Zář 02

Commodities In Fashion: GoldMint Gives Stale Trading A Blockchain Facelift

· September 2, 2017 · 12:10 pm

Commodities were once synonymous with old money and the elite, but in the age of cryptocurrency, they are making an unstoppable comeback.

Commodities in the Age of Crypto

In 2017, commodity trading focused on precious metals particularly is becoming vogue once again – but this time for anyone with Bitcoin holdings.

While commodities naturally come in more forms than metals – energy and foodstuffs, for example – it is gold that has found a natural rebirth as a tandem partner with cryptocurrency owners.

Gold remains stable. Despite its comparatively underwhelming performance versus Bitcoin for shorters, the metal fundamentally serves its purpose as a shield from fiat controls.

“The broad masses of the population are interested in buying stable assets backed by real gold, as most local currencies experience a devaluation against the dollar. Use of Blockchain  technology simplifies this process and makes it more transparent for all participants,” Dmitry Pluschevsky, CEO of Blockchain-based gold platform GoldMint explained to Bitcoinist.

‘Backed By GOLD’

Stemming from the cryptocurrency industry, an increasing array of startups are offering investors exposure to precious metals through the medium of digital tokens instead of brokers and dealers.

GoldMint is positioning itself as a advancement which will revitalize the tired pawnbroker industry and its reputation, offering trading and storage of gold assets combined with a gold-backed digital asset, GOLD tokens.

The ecosystem is designed to be self-sufficient, swapping human links in the chain for Blockchain-powered automation, principally in the form of a so-called Custody Bot which creates an immutable record of every operation.

The machine functions are an automated pawnbroker, storing, inspecting and weighing gold while remaining independent of third parties using Blockchain-backed data.

“We think it is very important to have direct proof of the commodity backing tokens,” CTO Konstantin Pichugin continued.

“Let’s imagine there is no any proof-of-assets protocol. It means nobody really understand how much commodity we really have. In this case nobody will trust us. Such token will be the same as USDT and only people who love huge risk would use it.”

Marrying Digital Tokens With Commodity Support

The concept of a commodity backing digital tokens is already not entirely new. Bitcoin holders have long been able to use their digital assets to hold gold and even take physical delivery of ingots to cut out third party storage altogether.

Like legacy commodities trading, GoldMint also uses exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to facilitate investor exposure.

As Blockchain technology progresses at a record pace, however, so are the solutions it can support, making the GoldMint Custody Bot a newcomer to the gold industry.

“GOLD cryptoassets have to be considered as a hedging instrument,” Pluschevsky added.

“While almost all cryptocurrencies are very turbulent, GOLD cryptoassets backed with real gold bullions and ETF have extremely low volatility.”

The project is still in its infancy despite the technology rollout, however, and an ICO (link to the ICO page) on September 20 is intended to launch GOLD onto the world stage and fund the roadmap for the next few years.

Participants will receive bonus token allocations for early participation.

What do you think about commodity trading’s comeback on the Blockchain? Let us know in the comments below!


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Zář 01

AdEx announces partnership with content platform Snip

· September 1, 2017 · 1:00 pm

Decentralized advertisement network AdEx has announced its partnership with the content platform Snip.


The AdEx Platform

AdEx is a decentralized advertisement platform that uses blockchain technology to offer a fast, secure and efficient advertisement network. The platform was founded by the same team that created Streamio, a video content aggregator. On June 30, 2017, the AdEx token sale was able to raise the impressive amount of 40,000 Ether. In the last couple of weeks, the development progress of the AdEx platform has greatly increased. With an official blog post, the AdEx team showcased several screenshots of the new upcoming AdEx platform. Recently, the AdEX team has announced a partnership with the prominent smart-economy platform, NEO.

The platform is going to be available for both desktop and mobile.

Partnership with Snip

Snip is a decentralized service that offers user-generated short content for readers. Users of Snip can write unique short stories regarding various topics like tech, sports, entertainment, politics and much more. In exchange, the writers will receive SnipCoin, a cryptocurrency that was created by the Snip team. In a press release, the AdEx team officially announced their partnership with Snip. The partnership will allow AdEx to offer high-quality ads on the Snip platform. CEO of Snip, Ran Reichman, expressed following thoughts about the new collaboration:

We’re especially excited about using AdEx’s bidding and anti-fraud systems, which will allow us to present user with relevant ads and deliver maximum revenue to Snip writers,

Ivo Georgiev from AdEx also quoted following :

AdEx is pleased to announce partnership with Snip. We believe their technology and approach to content curation will fit quite well into our own philosophy.

