Friday, August 15, 2014

BitBeat: Blockchain Hits Two Million Wallets Amid Strong Interest in Bitcoin / PAUL VIGNA and MICHAEL J. CASEY

- Blockchain has doubled its wallet base in just seven months, the company announced this morning. It crossed the two million mark on Monday, twice the one million wallets it had in January, and it makes the company the first to achieve that mark. It also shows that, despite the dearth of big headline stories this year, interest in bitcoin continues to grow rapidly.

It’s certainly growing faster than the company anticipated. “The one thing that we’ve seen about projections is that growth usually exceed our projections,” Peter Smith, Blockchain’s chief operating officer, said in an interview with MoneyBeat Monday. Mr. Smith said the company hit the two million mark about two months earlier than they’d expected. - READ MORE:

Buying Gold with Bitcoin in Singapore at BullionStar’s Storefront / DAVID MOSKOWITZ / AUGUST 12, 2014

David visits BullionStar’s storefront in Clark Quay Singapore to purchase some gold with Bitcoin.

According to CEO Torgny Persson, Singapore has no reporting requirements for the purchase of tax exempt bullion sold at their store. - READ MORE:

Buying Gold with Bitcoin in Singapore at BullionStar's Storefront

A Crypto Currency Backed By Gold? How Retail Gold Investors Can Benefit From Bitcoin’s Technology

Deutsch: Goldbarren mit einem Gewicht von 12,5 kg. Goldbarren dieser Größe befinden sich meist nur im Besitz von Zentralbanken Polski: Sztabka złota ważąca 12,5 kg. Własność Narodowego Banku Polskiego. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) / Edmund Ingham / 8/11/2014 @ 8:02AM

If you were to ask most investment professionals to explain the difference between bitcoin, lowercase, and Bitcoin, upper case, they would probably stare at you blankly.

But for Jan Skoyles, recently promoted from Head of Research to CEO at The Real Asset Company, who provide a platform for retail investors to gain access to the gold bullion markets, the distinction is the basis for a new kind of wealth-management that provides an alternative to the regulated financial services industry.

Bitcoin, upper case, refers to the technology behind the online currency, the fabled “block chain”, rather than the currency itself (bitcoin, lower case), and there are distinct advantages for an investor in the way the technology was built by the mythical Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s creator.

The block chain is the public ledger where every bitcoin transaction, however large or small, is recorded; it is updated by so called “miners”, who process transactions at high speed and are rewarded for their efforts with freshly mined bitcoins. - READ MORE:

Bitcoin brings hope to Africa: an interview with Alakanani Itireleng

Add caption / Mark Norton / 8/10/14 “Bitcoin is not political,” a growing number of people are saying as it grows in popular usage. Initially, Bitcoin found a home among the libertarian crowd because of its decentralized nature and the more people begin using the currency, the libertarian fervor wanes. Ultimately this is a good thing since if Bitcoin is to succeed, it’s going to need to be used by people of with a wide diversity of political thought.

But that doesn’t mean that Bitcoin is not political. It’s political at its heart. It’s just that its politics are harder to pigeonhole than with a simple term like ‘libertarian.’ Bitcoin was not born out of a vacuum, but out of the abuses of power in our governmental and financial systems that rig the game in favor of the well-off and leave the rest of us wondering how to get by. Bitcoin returns some of the flexibility and privacy to our finances that we used to have before the government and banks ratcheted up demands on our information and banks began to impose high fees and penalties in accordance with labyrinthine rules only an accountant could understand.

According to this report, Chase bank has even started requiring people to prove where they got money they are depositing in order, as they say, to impede illegal activity. Any time controls like this are put into place, we are told that they are for our protection, minor inconveniences to impede criminal activity. It also gives them incredible power and incredible opportunity for abuse. And, unfortunately, the people running the government and the banks are merely human. They are tempted by power and control, they are motivated by fear and prejudice. It’s the tendency of governments to exceed their mandate and it’s the responsibility of the people to make sure that they do not. With the rise of the internet, it’s gotten harder and harder to contest that power. Bitcoin, among other decentralizing technologies, gives us the potential to counter that power.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Europe’s Bitcoin Entrepreneurs Winning Investor Seal Of Approval

European bitcoin business is growing (Photo credit: zcopley) / Alison Coleman / 8/03/2014 @ 11:18AM The collapse of digital currency exchange Mt Gox earlier this year may have cast major doubts over the future of bitcoin, but the industry has continued to evolve at pace, and investment in bitcoin companies appears to show no signs of slowing.

In the second quarter of this year bitcoin start-ups raised over $76.8 million; not far short of the $85 million raised in the whole of 2013 While VC investment in bitcoin is far higher in the US than in Europe – $200 million compared with around $10 million in the last year – thanks to innovation within the most active continental countries, cumulatively, these now represent around 25% of the global bitcoin network.

A number of successful bitcoin companies have already emerged from Europe, including Stockholm-based KnC, Finland’s, the Dutch BitFury, and, launched in the UK.

Europe is also home to several well established bitcoin clusters, the largest based in London and Amsterdam, as well as Berlin, Zurich and Paris, where Europe’s first bitcoin centre, La Maison du Bitcoin, was recently opened by entrepreneurs Thomas France and Eric Larchevêque. - READ MORE:

Does Bitcoin Need Its Own Silicon Valley? / Carrie Kirby / August 3, 2014 at 13:45 BST When Steve Jobs was a boy, he looked up the name “William Hewlett” in his local phone book and was able to reach the founder of Hewlett-Packard at home. The elder technologist offered the future Apple Computer founder advice, some free components and a summer job.

Anecdotes like that make it clear how geographical proximity can help one wave of innovation set up the next. Even now, when it’s unlikely any young entrepreneur will be able to find Mark Zuckerberg in the Palo Alto phone book, hopefuls with ideas still flock to the stretch of towns flanking the San Francisco Bay. The accelerators are there, as are the venture capitalists’ offices, the networking events and the pool of engineers.

Would bitcoin benefit from geographic concentration as much as the tech industry has? Silicon Valley veteran and investor Marc Andreessen raised the idea in a recent article titled “What It Will Take to Create the Next Great Silicon Valleys, Plural”.

“Imagine a Bitcoin Valley, for instance, where some country fully legalizes cryptocurrencies for all financial functions.” - READ MORE: