January 8, 2015 - In This Issue:










BitGold raises $3.5 million from Soros Brothers, Sandstorm Gold

BitGold, which is based in Toronto and announced the funding late last month, uses digital payments to help acquire, store and spend gold. The company is focused on the blockchain technology, which allows for the ". . . decentralized record confirmation and global value transfer." The co-founders of BitGold explain in a news release:

"Blockchain technology has unleashed a wave of payments innovation that will empower people the world over by lowering costs and increasing access to safe and transparent financial services," said co-founder Josh Crumb. "We see gold, the asset bitcoin was designed to mimic, as an important element in this empowerment. The flexibility of the BitGold platform allows gold to be a core savings account coupled with digital currency for seamless global payments, or as a natural-world storage and safety valve for an inevitable internet of money. The internet of money should be rooted in choice and individual empowerment, and we provide that in a flexible and secure platform."



Why Marc Andreessen Will Stand by Bitcoin in 2015

Bitcoin investor Marc Andreessen has said that he stands by Bitcoin. His statements comes in the wake of the poor start that Bitcoin has had in the opening hours and days of 2015. He shared his thoughts with the world via 26 Twitter messages in which he held court on the various arguments that have been made about Bitcoin's poor showing and volatility.


He began his string of tweets by tearing into Bitcoin critics who have used the volatility of the cryptocurrency to assert that Bitcoin is a stupid idea. His rejoinder to those critics was that they were also slamming Bitcoin when it was rising in 2013.


He also trains his guns on the paradigm that Bitcoin was the worst performing currency in 2014. His view was that those who think so, are taking a very narrow period to analyze the performance of Bitcoin. He thinks that they should instead adopt a 2-year window so as to more accurately gauge the performance of Bitcoin. Taking such a window would reveal strong performance over the long-term, especially when it is borne in mind that the price of Bitcoin in January 2013 was below US$14. He says in one of the tweets that "arguments that rely on cherry-picking specific date windows are not very good arguments."


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Features  *  Listicles

6 (More) Bitcoin Myths Debunked

We've all heard them before.


As a groundbreaking innovation, bitcoin naturally attracts skeptics just as strongly as it attracts supporters, and the technical and theoretical complexity of the digital currency can cause a considerable amount of confusion with those who are not 'in the know'.


The result is that critics of bitcoin oftentimes fall back on one or two euphemisms to express why they think it will never succeed - simplified statements like "bitcoin is a ponzi scheme" that higlight often misunderstood characteristics of the digital currency but rarely fully address the situation.


One of the first articles published on CoinDesk was dedicated to debunking these "bitcoin myths", and because they still pervade the industry, we're revisiting the topic.


Here are six (more) bitcoin myths, debunked.




Academic Research on Bitcoin Tripled in 2014


Academia is increasingly focusing on bitcoin, and hundreds of papers on the subject have now been published, according to research by author and alternative finance commentator Brett Scott.

Notably, more than three times as many papers were published in 2014 as in the previous year.


Scott pieced together a database of published research on the digital currency by combing through 16 online repositories, including Google Scholar and academic publishers' websites.


In addition to peer-reviewed research, he included self-published and independent work, theses and "quasi-academic" pieces, among which he counts his own work.


He said he was motivated by personal curiosity to start compiling the database, and also because he was seeking quality research to read himself.


"I wanted a list of deeper, more robust, research pieces that go beyond the standard ideologically-driven pieces about how wonderful or terrible bitcoin is," he said.


Scott embarked on manually gathering the material for his database over Christmas, thinking it would be wrapped up quickly. In the end, the project consumed more than six days of his time, although it also seems to have found an interested audience.


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