Merchant Innovation

Bitcoin Tracker | Week 25

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Could bitcoin be settling down? Will the Fed regulate it? Do consumers pay more when they use it? Oh, where can bitcoin now be used that might surprise you? Get caught up in this weeks, bitcoin news.

PYMNTS.com Bitcoin Price and Volatility index.

Follow 282 Cryptocurrencies here: http://coinmarketcap.com/ .

 

Bitcoin Tracker | Week 25

Bitcoin has actually been fairly stable in these last couple of weeks, causing the world to proclaim that stability has finally arrived. Bitcoin prices rose up to 519.72 this week after trading at 445.83 on May 15th, according to the PYMNTS.com Bitcoin Price index. Of course, bitcoin was stable at $1100 too for a few weeks in 2013 until the bottom dropped out. But just think, it’s been two years since the pizzas paid for in Bitcoin required 10,000 to settle a $40 tab. Just think, today, those 10,000 could buy the pizza shop (worth about $5,190,000 at current prices). And that’s part of the problem that Harvard Business School professor, Ben Edelman cited in his piece this week. The volatility gives consumers the heebie jeebies plus costs them more. They bear the exchange risk and have to pay money to trade dollars for bitcoin which also means that they probably pay more than face value for the product. But, Wences Cesares says that only matters to developed country consumers – developing country consumers will suck it up. Yeah, tell that to the Argentinians who really, really like the good old greenback.

Don’t forget, if you have any news you’d like to share, please send it our way at contactus@pymnts.com.

On the Plus Side …

Bitcoin crossed went north of $500 and may be showing signs of stability after hitting an all time high of $1,000 back in November of 2013. While many of the first generation businesses related to Bitcoin have failed (like Mt.Gox) the second wave of companies are taking a strong stance, backed with venture capital funding and new partnerships with unlikely partners, like gold advocates. More and more opportunities to use Bitcoin for normal goods are emerging, even at grocery stores in New Zealand and concerts in the Midwest.

  • May 22,2014 –Later this month Denmark is expected to get a new Bitcoin exchange that promises future clients a crime-free platform on which to trade the virtual currency.
  • May 22, 2014 – Cryptor Latam, an investment firm and think tank dealing in crypto assets and currencies has announced their first public sale of shares. All of the shares corporate documents are legally denominated in Bitcoin
  • May 22, 2014 – A new platform, Cheers, lets users tip street musicians and their favorite artists with Bitcoin.
  • May 22, 2014 – Peter Schiff, a gold advocate and investor who is known for his dislike of Bitcoin, announced that his firm, Euro Pacific Precious Metals will pair with Bitcoin payment processor BitPay in order to allow investors to buy gold and silver through Euro Pacific by using the digital currency.
  • May 22, 2014 – Two members of the Japanese Parliament have expressed interest in Bitcoin and have been attending interest groups.
  • May 22, 2014 – Las Vegas has its first Bitcoin ATM.
  • May 22, 2014 – This date marks Bitcoin Pizza Day, marking the 2 year anniversary of when a Florida man was able to order two pizzas and pay for it with Bitcoin.
  • May 22, 2014 – In overnight trading (in the U.S. that is) Bitcoin crossed the 500 threshold.
  • May 21, 2014 – New Zealand has a Bitcoin only grocery store.
  • May 21, 2014 – Investor and web pioneer, Marc Andreessen, thinks that in 20 years we’ll see Bitcoin as an influential platform.
  • May 21, 2014 – Coinbase and Budweiser have paired up be able to use Bitcoin to pay at participating concession stands during the Budweiser Made In America (BMIA) series.
  • May 20, 2014 – Wences Casares, founder and CEO of bitcoin startup Xapo believes that developing countries will support Bitcoin growth because the developing world is unfazed by the volatility, unlike the developed world.
  • May 19, 2014 – Circle Internet Financial and its investing enthusiast founder Jeremy Allaire has put $26 million dollars behind a platform that allows for the free storing, buying and paying with bitcoin.

 

On the Dark Side …

The Federal Reserve is having second thoughts about the need to regulate Bitcoin and thinks that there is the need for federal regulation. An executive board member at the European Central Bank still believes that there is considerable legal uncertainty behind Bitcoin and believes that many users are unaware of the risks. And the dark lord of cryptocurrencies, Darkcoin, is booming. It appears that the rapid growth of a virtual currency that offers greater anonymity then Bitcoin may make a lot of regulators and government officials very, very nervous.

  • May 22, 2014 – Bitcoin’s dark cousin, Darkcoin, has increased in value tenfold.
  • May 22, 2014 – Now the Federal Reserve thinks that they may have to regulate Bitcoin. Minutes from a Federal Reserve Advisory Committee meeting in early May indicate that the Fed’s position on this subject may be evolving and that a need for federal bitcoin regulation is emerging.
  • May 21, 2014 – Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer wrote a lengthy letter to the United States Federal Government asking for 1 Bitcoin per hour he has been incarcerated.
  • May 20, 2014 – Harvard Business School Associate Professor, Ben Edelman, is not convinced that consumers will actually want to use Bitcoin, since it actually costs them more than face value of the goods they are buying to pay with the cryptocurrency.
  • May 19, 2014 – U.S. authorities announced that they are opening the investigation into Bitcoin exchanges and other businesses that deal in the currency.
  • May 19, 2014 – Yves Mersch, an executive board member with the European Central Bank said that Bitcoin users face considerable legal uncertainty, and many are unaware of the risks surrounding the virtual currency

 

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