Saturday, December 7, 2013

Chinese yuan dominates global bitcoin trade / By Patrick Boehler / Tuesday, 03 December, 2013, 1:10pm

Bitcoins have been embraced on the mainland, where it is estimated that up to two million people have traded in the currency.

The yuan accounts for most of the trade in bitcoins as trading of the unregulated digital currency soars in the world’s second-largest economy.

By noon yesterday, about 58 per cent of the global trade during the preceding 24 hours occurred on exchanges trading the mainland currency, according to open-source research project BitcoinAverage.

According to the aggregator of market data, China’s trading volume in the period reached 827 million yuan (HK$1 billion).

Trades in US dollars account for roughly 37 per cent of global volume. Trades in euros account for slightly less than 2 per cent. No other currency accounts for more than one per cent of trade, according to BitcoinAverage.

Fortunes have already been made in China via the virtual currency. The value of a bitcoin in China soared 861.02 per cent from 844.75 yuan on September 3, the earliest data available on BitcoinAverage, to its peak value last Friday of 7273.47 yuan. - READ MORE

Bitcoin grand tour: 10 ways to spend them in Europe / by Anna Irrera / November 29, 2013

This week Bitcoin, the most popular crypto-currency, soared above $1,000 on MtGox – one of the main exchanges.

The dizzying rally – seen by many as a bubble waiting to burst - has already made millionaires out of those who had piled up on the virtual coins early on.

But if you’ve just become a lucky Bitcoin millionaire, you might still be short on ideas on how to spend your newly amassed wealth.

To help you out, here are some suggestions on how to spend them in Europe – from modern art in Paris’ Le Marais district, to a haircut in the Alps – courtesy of CoinMap, a crowdsourced map of bitcoin-accepting merchants.

1) Relive the golden age of Alpinsim. Then take a nap
If you are one for very long and very steep mountain hikes , think of booking a stay at the Rojacherhutte – a cottage in the Austrian Alps located 2,718 meters above sea level. From there you can go for walks up several notable mountains, such as the Schareck (3,122 m) and the High Sonnblick (3,105 m). The cottage, built in 1898, has closed for the winter but will re-open at the end of June.

2. Buy some wall candy
Thinking of how to decorate your nearly-acquired Parisian pied-à -terre? Go take a look at the Mark Hachem Gallery in Place des Vosges, Paris. According to, the gallery in one of Europe’s most famous squares now allows you to pay for works of art in Bitcoin. Artists whose work is featured by the gallery include Romano Zanotti, Arnaud and Jesús-Rafael Soto. - READ MORE

Friday, December 6, 2013

Bankers Balking at Bitcoin in U.S. as Real-World Obstacles Mount / By Carter Dougherty / Dec 6, 2013 6:05 AM GMT+0800

Bitcoin, the digital money created as an alternative to currencies controlled by nations and banks, is finding that its wider adoption depends on both as governments in China and the U.S. demand enthusiasts play by existing rules.

Bitcoin exchanges, payment processors and other startups say they need banks to connect them to the existing payments system and provide basic services like checking accounts. To do that, the fledgling companies must convince the regulators who police the banks that Bitcoins aren’t being used to conceal illicit activity.

“Banks are scared to deal with Bitcoin companies, even if they really want to,” said Stephen Pair, co-founder and chief technical officer of BitPay Inc., an Atlanta-based company that processes payments for merchants in Bitcoin. Pair said BitPay has relationships with banks in the U.S., Canada and Europe; he declined to name them at the banks’ request.

Regulators show little sign of losing interest in tracking financial flows, be they in dollars, renminbi or Bitcoin. China’s central bank yesterday barred financial institutions from buying and selling the virtual currency and from pricing products in Bitcoin, sending prices tumbling more than 10 percent, according to theCoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, which synthesizes prices across major global exchanges where Bitcoins can be traded for traditional currency. Its value stood at $1,052.25 at 5 p.m. New York time. -

Bitcoin, Gold, & Silver Will SURVIVE GLOBAL IMPLOSION – Bix Weir

Bitcoin, Gold, & Silver Will SURVIVE GLOBAL IMPLOSION – Bix Weirh

Bitcoin Valued At $1300 By Bank of America Analysts / By Kashmir Hill / 12/05/2013 @ 3:57PM

Big day for Bitcoin on Thursday. China issued guidance on the currency telling its citizens that they’re welcome to buy and sell the cryptocoin but warning banks and payment companies away from dealing in it. Meanwhile, in the U.S., currency analysts for Bank of America BAC +0.84% Merrill Lynch have begun to cover Bitcoin and issued a comprehensive first report. Assessing its combined worth as a store of value (like gold or silver), payment rail (like Western Union WU +2.01% or MoneyGram) and as a medium of exchange to, say, conduct online shopping, the analysts set its maximum market capitalization at $15 billion, meaning one Bitcoin, given the current supply, would have a fair market value of $1,300 USD. (That’s slightly below the current aggregate value of $1,078 on various exchanges.)

“We believe Bitcoin can become a major means of payment for e-commerce and may emerge as a serious competitor to traditional money transfer providers,” write the BofA analysts, who have obviously been bitten by the Bitcoin bug. “As a medium of exchange, Bitcoin has a clear potential for growth.”

The analysts address the many Bitcoin competitors that have popped up, from Litecoin to Bbqcoin. Rather than seeing them as the crypto-silver to the crypto-gold that is Bitcoin, the analysts think this virtual currency is more like Highlander: there can be only one. - READ MORE