The teams believe that the collaboration will help the platforms to further grow their user base. Both advertisers and content creators will also greatly benefit from this partnership.

What are your thoughts on AdEx and Snip? Do you think that both projects will be able to benefit from the partnership? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Pexels, AdEx

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Čvc 09

Takeaway.com Bitcoin Acceptance Opens Crypto Food Orders To Millions

· July 9, 2017 · 2:30 pm

Hundreds of millions of potential online food portal customers can now pay their orders with Bitcoin following some major European partnerships.


Bitcoin Food Ordering Comes To Mainland Europe

Last week saw Germany’s largest portal Lieferando add the virtual currency, news which followed a similar announcement from Poland’s leader Pyszne and others.

The outlets are owned by Amsterdam-based parent company Takeaway.com, which operates in markets throughout the world and serves 8.9 million customers.

The websites function as a one-stop shop for various takeouts and restaurants, allowing customers to order from anywhere via the same gateway. Users also benefit from discounts and loyalty schemes not available from restaurants themselves.

Lieferando unveiled the Bitcoin addition in a circular to customers Wednesday as part of a range of updates to its product. Bitcoin payments now appear alongside extant payment options on the website’s order page.

In future, the service will also add the option to its app. Other updates included multilingual ordering and menu interfaces and improvements to delivery time estimates.

Ordering Food w/ Bitcoin

Bitcoin Orders Get Effective 6% Discount

According to Takeaway.com’s website, Bitcoin payment is now available in all its European markets, in many of which its service is the most popular in an increasingly competitive sector.

Interestingly, Bitcoin payments were previously available for users of the service’s UK operation as far back as 2013, but the entire branch was shut down in August last year.

The benefits to customers in all regions meanwhile are obvious at a glance: the hefty 6% order fee applied to PayPal and credit card payments does not apply to Bitcoin, which is free.

In doing so, Takeaway.com follows in the footsteps of other European companies experimenting with Bitcoin earlier, such as Latvia’s airline Air Baltic, which waives its booking fee for Bitcoin customers.

Alza Offers Bitcoin Teslas

…While Alza Offers Bitcoin Teslas

While Air Baltic has dealt in Bitcoin for several years, 2017 has seen more prominent commitments from European retail giants.

In May, Europe’s Czech-headquartered answer to Amazon, Alza, also implemented Bitcoin payments across its multinational order platform in a move its head of internet marketing said was befitting of the capital Prague’s status as a crypto mecca.

Alza’s head of internet marketing, Jan Sadilek, told local news portal, Lupa:

Prague is already one of the most important hubs for Bitcoin in Europe today. […] By adding Bitcoin trading we’re showing support for this form of payment becoming more popular and for the potential this technology holds.

Among its almost infinite range of products, Alza offers hardware wallets and even a Tesla, all available for purchase with Bitcoin.

What do you think about Takeaway.com adding Bitcoin? Have you tried it out? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Pexels, Lieferando, Alza

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Čvc 07

Coinbase Versus IRS: Court Hints At ‘Narrowing’ Of Investigation Scope

· July 7, 2017 · 2:30 pm

Coinbase may have “won” part of its battle to keep its transaction records away from the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).


‘Narrowing’ The ‘Overly Broad’ IRS Request

According to multiple reports this week and last, the wallet and exchange’s ongoing battle with the regulator could have finally swung in its favor.

According to The Recorder, a legal site that reported on the hearing:

DOJ trial attorney Amy Matchison said at a court hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley Thursday that the IRS has been in talks with Coinbase about narrowing its request to only items the agency would need to look for unreported income.

The latest information from the courts was greeted warmly by commentators within the cryptocurrency community, with some even suggesting an information restriction would be a decisive blow to IRS interests.

Nonetheless, Coinbase is unlikely to get the major break it is looking for, despite the IRS actions being heavily criticized by the company itself, its users and even politicians.

All parties voiced dismay at the “broad” nature of the information requests, with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Ut), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and by Vern Buchanan and Kevin Brady, who head the House Committee on Ways and Means describing them as “extremely burdensome, and highly intrusive to a large population of individuals.”

No end in sight

No End In Sight

The legal process has dragged on since December 2016, with Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong standing firm on the company’s position.

A potential compromise in the form of a B-1099 tax deduction form for customers was introduced in January, but the idea has yet to see any form of implementation.

Coinbase and the IRS have (I believe) a shared goal to ensure all U.S. customers pay their taxes,” Armstrong wrote at the time.

