October 7, 2014 - In This Issue:




The Sky is Not Falling: Reflections on My 16 Months in Bitcoin

It's been a little over 16 months since I first set foot in my first bitcoin convention in late May 2013. As I'd noted in a socalTECH post right after I returned, I thought bitcoin and cryptocurrency was poised to grow dramatically, disrupt economies and increase in value. It was $120 per bitcoin way back then, down from its "all-time high" barely a month earlier of $266.


The price of bitcoin continued on its downward slope for much of the summer of 2013, weathering such controversies as "would California make the Bitcoin Foundation register as a money transmitter" (no) and "what can you buy with bitcoins" (not very much back then).


I accurately called the 2013 bottom last July at $70, but I couldn't convince my wife to buy 1,000 bitcoins at that price, instead using it as a down payment on a piece of Las Vegas real estate (the rental home we ended up buying is up about 20% in value; the price of bitcoins even at current prices would have been up 500%). Welcome to a mercurial market.


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SNAPCARD Raises $1.5 Million, Launches Bitcoin Payment Processor

Other investors are Crypto-Currency Partners, Great Oaks Ventures, BoostVC, and a long list of prominent Silicon Valley angel investors who helped shape the paths of companies like Square, Twitter, Facebook, Tesla Motors, Groupon, Yelp, and many more.

Ioannis (Yanni) Giannaros, COO and Co-founder of SNAPCARD, said to CCN:

"We're extremely happy to have such amazing support from our investors. They understand the path which we are taking and believe that we can bring awareness by building the infrastructure with the partnerships that we have lined up. We've built the company in a way that it can expand globally - reaching countries that a lot of companies are ignoring at the moment. We we're partnering with companies that can help us realize this goal."

SNAPCARD also launched a digital currency payment processor that provides an easy way for the community to use their digital currencies.


They included Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Ripple in the digital currency processor.

SNAPCARD offers merchants instant digital currency refunds, clean and real-time analytics, auto-conversion from digital to local currency, and many other tools for modern day business owners.


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"Bitcoin to replace gold" says Jon Matonis

Traditionally, assets and commodities which have maintained high values regardless of economic and political conditions as well as serving as securities to fall back on in times of uncertainty have been tangible.


Gold has long since held its place as the default chemical element which can be relied upon for its unfaltering value under all conditions, however the future for secure commodities could well be virtual rather than physical according to Bitcoin Foundation Executive Director Jon Matonis.


Mr. Matonis spoke at the Institute of Directors conference at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London this week, making the bold statement that Bitcoin is an epic revolution which resembles a similar leap forward to that of the printing press.


"When it clicks, we are going to reach an inflection point and Bitcoin will become the new gold" was Mr. Matonis' bold claim.


Mr. Matonis is no anarchistic maverick or youthful upstart, indeed quite the contrary. He is a professional, conservatively-dressed industry professional with an extensive career which includes several senior level executive positions within leading-edge business intelligence, software and communications firms across Britain and North America.


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Blockchain Is Latest Bitcoin Start-Up to Lure Big Investment

The bets that Silicon Valley is placing on Bitcoin are getting bigger.


Even though concerns remain about the digital currency's staying power, Bitcoin start-ups are attracting more dollars from well-known venture capitalists.


In the latest move, Blockchain, a Bitcoin wallet provider and software developer, is expected to announce on Tuesday that it has closed a roughly $30.5 million fund-raising round, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Wicklow Capital. The investment, raised from Blockchain's first round of outside financing, is one of the biggest in the digital currency industry to date.


Since it was founded in 2011, Blockchain, which is based in Britain, has gained respect in the industry for adhering to the virtual currency's original philosophy of anonymity and decentralization. Roger Ver, a libertarian known in some circles as the Bitcoin Jesus, was the first backer and supporter of the company.


The price of one Bitcoin, which reached a peak of about $1,150 last year, fell over the weekend to its lowest point of the year after tumbling 20 percent, to about $286, according to CoinDesk, a virtual currency website. Bitcoin was trading on Monday evening at about $330.


But despite the failure of some Bitcoin-related sites and new regulatory challenges, more than $250 million has been invested in Bitcoin companies, most of that in the last 12 months, according to Wedbush Securities, a financial services firm.


"Over the course of the next 10 years, Bitcoin is going to have a big impact," said Jeremy Liew, a partner at Lightspeed who will join Blockchain's board. "Where is the central nexus of value creation in this whole industry? It has to be the wallet," he said.


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