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1  Bitcoin / Press / 2014-01-21 Coindesk: BitSimple Raises $600,000 in Bitcoin Seed Round on: January 21, 2014, 07:05:51 PM
Congratulations to one of the more capable and esteemed members of this forum!  Good to see more options and liquidity added to the USA market.

Tangible Cryptography has announced the completion of a $600,000 seed round investment funded completely in bitcoin.

The company will use the funds to launch BitSimple, a new bitcoin sales portal that aims to set itself apart from traditional bitcoin exchanges.

2  Bitcoin / Press / 2014-01-21 New York Times Dealbook: Why Bitcoin Matters on: January 21, 2014, 06:46:39 PM
A truly great writeup, aimed at a general audience and with wide reach.  Explains the basic benefits and debunks the common criticisms in a clear and easily readable way.  Thank you, Marc Andreessen.
3  Bitcoin / Press / 2014-01-04 SeekingAlpha: Zynga Savings May Be Material To Earnings on: January 05, 2014, 08:37:32 PM
Nice deeper analysis of the Zynga news, by Trace Mayer.

Zynga Accepts Bitcoin, And Savings May Be Material To Earnings

Sure, Zynga will get some great publicity out of the decision but inquisitive investors may wonder what effect, if any, could Zynga's decision to spend a few programmer hours integrating Bitcoin have on earnings. The ROI may surprise you and have you demanding your other companies jump on the Bitcoin express train.

In 2012, Zynga had $1.2B of gross revenue. We do not know what percentage of revenue will have the Bitcoin payment method as an option so we will just assume all of it. The credit card or PayPal fee for a $5 sale would be about $0.445 or 8.9%. Assuming Zynga has the same payment method breakdown as Reddit then we can expect this effect.

Approximately $30m of annual revenue being processed by credit cards or PayPal would cost about $2.7m. Bitpay will process this amount for a flat fee of $300/month or $3,600 per year which is a cost savings of approximately 99.87%. Not bad for a few hours of a developer who is likely already on salary!
4  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-12-19 Jiji Press: BOJ "Very Interested" in Bitcoin on: December 21, 2013, 04:02:12 PM
  Tokyo, Dec. 20 (Jiji Press)--The Bank of Japan is "very interested" in the online virtual currency Bitcoin, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Friday.
   The central bank's Institute of Monetary and Economic Studies is studying it, Kuroda said at a regular news conference.
   "Compared with traditional ways of money transfers and existing electronic money, Bitcoin has both similar and different aspects," Kuroda said.
   Central banks around the world are closely watching Bitcoin, the value of which has been swinging wildly due to speculative trading.
   The BOJ currently has no plans to take action on the situation surrounding Bitcoin, Kuroda said.
5  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-12-20 CNN Money + FT: Online retailer Overstock to accept Bitcoin on: December 21, 2013, 02:49:10 PM
Followup & more confirmation from CNN of the original newsbtc scoop:

Quote will become the first major U.S. retailer to accept Bitcoin, the company's chief executive Patrick Byrne told CNNMoney Friday.

Byrne said customers will be able to use the virtual currency to make purchases on (OSTK), which sells everything from digital cameras and bed sheets to patio furniture and even cars. The company is expected to have total revenue of $1.3 billion for 2013, according to FactSet Research.

"We think there's going to be a market in Bitcoin, and we want to get in front of it," said Byrne. "We want to be the first major e-tailer that accepts them." Byrne first made comments about accepting Bitcoin in an interview with Bitcoin blog newsBTC and later in the Financial Times.

The Financial Times in UK also did a story:

Big US online retailer to accept Bitcoin

By Barney Jopson and Stephen Foley in New York

Overstock plans to become the first big US online retailer to accept Bitcoin, as Patrick Byrne, the company’s libertarian chief executive, warms to the virtual currency as a refuge from government control.
6  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-12-19 Newsbtc: to Begin Accepting Bitcoin Second Half of 2014 on: December 19, 2013, 02:01:18 PM
The announcement comes directly from CEO Patrick Byrne, who spoke to me briefly on Wednesday in an interview by phone. Byrne told me that the company is still working out the logistics of accepting the currency, but notes that they plan to work independently of bitcoin payment processors like Coinbase or BitPay by implementing a proprietary system to manage the transactions. Byrne says Overstock will have no marginal cost in the implementation, so it’s something they’ll keep plugged in. If after a year or two Overstock sees minimal bitcoin purchases, that may be the time to pull that plug.