Coinbase’s Multifaceted Problems

The intervening months have seen further problems for both Coinbase and its sister exchange GDAX, with Armstrong’s team now facing a battle on several fronts.

Especially conspicuous in terms of publicity were the services’ technical problems in May and June as Bitcoin and Ethereum volatility combined with a surge in user demand to cause shutdowns, missing funds and a lack of customer support.

Correspondingly, “rebuilding pieces of our backend” and “Scaling customer support and providing faster response times” were key promises Armstrong laid out in Coinbase’s Q3 roadmap, published June 21.

What do you think about the latest developments in the Coinbase vs. IRS debacle? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Wikimedia, MaxPixel

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Kvě 16

Blockchain-Based Identity Management Will Soon Be a Reality

· May 16, 2017 · 6:00 am

Airbitz has partnered with Sphre to secure their Blockchain-Based Identity Management Platform, AIR.


Airbitz Partners with Blockchain-Based Identity Firm

Sphre, a blockchain-based identity management firm, announced their partnership with Airbitz, one of the most popular mobile Bitcoin wallets and a data security platform with over 140,000 users. Airbitz has been working on its Edge Security Platform since the company’s inception, focusing on providing a secure and easy-to-use solution for decentralized blockchain projects and dApps as a means enhance cryptocurrency mass adoption.

Announced today, the partnership will see Sphre leverage Airbitz’ Edge Security, a blockchain-agnostic and zero-knowledge single sign-on solution, to secure their smart contract-based platform, AIR.

Daren Seymour, Director at Sphre commented on the new partnership:

The easy and intuitive user experience, coupled with rich functionality, great development environment and team made Airbitz an easy choice when considering the right partner for Sphre. We look forward to delivering an easy-to-use product to the market, and our partnership with Airbitz is a key component on this journey.

AIR is digital identity and individual microeconomic engagement system based on blockchain infrastructure, allowing individuals, enterprises, and organizations to manage their digital identity through a single, decentralized application, thus retaining full control and ownership of said identity, which would not be possible in a centralized setting.

The AIR whitepaper reads:

In an interconnected, open digital world it does not make sense that digital identity is still fragmented in outdated, closed systems.

The AIR Platform is build upon the Hyperledger blockchain and is comprised of two major components: The Chaincode or ‘smart contract’, which forms the basis of the given identity, and the Application Programming Interface (API), which will allow third-party organizations and enterprises to integrate support for AIR into their existing and new systems, while the mobile application secures and maintains each individual’s private key.

The AIR Platform & XID tokens

Currently in development, the AIR Platform will soon host a crowdfunding campaign to fund the development, marketing, and management of the AIR project. During the crowdfunding campaign or ICO, participants will receive XID tokens, which are used within the Air platform to facilitate identity-based transactions and handle profit-sharing disbursement based on the customizable monetization agreements that users can engage in.

Blockchain Banking App Humaniq Reschedules ICO, Offers Solidarity to Chinese Investors

The XID token is to be issued on the Bitcoin blockchain through the Omnilayer platform that allows the distribution of digital identity monetization benefits to be handled through a decentralized mechanism, which is far more transparent and reliable than traditional alternatives.

Due to the use of Omnilayer, AIR will not only allow any given user or organization to “authenticate/authorize themselves against their registration”, but also to attest/verify the identity of an account with whom they have successfully transacted, based on information found on the Bitcoin, the safest and oldest blockchain in the world.

Can blockchain technology become the new security standard for individual and enterprise digital identity? Let us know in the comment section.


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Dub 27

Ethereum Classic Takes Stance Against ‘Manipulative Crowdsale Tactics’

· April 27, 2017 · 8:30 am

The Ethereum Classic team addressed the current ICO hype, warning against “manipulative crowdsale tactics,” while promising not to vouch for coin offerings “in the same capacity” as the Ethereum Foundation. 


Ethereum Classic on ‘Irrational Appcoin Exuberance’

The Ethereum Classic development team has shared its opinion on what Nick Tomaino’s called, the “Irrational Appcoin Exuberance.” This exuberance is currently seen in Ethereum and may soon come to Ethereum Classic as more capital flows into the network.

Citing concerns regarding the way Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are structured in Ethereum and even within the Ethereum Classic network, the post seeks to caution investors against potentially risky investments in poorly planned or outright scam ICOs that can result in monumental losses for naive investors.

