The Kids Keep Asking: Bitcoin, Are We There Yet?
Within the news of the mainstream media one would think the digital currency Bitcoin is dead. With the arrest of the so called “CEO”, Mt. Gox founder, Mark Karpeles and the low price of the currency right now they’d say it’s doomed. Certain media types would love for you to think that there is a crisis with a consensus debate and Bitcoin is just done and done. However, they fail to see that there is no “CEO” of Bitcoin. The block size debate is just a natural process in the life of this flourishing medium of exchange and that it’s really doing just fine.
Also Read: In Depth Interview With Lyn Ulbricht: Family, Activism, and Justice
Over 45 Million In Venture Capital Investment
The sizzling summer of Bitcoin has proven that the protocol is alive and well. It continues its scorching existence through the Fall months of 2015. Just last week in a mere seven days, roughly 45 million dollars of venture capital has been injected into the Bitcoin ecosystem. Five new cryptocurrency ventures received this whopping sum from venture capital investors and firms. Chronicled, Chain, Case, Coinalytics and Abra all have raised these funds this past week and they look like some really cool projects. This year seems like the tables are starting to turn with the power of Bitcoin innovation.
E-Coin & Xapo Cards
The multi-sig wallet service E-coin announced its Bitcoin debit card offering. This card is a virtual card, meaning it can only be used online with any ecommerce merchants. The card when purchased and topped up gives the user the option of a working Visa on the web for any transaction where credit cards are accepted. E-coins services can be used by any citizen of the world unlike Xapo which cannot be shipped to the United States currently. With its standard use of multi-signature security and insured services E-coin serves a versatility of purpose in the online world.
LedgerX and The Bitcoin Group
The company LedgerX is an institutional trading and clearing platform that has been trying to get approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commision (CFTC) to trade and clear Bitcoin assets. Well LedgerX received a temporary status approval from the CFTC and is awaiting licensure. The New York based trading platform has been invested in by venture capital funding early on with investments from likes of Lightspeed Venture Partners and Google Ventures. The startups’ main goal is to provide efficient collateralized options on Bitcoin.
This week the Australia-based bitcoin mining business, Bitcoin Group has become the second digital currency initiative to list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Being the first IPO of its class the company is ecstatic to set “a precedent”. Initially the company had a hard time with two prior stop orders on the first and second prospectus, September 10, was a different story. On its third attempt the company got the green light and will be considered one of the first Bitcoin IPOs to list on the ASX.
UPS Delivers Bitcoin Passion
The fires continue in the hearts of finance as many look to Bitcoin as the Answer. Rimas Kapeskas of the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund posted some blog material worth mentioning. The post titled “Does Global Trade Need A Global Currency” addresses the financial system of today as relics of the past. Kapeskas believes the payment protocol of today is “inefficient, have long settlement times and high-cost fees and exchange rates.” He thinks that Bitcoin is the way to go and its offers a “vast array” of new emerging markets. He notes that Barclays, Citigroup, and IBM have all been highly interested in the Bitcoin protocol and that many are trying to make things more efficient. The UPS fund director clearly feels cryptocurrency can solve many problems in the corporate blog “Longitudes”. Bitcoin is alive and well in the mind of this UPS employee.
PayPal Drops the Ball
PayPal is ceasing its services in a lot of areas and that’s where Bitcoin steps in. Due to the economic crisis in Puerto Rico the company stopped servicing in the region. Residents used PayPal all the time, however the company has ceased its services in the country and cannot help citizens relocate their assets. In an announcement sent to US customers, which includes the small island the company states: “Paypal will no longer provide its payment services for transactions originating from Puerto Rico.”
The French government is planning on blacklisting Pirate sites online which in turn would block PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard use in that country. The Pirate sites are actively pursued by the MPAA, RIAA, and PSR for Music for copyright violation. If this precedent is set PayPal will not be able to be used on these Pirate outlets and a similar case is being filed in the U.S.
And then Taiwan PayPal users are now also told recently that they too cannot use the service. The changes in the country take effect September 21, and users may not be able to send or receive with a PayPal account. Meanwhile the virtual currency Bitcoin operates 24/7 for people located in every crevice on this planet with Internet access. There is no restrictions for those to use the currency for remittance payments or storing wealth as a safe haven. Bitcoin should be the number one payment processor for Pirate sites and that goes without saying.
Shapeshift’s Anonymous Registration & No Fiat Rule Still Gets Investment
Shapeshift.io the virtual currency exchange raised 1.6 million in venture funding. The funding round was supported by the Digital Currency Group and many others, including the Bitcoin Foundation’s Bruce Fenton. CEO Erik Voorhees allows many digital currency trades on the exchange, however the business has a strict “no fiat” rule and dollars are not allowed. Shapeshift offers anonymous trading with no registration and it seems investors are liking this application. The company is growing at a vast rate and they say they’ve experienced 100X growth since their inception last summer. This crypto company keeps making waves in the financial tech space.
The Kids Keep Asking
Bitcoin economies are alive and well and are popping up spontaneously everywhere. Even in the subtle thoughts of UPS bloggers. The community has known its great potential for a long time and this economy is moving forward swiftly. No longer do we see bad articles about Bitcoin everyday, it’s now articles about a great rush of positivity and innovators promoting the protocols true potential, even from mainstream media. Anyone involved with spreading the word of Bitcoin just know that those words are being heard. Take a deep breath, relax and give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it.
Are we there yet? Not yet kids, but we’re getting there!
What do you think about the current state of Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Redmemes, Pixbay, and Wikipedia Commons