December 26, 2014 - In This Issue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bitcoin Companies to Showcase the World of Bitcoin at CES 2015

Bitcoin on the Verge

 

Emily Vaughn, Marketing Manager at BitPay and organizer of the World of Bitcoin said in a recent press release:


 

"Bitcoin is rapidly redefining financial and commercial paradigms. The showcase represents some of the top talent in Bitcoin technology and will provide a unique experience for the 170,000 CES attendees."


 

BitPay is not the only Bitcoin payment platform in the world but it is certainly making its presence felt in the virtual currency marketplace.  The company recently began processing payments for the software giant Microsoft and debuted its NFC enabled payment app at Money20/20. BitPay and ESPN also reinvent the identity of the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl, held annually in St. Petersburg, Florida, as the Bitcoin Bowl that will be held on December 26.

 

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Aspen Institute Walter Isaacson CEO Sees A Bitcoin Micropayment Disruption Coming

Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute, recently published an article on LinkedIn called Big Idea 2015: The Coming Micropayment Disruption. Isaacson envisions the current barriers to microtransactions being broken down by Bitcoin and similar innovations. What makes his piece interesting is that it hits on the points many in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency communities have known for a long time. No burdensome credit card fees and hurdles to making small impulse purchases difficult and costly. Bitcoin microtransactions can also help the publishing industry.

 

 

An easy micropayment system for digital content could help save journalism. At the moment, most news sites are either beholden to advertisers or force readers to buy a subscription. Digital coins would add another option: people could click and pay a few pennies for an article. Frictionless coin systems that allowed us to buy digital content on impulse would support journalists who want to cater to their readers rather than just to advertisers. It would encourage news sites to produce content that is truly valued by users rather than churn out clickbait that aggregates eyeballs for advertisers.

 

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The gold rush days of bitcoin mining are over, and not because of the price

For all the volatility in bitcoin pricing, 2014 may be looked back on as a year when bitcoin began to move past the proof-of-concept stage and toward a mainstream market. Some 6.6 million bitcoin wallets have been set up so far this year, according to Coindesk, a fivefold increase over 2013. And 75,000 merchants now accept the digital currency, including giants like Dell, Expedia and Overstock.

 

But one area of the bitcoin economy is maturing much faster than the others, to the point where profits are increasingly harder to come by and consolidation and diversification are already happening: the mining of bitcoins. For years, bitcoins were mined largely by a far-flung network of desktop hobbyists. But increasingly, a smaller group of companies building large data centers set up for the sole task of mining new bitcoins.

 

Although "mining" is a throwback to pre-digital era of pickaxes and gold pans, bitcoins are mined in a unique way, by harnessing computing power to confirm transactions on a public ledger and increase security on the network. Miners compete not only to confirm transactions but to solve calculations that typically grow more difficult over time. The details of the process can be arcane, but the end result for miners is clear: rewards in transaction fees and freshly minted bitcoins.

 

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Bitcoin Acceptance Rising with Merchants

In an email correspondence with CCN, BitPay stated that over 4,400 of its merchant keep all settlements in bitcoin, close to 18,000 keep some in bitcoin, and 22,000 convert to fiat. BitPay is the largest bitcoin payment processor and the first to the market, enjoying #1 million bitcoin transactions every day.

 

Overstock was one of the first companies to accept bitcoin, and stated that 10% of bitcoin purchases are kept in the currency. The company aims to hold $6 million per month in bitcoin revenue. Amagi Metals recently announced that it would only accept bitcoin and other crypto-currencies for gold and other valuable metal purchases from 2016.

 

Bitcoin acceptance is rapidly increasing. Very few businesses accepted bitcoin last year when $80 million was invested in bitcoin companies. There is now half a billion dollars in bitcoin companies. The list of companies accepting bitcoin this year includes PayPal, Mozilla, Expedia, Newegg, Overstock, and Microsoft.

 

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Bitcoin Forecast 2015: Four Powerful Trends Will Deliver a Pivotal Year

The Bitcoin forecast for 2015 includes major strides toward the promise we've heard about for more than a year.

 

"The Bitcoin industry is moving faster than any one person can fully comprehend," said Money Morning Defense & Tech Specialist Michael Robinson. "I believe 2015 will mark a turning point in the brief history of this fast-growing virtual currency."

 

Look at how far Bitcoin has come in just five years. Created in 2009, only a handful of techies were aware of it for the first two years it existed.

In 2014, the amount of venture capital that poured into Bitcoin startups reached $311.23 million. That's more than triple the $93.84 million invested in 2013.

 

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