This is a hugely important milestone in bitcoin history. An online retailer the magnitude of Overstock surely has the power to become the catalyst in widespread acceptance of the digital currency in the online marketplace, but Byrne noted that at the end of the day, it really all depends on how many users end up paying with bitcoin.

“It will put [Overstock] at a competitive edge if, and only if, the general population starts thinking and using bitcoin,” he said. “We’re willing to take the first step and see.”
7  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-12-17 Nick Colas: Debunking 11 Bitcoin Myths on: December 17, 2013, 02:20:34 PM
Let me sum up with a final thought: I absolutely understand why there are so many bitcoin haters out there. But don’t hate the player; hate the game. Technology is a tremendously disruptive force in society, and it knows no boundaries. It disturbs every status quo. That’s what is does. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can reverse it by calling it a bubble. Sticks and stones …
8  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-11-28 Tech In Asia: What’s really going on in the Chinese Bitcoin community on: November 28, 2013, 05:55:58 PM
Very informative article with proper on-the-ground reporting instead of the usual guessing/extrapolation/hearsay.
9  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-11-25: Hazard Herald: Vicco to consider paying police chief in Bitcoin on: November 26, 2013, 01:12:47 AM
A nice unexpected initiative coming out of Kentucky, USA.  Start of a trend...?

Chief Tony Vaughn made the request during the commission’s regular meeting last week, explaining under his proposed arrangement the city would take out all applicable taxes from his salary as normal, and then convert the take-home pay to Bitcoin, which is then transferred instantly to Vaughn.

Vaughn added the city can also begin accepting Bitcoin through the city’s planned website, on which the city will be establishing a portal to accept monetary donations. Since the passage of the city’s fairness ordinance, Vicco has received numerous donations, including several pieces of playground equipment currently being installed next to City Hall.
10  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-11-22 Reuters: Money managers and the fog of bitcoin on: November 22, 2013, 10:39:31 PM
Good news: price still has a long way to go, majority of world's big money is nowhere near on board this train.

“I still don’t even know what it is” – Jim Chanos, famed short-seller and founder of $6 billion Kynikos Associates.

“You know,  I don’t understand bitcoin” – Bonnie Baha, head of Global Developed Credit at $53 billion DoubleLine Capital.

“I don’t really know enough to have a view” – Chris Delong, chief investment officer of $8.1 billion multi-strategy hedge fund Taconic Capital Advisors

“I don’t have any insight at all. I don’t know how it should be valued. I have no anchor as to what it’s worth”-  Steven Einhorn, Vice-Chairman of Omega Advisors

“I like sound currencies. I have no interest in that. I would stay away”  - Margie Patel, senior portfolio manager at Wells Capital Management.
11  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-11-22 [Video] CNBC: Cramer: Treasury 'should've shut down bitcoin' on: November 22, 2013, 02:49:43 PM
Can someone explain to me how a TV channel with so much irrelevancy, buffoonery, and misinformation can remain solvent?
12  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-11-20 [Video] C-SPAN Washington Journal: David Wolman on Bitcoin on: November 20, 2013, 04:13:47 PM
43 minutes.

David Wolman talked about his Wired Magazine article, “How to Save Bitcoin: Let’s Take Ecash Mainstream,” and he responded to telephone calls and electronic communications.

13  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-11-18 American Banker: Five Reasons Washington Should Leave Bitcoin Alone on: November 18, 2013, 07:49:03 PM
Great op-ed by Marc Hochstein.

Journalists with limited imaginations and jaded hearts like to mock the cultish devotion Bitcoiners have to their currency. But I find it quite endearing. The energy and enthusiasm of the Bitcoin community is one more thing the technology has going for it. No one will ever write Google Wallet-themed erotica, or organize a PayPal Meetup, or start a podcast called Let's Talk MasterCard!
14  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-11-18 TechNode: BTC China gets $5 million funding on: November 18, 2013, 05:40:39 AM
BTC China, a Bitcoin trading platform, announced $5 million of Series A financing from LightSpeed China Partners and LightSpeed Venture Partners. The investment will be used to improve platform security as well as related products and services, according to Bobby Lee, founder of the company.

BTC China has overtaken Mt.Gox and BitStamp to become the largest Bitcoin trading platform in terms of turnover, according to statistics from The daily turnover of BTC China is nearing 90,000 Bitcoins or more than 200 million yuan.

