August 22, 2014 - In This Issue:


How Bitcoin might transform international payments - a lifeline for millions

 

     It's September, 13th, 2008. One of the most powerful men in America is about to foresee an earthquake in the financial system, something that will change the world. 

 

     Jamie Dimon, the head of JP Morgan Chase, has seen it all-but even he has to steel himself for this moment. "You are about to experience the most unbelievable week in America," he says over the phone to his employees.

 

     Tomorrow, the headlines will screech about Lehman Brothers' impending demise. A recession will question a central premise of modern economics: that we had it all figured out.

 

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Update: Overstock Expanding Bitcoin Adoption

      Late yesterday, Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) announced that it is preparing to allow international customers to pay in Bitcoin. This move will make Overstock the biggest merchant to extend the crypto-currency option beyond the United States market. CEO Patrick Byrne said that starting on September 1, Overstock will make the option available on its international website.

 

     Previously, Mr. Byrne announced that the integration of Bitcoin would add $0.04 per share to its earnings this year. Since it began accepting Bitcoin in January of this year, payments have exceeded $2 million so far. Furthermore, management previously had guided for Bitcoin payments to total between $6 million and $8 million in 2014. With international sales integrating Bitcoin as well, there is certainly a possibility of OSTK beating that guidance.

 

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New York City's First Bitcoin ATM Is Boring

     Earlier today, I became one of the first people in New York City to turn cash into Bitcoin at an ATM. It was remarkable only in that it was completely unremarkable.

 

     Like, I might as well be telling you about the time I went to the ATM at the laundromat the other day (it was cash only and I was $.75 short picking up my laundry)-oops, I already did.

 

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First bitcoin ATM opens for business in Manhattan

    Manhattan's first bitcoin ATM launched Thursday in the historic West Village - prompting a few curious onlookers to open their digital wallets on the spot.

 

    The Lamassu-made machine, which costs a cool $6,500, was installed at Flat 128, a luxury store on Christopher Street that sells UK-styled jewelry and home goods.

 

    The machine allows people to insert cash to be transferred to their bitcoin wallets.

 

     One caveat: The ATM (or BTM, bitcoin teller machine) is currently a one-way street that only allows cash in - not out.

 

     That could change in the coming months, however, as Lamassu plans to release software that will let the machines exchange cyber currency for cash, said founder Zach Harvey.

 

     The BTM's one-way policy didn't deter River Edge, NJ, resident Chuong Nguyen-Thanh from losing his bitcoin "virginity" to the machine during a lunch outing on Thursday.

 

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Bitcoin API Developer Chain Raises $9.5m in Funding

     Block-chain API provider Chain has raised new investment of $9.5m, bringing its total funding so far to $13.7m.

 

     The company, which helps developers build bitcoin apps by providing fast access to the block chain, received the funding from a number of investors including Kevin Ryan, Barry Silbert, Scott Banister, Homebrew, 500 Startups and Pantera Capital.

 

     The round was led by Khosla Ventures, which was started by Vinod Khosla, a co-founder of computer giant Sun Microsystems.

 

     With the announcement, Chain has also gained a new board member, Keith Rabois, who is part of the so-called 'PayPal Mafia', having formerly been an executive at the company. Rabois is currently a partner at Khosla Ventures and has previously held the positions of COO at Square and vice president of business and corporate development at LinkedIn.

 

     Some of those who contributed to Chain's seed round of $4.2m have returned to top up the latest round, including RRE Ventures, Thrive Capital and SV Angel.

 

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