March 24, 2016- In This Issue:



Why Latin American economies are turning to bitcoin
The economic prospects for Latin America in 2016 are grim. With political instability in some of the region's largest economies, as well as a general slump in prices in oil and other commodities, businesses and consumers are facing a depression and, in the case of Venezuela, economic collapse. The crash of the Chinese stock market has severely hurt the economy, as well - China is the No. 1 commercial partner for several countries in the region.

Many Latin Americans are turning to bitcoin as a solution, and the recent crises seem only to have accelerated adoption.

Bitcoin transactions jump following consensus on how to scale the currency
 On the February 23, 2016, bitcoin saw the highest number of bitcoin transactions so far in a single day. According to a tracking graph on Blockchain.info, there were about 260,578 transactions in the day.

The highest peak before this was in October, 2015, when about 241,346 transactions were carried out in a single day.

This February surge came just a few days after representatives of the bitcoin mining community, core developers, and entrepreneurs met in Hong Kong and arrived at a consensus on how to move forward with scaling the bitcoin block size.

It is easy to interpret the rise in transactions as a result of the confidence that the consensus has injected into the bitcoin market.

For some time now, it has been a general belief that the seemingly never-ending wrangling within the bitcoin community on how to scale the bitcoin network is affecting the image of bitcoin negatively.

Forbes Cover CEO Ola Doudin Talks Building Bitcoin Support in Dubai
The Middle East isn't typically considered a hotbed for bitcoin, but that hasn't stopped entrepreneur Ola Doudin from generating local interest.

The founder of bitcoin wallet and exchange BitOasis, Doudin graced the cover of Forbes Middle East in January in an issue where the startup was ranked 19th on a list of the most promising UAE-based startups.

Doudin was lauded alongside co-founder Daniel Robenek for the firm's dedication to spreading awareness of the emerging technology in the market. Since then, BitOasis has released a steady stream of updates to its service, offering the ability for users to withdraw bitcoin to bank accounts and launching iPhone and iPad wallets.

However, BitOasis perhaps made its biggest splash internationally last month when it revealed it had completed a proof-of-concept with commodity marketplace tech provider Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC) in what might be the first test of the technology by a major regional financial institution.

Las Vegas Sees Increased Bitcoin Distribution
Bitcoin distribution in Las Vegas has broad appeal. Vegas and bitcoin seem destined for each other as more businesses accept payments in the cryptocurrency. Las Vegas is one of the world's most popular gaming and entertainment destinations. Over the past few years, more Vegas visitors exchange bitcoins for everything Sin City has to offer, including casinos, restaurants, limos, hotels, boats, bachelorette parties, and escort services.

Bitcoin distribution is happening because sellers want to make it easier for buyers to use the digital currency. Bitcoin ATMs make it easier for users to spend digital currency and make "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" a reality. Two-way bitcoin ATMs in South Las Vegas and Henderson NV were announced earlier this year. Users can buy or sell the cryptocurrency at starting rates of 7 percent buy and 5 percent sell. CCN previously reported on Mike Tyson's branded ATM machines and b wallet.

Some mainstream historic Freemont Street Vegas establishments, including Derek Stevens' Golden Gate Hotel & Casino and D Las Vegas Casino Hotel, are enjoying greater profits as a result. It's possible to pay in BTC at the hotel front desk, shops & facilities here and has been for over two years. Speaking to VegasNews.com, he spoke about Bitcoin's influence toward his hotel business:

[The hotel] has definitely seen more business as a result [of bitcoin's acceptance].

Microsoft apologizes: We still accept bitcoin
Technology company Microsoft was forced to apologize on Monday, after accidentally announcing that it would no longer accept bitcoin.

Contrary to an earlier statement, Microsoft users can still use the virtual currency to buy content in the Windows and Xbox stores. Earlier on Monday, the software giant mistakenly suggested it had stopped accepting payment in bitcoin.

"We apologize for inaccurate information that was inadvertently posted to a Microsoft site, which is currently being corrected," a spokesman told CNBC.

A now-deleted post on Microsoft's website indicated there was no more bitcoin for Windows 10 and Windows 10 mobile users. The post was picked up by tech site Softpedia Sunday and sent the technology blogsphere buzzing.

"You can no longer redeem Bitcoin into your Microsoft account," the errant post read. "Existing balances in your account will still be available for purchases from Microsoft Store, but can't be refunded."

Can Bitcoin Redefine Democracy?
In 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz convinced someone to accept the 10,000 Bitcoins he had mined in exchange for two pizzas. In those distant days, Hanyecz estimated that each Bitcoin his computer had earned through mining was worth a fraction of a cent. Today, 1 Bitcoin equals to $437, thus Hanyecz's pizza purchase would be worth about $4,367,900.00 in today's money.

Hanyecz's transaction that day marks as the first transaction ever made with Bitcoins. Today, from my living room in Milan, I can send €100 worth of Bitcoins to Kyoto only by generating a QR code from my smartphone. This means that any recipient in Japan with their Bitcoin wallet ready to scan that code would be able to claim the money, which usually happens in seconds. If you are still asking "Why would I prefer this type of money transfer to my brick and mortar bank?" the answer is: Bitcoin gives you the opportunity to transfer money in minutes and for free (or for an infinitesimal mining fee if you want your transaction to be confirmed within a reasonable length of time). Do you know a bank that does that?