The post also showcases some examples where the Ethereum Classic community and dev team has performed its due diligence and warned against ill-conceived crowdfunding campaign on the ETC network, noting the different attitudes that the two competing blockchains, ETC and ETH, employ towards the Initial Coin Offering frenzy. The post reads:

As one might expect, ETCDEV will not vouch for coin offerings in the same capacity as the Ethereum Foundation members who signed on as curators for the launch of The DAO crowdsale.

Appcoins Coming to ETC

The Ethereum Classic team sees yesterday’s launch of the Grayscale Ethereum Classic (ETC) Investment Trust, whose shares are the first securities solely invested in and deriving value from the price of ETC , as a possible incentive for developers to run their ICOs on Ethereum Classic’s “immutable chain.”

“If stakeholders profit in a short span of time as a consequence of the launch of the Ethereum Investment Trust, some developers may choose to run their ICOs on the immutable chain, inviting the backing of the ETC nouveau riche,” the post explains.

Ethereum Classic

Developers will be able to kickstart their Initial Coin Offerings through the Emerald Wallet, an official desktop wallet, that is currently being developed by the ETCDEV team.

It will feature an integrated set of tools that can be used to launch ICOs and build custom applications on top of Ethereum Classic blockchain, allowing the Ethereum Classic team to distance itself from said crowdfunding campaigns.

ICO organizers may opt to use Emerald Wallet tools to deliver tokens to backers, though crowdfunding will not be the stated purpose of the software. Taking advantage of these tools for the creation of ETC decentralized apps, startups can issue offerings without ETCDEV having to involve themselves in ICOs.

‘Curb Your ICO Enthusiasm’

Despite this, the Ethereum Classic team does not share the general enthusiasm that is felt towards ICOs and appcoins, citing Barry Silbert, founder of the Digital Currency Group.

Bitcoinist_Digital Currency Group Barry Silbert

During a presentation at the Blockchain Startups Singapore meetup in November 2016, Silbert noted that the lack of legal structure found in those could “attract negative attention from the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Instead, the team considers “store of value through monetary strategy, internet of things functionality, and smart contracts applications” as the investment merits of ETC.

In the Ethereum space, some developers are voicing concerns regarding recent crowdsales. There exists at present no established framework for investors to assess Ethereum startups’ ICOs, along the lines of a PhD student’s being required to defend their thesis.

The nature of ICOs has made it the perfect pitfall for naive investors who may be enthusiastic about blockchain technology but cannot see through “manipulative crowd sale tactics” often employed by these projects, which often rely on Ethereum and Ethereum Classic blockchains.

The dev team references two ICO hoaxes that took place in the Ethereum Classic blockchain, Unicorn and BorgDAO, the latter of which collecting funds from investors.

Our contention here is that 1) irrational app-coin exuberance and 2) potential SEC intervention should be kept in mind by ETC investors when considering participation in a risky initial coin offering. We do not support disingenuous and manipulative crowdsale tactics, nor do we believe that we have seen the last of hoaxes like the BorgDAO.

Investors should be very cautious when investing in Initial Coin Offerings. Be it on the Ethereum, Ethereum Classic blockchain or any other ‘blockchain.’ ICOs can result in huge losses and some are outright scams.

Bitcoinist advises everyone to perform due diligence and to vet projects and teams carefully before committing your money.

Will we start to see more ICO’s on the Ethereum Classic blockchain? Let us know in the comments below!


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Dub 11

2.5 Years, 3.7 Million BTC: Gambling is the Dark Horse of Cryptocurrency

· April 11, 2017 · 8:00 am

Cryptocurrency gambling is traditionally thought of as a marginal industry; in fact, it has earned 3.7 million BTC in less than three years.


16,000 BTC Profits and Counting

The astronomical figure is the result of data collected since December 2014 by umbrella resource The Bitcoin Strip.

While by no means all of the 66 casinos covered were in operation at the time, the statistics provide further concrete evidence of a sector which is both rapidly expanding and maturing.

Online Gambling Bitcoin

In March, one site Cloudbet recorded the industry’s biggest single win to date – 160 BTC in a session worth at the time approximately $255,000 USD.

“…This is the biggest single round win we’ve ever seen in over four years of operation,” owner Marco Rossi commented at the time. “For us, this signifies a new era in the relentless growth of bitcoin gambling.”

The numbers do not stop there. Last month alone, casinos took in 130,000 BTC in plays, profiting just over 300 BTC. Total profits for the sites listed on Bitcoin Strip for all time currently stand at just over 16,000 BTC, or $19.3 million.

