The Middle East is an area of particular interest to the financial world. Not just because there is a ton of oil concentrated in this part of the world, but also because these countries have a direct influence on the USD value. As a result, Bitcoin growth in the Middle East is attracting attention and there are also a few places where the virtual currency is being accepted.
One of the major Bitcoin stories of the past week has been on whether or not Uber is planning to integrate Bitcoin payments in the future. Whereas it was hinted at first that Bitcoin integration is on the to-do list, Uber quickly decided to counter that statement with an official press release. However, that is not keeping Uber drivers from collecting Bitcoin tips.
Uber Drivers See The Benefits of Bitcoin
Even though Uber is one of the world’s most popular – and hated – decentralized services to this very date, their choice of payment methods strikes many people as rather odd. Granted, customers need to have a convenient way of paying for their rides, and by integrating mobile payments, Uber has taken a big step in the right direction.
The Philippines remain a key area for Bitcoin in terms of taking on the remittance market. Coins.ph, one of the major Bitcoin services companies operating in this market, launched a mobile application called Teller. In doing so, the company can now offer its services to Indonesia and Thailand as well.
Teller – A Peer-to-peer Approach to Bitcoin And its Use Cases
It is no secret that Bitcoin is a far superior way of transferring funds all across the world in terms of remittance. Services such as Western Union are far too expensive for both the sender and the recipient, whereas Bitcoin transactions only invoke a minute transaction fee. This had lead a “remittance arms race” to focus on countries such as the Philippines.
Bitcoin in India is a bit of a difficult subject to tackle. Officially speaking, Bitcoin is not banned in India, even though the government and most financial institutions would rather not get involved for the time being. But that doesn’t mean Bitcoin is not popular in the country. And that popularity has not gone unnoticed.
UnoCoin – Bitcoin Wallet and Payment Processor
The name UnoCoin carries a lot of weight in the Indian Bitcoin community. Not just because this company is similar to Coinbase in many ways, but also because it is the most commonly used Bitcoin platform in India. By offering both a wallet service and a merchant payment processing feature, UnoCoin has become synonymous with Bitcoin in that part of the world.
One of the most common remarks regarding Bitcoin is how it sounds good on paper, but is far from usable in the real world. Granted, Bitcoin is accepted in far fewer stores than we would like, but that doesn’t make it a useless payment method either. And with HotelGo24 now launched, booking a hotel with Bitcoin has never been easier.
Opportunities for The Travelling Bitcoin Enthusiast
Over the past year and a half, we have seen multiple hotels start accepting Bitcoin payments on an individual basis. On top of that, major travel agency Expedia has started to accept Bitcoin payments as well, even though that service has had some hiccups in the early days.
One of the biggest untapped markets for Bitcoin is the country of Japan. That should come as no surprise, as Japan is not hostile towards Bitcoin, but due to the cultural differences, citizens are very wary of new technologies that are not controlled by the government or central authorities. But that might be changing soon, thanks to the efforts made by Quoine.
Quoine – More Than Just a Bitcoin Exchange
Most of our readers will know the name Quoine from the exchange offering, as the company claims to be the largest Bitcoin exchange servicing Japanese customers. That is not all that Quoine offers their customers though, as the company is also known for their ventures into the world of forex trading.
South America is quite an interesting continent for Bitcoin and digital currencies. Most other countries are plagued by hyper-inflated fiat currencies. On top of that, governments do anything they can to decrease the chances of exchanging local fiat currency to any other currency. But BitINKA might be changing all of that in the near future.
BitINKA – Expanding to Cover All of South America
The name BitINKA is fairly common in South American countries such as Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, and Venezuela, as the Bitcoin platform has been available there for quite some time now. But the company isn’t resting on its laurels and plans to expand their services to neighbouring countries such as Chile, Colombia, and Argentina.
More and more companies are starting to see the benefits of accepting digital currency payments such as Bitcoin. Even though there have been various platforms offering domain names and web hosting in exchange for Bitcoin in the past, there is always room for additional companies to do so. And the latest one in that list is called Cloudways.
Cloudways – Cloud Hosting With Latest Technology
In the world of web hosting and cloud services, there is a lot of focus on new technologies and disruptive opportunities to gain an edge over the competition. By accepting Bitcoin payments, Cloudways is taking a major step forward towards accepting alternate payments.
Bitcoin regulation and taxation remains a focal point for governments and digital currency enthusiasts worldwide. With so many countries still on the fence on how they should handle this disruptive alternative currency, it is difficult to predict how everything will play out in the end. But if you live in Switzerland, you can rest assured, as there will be no VAT to pay on Bitcoin for now.
