Over the past 24 months, there has been a growing interest in using Bitcoin as a payment method. Frictionless and global payments at a fraction of traditional payment processing costs, while not having to invest in additional infrastructure, seems to be a dream come true for merchants. VodaNet is the latest company to accept Bitcoin transactions, and their vacation packages can now be paid for in virtual currency.
Cryptsy is one of the largest cryptocurrency platforms in existence to date. Not only does this platform give users the chance to trade various types of virtual currencies intermittently, but Cryptsy also added support for fiat currency trading a while ago. A new UI and set of features has been involved, and Cryptsy 2.0 is now available to users all over the world.
Make sure to read: BitPay Announces New Bitcoin Payment Processing Plans
If we want to grow the Bitcoin ecosystem, proper steps have to be taken to raise awareness about virtual currencies, and the reason why they exist. Targeting younger audiences seems to be the way forward, as students are a perfect demographic for the disruptive effect of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Or we can just take a page out of Clever Kash’s book, and directly target young children.
One of the heavy topics of debate, which has been going on for years now, is whether or not Bitcoin is ready for mainstream consumption. Despite the increase in venture capitalist funds in both 2014 and 2015, the overall performance of this disruptive virtual currency has been rather lackluster. Or that is what the everyday consumer seems to think, even though that vision is not shared by everyone.
For those among you who thought the Bitcoin block size debate would sort itself out, there is either good news or bad news, depending on how you want to look at it. During the recent Scaling Bitcoin workshop in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, a compromise may have been found. On the one side, there are people in favour of small block sizes, while the other camp is made up of those who see the benefit of using larger Bitcoin blocks.
Blockchain technology is enjoying a lot of worldwide attention, with people from different sectors looking to harness this powerful tool for their own needs. Stampery is a new startup that focuses on certifying all documents in existence, by using blockchain technology to do so. Notaries around the world better beware, as they might be replaced sooner than one might think.
Stampery Aims to Be A Blockchain-based Notary Service
The name Stampery is relatively unknown in the world of technology, however, that situation might be about to change very soon. Their service focuses on providing legally binding proofs for all sensitive documents belonging to a user or company, by using Bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology.
Buying Bitcoin still remains one of the biggest hurdles to overcome for the mainstream audience that the community so desperately wants to reach. Once a person runs out of Bitcoins in their wallet, they have to look for a quick and convenient place to purchase more coins. This is not always an easy task, but Bitcoin startup Bitnik Reload aims to change all of that.
When people are talking about Bitcoin, the country of Georgia does not immediately come to mind. Which is rather strange, as Georgia is working hard to become a favourable location for Bitcoin companies, as well as other international technology players. BitFury Group recently installed a brand new data center in the country, which has been attracting quite a bit of interest from all over the world.
Bitcoin companies from all over the world are making a name for themselves once they get a chance to demo their project at an accelerator or startup competition. Everledger is a Bitcoin startup looking to wield the power of blockchain technology to fight diamond theft. Their business idea did not go by unnoticed, and the company recently won 30,000 EUR in a BBVA competition.
Bitcoin is in an awkward state in Australia. In the beginning, the country seemed to be quite open-minded to the idea of virtual currencies, and let things slide without any intervention. Later on, it was decided that Bitcoin would not only be taxable, but subject to additional taxation on top of the normal rate to boot. If that wasn’t enough, major Australian banks are no longer working with Bitcoin companies either.
Bitcoin is a powerful tool to improve the microtransactions ecosystem. Sending small amounts of funds, either for in-game purchases, tipping or gaining access to premium content, can be quite a hassle when relying on traditional payment methods. While it may be very convenient for the consumer to pay with PayPal or credit card, there are still large fees attached to these transactions.
SatoshiPay – Uniting Bitcoin and Micropayments
To be more precise, SatoshiPay is a company that enables content creators and merchants to accept nanotransactions, as well as microtransactions. Even if the product or service costs less than a cent, SatoshiPay will be able to process the payment, as Bitcoin is a currency divisible up to 8 digits after the decimal, whereas fiat currency can only go as far as two digits.
