Weekly Bitcoin Update – 26 July 2014

3 minute read

Posted by: DeepDotWeb

July 26, 2014

A recap of the week’s biggest Bitcoin stories from the perspectives of the best sources for e-currency news around the web

Industry News

Bitcoin’s valuation has once again dropped below the $600 mark. As Joon Ian Wong of CoinDesk reported on July 24th, the cryptocurrency fell to a low of $591.46 at 13:35 UTC. During the thirty days prior to the release of the article, bitcoin had at least maintained a value above $600. Interestingly, there was not a major news release that could have triggered the slight decrease in value. In fact, as Wong finds, bitcoin news has been positive over the past two months, with companies such as DISH and Dell announcing they will be accepting cryptocurrency payments.

Former bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox may return its remaining bitcoin without converting it into a regular currency, Takashi Mochizuki of The Wall Street Journal reports. Mt. Gox, formerly the largest bitcoin exchange in the world, filed for bankruptcy in February after losing 850,000 bitcoin in hacking attacks. A quarter of the stolen bitcoin have been recovered. By returning the bitcoin to its creditors in the original form, the value deflation that comes with large-scale conversions of a currency would be averted.

The Winklevoss Index’s API will be opened to the public, Daniel Roberts of Fortune writes. The pricing index, which seeks to give an accurate value for the commodity at all times, was started by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Best known for their early involvement with Facebook, the Winklevoss Twins are offering the API both to allow developers to improve it “for the betterment of the Bitcoin community.” Roberts also noted the former Olympic rowers also have plans to open an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that would allow for the buying and selling of bitcoin by brokerages without the “regulatory and security headaches that can come with that process.”

Barry Silbert, founder and CEO of SecondMarket, is stepping down from his position to turn his attention solely toward the development of the first United States bitcoin exchange. Rob Wile of Business Insider reports that Silbert also plans to separate SecondMarket Holdings, Inc.’s digital currency activities from the firm. Bill Siegel will serve as at the interim CEO at SecondMarket, which previously served as a place to buy and sell shares of quickly-growing private companies.

BTX Trader has launched a new web portal that enables customers to purchase Bitcoin and Dogecoin. According to a press release published July 25th, the new website, GoCelery.com, will be “the only product on the market that offers access to multiple types of digital currency.” Celery’s goal will be to expand bitcoin’s usage beyond its group of first adopters, enabling the digital currency to enter into the mainstream. Chief Operating Officer Ilya Subkhankulov cited “increasing regulatory clarity” as positively impacting bitcoin’s future.

AirBaltic has become the first airline to accept Bitcoin. According to RT.com, the Latvian airline will display and convert prices from euro to bitcoin through BitPay exchange rates. Many questions remain regarding how the airline will integrate the digital currency, including taxation, ticket refunds, cancellations, and whether customers living in countries with bitcoin bans can use the feature.

Policy News

The recent “BitLicense” regulations have made Benjamin Lawsky a bitcoin regulation leader. According to Michael Bobelian of Forbes, while the head of the agency had previously held a negative view of the digital currency, Lawsky has now come to appreciate the potential benefits of the currency while working to overcome its flaws. Lawsky is also allowing for bitcoin industry participants to offer feedback on the “BitLicense” regulations, a position that strongly contrasts those held by the SEC and the IRS.

Can this “BitLicense” future be summed up as simply as black and white? Alyssa Hertig of Vice.com discusses how bitcoin could one day, figuratively, be divided into black coins, those “pseudonymous” and “decentralized”, and regulated, white coins. The difference in color could serve as an express of the “ideological divergence” between what bitcoin was before mainstream adoption and what it will become under “BitLicense” regulations. Furthermore, Hertig also finds that the regulations of the “white coins” would damage the ability for simple financial transactions to be made easily.

Stan Higgins of CoinDesk reports that the National Assembly of Ecuador has voted to ban the usage of Bitcoin and other decentralized digital currencies. As a result, companies whose services extend to Ecuador will be forced to withdraw from the country. The proposed amendment also established guidelines for a state-run digital currency to be backed by the nation’s central bank. After voting had been completed, the the National Assembly offered a statement that spoke to the benefits of electronic money and its ability to “stimulate” the economy.

Updated: 2014-07-26