January 12,2015- In This Issue:










State of Bitcoin 2015: Ecosystem Grows Despite Price Decline


CoinDesk is pleased to announce the latest quarterly State of Bitcoin report, featuring a 2014 Year in Review, an in-depth analysis of data and events from the fourth quarter of 2014 and a look ahead to what 2015 might bring. 


Overall, 2014 could be characterized as a 'Tale of Two Bitcoins'.


On the one hand, significant bitcoin venture investment continued and much progress was made in furthering adoption, particularly in bitcoin payment acceptance by big brand names such as Microsoft and Dell.


On the other hand, early on in 2014, the collapse of Mt Gox dealt a crippling blow to bitcoin's extraordinary price momentum. Bitcoin's price dropped 67% in 2014 from $951.39 to $309.87 (Slide 7) and so far in 2015 it has plunged a further 18%.

BitHalo Releases Decentralized Escrow Client v2.1 to Rival PayPal, Western Union

BitHalo announces the release of version 2.1 of its decentralized escrow client, adding a new feature that aims to compete directly with companies such as Paypal and Western Union, said the organization in an announcement.


Entitled the "Advanced Payment," the new feature allows simple and secure peer-to-peer payments via email using either Bitcoin or Blackcoin.


The "Advanced Payment" feature is sent from a peer that wishes to contract or send a payment to another. After both parties agree on a password they will use for the pay-to-email transaction, the recipient receives an offer to the email address he/she had provided, followed by helpful instructions to fulfill the procedure and a download link to BitHalo. Upon opening the personal client attributed to the provided email address, the user will have an option to enter the said password and then receive the bitcoin payment.


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 The State Of Bitcoin In 2015 Isn't As Bad As You Were Expecting

The Bitcoin isn't doing so hot price-wise, but the numbers aren't all doom and gloom.


Digital currency news site Coindesk just released its State of Bitcoin 2015 report, covering highlights from the previous year with an emphasis on Q4. While the report noted that the price of a Bitcoin plummeted 85% since January 2014, it also highlighted increased trade, transaction, and venture capital investments in the Bitcoin economy.


In January 2014, a Bitcoin was worth $951.39, the report says. As of this writing, a single Bitcoin is worth less than $300, causing Bloomberg to call Bitcoin the single worst performing currency of 2014. Bitcoins are no longer the star investment that some proponents once considered them, but this may have been good for the Bitcoin economy.


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The Next Big Thing in Bitcoin: Mainstream Adoption by the Back Door

Two interesting projects have emerged recently, which could lead to the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin by the masses of regular consumers who have thus far remained ambivalent towards the digital currency - and all without them even knowing that they are using Bitcoin.


Each of these projects seeks to take Bitcoin's advantages as a fast, low cost and trustless way to make international payments, and use them behind the scenes to improve services for people using national A Fiat currency is a traditional paperback currency that is regulated by an organization such as the central bank. Examples include the Euro, the US dollar and the Australian dollar">fiat currencies such as dollars of euros.


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Overstock.com offers employees all-bitcoin paychecks


NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - Overstock.com Inc. demonstrated a surprisingly high level of commitment to digital currencies Friday with the news that it is planning to offer its employees the option of being paid in bitcoin.


The discount online retailer made the announcement in a release about a new bitcoin ATM that it has installed at its corporate headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.


"Moving cryptocurrencies out of the realm of geeks and into the realm of the rest of us requires making changes at all levels of the financial ecosystem," Chief Executive Patrick Byrne said in the release. "An important part of this effort is making digital money ATMs accessible."


Overstock.com OSTK, +2.71%  has been accepting bitcoin as payment since Jan of 2014. Customers have made $3 million worth of purchases with bitcoin since then. The company says an analysis of the first year of usage indicates that Utah has the second-highest adoption of the currency among U.S. states, after New Hampshire.


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