Ron Cao, chairman of LightSpeed China Partners, said that they invested in the company because they are bullish on the potentials of Bitcoin market and the excellent team of BTC China.

Chinese Bitcoin market has witnessed stunning growth, outrunning the U.S. to become the largest Bitcoin market. China’s daily turnover of Bitcoin reached 100,000, accounting for 50% of the global market share, according to Genesis Block, a digital currency research institute. Okcoin, a similar Chinese Bitcoin platform, announced 100 million yuan of turnover recently.

Bitcoin market heated up recently after the slump in April this year. The conversion price of Bitcoin exceeded 3,000 yuan as of yesterday. Despite the burgeoning market, the risk of investing in the open-source currency still looms due to security concerns and price fluctuations.
15  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-11-16 [Video] WFMZ 69 News: Subway Accepts Digital Currency Bitcoin on: November 16, 2013, 11:55:37 PM
Great local TV segment about the Subway in Allentown, PA, USA.  All positive and zero FUD.

16  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-11-16 Coindesk: Matonis: US has Already Ceded Dominance in Bitcoin Trading on: November 16, 2013, 02:38:19 PM
It's unfortunate that Jon Matonis will not be in DC this coming week to personally deliver this message, but presumably Patrick Murck has an equal understanding of the issues involved and will forcefully and unambiguously tell the USA Senate a similar story.

We have arrived at the point where the US jurisdiction must strategically evaluate a path going forward. Either they enable a climate that appeals to bitcoin exchanges and businesses or they maintain barriers that silently drive innovation in the space overseas.

Delaying that moment serves only to increase the clout and power of the other jurisdictions competing for this lucrative business. A free and robust bitcoin economy drives growth and jobs, provides relief for the unbanked, and facilitates global financial inclusion.

Another interesting metric is the ranking of the Narrow Bitcoin Money Stock (M1) compared to the money stock of all separate nations (and the European Union). At approximately $5bn, bitcoin money stock currently ranks at 100 out of 191, recently surpassing Iceland and Lebanon.

In some ways, government hearings on the Bitcoin protocol are like studying gravity. It’s useful information if you didn’t already understand the properties, but it does not allow much latitude for alteration. A futuristic potential Govcoin would be merely one of many cryptographic monetary units.

At the end of the day, all this attention on anti-money laundering laws and financial crime may be misplaced, because the real show with bitcoin will be at the Federal Reserve and the potential impacts on administering monetary policy.
17  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-11-13 WSJ: Bitcoin Couple Travels the World Using Virtual Cash on: November 14, 2013, 01:14:59 AM
Bitcoin Couple Travels the World Using Virtual Cash
World-Wide Odyssey Spanned Three Continents and Proved One Can Live on Bitcoin Alone
Paul Vigna
Nov. 13, 2013 4:12 p.m. ET

"In bitcoin," Austin Craig repeated to the young woman behind the counter at the Lean Crust Pizza parlor in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. "Can we pay in bitcoin?"

"In what?" came the reply.

Mr. Craig, 30 years old, was struggling to convince Nadia Alamgir of the existence of the virtual currency that has gained traction across the world, and whose value—after months of wild swings—on Wednesday reached records around $400 per bitcoin.

It was midway through a tricontinental odyssey taken with his wife, Beccy Bingham-Craig, 29, and a film crew documenting their travails, which started in Provo, Utah. Their mission: to live on bitcoin alone.

"It's been consistently inconvenient and occasionally frustrating," Mr. Craig said outside Lean Crust, "but never impossible." Lean Crust advertised itself as bitcoin-friendly but hadn't seen much virtual foot traffic. Ms. Alamgir eventually contacted the store's owner, who arrived and processed the transaction, allowing Mr. Craig to munch on several slices.

Lean Crust, though, is one of a tiny but growing number of stores, travel agents and online merchants starting to accept the once-obscure digital currency as a means of payment. Bitcoin doesn't exist, except in the virtual world, and can only be passed from one person to another electronically. Its origins are murky: Conventional wisdom says a man or group of people going by the name Satoshi Nakamoto created bitcoin in 2009, stoking demand by making it obtainable only through complicated algorithmic searches by powerful computers.

