The Bitcoin world has been plagued with one drawback after another. From exchange market founders facing allegations of fraud and the most recent Internet security flaw known as Heartbleed, Bitcoin enthusiasts have plenty to be worried about. Bitcoin exchanges and payment services were quick to
Australian Bitcoin enthusiasts are finally going to get their wish with Westfield Sydney Central Plaza becoming the first local retail shopping centre to welcome a Bitcoin ATM. The ATM, developed by ABA Technology (ABA), will not only allow customers to withdraw cash from their existing
Happy April, 15th! For U.S. citizens and residents, today is tax day. And if you’re one of the many Americans who was pulled into the cryptocurrency fray last year—if you traded Bitcoin on online exchanges, if you bought a ticket to space with bitcoins, even
With the deadline for the Chinese Bitcoin exchanges to be cut off from their bank accounts upon us as of today (Tuesday), the Bitcoin price is rising. Wait, what? bitcoin priceAs counterintuitive as it might seem, the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index is up about 10%
The IRS is about to find out who in the country is using Bitcoin. Tax day is usually not very complicated for me. I’ve used an accountant for years and simply meet with him annually to make my financial confession. It typically takes an hour.
We’ve known for a while now that banks generally like to stay hands-off when it comes to bitcoin, but National Australia Bank is seemingly taking it one step further. Bitcoin news website CoinDesk reported Wednesday that the bank will be closing customer accounts in early
BILTONG company Jim’s Jerky is believed to be the first business in Brisbane to start taking direct debit payments with Bitcoin. Users of the digital currency can now swipe a special Coinkite, similar to a regular debit card, to pay for the Queensland company’s high
E-commerce giant eBay has added a ‘virtual currency’ section to its main US site, enabling users to buy and sell digital currencies like bitcoin, as well as mining contracts and mining equipment. The company earlier included the section in its category changes list for April
Are the benefits of accepting bitcoin payments worth its risks? It’s not just businesses that are curious about accepting bitcoin as a form of payment. The government is all ears, too. On Wednesday (April 2, 2014), the House Small Business Committee conducted its first-ever hearing
SAN FRANCISCO – BITCOIN’S future may not rely on stabilizing its price swings or signing up more merchants to accept the virtual currency. Rather, it may rely on its image. In the last few months, the value of Bitcoin has been cut in half, in
The news that bitcoin is to be treated as property by the IRS has sparked fear among fans of the cryptocurrency. But many of the concerns are overblown. America’s Internal Revenue Service ruled on Tuesday that bitcoin should be treated more like stock than cash.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has finally released its guidance on how Bitcoin should be treated for tax purposes – and it’s bound to make the digital currency harder to use. The IRS has decided that Bitcoin is to be treated as property – not
The one-of-a-kind artwork, which depicts the currency symbol of controversial crypto-currency, Bitcoin, was sold to a Seattle internet entrepreneur earlier this month. Paid for using the peer-to-peer payment system itself, the price was not disclosed. The face value at the time of sale, however, was
The demise of Mt.Gox has been met with the launch of Bitcoin’s Ft. Knox and the establishment of new proprietary exchanges from institutional investment trading platforms as investors attempt to right the ship of the stateless currency. Having large institutional investors like Fortress Investments and
Warren Buffett said bitcoin “is a mirage” and compared it to checks and money orders. “A check is a way of transmitting money, too. Are checks worth a whole lot of money just because they can transmit money? Are money orders? … The idea that
Several prominent investment firms are joining forces to buy stakes in one of the biggest Bitcoin operations in the world. The publicly traded New York private equity and hedge fund firm Fortress Investment Group and two other investors are buying a stake in Pantera Bitcoin
The Bitcoin world has been plagued with one drawback after another. From exchange market founders facing allegations of fraud and the most recent Internet security flaw known as Heartbleed, Bitcoin enthusiasts have plenty to be worried about.
Bitcoin exchanges and payment services were quick to take action to patch the Heartbleed security flaw. Some services went offline briefly, with trades being suspended, logins blocked and so on, until it was made certain that affected users, APIs, and web services had been fixed.
Though you’d think the recent misfortunes suffered by the world’s number one cryptocurrency would make people more wary of using it, in fact the opposite has happened. A surprising number of people are open to accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment, using it to make transactions, investing in it, and now even saving it for their retirement.
