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Mobile Nations Welcomes Growth in Bitcoin Transactions

Mobile Nations, a leading provider of ‘all things mobile’, started accepting bitcoin payments in early December. So far, the currency has proved to be a success for the retailer.

Mobile Nations operates store fronts such as ShopAndroid, ShopCrackberry, Windows Phone Central and, of course, the iMore Store. All four stores have been accepting bitcoin since 3rd December.

But how many of its consumers are actually using bitcoin?

Mobile Nations’ chief media officer Kevin Michaluk told CoinDesk that a relatively small amount of payments were made in bitcoin, roughly 0.004% of total orders. However, the average size of a bitcoin order is significantly higher than orders via other methods.

“The single largest order placed in our stores in December was actually paid for with bitcoin,” said Michaluk.

He pointed out that Mobile Nations decided to start accepting bitcoin payments in response to demand from the community:

“When our customers ask for something, we take it seriously. We had been receiving requests to accept bitcoin for the past six months or so, on a steady but fairly limited basis.”

Michaluk added that as the value of bitcoin surged in late 2013, calls to introduce bitcoin payments grew louder. Since the surge coincided with the holiday shopping season, Mobile Nations decided to add support for the virtual currency.

“Our tech team looked into the requirements and merchant services available and found the process to be straightforward. Implementation was easy, and a few days later we were ready to accept Bitcoin,” he said.

On the user-end, the system is straightforward. All consumers need to do is add an item to their cart and click the ‘Pay with bitcoin’ button, hassle free.

When asked to comment on the future of bitcoin, Michaluk was cautious. He said he still does not know what the future holds for bitcoin, but he stressed that there is a real community movement behind bitcoin and many customers are asking for bitcoin support.

Mobile Nations was happy to oblige and become part of the bitcoin story.

Source: http://www.coindesk.com/mobile-nations-reports-surge-bitcoin-payments/

Originally posted 2013-12-28 06:20:47.

US Discounter overstock.com to Accept Bitcoins in 2014

To the delight of many, Overstock.com has recently announced they will start accepting bitcoins as a form of payment next year. While the official statement is that they will begin accepting them in the second half of next year, Patrick Byrne, CEO of overstock.com asserts the change could happen as early as four months from now.

[Interestingly, overstock.com now ship to Australia.]

Currently, overstock.com brings in over $1 billion a year in revenue from selling closeout merchandise from many big name brands. Byrne explained in an article for The Los Angeles Times, “I think we’ll pick up…the market share of people who’s prefer to pay in bitcoin, with an honest currency. Also philosophical, part and parcel with my belief in a limited government – that is you want limited government you can’t give it power to expand the monetary base.”

This statement by Byrne, coincides with his self-proclaimed libertarian views. Byrne is a strong supported of unregulated cryptocurrency like Bitcoins. Overstock.com isn’t the only company to start accepting bitcoins as payment. Reddit, OkCupid, Ouya, and Virgin Galactic are also now accepting bitcoins.

Despite their recent growth in support, bitcoins still face a number of obstacles. For example, the value of bitcoins fluctuates to the point of being described as volatile. In the previous month alone, the bitcoin prices ranged from $500 to $1200. Those holding bitcoins refused to spend because they hoped the value would increase, while merchants refused to accept them out of fear the value would decrease.

Overstock.com is hoping to avoid this issue by converting the bitcoins into US currency when purchases are made. Despite these problems, the increased acceptance of bitcoins will help the currency grow in stability, which will help in the long run. Many are still cautious to consider using a currency that is unregulated, however, support for bitcoins is growing rapidly. Support has grown to the point that the US Congress formed a special committee just to research them and their use to decide if they should be regulated.

Source: http://www.josic.com/overstock-com-plans-to355-accept-bitcoins

Originally posted 2013-12-28 06:09:26.

Bangalore Pizza Joint Now Accepts Bitcoins

BANGALORE: Tarun Thadani, the proprietor of a vintage-themed pizza outlet in the posh Worli area of Mumbai, thinks he is making history. On Saturday, his restaurant Kolonial announced that its patrons can pay in bitcoins instead of rupees, thus laying claim to the title of being India’s first eatery to accept the new-age currency. “Right now, people are a bit sceptical about bitcoins, but it’s going to become big. I am testing the waters,” said Thadani, 30, who is a bitcoin owner and a host to several bitcoin meetups at Kolonial.

The only other business establishment in India which accepts bitcoins is Mumbai’s Castle Blue spa and salon. In Bangalore, the technology startup accelerator Microsoft Ventures Accelerator is doing its bit for bitcoin by lending its office space to host the country’s first Bitcoin meetup of 2014 in India’s tech capital.

Benson Samuel, a Bangalorebased bitcoin enthusiast who runs coininsecure.in, a portal on the digital currency, said Microsoft Ventures has offered a 100-seater conference room, with a projector, audio-visual support and a cafe area for Bitcoin meetups starting next month. “They seemed quite happy to get us on board. They are also open to providing us with Wi-Fi, as and when we start off some hackathons.”

Initiatives such as these explain why bitcoin, an electronic currency that is minted in the cyberspace and stored in digital wallets, is encouraging entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and technology enthusiasts to invest their money in businesses that use bitcoins to buy and sell goods on the internet.

Founded in 2009, bitcoin is not issued by any central bank but by an open source software through a process called ‘mining’. India has a 50,000-strong bitcoin community, with at least 30,000 of them owning the digital currency, according to bitcoin enthusiasts and observers in the country.

While bitcoin gains in popularity in India, entrepreneurs and investors say they are concerned about the RBI’s stance on the digital currency. In August, ET had reported that RBI was “watching and learning” about bitcoins.

On Tuesday, the RBI made clear its displeasure with virtual currencies, including bitcoin, saying they pose “significant financial and security risks”. In a statement, RBI said bitcoin payments are not authorised by any central bank or monetary authority and that it is presently examining the issues associated with the usage, holding and trading of virtual currencies.

“There is no underlying or backing of any asset for virtual currencies. As such, their value seems to be a matter of speculation…No regulatory approvals, registration or authorisation is stated to have been obtained by the entities concerned for carrying on such activities,” the statement said.

But Alok Kejriwal, digital entrepreneur and founder Games2win, agaming portal that claims over 20 million unique users each month, described bitcoin as a “fun currency”.

India has a very young, techsavvy population and that is driving bitcoin’s popularity, he said.

Last month, British entrepreneur Richard Branson-owned Virgin Galactic said it will start accepting bitcoin for trips to space while in September, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the internet entrepreneur twins, said they would launch a bitcoin fund that would let investors trade in the digital currency. As with other transactions, bitcoins too have the share of undesirable consequences.

In October, the FBI arrested Ross Ulbricht, an entrepreneur said to be behind Silk Road, an online marketplace for illegal drugs and arms. Silk Road, which the FBI cracked down on, accepted only bitcoin payments and could only be accessed via the Tor Web network, an anonymous networkwithin-the-internet.

Source: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-12-25/news/45561650_1_bangalorebased-bitcoin-enthusiast-bitcoin-payments-virtual-currencies

Originally posted 2013-12-26 07:54:28.

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