February 11 ,2015- In This Issue:

 

Bitnet Partnership Opens Up 260 Airlines to Bitcoin Payments

Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP), a payment network owned by major international airlines such as American Airways, British Airways and Lufthansa, has partnered with bitcoin payment processor Bitnet.

 

The integration allows over 260 of UATP's airlines to accept bitcoin through Bitnet, starting today. Introduced in 1936, UATP is credited with issuing the first-ever charge card. As of 2014, the company processes around $14bn in payments from corporate customers, travel agents and retail consumers.

 

Additional UATP merchants include JetBlue, Qantas, US Airways and United Airlines.

 

Akif Khan, vice president of solutions strategy at Bitnet, said he expects the airline's clients to enable the payment method given the high cost of credit card processing, challenges with fraud mitigation and the need for improved cross-border payment tools.

 

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Bitcoin Coming Into Its Own

 

Bitcoin which began in January 2009 is a relatively new concept. The iPad just began in 2010 and now tablets are everywhere. But with Bitcoin, it's kind of hard to readily accept especially with a lot of real money and resources riding on it. But that's actually what gives it value, the actual money and resources behind it is substantial and continues to grow. Bitcoin has had its ups and downs. Since it's basically software, subject to bugs and hacks but through its growing community, the currency has somewhat stabilized earning the confidence of many individuals, organizations and companies.

 

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Forget Price, Here's How Bitcoin Really Performed in 2014

Some of the folks at BitPay have just released the stats of 2014's Bitcoin performance - the numbers that get less fanfare than the price, but are no less indicative of the currency's prospects.

Aggregated and hashed are:

  • Countries with highest use
  • Big-name merchant acceptance
  • Trading volume
  • Number of active wallets
  • Venture capital investment

Bitcoin's Hotbeds

Bitcoin is used all over the world, but there are some areas that see higher concentrations of activity. The five countries where Bitcoin is used most are the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Overall merchant adoption

 

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Coming to Africa: Bitcoin Ready to Invade


 

Western society has a tendency to focus on how Bitcoin and the world, revolve around them in domestic terms. Bitcoin has been a very exciting investment opportunity, with five years of unprecedented growth, followed by one year of epic drops in dollar value. It has mostly made its name based on that history alone, but Bitcoin is much more than a mere high-risk, high-yield investment. This is especially true in developing nations and emerging markets. The naysayers and pessimists in particular always fail to see the forest through the trees when it comes to Bitcoin, and its global growth potential.

"Why believe in Bitcoin?" Because Africa and the world need Bitcoin more than ever

Africa represents many perceptions to many people. What is undeniable is that it is an emerging market, ripe for extensive development, especially economically. Proof of this has been shown in Kenya, one of the more developed African nations. Kenya could represent any economically developing nation whether it is in Latin America, Indonesia or Europe. Long before Americans and Brits were learning how to transfer digital currency on their smartphones, Kenyans were doing it every day, in the real world, with great success.

 

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Pantera Leads $1.1 Million Funding for African Bitcoin Startup BitPesa

Kenya-based bitcoin services provider BitPesa has raised $1.1m as part of a new funding round led by hedge fund Pantera Capital.

 

Additional participants in the round included VC firms Bitcoin Opportunity Corp, Crypto Currency Partners, Future/Perfect Ventures and Stephens Investment Management.

 

BitPesa CEO Elizabeth Rossiello explained that funding comes at a time when the nine-member team is still evolving its core services and seeking to identify the target consumers for whom the offering will be most appealing.

 

The service currently enables the exchange of bitcoin for Kenyan Shillings, and allows users in Kenya and Ghana to send fiat funds to popular mobile money wallets.

 

Rossiello told CoinDesk

"We've had our heads down building a solid product, and now we're hiring to grow. A big part of that is expanding our team to help us grow in other markets where we see the demand."

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Why two more Albany area businesses are installing Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoins are a decentralized digital currency that is not issued through a bank, meaning it is all based online. The automated machines turn traditional money into virtual currency. One bitcoin is currently worth $218.60.

 

Tesoros Cafe at 1712 Union St. in Schenectady and The Fortunate Cup at 120 West Ave. in Saratoga Springs are among the few area cafes that will install the ATMs.

 

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