Early Bird Investors’ Cryptoworms

Looking at profits alone, the numbers may only scratch the surface of the vast sums accumulated by fiat casinos both on and offline every day. Nonetheless, revenue from cryptocurrency’s top operators makes the industry and increasingly interesting proposition for both large and small-scale investors.

CoinAgenda

According to Bitcoin Strip, the number one earner for the past 30 days was Bustabit, which hauled in over $67 million in bets. Primedice, a longtime industry name, came second at $49 million.

In total, the top ten earners generated just shy of $150 million in one month.

It is worth noting that not all cryptocurrency gambling sites are designed to appeal to technically-minded players. Concepts which originally sold the industry to its select target market, such as “provably fair” games and other cryptography-centric features, are no longer a necessity.

Bitcoin Strip now includes three categories in its listings: provably fair, fair and not provably fair, helping identify the priorities held by each resource.

Meanwhile, gambling, just like in Vegas, is a world that never sleeps. March saw an average 360 bets per second, Bitcoin Strip statistics report, with just under 3 bitcoins wagered every minute.

Microbetting meanwhile – a key feature of the crypto industry proving popular – is as evident a ever, with an average bet size in March of 0.00013547BTC ($0.16).

What do you think is the future of Bitcoin gambling? Are you surprised by the statistics? Let us know in the comments below!


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Dub 08

Bitcoin Bites Back: Wells Fargo in Court After Halting Exchange Transfers

· April 8, 2017 · 7:30 am

The parent company of cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, iFinex, is suing Wells Fargo over disruption to wire transfers.


Bitfinex: Court Move To ‘Prevent Precedence’

Court documents filed by the company, along with fellow conversion service Tether.to in San Francisco, relate to the global bank allegedly blocking outgoing wire transfers to the banks servicing them.

“Wells Fargo has suspended U.S. dollar wire transfer operations needed to remit to plaintiffs’ customers U.S. dollars that the customers deposited with plaintiffs to purchase digital currency,” the complaint reads.

Bitcoinist compliance

It adds that the bank’s actions were “causing imminent and irreparable harm to plaintiffs.”

In additional comments on Reddit, Bitfinex spokesman commented that the lawsuit was to “prevent precedence” and that if nothing was done, the phenomenon could repeat itself with other cryptocurrency businesses.

He said:

“We’re not going to rollover for action like this. It’s precisely why we have increased our legal department.

“The decision to initiate legal action is because we cannot allow precedence in this industry where clearing houses can disrupt businesses that are by all metrics complying with the rules in place.

“If we allow them to simply flip a switch and disrupt business, then there becomes a precedence in the Bitcoin industry beyond just Bitfinex, so we believe it is the appropriate time to take action to prevent precedence.”

Fickle Banks Meet Their Match At Last

The decision to disrupt liquidity flow for the two services could well represent the most severe instance of a bank declining service to cryptocurrency businesses.

Previous instances include Venezuelan exchange Surbitcoin’s temporary shutdown due to a banking refusal, while flagship New Zealand exchange bitNZ disappeared for good after operating for six years due to its bank’s sudden decision to cut ties.

Not just exchanges, but entities from across cryptocurrency have felt the effects of banks’ changing whims. UK news resource Coinjournal had its bank account frozen by Barclays in September last year, allegedly over connections with Bitcoin.

Regulations Bite Poloniex in Washington State

Meanwhile further up the West Coast, Washington State is to lose services from another Bitcoin exchange, this time Poloniex.

In a circular to customers, “careful consideration of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions’ interpretation of its financial services regulations” had resulted in the suspension of service for residents “until further notice.”

Ethereum Classic

Customers affected have two weeks from April 6 to remove funds from their accounts. Before the deadline, they are also prohibited from “opening new margin positions, adding to existing ones, and lending funds.”

Bitfinex itself exited Washington State for the same reasons back at the beginning of March. Unlike Poloniex, however, the exchange hinted there would be no return, and its users had markedly less time to react.

What do you think about the Wells Fargo case? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, poloniex.com

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Bře 20

IRS: Only 800 People Reported Bitcoin Earnings Per Year

· March 20, 2017 · 6:00 am

Taxing times continue at Coinbase as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reveals only 800 people report Bitcoin gains on returns annually.


IRS: 800 People Per Year Reporting and Falling

The exchange and wallet provider is currently facing enforced submission of its transaction records after the IRS went to court earlier this month.

In data released as part of the lawsuit, the authority reveals that in 2015 only 802 people reported Bitcoin gains on tax form 8949, and that the number had been decreasing year on year.

