Bitcoin in the News

Digital currency as a new norm for banking

Last February 25, 2015, the One Bank Research Agenda was launched by the Bank of England (BOE) with aims of determining the effects of monetary policies to current issues like climate change, life spans, and globalization. It highlighted the benefits of digital currencies and also discussed the possibility of creating a BOE-backed cryptocurrency.  Furthermore, it talked about the likelihood of digital currencies becoming the new norm for banking.


A new norm for banking


The Agenda believes that mobile technology will likely grow more and that it’s the discretion of interested banks to investigate how digital currencies are going to influence the traditional ways of banking. It’s a fact that changes like these would entail technological, regulatory, and economic challenges, thus banks should be prepared to address all of them.

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A Not so Smooth Path for Silk Road



For those not familiar, Silk Road is a defunct digital marketplace for selling and buying illegal goods online like drugs, forged documents, and counterfeit cash. It was officially launched in February 2011 and was operated by Ross William Ulbricht under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts.” Within two and a half years, it made about 9.5 million bitcoins or about $1.2 billion in sales. In early October 2013, Ulbricht was arrested by federal agents and the online black market for drugs was closed. Last February 5, 2015, Ulbricht was found guilty of several charges like drug trafficking, money laundering, and criminal enterprise. He is now facing 30 years in jail or up to life imprisonment.

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Make the best out of your bitcoins this Valentine’s Day

Love, once again, is in the air. Almost everywhere, you’ll hear love songs or you’ll see colorful bouquets of flowers. Indeed, Valentine’s Day has become more special each and every year. So Bitcoiner, what’s your plan this time?

If you haven’t thought of anything yet, take a look at some of these bright ideas and gifts which you can purchase through bitcoins. Yes, you read it right! You can buy clothes, flowers, or even travel abroad with your loved one using no less than our beloved bitcoin.

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Startup company aims to secure Bitcoin transactions

Bitcoin has been making miserable news recently and has been struggling to collect itself amidst controversies and losses. Despite this, there is one startup company that’s brave enough to weather the storm. Early this year, Des Moines-based Leverage Holdings LLC joined the small ring of companies investing on bitcoins.

For those not familiar yet, Bitcoin is an online payment system that was first introduced in 2008 by a person known only by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.  Currently, Bitcoin is referred to as a digital currency, virtual money, or cryptocurrency. It is unregulated which means that the government has no control to its usage. It likewise bypasses the traditional banking and payment systems, thus it’s a lot faster to transfer. All these positive attributes has made Bitcoin attractive to a substantial number of followers.

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Cointerra Inc. succumbs to legal battles, files for bankruptcy

Bitcoin mining company Cointerra Inc. has finally called it quits after facing long legal battles for the past couple of months.  In its filing under Chapter 7 of the US Bankruptcy Code last January 24, Saturday, Cointerra listed approximately $50 million worth of assets and debts. It can be remembered that the company quite had a successful stint in 2013 with about $1.5 million in investments. A huge chunk of the fund was intended to create a two-terahash-per-second ASIC Bitcoin miner which they called TerraMiner IV. Back then, the Bitcoin miner was priced at $13,999 and was set to be delivered in December 2013. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as initially planned. Over the months, the value of Bitcoin spiraled down to almost 70 percent, thus the digital currency went through a lot of scrutiny from lawmakers. Cointerra, for its part, failed to deliver what was originally expected by its clients who paid for the service. This of course resulted to legal complaints and dissatisfaction from people who had high hopes in the potential of their mining machine. Notably, all of these problems occurred despite the governance of their technical people who are experts in the field of Bitcoin mining.

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Hopes on Virtual Currency are High as Bitcoin Startup Coinbase Closed a $75 Million Investment

Coinbase, one of the biggest Bitcoin providers in the world, recently announced the completion of a huge financing deal worth $75 million last Tuesday, January 20, 2015. This is so far the biggest known investment on a startup Bitcoin company up till now. The investment, led by venture capital firm DFJ Growth, was also participated by three industry investors, namely the New York Stock Exchange, USAA Bank, and multinational bank BBVA. The San Francisco-based startup company, which first reported the deal in November last year, revealed that the financing round was actually completed in the middle of December 2014. Total investments are even expected to reach $400 million or more with the support of other investors like Japanese telecom company NTT DoCoMo, Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Ribbit Capital.

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What’s going wrong with Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is on a free fall right now. Can anybody catch it for God sake! Just when we thought Bitcoin is going to have a good year this 2015, it looks like there are a lot of issues now that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Created by someone with the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, Bitcoin was considered as one of the most promising currencies. More people around the world traded it for real money. It’s even thought to possibly make dollar obsolete. This is mainly due to the fact that it’s limited in supply, hard to earn, and easy to verify. Like gold, it’s not easy to acquire as it requires a lot of complex mathematical problems to be solved. The more “miners” are there to look for answers, the more the problems get difficult to solve. That’s how it is and that’s why there are a lot of businessmen who’ve invested on supercomputers. The first miner to answer the mathematical puzzle gets 25 bitcoins which is obviously going to be a lot of money. However, the drastic depreciation of Bitcoin’s value in the past few days is very alarming. In fact, it has dropped 36% of its value in the past two days only, from $269 in January 13 to $172 in January 15.

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Bitstamp’s losses reach $5.1 million as approximately 19,000 units went missing

Last January 5, 2015, news about a huge cryptocurrency hack broke down when Bitstamp‘s more than 19,000 units, worth about $5.1 million, went missing. This prompted the UK-based Bitcoin exchange to temporarily halt all services and user transactions like deposits and withdrawals. They assured their customers though that all bitcoins held before the incident are safe, because they are covered by insurance. This is a huge setback not just for the exchange, but for the Bitcoin community, in general, as it’s gone a long way of reviving the value of the virtual currency. Unlike cash stolen from banks that are largely untraceable, movement of bitcoins can be tracked. Every transaction made has a record created on the blockchain. Hopefully, this can shed some light on the whereabouts of the bitcoins and the perpetrators.

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BitPay’s Football Sponsorship Scored Bigtime

BitPay has become a full-fledged football sponsor last December 26, 2014 by staging its first ever St. Petersburg Bowl game between North Carolina State Wolfpacks and the University of Central Florida Knights. The game was a huge success for the world’s largest bitcoin payment service provider as it attracted around 3.3 million viewers. In fact, game coordinator Ashley Wheeler claimed there were over 100 vendors accepting bitcoin payments in the area throughout the game. This is definitely how BitPay envisioned the event would be when it first announced its sponsorship, along with ESPN Events, as early as June 2 this year. Wolfpacks beat the Knights, 34-27.

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Bitcoin to End 2014 with a Bang

Bitcoin has again scored bigtime this 2014 with Microsoft and Dell as two of the newest companies to now accept cryptocurrency as a payment method. Earlier this month, December 11, Microsoft announced its decision to accept purchases in the Microsoft Store using bitcoins. It specifically assigns BitPay, the leading Bitcoin payment processor worldwide, to facilitate the trade-in of the virtual currency at its current market value.

Eric Lockard, Microsoft’s Universal Store vice president, lauds the move saying it’s primarily aimed at giving consumers flexibility in terms of payment and other online transactions. While the use of Bitcoin may not be on the mainstream yet, he acknowledges that its growth has gone beyond customers who’ve adopted it in its early years. Dell, for its part, also announced the acceptance of Bitcoin on technology purchases performed on their website.

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