But in the past 12 months, the bitcoin zeitgeist has taken on a life of its own. The currency is discussed at investing conferences now. The Winklevoss twins, known for their fight with Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg, have started a bitcoin fund. It also has gained the attention of regulators who worry it can be used to launder money.

For the Craigs, bitcoin represented a chance at adventure—and an underground movie career.

They began their trek in October by driving east from Provo in Ms. Bingham-Craig's 2004 Volkswagen Jetta. After arriving in New York on Oct. 17, they flew to Stockholm, Berlin and Singapore before eventually returning to Provo. In the end, they lasted 101 days, from July 23 to Nov. 1.

The Craigs weren't part of the bitcoin underground when they began the project. Mr. Craig said he first heard of the currency in 2011 and then came up with the plan to live and travel solely on bitcoin.

"I'm really excited about bitcoin and its future," Mr. Craig said. "It's a reimagining of money."

Starting July 23, the day they returned from their honeymoon, the Craigs paid for everything with bitcoin, from rent to food to gas. At that time, one bitcoin was worth about $98, based on trading at the Tokyo-based Mt. Gox exchange, a primary exchange bitcoin enthusiasts have tracked.

During the trip, they had to not only introduce a number of people to the fledging currency but to persuade them to use it. After a few weeks of prodding, their landlord, Justin James, agreed to the plan—with the sweetener of a small premium over the rent—and set up his own bitcoin account.

"In the end," Mr. James said, "it hasn't been as much of an inconvenience as I thought it would be." While he hasn't become a convert, he did say he thought the experiment sounded like fun and was "happy to be a part of it."

After scouring Provo, they found one grocery store, LoLo's Fresh Food Warehouse, that would accept the currency. They found one auto insurance company that would take bitcoin. The single hardest thing to get regularly, Mr. Craig said, was finding gasoline. Early on, they hardly drove their car.

"For the first two weeks" of the experiment, Mr. Craig said, "we had no place to fill up."

They were saved by Jeremy Furbish, a bitcoin enthusiast they knew only as "Furb," who works the night shift at a Phillips 66 station outside Salt Lake City. He heard about their story and contacted them. "Driving an hour out there on a Friday night at 10 became part of our routine," Ms. Bingham-Craig said.

Mr. Furbish has tried in his own way to preach the gospel according to bitcoin—sometimes pricing items at the store in both dollars and bitcoin—but what the Craigs did far exceeded his modest efforts, he said. "The best that I have been able to do is to get a bunch of Boy Scouts to accept bitcoin as payment for mowing my ex-wife's lawn," he said.

Mr. Craig's employer agreed to pay him in bitcoin. The couple found travel agencies in Germany that accepted bitcoin and, through them, arranged their hotels and flights for the world tour. They drove Ms. Bingham-Craig's car, with the film crew following in a car rented with bitcoin from Five Star Auto Direct in Orem, Utah, which also helped sponsor the film. They drove from Provo to Denver, Kansas City, Chicago, Pittsburgh and New York.

The car was stocked with food and other supplies—like four five-gallon gas tanks, which were covered under a tarp to fight the fumes and were carried in case the couple couldn't find a gas station.

"We didn't want to end up starving and destitute in a ditch," Mr. Craig said.

With help from the two German travel agencies, and 9flats, they booked flights and hotels.

In New York, they ate pizza. In Stockholm, they went hungry the first night. In Singapore, Ms. Binghman-Craig got a henna tattoo. At every stop, Mr. Craig said, they found at least one bitcoiner willing to help.

"We didn't know how much the duration of it would wear us down," Mr. Craig said. "Totally average things became monumental challenges."

In the end, despite skepticism from friends, family and the bitcoin community itself, the Craigs managed to live on bitcoin for over three months. "We really didn't cheat," Mr. Craig said. "Everybody thought we would."

And as for Ms. Almagir of the pizza joint, she has become a convert.

"I'm a fan of bitcoin now," she said Tuesday, adding she was considering buying some herself.
18  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-11-13 WSJ: Bitcoin Price Hits New Record on: November 14, 2013, 12:42:15 AM

Bitcoin Price Hits a New Record
Virtual Currency Vaults Above $400 on Mt. Gox Exchange
Robin Sidel And Saabira Chaudhuri
Updated Nov. 13, 2013 3:14 p.m. ET

The price of a bitcoin vaulted to a record Wednesday, fueled by growing views that the virtual currency can have a credible future as an alternative to traditional methods of payment.

