Bitcoin Weekly Recap 10-16-2015
Integrative Virtual Card E-Coin Meets Success With Online Fundraising Effort
The company behind the innovative virtual debit card system E-Coin has apparently elevated its target goal for online funding on www.bnktothefuture.com. After the initial goal met with an enthusiastic response, E-Coin raised that goal by roughly $100,000. At present, about one-sixth of the new target has been pledged, as investors have responded to E-Coin’s currency integration concept. The card has drawn interest for its integrative approach to blending fiat and cryptocurrency.
Consumers can use both plastic and virtual cards just as they would any VISA or MasterCard, and spend or withdraw money anywhere those cards are accepted. That means that any cardholder can spend his Bitcoins even at websites or stores that have not yet agreed to accept the digital currency, since the cards enable rapid conversion of the Bitcoins in a user’s account into three different fiat currencies: the dollar, the pound, and the Euro. That integration is helping to bring Bitcoin even further into the mainstream marketplace, and is almost certain to increase consumer and business acceptance of digital currency.
Latin American Online Retailer Famsa Now Accepts Bitcoin
While many have lamented the recent slower pace of merchant acceptance of Bitcoin, there has been one bright spot where growth has remained steady: Latin America. Just this week, Famsa – the Mexican retail chain that sells a variety of consumer products both at home and north of the country’s border – announced that its online payment system will now accept Bitcoin. The news follows June’s news that Mexican airline TAR Aerolineas would accept the digital currency, and a similar move by MercadoLibre just last month. Most analysts see the news as just another sign of a continuing trend that has seen the use of virtual currency across the region continue to outpace many other parts of the world.
G2A Now Using BitPay to Accept Bitcoin Payment
Gamers learned this week that one of the giants of the video game industry – G2A –is now joining with BitPay to enable Bitcoin use across the company’s game platform marketplace. The company will soon include the digital currency in the basket of payment options it offers to a customer base that numbers in the millions each year. G2A officials noted that partnering with BitPay provides the marketplace’s seller community with another great option for realizing more buying activity, while offering even greater flexibility for buyers.
Bitcoin Startup Financing Shows Signs of Slowing
Most Bitcoin enthusiasts were ecstatic when reports earlier this year confirmed that investment in new Bitcoin startup companies had reached record levels. That flow of venture capital has now eased, however, with second quarter funding having fallen to just $87 million. Many analysts attribute the decline to what they see as maturation in the industry, as more financing is now going to new companies that are more tightly focused on blockchain applications than other aspects of the cryptocurrency universe.
Boost VC Now Accepting New Applications for Bitcoin Accelerator
Boost VC announced that its 3-month Bitcoin Accelerator program is open for new applicants from now through the 30th of November. The Tribe 7 program is scheduled to begin in February, 2016, and will provide the entrants with total immersion in an entrepreneurial environment, mentors, and close interaction with various investors and leaders in the cryptocurrency industry.
Since 2012, Boost VC has provided tens of millions of dollars to entrepreneurs who work with what the company refers to as “emerging technologies” – primarily bitcoin technology and digital reality projects. To date, those funding efforts have provided needed capital for more than a hundred different startups.
Bitcoin Rises to more than $250, Meets Analysts’ Target
Bitcoin’s value edged past $250 this week, the first time the coin has managed that eat in nearly two months. This matched many analyst expectations, and has some calling for a bullish outlook on the currency’s immediate future. The value continues to fluctuate, however, so those same analysts advise those seeking long positions to exercise caution at this point in time.
PhD Student Asserts Correlation between Bitcoin Value and Economic Freedom
A recent research paper from a PhD student at South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business asserts a noticeable correlation between the price of Bitcoin and the amount of economic freedom in given countries. That student, Robert Viglione, found that the coin tends to be priced higher in the countries with the least amount of economic freedom – suggesting that digital currency is seen as a better opportunity for investment in those areas of the world.
His data suggests that nations with rigid systems for capital control and highly-controlled trade mechanisms suppress economic freedom to such an extent that many investors in those countries view cryptocurrency as one of their best options for avoiding asset confiscation. While not conclusive, his research is certainly compelling enough to warrant further study, and a solid reminder of just how vital mass acceptance of digital currency can be to enhancing economic freedom around the world.
New Bitcoin Core Version 0.11.1
Just a reminder that the new core version of Bitcoin has been released, and is available for download at:
This new minor version release offers a number of security fixes. As a result, users are advised to upgrade to the new version as soon as possible.