Bitcoin and 2015: The Final Countdown

There’s three months left to the year end of 2015 and the Bitcoin environment has been getting pretty exciting. With many new announcements and the 2015 venture capital investment numbers trumping 2014, people should be pleased. The beginning of the fall has introduced some great crypto-innovations and ideas that should flourish in 2016 and beyond.

Also read: The End of the US-EU Safe Harbor Agreement: A Golden Opportunity for Bitcoin

New Gadgets

KeepKey released its version of the Bitcoin hardware wallet. The new service is similar to the Ledger or Trezor device, acting as a USB wallet that stores the digital currency offline. The device has a price tag of $239, which is a bit higher than its competitors, but looks like a well-built wallet. The new product has a functional OLED display with active confirmation buttons and is bigger than other hardware wallets. KeepKey works with Chrome extensions and the service claims to be 100% malware proof. Reviews for the product have not been done yet, but Bitcoin.com will be watching this service as time progresses.

accept-bitcoin-with-ingenico-3-638BitPay, the leading Bitcoin payment service provider, has teamed up with Ingenico, a company that manufactures point of sale terminals (POS). The companies are expected to release the Ingenico terminal ICT250, announcing it on October 6 at the Blockchain Week in Barcelona. BitPay developed the platform and installed it on the Ingenico terminal, and hopes to achieve more than just e-commerce sales. The company will be competing against CoinKite, which produces a Bitcoin POS terminal as well. This is exciting news for the brick and mortar venues looking to accept the digital currency.

801622a2dbb7d0e32d862e5541b070ce.jpg21 Inc. released its much anticipated “21 Bitcoin Computer.” The new device is a minicomputer with a custom 21 Inc. mining chip that allows a small amount of mining to be done for micropayments. The product, although not been seen in public yet, has been scrutinized quite a bit over the past few weeks. The machine has been called the “savior of the Internet,” by using its micropayments to solve the friction of the web. The device could virtually rid the web of the current advertising platform or remove passwords from its applications. However, many have also said that the machine was no more than an overpriced RasPi with some added software. More revelations on this product are sure to come, and Bitcoin.com will keep you posted.

Big Announcements

logo-og-imageThe Boston-based startup Circle Financial announced a new service offering “Circle Pay,” which enables users to send and receive USD within its Bitcoin application. Circle is now moving into new territory, and has also been the first company to receive the infamous BitLicense. The Boston company is now compliant with New York State financial regulations concerning the digital currency. Circle Financial is also opening up its business to the U.K. market, looking to open a London office and hire an operations manager in the region. This sign shows that most likely Circle will introduce the Euro to its wallet application.

Bitcoin-twins-Winklevii-launch-exchange-named-Gemini-IHB-NewsThe anticipated Winklevoss Gemini exchange has officially launched. The brothers opened their trading vehicle after receiving authorization from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS). On the 8th of October, users were allowed to begin buying and selling Bitcoin via its platform. The Gemini service is a fiduciary that allows the entity to work with individuals and institutional organizations.  

The United States Marshals Service (USMS) announced the sale of the last online Bitcoin auction from the Silk Road (SR) seizure. The sale will take place on November, 5 and offer over 44 thousand BTC to private investors. The coins will be sold into 21 individual blocks holding 2,000 bitcoins. Those who are awarded the block containers will be notified the very next day. Many wonder if this last sale might liquidate the price of the digital currency as it approaches the new year.

usms-seal-300Mexico’s Secretariat of Finance has introduced a new policy discussion concerning Bitcoin in the Mexican region. Officials from the Public Credit (SHCP) have issued warnings about the use of cryptocurrency. The warnings and restrictions involve cash transactions as well adding new regulation reform to the country.

In Russia, a report from Forklog reveals the Ministry of Finance has created a new version of sanction for many of the uses of Bitcoin. The law applies to those who “manufacture, acquire for the purpose of selling, as well as their distribution may be punished.” Calling it a “turnover of money substitutes,” the punishments are up to 300 thousand Rubles or the compulsory work of 360 hours. This news was also followed by the Ukraine National Banks warning towards digital currencies. Also in Australia, banks in the region have sent a harsh message to cryptocurrency businesses.

The Final Countdown

The Bitcoin environment will surely reveal new adventures leading into the 2016 New Year. The last quarter of 2015 may show some final thoughts on venture capital investments injected into the crypto-space. The price has remained steady, and people hope the latest Silk Road sale will not dilute the current price, as it has been slowly inching upwards. The year is ending with great announcements about new exchanges, devices, and positive innovations hitting the digital currency market. 22 of the biggest banks in the world are looking and heavily researching distributed ledger technology. This shows that many are taking the idea of Bitcoin and its tech seriously, and many will help disrupt the current financial mold or eventually be disrupted.  

What do you think about Bitcoin’s final months of 2015? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Wiki Commons, Shutterstock, Pixbay and Redmemes

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Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written hundreds of articles about the disruptive protocols emerging today.