Making Bitcoin more usable in the real world is neither difficult nor easy these days. It all depends on your perception of using Bitcoin as a payment method. If you are looking to pay merchants in Bitcoin directly in the hopes of them keeping a portion of that transaction in BTC, you will have a hard time finding someone. But if you just want to use Bitcoin for everyday purchases, regardless of what the merchant does with it, there is a whole wide world to explore.
Integrating Bitcoin into existing eCommerce solutions is becoming easier over time, as more and more open source solutions enable digital currency payments. The latest addition to that list is X-Cart, a global provider of hosted shopping cart services for eCommerce business. Accepting Bitcoin payments on your online store has never been easier.
X-Cart: Global eCommerce Solution
When you look at the options for integrating a shopping cart into your online store, the possibilities are endless. And it is a good thing to see some competition in this space, even though popular names such as ZenCart and OpenCart still have a larger market share. But X-Cart is not just any eCommerce shopping cart solution either.
Using Bitcoin in the real world is not as easy as we would like. Granted, there are several ways to circumvent that issue, as several cities around the world have multiple merchants accepting Bitcoin payments in-store. And there is an easier solution to spending Bitcoin as well, by using a BTC-funded Debit Card. Popular Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp is now issuing their own Bitcoin Debit Card, so, let’s see what they have to offer.
Bitcoin and The Isle of Man seem a golden combination these days. Not only is The Isle of Man a safe haven for Bitcoin startups and companies due to their openness towards new technology, but it’s also becoming a key area for payment solution providers. Payment Goblin, a company specializing in helping merchants accept all types of payments, is now offering their Bitcoin-related services to residents of Isle of Man.
Payment Goblin – All Kinds of Payments
If you are running an online business or even a retail business these days, you want to attract as many customers as possible. Other than undercutting competitors’ prices and finding your inventory’s sweet spot, the only other thing you can do to differentiate your store is by accepting various payment methods.
Creating a mobile Bitcoin wallet is not an easy feat, as developers are targeting a very wide audience in doing so. Some people are more tech-savvy than others and you also have to account for younger and older users. Easbit, a company specializing in Bitcoin wallet mobile technology, create the first granny-proof wallet. But what is under the hood?
Easbit – Granny-Proof and Functional
Most mobile Bitcoin wallets are developed by companies who want to create a user experience, yet also require those users to remain locked down in a certain ecosystem. It goes without saying this is not in line with the Bitcoin ideology, as digital currency is all about decentralization and giving people the tools they need to access any type of service.
Canadian universities are focusing more and more attention on Bitcoin, as they see the benefits and potential of not just using it as a currency, but also supporting the underlying technology. Simon Fraser University in Canada now lets their students use Bitcoin to pay for textbooks, and no less than three Bitcoin ATM’s have been installed on the campus grounds.
SFU Embraces Bitcoin
Attending university in the US and Canada is rather expensive, and the additional costs of textbooks make it only more challenging to make ends meet from a financial point of view. Granted, there are student loans to lessen the burden, but that doesn’t mean there are no other viable solutions to make life a bit easier.
Creating use cases for Bitcoin is not a very difficult task, but we could always use more ways to spend digital currency as an everyday consumer. And what better way to achieve that goal than by giving people more options to buy food and drinks with Bitcoin? Simon’s Hot Dogs in Sedona, Arizona is now accepting Bitcoin payments for their Colombian style Hot Dogs!
Bitcoin in Arizona Rather on the Low
With all of the debacle going on in the United States regarding Bitcoin regulation, one of the states you hardly ever hear being mentioned is Arizona. But that doesn’t mean there is no Bitcoin-related activity taking place in this state, as they do have a meetup group and a Bitcoin ATM located over there.
One of the news topics that has gone by pretty much unnoticed over this last week is the fact that CardinalCommerce integrated Bitcoin payments. Such a “nod of approval” from the global leader and pioneer in the remote payments industry can only be seen as a positive for Bitcoin and its underlying technology. For merchants, there is no valid reason not to consider at least accepting Bitcoin payments right now.
CardinalCommerce – Remote Payments
Even though we all use the existing financial infrastructure on a frequent basis, most of the companies making our way of paying possible are never mentioned. Up until today, most of our readers may not have heard of CardinalCommerce, despite the company’s efforts of enabling authenticated payments in the card-not-present payment industry since 1999.
Using Bitcoin is not a complicated process, yet the number of use cases for most everyday consumers is still relatively low. Once people can start paying their bills in Bitcoin, adoption will certainly thrive. Such a service is already made possible in the EU by companies like BitBill and Bitwala, but not worldwide. Until that day, why not use Bitcoin pay for sending a fax anywhere in the world?