Bitcoin Weekly Recap 1-15-2016
Xapo Founder Casares Added to PayPal Board
As part of an apparent ongoing effort to better position itself for the future of commerce, PayPal announced that it has added Xapo’s Wences Casares to the company’s board, in a move that expanded the board’s membership to nine. Outside analysts interpreted the addition of Xapo’s CEO as another indication of PayPal’s commitment to finding and unlocking new payment technologies and business opportunities.
As Netflix Rapidly Expands, CFO Extols Bitcoin
Netflix has made news of late, as the video access giant announced a massive expansion that would see a tripling of the number of countries where the service is available - from the sixty countries now served to one-hundred and ninety. That expansion necessarily involves the acceptance of a wide variety of local currencies, which may have been in the back of CFO David Well’s mind as he seemingly pined for Bitcoin while answering questions at a recent Citigroup Conference.
After noting the challenges his company had overcome during previous expansions into foreign markets, Wells remarked that “it sure would be nice to have Bitcoin in terms of a global currency that you could use globally."
Bitcoin Group to Begin Share Trading
Australian Bitcoin miner Bitcoin Group learned last month that it has finally obtained approval to launch its IPO and begin making company shares available on the ASX. This week, the group announced that those shares would begin trading on February 2, 2015. Since first obtaining approval for its IPO in December, the company has already offered 100 million shares to investors, in an effort to raise $20 million. According to the company, approximately $18 million from that IPO will be used for additional computer power.
Russian Investigative Committee Chairman Concerned About Ruble Devaluation
In Russia, officials have been leading a fairly open war of words against Bitcoin in recent months. The ongoing battle has included reminders that the ruble is the only recognized legal tender in the nation, as well as threats to pass legislation that would punish those who use Bitcoin. In a recent interview with a Russian newspaper, the nation’s Investigative Committee Chairman Alexander Bastrykin gave expression to one of the government’s concerns when he asserted that so-called “money surrogates” are even now threatening to devalue the nation’s official currency.
Citing analysts, Bastrykin noted that the current volume of non-official currency in Russia has now risen to a full percent of the nation’s GDP. According to the Chairman, even a ten percent rise in that volume could begin to devalue the ruble and disrupt the state’s access to the income that ruble emission generates. Due to the danger this phenomenon poses to the less competitive ruble, Bastrykin suggested that new market restrictions be considered.
Bitcoin Option Added to Jackpocket Lottery App
The lottery ticket application Jackpocket recently added Bitcoin to its range of payment options. The app, which provides users with the ability to purchase the state of New York’s official lottery tickets using only their phone, will now enable players to fund their app accounts using Bitcoin. The new option is reportedly part of an ongoing effort by Jackpocket to better accommodate its customers’ payment preferences and make its lottery platform as efficient as possible.
The company’s CEO, Peter Sullivan, also stressed that the new Bitcoin option will provide the cryptocurrency’s users with another outlet for electronic commerce. At the same time, Jackpocket remains hopeful that accepting Bitcoin funding in this way will also help to introduce the lottery to an entirely new group of consumers.