“The IRS searched the MTRDB for Form 8949 data for tax years 2013 through 2015,” the affidavit from IRS agent David Utzke quoted by Fortune reads.

Bitcoin_taxes_article_1_Bitcoinist

Coinbase responded to the new pressure to reveal its customers’ history last week by saying it “remains concerned with the indiscriminate and over broad scope of the government’s summons” and its legal team was reviewing the situation.

A blog post continues:

We will continue to work with the IRS to assess the government’s willingness to fundamentally reconsider the focus and scope of the summons. If it does not, we anticipate filing opposition papers in court in coming months.

Coinbase: ‘Don’t Store Funds On Coinbase’

While the company, which has served over 6.2 million customers, fights regulators on one front, no less burdensome is the current climate within the Bitcoin industry itself.

Escalating mining fees caused Coinbase to halt payment of fees for customer transactions from March 21, while most recently, it even began advising customers not to hold funds on its exchange books.

The warning to store bitcoins outside its exchange was due to potential implications of a hard fork, namely restricting access to customer funds which plagued the Ethereum hard fork in summer 2016.

farmer

“Customers who wish to access both blockchains at the time of the hard fork should withdraw their BTC from Coinbase since we cannot guarantee what will happen during the hard fork or when this access may be available,” an accompanying post from Director at Coinbase David Farmer read Sunday.

Customers should take note that they will not be able to withdraw bitcoin from or deposit bitcoin to Coinbase for a period of up to 24 hours or more following the fork. In the event of a hard fork of the Bitcoin protocol, Coinbase may suspend the ability to buy or sell on our platform during this time.

Coinbase was not one of the exchanges which signed a joint letter Friday stating a hard fork would mean Bitcoin Core would retain the BTC ticker, while Bitcoin Unlimited would become BTU.

What do you think about Coinbase’s handling of the IRS and hard fork possibilities? Let us know in the comments below!


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Bře 10

CheapAir Records 74% Increase In Bitcoin Sales as Price Grows

· March 10, 2017 · 3:30 am

Pioneering Bitcoin merchant CheapAir has seen equivalent 74% increases in Bitcoin purchases in the past six months.


CheapAir: ‘Accepting Bitcoin Has Been Great for Us’

As Bitcoin remains around all-time highs, the company said recent growth had had a dramatic effect on sales of air tickets bought with the cryptocurrency.

Accepting bitcoin has been great for us,” CEO Jeff Klee said in a press release Thursday.

pc16-pg-web-klee-j

CheapAir began accepting Bitcoin for its flight and hotel bookings in 2013 at the request of a customer. Since then, the company has processed cryptocurrency payments worth around $15 million USD.

“Since we began accepting bitcoin we’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredible Bitcoin enthusiasts,” Klee continued championing the ethos of the community behind the company’s uniquely successful sideline.

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These are passionate, well intentioned people who have devoted considerable time and energy to trying to improve a financial system that increasingly doesn’t work in the average citizen’s best interest.

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

Businesses have continually flirted with Bitcoin acceptance over the past few years, some deciding it was ultimately not worth the effort.

Most recently, online marketplace Fiverr announced it was pulling the plug on Bitcoin payments due to a lack of interest.

For those who opted to stay the course, however, recent price increases are paying dividends all round.

“I think it’s great that many of these individuals are enjoying a nice windfall right now and, of course, we want to help them spend some of that windfall on travel!” Klee added.

Despite trepidation over Bitcoin’s volatility linked to the SEC decision to approve or disapprove the Winklevoss ETF, statistics remain buoyant.

Even Google Trends data suggests users worldwide are increasingly interested in Bitcoin as a concept – be it its price relative to fiat currencies such as the US dollar or otherwise.

Shifts within the merchant community are also developing. Gift card giant eGifter last month ditched the need for a Coinbase wallet in order to make purchases, opting for a standard BitPay acceptance method and giving customers considerable extra flexibility.

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In fact, paying with Bitcoin via eGifter in tandem with CheapAir can just about cover every major expense when traveling from plane tickets to lodging, as well as food and transportation (e.g. Uber).

A fly in the ointment nonetheless remains network capacity. Smaller Bitcoin payments attract higher fees than ever in 2017 as Blocks fill up and the mempool expands. BitPay announced this week it had raised its minimum invoice amount from 4 cents to $1 – a hike of 2400% – to avoid “uneconomical transactions.”

What do you think about current merchant trends? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, LinkedIn, eGifter

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