The world economy floundered Friday following Great Britain’s shocking decision to exit the European Union — but the bitcoin is proving that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.Even as stock markets and world currencies flailed at the results of the Brexit vote, the bitcoin suddenly spiked in value, surging past $650, up $100 from the previous day (when it still seemed possible that the EU could stay together). Because apparently, the only thing people still have faith in is a virtual currency.For perspective, as of Brexit morning, the pound went down 6.44 percent against the euro and 10 percent against the dollar. But bitcoin continued its upward trajectory, increasing 7 percent in the last seven hours of trading. At day’s end, the price of bitcoin had gone up 8.7 percent, and hit a high of $680.19, according to Coindesk. “We are seeing … almost $100 million traded in the past 24 hours, it’s two or three times … [Read more...] about Great Britain may be out of the EU, but bitcoin is definitely in the black
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In the midst of the ongoing financial crisis, Greece has stopped online payment transactions from going ahead using Greek debit or credit cards. This follows the introduction of a 60 euro/$67 ATM withdrawal limit, and the week-long closure of the country’s banks, amid strong concerns Greece will abandon the euro as its currency. With such restrictions in place, there is evidence Greeks are turning to Bitcoin as a way to protect savings.Greek debit and credit cards linked to international stores online have been blocked. For example, visitors to the Greek iTunes page are presented with a “Payment is declined” message when attempting to download an app, either paid or free, and told to update their payment method. Then, a similar message to that received when the source card does not have any funds, or has expired is shown.The same online payment restrictions mean Greek cards cannot be used for purchases on Amazon, or any other e-retailer that has previously served … [Read more...] about Online payments halted in Greece, citizens eye Bitcoin to protect savings
How safe is bitcoin? After several months of testing bitcoin services, I can conclude that the digital currency is both important and strong as a concept and as a system, though it can fall prey to weaknesses in the proprietary software of exploitative ad-hoc businesses around it. Here's a snapshot of the experiences that led me to this opinion.Following an article I wrote several years ago, I found myself with a handful of bitcoins donated by kind readers (if anyone wants to donate again to fuel further investigations, please send to 16Nri1FS4sRKPuv1SMt4GtGuCCLVUdFcku). Using my small stash, I've been trying a wide range of bitcoin services to see how well they perform. I have yet to find any that are open source, which means I've been left at the mercy of the geeks -- probably supersmart ones -- behind them. [ Has the face of bitcoin really been unmasked? | See which open source projects are off to a great start in InfoWorld's top 10 new open source projects of the year. | Track … [Read more...] about My great bitcoin adventure: 6 months, 5 exchanges
Coinbase, one of the more prominent exchanges for buying and selling bitcoins, is opening up wider access to the digital currency in Europe.The company announced Wednesday the international expansion of its service into 13 countries across Europe. People in those countries can now use Coinbase to buy and sell bitcoins, and businesses can accept payments by linking a European bank account to a Coinbase account.The services are available in Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Portugal and Slovakia, after Coinbase held talks with regulators and financial authorities there.Coinbase operates three Bitcoin services—an exchange for buying and selling bitcoins, a digital wallet for storing them, and a payment processing service that makes it easier for merchants to accept them. People almost anywhere in the world could use the wallet, but the exchange and payment services were limited to the U.S.With the expansion, Coinbase … [Read more...] about Coinbase expands Bitcoin services in Europe
Whether it’s a smartphone or a tablet, the mobile device is here to stay. More than just a tool for communications, it’s now easier than ever to use your personal device to conduct all manner of business transactions. Increasingly, one of the most popular types of activity around the world is mobile banking.Every bank worth its salt has a mobile app, and there are new standalone financial service apps springing up each day. All of this innovation means that smartphones are rapidly replacing traditional cash exchange systems. Here are just a few examples of how that’s happening.If you’ve ever had to travel abroad, you’ll know that getting your home country’s currency exchanged for a local one can be a major headache. Waiting in line just to pay exorbitant service fees eats away at your money and leaves you exasperated, two things that add stress to your vacation or business trip.There are some ways to minimize the problem, such as using your bank to … [Read more...] about How smartphones are taking over traditional cash exchange systems
