Friday, November 29, 2013

Buyer beware: Bitcoin’s fate could rest with China / By: Julia Wood / 29 Nov 2013 | 8:27 AM ET

A surge in Chinese demand underlies bitcoin’s astronomical rise over the past few months—the alternative digital currency topped $1,200 early Friday—underscoring the nation’s interest in digital currencies asalternative investments, but the question lingers: is it only a matter of time before the government steps in?

Bitcoin high a new high of $1,242 on Friday, before retreating to trade in the $1,180 range.

According to independent pricing site Bitcoin Average, China now accounts for 62 percent of global market volumes. The surge in demand recently led China-based BTC China to overtake Mt. Gox as the world’s the largest bitcoin exchange by volume as the bitcoin craze continues to gather pace.

“China has a culture that is already acclimated to the use of digital currency, so it’s not surprising that it has been quick to embrace bitcoin,” Patrick Murck, founder and principal of the Bitcoin Foundation, told CNBC. READ MORE:

Mt.Gox Launches To Explain What The Heck A Bitcoin Is / by Greg Kumparak / November 28, 2013

It’s Thanksgiving! And, judging by the fact that you read tech blogs, you’re probably at least a bit of a geek. Know what that means? Today’s the day you get to answer all of your extended family’s tech questions! Hurrah!

For the last few years, that’s probably meant explaining the difference between iPhone and Android. This year, you’ll probably get to explain what the heck this “Bitcoin” thing is atleast twice.

Fortunately, one of the top Bitcoin exchanges has just launched an informational site that ought to make things a bit easier to understand. READ MORE:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bitcoin passes the $1000 mark for first time: Digital currency QUADRUPLES its value in less than three weeks / By VICTORIA WOOLLASTON / 27 November 2013 16:05 GMT

Virtual currency Bitcoin has passed the $1,000 (£613) mark for the first time since it was introduced in 2009.

According to the currency’s main exchange, Mt.Gox, the price for a single Bitcoin has almost quadrupled since its previous record high of $267 (£165) less than three weeks ago

Analysts claim the demand for Bitcoin follows increased awareness about benefits of the currency and a drive to move it into the mainstream.

At the start of the month the currency more than doubled its value within a week – jumping from $100 to $266. It then hit $267 on 6 November.

The digital currency is increasingly being treated like gold, with some investors using it to hedge against currency fluctuations and speculating on its rise. - READ MORE

Bitcoin Black Friday: 250 retailers band together to accept Bitcoin (and fight payment fees) / By John Koetsier / November 27, 2013

More than 250 retailers are banding together in Bitcoin Black Friday so that you can buy your Christmas tree, holiday flights, authentic Moroccan rugs, booze, or your next hot date, all with privacy and safety … in Bitcoin.

The goal is more widespread adoption of Bitcoin which, the founders believe, will make the virtual currency harder to legislate and regulate.

“Bitcoin Black Friday is an awesome way to bring the whole Internet community together at a time when Bitcoin needs as much mainstream attention as possible,” said Holmes Wilson, co-founder of Fight for the Future, which is organizing the event. “Even though it seems like Bitcoin is going strong, it won’t be politically safe until it’s widely used by average Internet users — that’s already happening, but we’re speeding things up with Bitcoin Black Friday, and making it fun in the process.”

Bitcoin brings plenty of benefits to online retailers, Fight for the Future says. - READ MORE

Bitcoin breaks $1,000 barrier for first time / By: John Phillips / 27 Nov 2013 | 10:13 AM ET

Bitcoin continued its stellar rally on Wednesday, breaking above $1,000 for the first time and marking a rise of over 7,600 percent so far this year.

Many analysts and investors have labeled bitcoin’s unfettered rise a bubble, yet greater awareness of digital currencies and relief following last week’s U.S. senate hearing have paved the way for fresh gains.

Bitcoin traded as high as $1,030 on the Mt. Gox exchange, up 7,661 percent year-to-date from its December 31 close of $13.27.

Digital currencies cleared a major hurdle when U.S. authorities signaled a willingness to accept them as legitimate payment alternatives at a November 18 U.S. Senate hearing on virtual currencies. The outcome allayed concerns that the government would take steps that could undercut mainstream adoption.

(Read more: Regulators see value in Bitcoin, and investors hasten to agree)

“What we’re seeing is governments publicly announce and show that they recognize Bitcoin as a factor in the financial systemand that they are considering how to regulate it – which is good for the currency,” Zennon Kapron, managing director of KapronAsiam, told CNBC. - READ MORE