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Bitcoin Tracker | Week 29
Bitcoin is still narrowly below $600 this week, at $597.46, up from $584.22 on June 12th, according to the PYMNTS.com Bitcoin Price index. Despite the slight increase in trading value, news in the industry this week, some pretty big issues were revealed by when Bitcoin mining poolGhash.io crossed the 51% estimated hashrate distribution share. Cryptocurrencies might not be as “free and fair” as advocates previously touted. A professor at Cornell University even called the 51% share gained by Ghash.io Armageddon. Also, Bolivia may not have made it to the World Cup this year but they did manage to make the news when they announced that any currency not issued from the Bolivian government is banned in the country. But on the plus side you can now use a NFC ready device to pay with bitcoin, which is a whole separate issue of adoption (in the U.S. at least).
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On the Plus Side …
There are more opportunities to travel and pay with bitcoins with the Holiday Inn setting up a trial for bitcoin payments. eGifter and Coinbase found that customers that are paying with bitcoin have purchased more eGift giftcards with higher values than customers that are paying with more traditional methods. Good news came from Asia with Japan announcing that they are not going to be regulating crypto currencies soon and there is a new organization supporting the cause in Singapore.
- June 19, 2014 – A post by Coinbase, focused on eGifter, an online store that allows internet users to purchase electronic gift cards has found that since the two companies partnered, bitcoin customer purchased about four times as many eGift cards in a six month period compared to other customers using the service, the average order value of a customer paying with bitcoin is about three times larger and Customers purchasing with bitcoin are almost twice as likely to purchase an eGift card from a mobile device.
- June 19, 2014 – It is looking like Japan is going to stop short of regulating bitcoin after a panel that was looking into cryptocurrencies decided that regulation was not necessary. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party also said Thursday that no single government agency should be appointed to oversee the digital currency.
- June 19, 2014 – Bitcoin Foundation is looking for volunteers to join their ‘Standards Committee’, responsible for establishing a Unicode symbol for bitcoin.
- June 18, 2014 – Newnote Financial Corp has entered into a strategic partnership with Ackroo Inc., a loyalty and rewards technology and services provider.
The companies will pool resources to develop integration of Newnote’s
crypto-currency technology with Ackroo’s gift card, loyalty and rewards
solution which will offer another payment option to Ackroo’s growing
network of over 800 merchant locations across Canada.
- June 18, 2014 – The Beef O’Brady Bowl in St. Petersburg, Florida is no longer and now the annual post season football game will be known as the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl part of a sponsorship deal signed between bitcoin payment processor BitPay and ESPN Events.
- June 17, 2014 – Digital River has announced that bitcoin will be accepted as a payment option for merchants that are selling online in the US and using the company’s small to mid-sized commerce solution.
- June 16, 2014 – BitGo™, the leading Bitcoin security platform, today announced it has raised $12 million in Series A financing led by Silicon Valley venture
capital firm Redpoint Ventures.
- June 16, 2014 – Since Apple lifted their ban on bitcoin apps a new app, Coin Pocket, which lets users sent bitcoins to iPads and iPhones, has climbed the app charts.
- June 16, 2014 – Charlie Shrem’s ankle bracelet isn’t preventing him from leading a pilot campaign for Holiday Inn to accept bitcoin.
- June 16, 2014 – Venture capitalists are investing in bitcoin at a faster pace than before.
- June 16, 2014 – Bitcoin businesses in Singapore now have a new group to promote their cause, with the formation of the Association of Crypto-Currency Enterprises and Start-ups, Singapore.
- June 16, 2014 – The King’s College, a Christian liberal arts school in New York City, announced on Friday (June 13) that it has entered into an agreement with Coin.co, making it the first accredited college in the United States to accept Bitcoin for tuition, other expenses, and donations.
- June 15, 2014 – NFC and bitcoin are finally together. Sigsafe is an electronic key that allows bitcoin transactions between near-field communication (NFC) devices.
On the Dark Side …
Many bitcoin advocates have said that traditional payment processors should be shaking in their boots, worried about the potential impact that is soon to hit their businesses. But we’re not seeing that from the leading executives. David Nelms, the chief executive officer of Discover Financial services told Bloomberg News that he is a bit skeptical and “[Other things pose] a lot more potential threats or opportunities than Bitcoin.” In line with Nelms is Nobel Prize winning economist who is also not making great bets on bitcoin.
- June 19, 2014 – The “Bitcoin Jesus” isn’t offering much of value, currently a passport and citizenship in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, which has very little value for U.S. citizens.
- June 19, 2014 – Payment processors and companies that may stand to have their models disrupted by cryptocurrencies, don’t seem to be that worried.
- June 19, 2014 – El Banco Central de Bolivia, the Bolivian Central Bank, has banned any form of currency or coin not issued or regulated by the Bolivian government.
- June 18, 2014 – Nobel Prize winning economist, Bob Shiller, said that cryptocurrencies still have great value instability which he believes is a big obstacle. He said that a lot of the attention is there because bitcoin is so speculative but “what we really need are some sober, banker types who are stable and boring, not exciting”.
- June 18, 2014 – Global Banking firm, HSBC, said that a post referencing interns that are bitcoin savvy, didn’t come from the bank.
- June 18, 2014 – Cornell University researchers found that a majority (51%) of mining for a cryptocurrency can be held by one group, specifically by Ghash.io. This ownership which proves that the basic idea that cryptocurrencies are decentralized, may not necessarily be true. There is need for a new system that would end the money-making collectives and return fairness and stability to the crypto currency.
- June 18, 2014 – The list of people who are bidding on the bitcoins that are being auctioned by United States Marshals Service this month was leaked.