The momentum is coming from around the world, as amateur investors, venture capitalists and technology enthusiasts pump money into businesses that are trying to figure out how to swap and use bitcoin to buy goods and services.

"Our clients have seen an uptick in interest among a wider circle than just the types of people who were early adopters in the U.S.," said Adam Shapiro, a director at Promontory Financial Group LLC, a financial-services consulting firm that is advising clients on bitcoin ventures.

Bitcoin is a four-year-old virtual currency that isn't backed by a central bank and can be traded on a number of exchanges or swapped privately. A growing number of merchants also accept bitcoin as payment because the transaction costs associated with the currency are generally lower than those with credit or debit cards.

One bitcoin was worth $425 on the Toyko-based Mt. Gox exchange Wednesday afternoon, nearly doubling since the start of November and up from roughly $13 at the beginning of the year.

Although Mt. Gox is known as the first big exchange to trade bitcoin, the currency's enthusiasts are turning to competing exchanges that are starting to attract more trading. That is creating some confusion among users, as well as an arbitrage opportunity among the exchanges.

One of them is Slovenia-based Bitstamp, where one bitcoin was trading Wednesday at roughly $389, up more than 9% from Tuesday.

Bitcoin's price has been highly volatile. The virtual currency jumped to a record of about $265 in April as interest in the currency grew. But in early October, in the wake of the bust of an online drug-trafficking website that used the currency, it plunged to around $90.

People who follow the industry warn that trading in bitcoin is thin on many exchanges, which can lead to big price swings.

The jump in bitcoin prices is also being attributed to surging demand from China, where a local exchange is drawing trading from around the world. A unit of Chinese Internet giant  Baidu Inc.  BIDU +1.70%     started accepting bitcoin for payment a few weeks ago.

Investors have poured $18 million into a bitcoin-dedicated investment vehicle since September, surpassing its goal of raising $10 million by the end of the year. BitCoin Investment Trust is a unit of Second Market, a New York-based business known for trading stocks before their initial public offerings.

"There is a lot of demand, and it's coming from high-net-worth individuals and institutions," said Jaron Lukasiewicz, whose fledgling New York-based bitcoin exchange Coinsetter opened for business Wednesday.

Bitcoin prices also are being buoyed by a crackdown on illegal activities that have been tied to the virtual currency and increased regulatory scrutiny. Such measures help make bitcoin more legitimate, enthusiasts say.

Federal agents last month closed an online mart where customers allegedly could use bitcoin to buy anything from heroin to forged passports, according to a criminal complaint. And over the summer, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged a Texas man with raising more than $4.5 million worth of bitcoin from investors who were "falsely" promised a weekly interest rate of 7%.

A Senate subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing Monday on virtual currencies. That comes after a unit of the Treasury Department earlier this year issued guidelines that said virtual-currency exchanges are subject to the same anti-money-laundering requirements as are traditional money-transmission businesses, such as Western Union Co.

"Fewer people are asking if this is all a Ponzi scheme," says Mr. Lukasiewicz, the Coinsetter chief executive.

Despite its rising price, fans of the virtual currency are facing significant challenges. CoinLab Inc., one of the best-known names in the industry, suffered a setback last week when one of its units filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Seattle.

What's more, the competition to generate bitcoins in a process called mining is getting increasingly complicated and expensive, as companies and technology fans race to build the powerful computers required for bitcoin production. Some customers are complaining that producers of such equipment are running behind on their ability to fill orders.

Bitcoin "has clearly withstood many challenges, and there are probably more to come. The end of the journey actually has little to do with how much bitcoin is worth, but what it might be good for," said Nicholas Colas, a market strategist at New York-based global brokerage company ConvergEx Group, in a report issued earlier this month.
19  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-11-13: Japanese TV Segment on: November 13, 2013, 04:45:53 PM
Sorry, best link available is on Facebook, looks like it was recorded using a mobile phone from a TV.

7+ minutes.  No clue what they're saying but tone seems positive.  And any publicity is good publicity.

Includes Mark Karpeles speaking Japanese Shocked.

Hopefully this lights a fire under the Japanese to start climbing onboard the Bitcoin train, they have been rather missing in action so far.
20  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-11-12 Jeffrey Tucker: Has the Fed Met Its Match? on: November 12, 2013, 06:16:19 PM
Jeffrey Tucker does a delicious deconstruction of the Chicago Fed piece.
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