It was a week full of good news for the Bitcoin ecosystem. First of all, we have at least three new companies around the world and around the web accepting Bitcoin: from the Hawaiian tea company Tealet to the taxi company JazzExpress, in Lithuania, without forgetting the hosting solutions company Crookservers.
Then, we’ve noticed and reported the growth of several cryptocurrency-related businesses and even some big investments and new products. It’s time for our weekly round up!
Former World Bank lawyer advocates the use of Bitcoin
The same woman who accused the World Bank of corruption is now raising awareness about Bitcoin. The former World Bank Senior Counsel Karen Hudes said, quoted by All Things Bitcoin, that “it’s pretty clear where we’re headed, and that is something called permanent gold backwardation. That’s a fancy word for people losing confidence in paper currency. That means the value of currency in the future is less than today”.
Hudes, who spent 20 years at the World Bank, assures “this is like the meltdown of all meltdowns. What it means is you cannot finance international trade”.In a video published in the website, she talks about the need of changing the way we deal with fiat currency, turning to cryptocurrency and gold.
Swiss politician wants the government to study Bitcoin
A Swiss politician and member of the federal parliament publicly shown his concern about Bitcoin this week. Jean Christophe Schwaab wants the National Council to investigate and write a report about cryptocurrency.
The member of the Swiss Socialist Party thinks there’s real danger of Bitcoin enabling money laundering and other crimes in Switzerland. However, he also admits that cryptocurrency might bring something good and create positive opportunities, as well.
Interview with the artist Kuno Goda, creator of “200 Bitcoins”
Since the Bitcoin community find out about the young German artist who created a work of art inspired by our favorite cryptocurrency, Kuno Goda has been at the center of several conversations, so Bitcoin Examiner decided to talk with the artist.
Goda, who got inspired in Andy Warhol’s “200 One Dollar Bills” to create his piece “200 Bitcoins”, got everyone talking about the influence of Bitcoin in another field of our daily lives, the world of art. To check out the full interview, click here.
Black Arrow announces 28nm 64Ghash Bitcoin ASIC
The company Black Arrow is already taking pre-orders for its new ASIC mining rid codenamed “the Minion”. According to the website Ciol, the brand recently opened its online store and is now taking pre-orders. The first shipments are expected to happen at the end of February 2014.
Simply Travel allows Bitcoiners to choose from 300,000 hotels worldwide
The platform Simply Travel is now accepting cryptocurrency, so the Bitcoiners out there now have the possibility of choosing one of 300,000 hotels all over the world and use their precious digital coins to pay for it.
The platform is still running their new Bitcoin payment program in beta, but Simply Travel’s CEO, Gregor Amon, assures “there will be lots of improvements over the coming weeks”.
Boost VC Startups complete accelerator session at Demo Day 2013
The Bitcoin Magazine was present at the first Bitcoin-focused startup accelerator session promoted by the program Boost VC, the Demo Day. This event worked like the graduation for the 17 new companies that were chosen to participate in the incubator program.
Seven of the attending startups have created products that use Bitcoin in a wide variety of manners and received a $50,000 investment in addition to several other benefits.
Gliph gets investment of $200,000 to develop new Bitcoin features
The safe messaging app Gliph, which has a Bitcoin integration through Coinbase and allows users to send or receive Bitcoins through an iOS app, recently raised a big investment of $200,000. The funding was secured by Tim Draper, founder of the Draper University and partner at the Boost.vc program, which Gliph attended.
The company was founded in early 2012 as an encrypted messaging app, but this year they saw the potential of connecting their services to Bitcoin, so they are investing in that sector.
BitPagos shows the wonders of Bitcoin to Argentinian merchants
BitPagos is the name of the Bitcoin-related payment processing company that is making the most of the Argentinian crypto-wave. The South-American startup, based in Argentina, recently participated in the latest class provided by the Boost.vc Accelerator program.
The platform is considered a creative alternative for the banking barrier that is consistently blocking large scale transactions through international exchanges, despite the huge demand. The company is completely focused on the Latin American markets, with a special attention to Argentina, helping to bring Bitcoin into the country’s economy without the need to exchange Argentinian pesos.
BTC-TC shutters $12-million operations due to regulatory changes
BTC Trading Corp (BTC-TC), one of the largest Bitcoin securities exchanges, announced it will close all trading by October 7th. BTC-TC is responsible for 101,000 BTC (equivalent to $12 millions) in deposited securities and 2,900 BTC ($350,000) in daily volume. The company’s notice cited “recent changes in the virtual currency regulatory environment” as the reason for shuttering operations. Also closing is LTC-Global, a litecoin-denominated securities exchange also run by Ethan Burnside, the same operator as BTC-TC. Read more about it at the website The Genesis Block.
