Posted by: DeepDotWeb
November 23, 2014
Presenting the week’s biggest Bitcoin stories from around the web.
Not only is Black Friday the biggest shopping day of the year, but will also become the biggest Bitcoin shopping day as well. Caleb Chen of CrytpoCoins News writes that merchants will be offering a variety of bitcoin discounts and bitcoin-only deals. Last year, BitPay proceeded $6 million USD for Bitcoin Black Friday. At the time, large websites like Newegg and TigerDirect had yet to accept bitcoin-only payments. This year’s deals can be found on BitcoinBlackFriday.com.
Fans of Candy Crush Saga and Taylor Swift can now make purchases for their favorite games and media through Bitcoin. According to PYMNTS, 30 percent of all purchases on Coinbase are for $1 or less. That number is set to spike due to the fact that users will now be able to make purchases for their favorite applications and songs through Facebook and iTunes by using both Coinbase and RewardsPay.
Attracting New Users
Can Bitcoin become a mainstream currency? Donna Tam of CNET reports that Adam Draper, a Silicon Valley investor, will be focusing his Boost VC accelerator program on 30 bitcoin companies with the hope that the cryptocurrency will catch on with consumers. The venture capitalist is hoping that less tech-savvy consumers will be eager to make payments without worrying about bank or credit card fees. To date, Draper’s accelerator program has already funded 26 bitcoin companies.
Could a fancy interface attract new users to bitcoin wallets? According to Jon Southurst of CoinDesk, BitX believes that its new bitcoin wallet’s “sexy” mobile applications for the iOS and Android platforms can attract newcomers to the cryptocurrency. Users will be able to authenticate their accounts via their mobile device by using the built-in camera. Comparing bitcoin to a sports car engine “with the body of a bus,”BitX believes that the cryptocurrency will become more popular once it is made accessible. In other words, the company is betting that bitcoin will follow the same path as the Internet.
Finland has declared Bitcoin a financial service, which will make cryptocurrency transactions VAT exempt. Ian Jackson of Inside Bitcoins reports that Finland has joined the United Kingdom as another European Union country that has decided that bitcoin should not be taxed, as the Finnish Central Board of Taxation declared that “commission fees charged on bitcoin purchases are in effect banking services”
The United States Marshals Service will be auctioning of another 50,000 bitcoins that were seized from Silk Road, a defunct online bazaar. Sydney Ember of The New York Times writes that the auction, which will be held on Dec. 4th, will be worth around $19 million USD in bitcoin. The bitcoins to be auctioned off were held by Ross Ulbricht, who is accused of creating Silk Road and agreed to have his holdings sold off.
Two 17-year-old Bitcoin fans pitched a startup at the Demo pitch competition – and their presentation was well-received. Cromwell Schubarth of Upstart – Business Journal reports on high school seniors Brendan Duhamel and Jamie Young, who launched a bitcoin startup on Nov. 20th at the event. Previously, Duhamel and Young had run a hedge fund, making this venture their second startup. The two young entrepreneurs decided to direct their attention towards the cryptocurrency after visiting the Bitcoin Center in New York City. Their startup, Pavilion.io, will allow users to purchase goods on eBay without having to compete the payment until they have been delivered.
Is owning a bitcoin ATM a smart investment? Paul Vigna of The Wall Street Journal reports Lamassu bitcoin ATM owners are making between $1,000 – $3,000 per month. Currently, standard cash-to-bitcoin machines are averaging $20,000 a month in transactions, while prime location ATMs are averaging $40,000 to $60,00 per month. The company sells two types of machines: a $6,500 cash-to-bitcoin device and a $12,500 two-way transaction devices. With the current earnings, bitcoin ATM investors are clearing their investments in three to nine months.
Cryptocurrency advocates are now moving to a Bitcoin hacklab in Spain. The story of Calafou, an old textile factory complex, is told by Jamie Bartlett in his new book “The Dark Net,” as Natasha Bertrand of Business Insider reports. The hacklab is described as “postcapitalist ecoindustrial complex” by the individuals who live at the site, which included both anarchists and social activists. The residents are able to live in Calafou for only 100 euros a month.
The Mozilla Foundation, the designer and developer of the Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email client, will now be accepting bitcoin donations. Coinbase announced on Nov. 20th that the foundation, which supports the Mozilla Webmaker education project and net neutrality activism, will be able to accept 100% of the donations without fees.