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News update: Who profited the most out of Bitcoin, where will the Bitcoin ATM hit next and more…

Traditional Computer Hardware Companies Benefiting from Bitcoin

Wedbush Securities Inc claims that AMD and other traditional computer hardware manufacturers made some $200 million dollars off of Bitcoin-related hardware sales in 2013. If true, this lends support to some analysts’ claims that there is more money to be made from servicing the Bitcoin community than from Bitcoins themselves.

Some of the biggest benefactors of Bitcoin appear to be semi-conductor manufacturing foundries. Right now, the best Bitcoin mining operations rely on ASIC chips designed by traditional CPU companies, such as AMD. Many of these chips are manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor and also GlobalFoundries. If you’re looking for a way to invest in Bitcoin without investing in Bitcoin, consider some of these tech companies.

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Paul Krugman: “Bitcoin Is Evil”

Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize winning economist, has never been known for modest opinions. In a post this past weekend on his New York Times blog, Krugman claimed that Bitcoin is evil. That’s right, he didn’t just claim that Bitcoin would fail, or that people would lose money. Nope, he claims that Bitcoin is actually evil.

Krugman doesn’t believe that Bitcoin will work, but perhaps more controversially, he supports the idea that Bitcoin is a “weapon” designed to undermine Central Banks, and to push a Libertarian agenda. He also supports the belief that Bitcoin will help people evade taxes and government oversight. It should be noted, however, that he offers little evidence or reasoning to support his views.

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Bitcoin ATMs Heading to Asia

It’s no secret that many analysts and economists believe that Asia will become the world’s engine of growth in the years to come. Home to more than half the world’s population and also many of the world’s fastest growing economies, Asia is becoming an economic powerhouse. It should come as no surprise than that Robocoin ATMs are heading to both Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Given that China is largely believed to be responsible to the recent Bitcoin surge, Robocoin’s decision to set up ATMs in Taiwan and Hong Kong makes perfect sense. Robocoin is also looking to set up ATMs across Europe and North America.

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Bitcoin Foundation Founder: Bitcoin Will Grow in 2014

One of the Bitcoin Foundation’s founders and principles, Patrick Murck, believes that Bitcoin will continue to grow in 2014.  Mr. Murck acknowledges that a lot of work needs to be down to establish and stabilized Bitcoin, but believes that the community is now strong enough to address these challenges.

Mr. Murck cites more reliable exchanges and increasing numbers of merchants accepting Bitcoin as the principle reasons the currency should gain steam in 2014. He also expects concerns over government interventions to subside in coming months. If Mr. Murck’s projections prove correct, Bitcoin could make the important step forward from being largely viewed as an investment vehicle to being a full-fledged currency.

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Bitcoin Miners Don’t Have to Register with the U.S. Government

Earlier this year,  the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued guidelines that seemed to suggest that Bitcoin miners would have to register with the U.S. government. Now FinCEN has backtracked and clarified that in-fact miners will not have to register.

This clarification came through a message sent to Atlantic City Bitcoin, which stated that as long as Bitcoins are being mined for the users own benefits, and not on behalf of someone else, companies and individuals do not have to register with the government. This lifts what many thought would be a huge burden on small Bitcoin mining operations.

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