Bitcoin Weekly Recap 1-8-2016
India’s Zebpay Receives $1 Million in Funding
Bitcoin mobile app transaction company Zebpay announced that it has received a total of $1 million in funds as a result of its Series A funding round. The investment capital was provided by a group of investors that include Amit Hindal, Nagendra Chaudhary, and Arjun Handa. The company has stated that this funding will be used for its Bitcoin wallet and for more services that utilize blockchain technology.
Zebpay co-founder Saurabh Agrawal noted that there is a growing interest in this technology among entities in both the private and public sector, which provides an obvious opportunity for his company to increase the number and type of services it provides. The Indian market for cryptocurrency is still in its early stages of development, and Zebpay is actively working to properly position itself for the industry’s anticipated future growth.
Pennsylvania Effort to Declare Bitcoin Money Falls Victim to Budget Impasse
Legislative budgetary issues have resulted in a stalled effort to have Bitcoin defined as money in the State of Pennsylvania. Reports indicate that hearings on the bill that would have redefined currency in the state were canceled due to an ongoing budget battle between Pennsylvania’s Governor, Tom Wolf, and the state’s legislature. The bill, if passed, would have altered the state’s official stance on the definition of money to include any recognized unit of exchange, including digital currencies like Bitcoin.
BitStamp Announces Bitcoin Sales via Credit, Debit Cards
Slovenia-based BitStamp has been actively providing its customers with new services lately and recently announced its plans to provide customers in the UK and Slovenia with the ability to use debit and credit cards to purchase Bitcoins. At the same time, the company revealed that it intends to expand these services into other markets throughout Europe. The company is limiting daily Bitcoin purchases to $300, with weekly purchases limited to $1,500.
New Chinese Capital Controls Not Expected to Impact Bitcoin Exchanges
While there has been a great deal of concern over recent capital upheavals in China, most experts agree that they are unlikely to have much, if any, impact on the Bitcoin market or Chinese exchanges. China’s recent enactment of stricter capital controls, and the suspension of a number of foreign banks’ exchange services have some outside observers spooked, but the people behind the nation’s local Bitcoin exchanges seem unfazed by any of these developments.
There have been some attempts to cite Chinese capital restrictions as factors in Bitcoin’s rise in value, at least one manager at China’s Huobi exchange has noted that these latest controls appear to be having no real effect on the currency’s trading volume or price. That sentiment was expressed in October by the company’s CEO, Leon Li, when he noted his belief that capital controls had nothing to do with Bitcoin price surges.
Booking Your Room with Bitcoin and BookWithBit
Consumers looking to book hotel rooms will soon be able to do so using their Bitcoins. A project called BookWithBit will facilitate those bookings in a way that utilizes the currencies used by their hotel destinations. If successful, the BookWithBit service would compete with more well-known booking companies like Expedia. According to the project’s founder, Kalpesh Patel, most of the hotel options available at project launch will be located in the United States, with locations in India and Europe to be added later.
The booking service will provide a variety of different benefits for consumers, including advanced booking discounts and the ability for groups to divide the cost of the booking among their members. Users will also enjoy the benefits of only having to pay when they arrive for their scheduled stay. It should be noted that Expedia does already provide a Bitcoin payment option for its customers. However, BookWithBit would be the first hotel booking service to focus exclusively on Bitcoin transactions.