Bitcoin Weekly Recap 10-9-2015
Gemini Bitcoin Chain Given Launch Approval
After more than eight months of waiting, the digital currency world learned this week that the Gemini Bitcoin exchange had finally received the launch approval it needed from New York’s Department of Financial Services. The new exchange is the brainchild of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who are hopeful that it will grow to become digital currency’s version of the NASDAQ. Scheduled to be open for trading this week, Gemini will begin providing its services to a customer base that includes traders in 26 states and the U.S. capitol.
The new exchange is relying on online visuals to assist in its goal of increasing ease-of-use for its customers. Among its visual features is a simulation that will allow any given buyer or seller to see how his or her trading activity will impact the Bitcoin market. Perhaps more importantly, the interface is designed to be as clean as possible to avoid the cumbersome appearances so common in most other tech-based and financial offerings.
Finally, other digital currencies and products may eventually be added to the exchange as well. Whether the end results are everything the founders envision is anybody’s guess, of course – but most in the industry will recognize this as yet another potentially positive step toward greater acceptance of Bitcoin, and by extension other digital currencies as well.
John McAfee Announces Plan to Accept Bitcoin Donations in His Bid for the Presidency
John McAfee, the man behind the McAfee anti-virus software program, shocked everyone last month when he announced that he was running for President of the United States of America as the nominee of his own Cyber Party. The one-time fugitive – still facing a DUI charge – is running on a platform that opposes government surveillance of U.S. citizens, and the size of the bureaucracy, and has made a point of relying entirely on PayPal for the contributions he receives. Until now, that is.
McAfee is now accepting Bitcoin contributions from supporters. That makes him the second candidate in this election cycle to solicit digital currency donations for his campaign, as Senator Rand Paul made a similar announcement in April of this year.
While his candidacy is all but certain to gain little if any traction, this type of announcement – along with the FEC’s previous decision to view digital currency campaign contributions in the same way it views fiat money donations – certainly bring the type of positive attention Bitcoin so sorely needs these days.
Bitpay Teams with Ingenico, Offers Brick and Mortar POS Solution
One of the most important goals of the digital currency revolution moved closer to reality this week as BitPay and Ingenico unveiled a new Point of Sale (POS) solution for retailers and other brick and mortar businesses. The new system allows merchants to use their existing Ingenico POS devices to accept Bitcoin as payment, making it easier for customers to actually use digital currency in their everyday consumer activities.
This comes as welcome news to those consumers, and provides storefront operations an opportunity to regain some of the ground they have lost to online retailers in recent years. The lower costs associated with processing cryptocurrency transactions should prove enticing to many brick and mortar business owners who are struggling with typical credit and debit card processing fees.
To Reverse Bitcoin’s Decline in Nodes, 21 Inc Pledges Support for Critical Mass
In response to a decline in the number of nodes in the Bitcoin network, 21 Inc is lending its considerable financial power to an effort to reverse the trend. There has been considerable concern about the fact that the number of those nodes is down by 12% compared to last year. That decline has caused many to fear that the network’s continuing stability could no longer be guaranteed, since it requires a critical mass of nodes to maintain the distribution required for optimal network health.
Along with Addy Yeow’s BitNodes Project, 21 Inc has been working to address the problem. Yeow had already instituted an incentive program designed to encourage more nodes, and 21 is now incorporating that incentive program into its own Bitcoin computer sales.