Things are starting to change in the Bitcoin ecosystem and not all of those changes will be welcomed with open arms. BitPay, the world’s leading Bitcoin payment processor, will no longer offer their “free and unlimited” plan to new merchants. This is in stark contrast to earlier promises of keeping this plan around “forever”.
BitPay Shakes Up Bitcoin Payment Processing Plans
BitPay’s “free and unlimited” Bitcoin payment processing plan was first introduced to the world in July 2014, as the company wanted to sign up as many merchants around the world as possible. Giving these merchants the option to accept Bitcoin payments and convert the funds to fiat currency without additional costs is part of the reason BitPay became a household name.
Bitcoin and charitable organisations go hand-in-hand, as it is much easier to accept virtual currency donations compared to traditional payment options. Wire transfers, credit cards, cash and even Paypal, are all subject to fees along the way of getting the funds to those in need. Bitcoin payments are subject to a minimal fee and funds can be sent to anyone in the world within minutes. SurBTC, a Bitcoin exchange in Chile, wants to bring out the best of Bitcoin when natural disasters take place.
Introducing novice users to the world of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies is not an easy task. That being said, there are certain options to explore when trying to bring in new community members. One of the ways to successfully do that, as Spells of Genesis has proven, is by combining virtual currency with a card game.
Spells of Genesis Takes The World By Storm
At the start of August, the Spells of Genesis team begun their 30-day crowdsale journey. EverdreamSoft, the company behind this virtual currency/card game hybrid, was taken aback by the immediate success of this crowdsale, as more than 240 Bitcoin was raised within the first two hours. That line of success continued when the funding goal of US$200,000 was reached a few days later.
It has been in the making for quite some time, but now Fidor Bank has finally opened its doors to the public in the United Kingdom. Most Bitcoin enthusiasts will know the name Fidor Bank for their presence in Germany and their openness towards Bitcoin companies and startups. With this UK launch, Fidor Bank can bring banking relations to UK Bitcoin companies while the main banks are still refusing to do so.
Every once in a while, the Bitcoin ecosystem is faced with a major curveball that no one saw coming. One of the most popular Bitcoin wallet solutions, called Hive Wallet is no longer being developed or maintained. To be more precise, there hasn’t been much growth going on over the past year or so, according to the developer. All Hive Wallet users are advised to do, is to move over funds to a different Bitcoin wallet solution, such as Mycelium or Breadwallet.
One of the major drawbacks regarding most Bitcoin debit cards is how they are unavailable to US customers. The reason for this is due to impending independent regulations in every state, combined with federal regulations and guidelines. However, this is not keeping various global companies from shipping these cards to customers all over the world.
Xapo – Bitcoin Debit Card with Lots of Promise
Bitcoin debit cards are far from a perfect solution to push Bitcoin adoption and awareness to new levels. That being said, these cards do allow Bitcoin enthusiasts to spend virtual currency at millions of worldwide locations, as long as the merchant has a payment terminal to process credit and debit cards. For online payments, these Bitcoin debit cards will work with popular services such as Paypal and Apple Pay.
Bitcoin is a powerful tool to accomplish just about anything in this world and one of the options to harness that power is by creating a local ecosystem. Not only can underbanked nations benefit from Blockchain technology, but people in remote areas are a catalyst for Bitcoin adoption. A local farming Bitcoin ecosystem is not something most people would have envisioned, but in Australia, they are somehow making it work.
Every now and then, a popular Bitcoin service will relaunch under a different name. In some cases, this is due to outside influences, such as a change in managerial positions or a new investor. But in the case of BitLendingClub, they simply want to remove the “Bit” part of the company name and continue under the brand name “Loanbase”.
BitLendingClub – A Success Story for Two Years Straight
Over the past two years, BitLendingClub has achieved many successes in the market of extending Bitcoin loans to customers. It goes without saying this is a very delicate market, as Bitcoin transactions can not be reserved if someone doesn’t pay their loan back. To reduce the risks of these events taking place, BitLendingClub introduced a strict verification procedure for all users.
Despite Europe being far more open to the idea of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, there are still quite a few hurdles to overcome when purchasing Bitcoin for the very first time. There are already various exchange platforms available to European customers, but having more competition in this market can only be beneficial in the long run. CoinCorner, a reputable Bitcoin exchange based in The Isle of Man, has now expanded their services to European customers.