Bitcoin’s value is slowly recovering thanks to a selloff that occurred last week, when Chinese Bitcoin exchanges announced that banks in the country were to stop supporting the cryptocurrency businesses this week. Its value jumped from $360.84 to $513.4 earlier today, and has now leveled out at around $500. But despite trhis increase in value, Bitcoin’s still more than 50 percent down compared to $1,100 value it hit late last year.
Even so, we can expect more people will be interested in the cryptocurrency as it goes mainstream.
Bitcoin trading to go public
SecondMarket, a trading platform that launched a Bitcoin fund for wealthy and institutional investors last year, aims to roll out the said fund, the Bitcoin Investment Trust, to more investors in the fourth quarter of 2014. BIT will become tradable on OTC Market’s electronic exchange OTCQX. However, it should be noted that OTCQX is still waiting for approval from the OTC Markets and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
“Any investor in the US with a retail brokerage account will be able to buy shares,” Barry Silbert, chief executive of SecondMarket stated.
BIT has provided a way for institutional investors whose charters barred investment to the cryptocurrency in other venues. Though this effort makes Bitcoin more available for the retail market, some industry gatekeepers are concerned with what’s happening.
“I get that people want to have some non-government affiliated store of value, but this really is not it,” says Kim Forrest, vice-president and senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group, a Pittsburgh-based registered investment adviser. “This is something that is totally fabricated.”
Despite the negativities surrounding Bitcoin, some are seeing it as a viable retirement savings option, especially when the possible collapse of the US economy is put on the table.
“There is clearly a segment out there in the market that listens to talk radio and thinks the dollar is going down the toilet and the US is going down and so forth, and they would argue that Bitcoin is like owning guns and gold: it is prudent because you should not have all your assets in mainstream dollar-denominated investments or standard currencies, which may fall apart,” John Rekenthaler, vice-president of research at Morningstar, stated.
Australian Bitcoin enthusiasts are finally going to get their wish with Westfield Sydney Central Plaza becoming the first local retail shopping centre to welcome a Bitcoin ATM.
The ATM, developed by ABA Technology (ABA), will not only allow customers to withdraw cash from their existing Bitcoin wallets but also let them turn their real wallet into a virtual one.
First-time users will have to provide appropriate identification and ABA chief executive Chris Guzowski said there’s a stringent verification process in place before bitcoins can be traded.
Once verified, consumers need to provide their phone number, PIN and the palm of their hand to authenticate transactions.
The ATM has full encryption security in place and according to Mr Guzowski is fully compliant with international regulations concerning unlawful transactions.
With ABA’s second Bitcoin ATM set to launch in Melbourne in a couple of weeks, Mr Guzowski told Business Spectator that the support of a high-profile retail entity like Westfield was crucial to highlighting the benefits of virtual currencies like Bitcoin.
“This is new technology, it’s disruptive and with the ATM there’s no intermediary holding onto your cash,” Mr Guzowski said.
“You immediately become the custodian of your value.”
Virtual currencies still might have a way to go before they can prove their worth as a stable store of value but there’s no denying their disruptive potential in the payments industry.
According to Mr Guzowski, the first industry under threat is the remittance industry, worth some $500 million a year.
“There are a lot of fees associated with this segment and we see the adoption of Bitcoin as a safe and immediate alternative,” he said.
The other sector where Bitcoin looks set to make waves is digital commerce, with virtual currencies posing a significant threat to credit card companies.
“Credit card fees are a burden to businesses, especially those operating on low margins,” Mr Guzowski said.
“Bitcoin lowers this fee and the settlement period is much, much lower.”
However, making virtual currencies mainstream relies on wholesale adoption — what Mr Guzowski describes as a “positive feedback loop”.
“The more people use it, the more they accept it and the greater acceptance leads to greater usage,” Mr Guzowski said.
Guzowski added: “We would like to thank Westfield for their support of this innovative digital remittance technology, which provides instant payment and a new way of undertaking frictionless transactions between people and businesses.”
ABA Technology was created after the merger of Australian Bitcoins ATMs and Kryptocurrency Solutions, which was headed by Robert Masters, now a director of ABA Technology.
The company has a contract to import and operate ATM devices from US supplier RoboCoin among other manufacturers.