New ransomware forces your computer to mine Bitcoin
Imagine you are captured by an anonymous group and they lock you in a mine with a pickaxe, ordering you to start mining for precious metals. Yep, that’s what happens when a new form of ransomware that is currently infecting computers in the entire world gets to your device.
This new form of malware is a variant of the Reveton ransomware and helps hackers compromise Windows computers, blocking all activities and making the the devices mine Bitcoins. Researchers at Malwarebytes, who found out about this new malware, advise consumers to update their browser software and plug-ins to increase their safety.
Elizabeth Ploshay and Micky Malka join the Bitcoin Foundation
The board of the Bitcoin Foundation has two new members: Elizabeth Ploshay, manager of communications at Bitcoin Magazine, and Micky Malka, entrepreneur and venture capitalist, besides angel investor. Ploshay was elected with 90 votes, equal to a little over 25 percent of all the votes cast for the individual seat. Malka gathered 26 votes for the industry seat, which means 72.2 percent of the total. With these numbers, the two Bitcoin heavyweights join the board, which already has Mt. Gox CEO, Mark Karpeles, and also BitInstant CEO, Charlie Shrem.
Gambler wins 11,000 Bitcoins in just one weekend at JustDice
A well-known Bitcoin gambler known as Nakowa has possible broke a record while playing at the European-based cybercasino Just-Dice: he won 11,000 BTC – about $1.3 million at the current rate – in a single weekend.
During this fruitful weekend, Nakowa kept playing in his fearless style and ripped off the casino, leaving them about 2,000 BTC in the red. Nakowa’s win was so big that Just-Dice is now waiting for the help of the casino’s saving account, which has about $5.6 million. Read the complete story here.
Interview with Vinny Lingham, CEO of Gyft
If we had to choose a group of services that completely changed the Bitcoin ecosystem when they decided to accept Bitcoin, Gyft had to be one of them. The company, which allows users all over the world to buy gift cards online from hundreds of retailers and getting rid of the unnecessary plastic cards, decided to take that step and dive into the world of cryptocurrency in May.
More recently, Gyft released a new Bitcoin-friendly service, the Gift Card Registry, which allows Bitcoiners to use virtual currency to “purchase gift cards for weddings, birthdays, baby showers, holidays and other special events”. With so many changes, Bitcoin Examiner had to talk with Vinny Lingham, Gyft’s CEO, to know more about the business and how Bitcoin is changing their company. Check out the interview here.
“Get rich quick” scams hit Bitcoin
The website The Verge explored the scam theme this week. According to their article, the Bitcoin Robot is just one of many dubious “get Bitcoin quick” schemes around the internet. The currency is getting increasing recognition from governments, starting with the United States Treasury Department but, like happens with real money, the rules don’t make the scams go away.
Bitcoin exchange BTC China is not charging trading fees until October 7th
It’s a temporary action, but one that woke up the curiosity of all Bitcoiners. BTC China decided to halt the charge of its trading commission fees, becoming the world’s first major cryptocurrency exchange to pull such a move.
Operating since the middle of 2011, the platform was currently charging 0.3 percent for all trades, before suddenly eliminating this fee. The promotion will run until October 7th, the Chinese National Day holiday.
TerraHash announces it’s going out of business
It’s, definitely, one of the biggest news of the week. The ASIC Bitcoin mining gear producer TerraHash has announced this Wednesday (25) it’s going to shut down the company, due to recent events. The news was revealed through the BitcoinTalk.org forum and immediately caused strong reactions from the Bitcoin community, mainly because TerraHash is only announcing a refund of “about 50% of every order”.
According to the company, based in Silicon Valley, a series of events is forcing the manufacturer to go out of business. “A lot of issues compounded to press us to do this. The failure of the Klondike project was one. Chase, our bank, shut down our accounts. Also the delay in the shipment of the chips [from Avalon] has resulted in a lot of customers asking for refund”, they wrote. You can read the complete article here.
Creator of 3D-printed gun is launching a new Bitcoin wallet in 2014
If you don’t know the name Cody Wilson, you certainly didn’t hear about the controversial 3D-printed gun created by this 25-year old man a while ago. But did you know that, in the meantime, Wilson turned to the Bitcoin world?
He has been developing a new Bitcoin wallet for the past two months, which will be called Dark Wallet. Wilson, who is working with Amir Taaki on this project, guarantees the software will be a free and easier to use wallet, compared to the alternatives.
Bitcoin prediction platform Predictious conquers 1,000 registered users
After two months of work since its launching in July, the Irelan-based Bitcoin prediction market Predictious has reached an important milestone: 1,000 registered users and about $40,000 in Bitcoin deposited on the website. And there’s more, as the platform managed by the company Pixode is now announcing several new features among interface improvements and new contracts.