Evans says, well, it actually hasn’t. And to prove it, he created pictures that compared the adoption of mPesa in Kenya and Bitcoin worldwide. Let’s just say the line for the former looks like a hockey stick, and the one for the latter looks almost completely flat. But just like you don’t know you’ve reached an inflection point until you’re thru it, he says “no one really knows for sure that it is a bubble until it has burst.” And last week, in particular, with the continuation of the hack attacks and closures of the exchanges and the devaluation of said Bitcoin, well, let’s just say that it wasn’t the best of weeks for that cryptocurrency.
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On the Plus Side …
Many an entrepreneur is working hard to buff the reputation of Bitcoin from criminal currency to the currency of tipping and donations and making it female friendly. One group even went so far as to say that it could be PayPal 2.0. We’re starting to see Bitcoin ATMs in the US, including one here in Boston. Some even claim that cryptocurrencies may become the Web’s standard for the gift economy.
- February 20, 2014 – Bitcoin Beauties promotes the use of digital currencies by women, encouraging women to talk Bitcoin since one researcher from the University College London found that more than 95% of Bitcoin users are male.
- February 20, 2014 – The Penn State Bitcoin Club is working to advocate the use of cryptocurrency for the greater good in a valiant effort to fight the Bitcoin legacy of another Penn State Grad, Ross Ulbricht (aka Dred Pirate Roberts) from the Silk Road.
- February 19, 2014 – Bitcoin ATMs are landing in the U.S., in Austin, in time for SXSW and in Boston at South Station.
- February 19, 2014 – The Twins are at it again, the Winklevoss brothers offer an index to track the price of Bitcoin, the Winkdex, which is set to be traded on public stock exchanges.
- February 19, 2014 – The CEO of Blockchain makes a Bitcoin gift to the University of Puget Sound, the first Bitcoin contribution to higher education in the US.
- February 19, 2014 – Bitcoin could become the go-to currency for digital tipping. According to an informal survey, users ranked gifts and donations as their most frequent transactions (but what are they buying???).
- February 18, 2014 – A WSJ Tech Columnist spent the day shopping and paying with Bitcoin. Let’s just say that a lot of cupcakes were consumed.
- February 18, 2014 – The first Bitcoin sales kiosk opened in the U.S.at a cigar bar in Albuquerque.
- February 18, 2014 – Stanford Bitcoin Group, founded by Stanford scholars, says Bitcoin offers promise and outlined the strengths and weaknesses of the system. The group used the comparison of Bitcoin to PayPal to suggest what may happen in the future.
- February 18, 2014 – Silk Road 2.0 promised to repay Bitcoins stolen last week.
- February 17, 2014 – eGifter.com allows shoppers to pay for digital gift cards in bitcoins straight from the checkout line at national retail chains using a mobile app. eGifter uses Bitcoin wallet Coinbase to process the transactions.
- February 17, 2014 – A Swedish Bitcoin online processing exchange, Safello, has received $600,000 in seed money and is moving aggressively/ They have transacted over $1 million in turnovers since September.
On the Dark Side …
We’re from the government, and we’re here to take your bitcoins. Yes, it’s true, the government can confiscate your bitcoins even if they are earned legally. Uh oh. There was still the uncertainty over when people could withdraw their hard earned bitcoin from Mt. Gox and a sharp plunge in valuation of the virtual currency. Another government warning came, this time from the Middle East.
- February 20, 2014 – Bitcoin investors continue to be distressed by Mt. Gox delays and the inability to withdraw bitcoins and convert them into U.S. dollars.
- February 19, 2014 – Israel said it was considering regulating Bitcoin and warned its citizens that using decentralized virtual currencies is risky.
- February 19, 2014 – Bank of Montreal shut down Bitcoin business accounts, Cointrader reported that BMO was the last remaining Bitcoin friendly charter bank in Canada.
- February 18, 2014 – The U.S. Feds say that they can take your Bitcoin even if they are earned legally.
- February 14, 2014 – Silk Road 2.0 was wiped out by the “transaction malleability” flaw that struck other exchanges, stealing $2.7 million from Silk Road customers. Perhaps this is more of a victory than a bust for the Feds!