Bitcoin may just be a "virtual" currency, but there's no denying its rising value. The currency, which last month was trading on the order of roughly $30, is now valued at over US$230.[BITCOIN: 7 reasons to be wary]On Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, the most popular place online for people to buy and sell Bitcoins with others around the world in their own local currencies, the last listed price for a single Bitcoin was $236. That's up more than 100 percent from roughly $100 a week ago.Pinpointing the factors underlying Bitcoin's ascending popularity, however, is tricky. Bitcoin is based on a concept called "crypto-currency," using a peer-to-peer framework allowing its users to manage transactions and issue Bitcoins without any central financial or regulatory authority. The true identity of even its founder, colloquially known as "Satoshi Nakamoto," remains a mystery. Bitcoin currently has roughly 1.4 million users."Bitcoin's foundation is similar to Linux, which was open-source software designed … [Read more...] about Bitcoin’s price soars to over $200
Will 2014 be the year we trade in our credit cards and abandon our wallets in favor of virtual currencies? If you follow the recent hype surrounding bitcoin, the trendiest of the new crop of digital currencies, you could be swayed into thinking that good, old-fashioned cash was going the way of the dinosaur. Get the Free Tracker App to find a Luvabella in Stock According to The Wall Street Journal, over the course of 2013, the price of bitcoin rose from $13.50 to roughly $650, down from a high of $1,200 in November. By contrast, the U.S. dollar gained about 0.5% over the year, according to the ICE Dollar Index. Clearly, there is a growing interest in bitcoin. But it’s not just currency speculators, digital miners and early adopters driving the surge in interest. Regulators, banking institutions and tax authorities have also started paying attention to bitcoin and asking one big question: Who will regulate it?This week, Wells Fargo called a “Bitcoin summit”, … [Read more...] about Who Will Tax Bitcoin And How?
By now most everyone has heard of Bitcoin. But exactly what is it? And how should it be taxed? Get In Stock Alerts on Twitter for SNES Classic, Switch and More Bitcoin is usually described as virtual currency. That’s useful shorthand, but is it really money? And should it be taxed as if it is? Or is it a capital asset? How about a commodity? And then there is the matter of using this quasi-cash to avoid taxes and regulation altogether.The IRS says it is studying the matter but has yet to issue any guidance. Until it does, it is anyone’s guess how Bitcoin should be taxed. Most users/investors will simply pick what is most beneficial to them when they file their 2013 returns.At the moment, Bitcoin and its cousin currencies have had far more success generating buzz than facilitating commerce. Yet, the idea of online money can’t be ignored.Curiously, the motivating force for the IRS to issue guidance may be an effort by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (best known until … [Read more...] about Taxing Bitcoin: IRS Review Will Have Big Implications For Investors In Virtual Currency
Bitcoin technology was unleashed on the World Wide Web about five years ago, but 2013 marked a time of unprecedented growth for the digital currency. As the price of a bitcoin increased over 6000 percent in 2013, more developers, entrepreneurs, and investors flocked to the virtual currency market than ever before. However, Bitcoin is not a household name or widely used service. The majority of Americans don’t even know what Bitcoin is. Additionally, its reputation for facilitating illicit activities, price volatility, and security questions are all issues the Bitcoin community must explain before it can go mainstream. But those invested in the technology, like the people I met at the North American Bitcoin Conference, believe this is a disruptive technology that is just taking off with no end in sight. Bitcoin Is Nascent Technology In The US Get the Free Tracker App to find a Nintendo Switch in Stock Despite Bitcoin’s record growth, not very many people know how to … [Read more...] about Bitcoin Basics For Dummies
Bitcoin, the first and most popular form of cryptocurrency, recently hit record highs, surpassing $4,000 per coin. Bitcoin relies on peer-to-peer (P2P) technology, and as such, it is completely decentralized – in other words, no central bank or government regulates or backs it. Buyers transfer funds directly to sellers, without a third-party middleman to process payments between the parties' financial institutions.Though primarily used in online stores, bitcoin is quickly gaining wide popularity amongst brick-and-mortar shops, food establishments, service-based businesses and even car dealerships. Big-name companies that currently accept bitcoin include Overstock and Virgin Galactic."Cryptocurrencies cut out the middleman in a transaction," said Chris Poelma, president and GM of NCR Silver. "Rather than store your money somewhere where you're dependent on an organization to safeguard it, you hold on to it through an encryption only you have a key to. As we hear more stories of … [Read more...] about Should Your Small Business Accept Bitcoin?