The Future of Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges Looking Bright

Even while Chinese Bitcoin exchanges have been warned about the possibility of being cut off from their bank accounts, the Bitcoin price continues to rise. Today the price of a single Bitcoin rose to more than $500, which is an amazing 40% from the low of $355 that was recorded last week when a great deal of Chinese Bitcoin exchanges heard the news about having to close their bank accounts.

However, it now seems the tide has turned and the Bitcoin price in yuan is also up about 8.4% to 3,125 yuan. This is close to 38% from its lowest point last week. All of this comes as a surprise for many, including those looking for Bitcoin mining information, since it was the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) itself that requested Chinese banks to stop working hand in hand with Bitcoin exchanges by April 15. The PBOC also made claims that they would go as far as banning the popular digital currency.

Still, up to this point things seem to remain calm in Chinese Bitcoin waters. For one, the biggest Chinese exchange, BTC China, continues to operate without a problem. According to BTC China Chief Executive Officer Bobby Lee, “Our situation hasn’t changed. We’ve been talking to banks, the ones we have personal relationships with, and so far we’ve not received any notice to close our business with them.” In addition, the governor of the PBOC, Zhou Xiaochuan, also helped ease the nerves when he stated that, “It is out of the question of banning Bitcoin as it is not started by central bank. Bitcoin is more a kind of tradable and collectible asset, such as stamps rather than a payment currency.”

New Apple-approved App: bitWallet

In the past few months Apple has taken a severe stance against Bitcoin apps removing from their store giant Coinbase back in November and Blockchain.info iOS wallet back in February. Most recently, the company asked e-commerce app Fancy to remove Bitcoins transactions from its iOS app.

However, the Cupertino-based company has now approved a Bitcoin wallet app for iPhone and iPad. The app called bitWallet has been created by Sollico Software and is now available in the Apple app store. This app securely stores user’s Bitcoins as well as shows account balances, transaction history, exchange rates and much more. However, customers must be aware that the current version does not allow for users to send Bitcoin payments.

According to a Sollico representative, the company knew ahead of time what they needed to do in order for Apple to be on board, “We assumed Apple’s objection is primarily sending bitcoins directly from the app, so we decided to submit the full-featured wallet app, but disable sending bitcoins.”

Some of the features that bitWallet app users are able to take advantage of include the option to create multiple wallets with multiple Bitcoin addresses per wallet, print paper wallets to store Bitcoins offline in cold-storage, receive notifications when new transactions occur in the user’s wallet, create Watchlists in order to be able to follow other interesting Bitcoin accounts, check balances and transactions per wallet and per Bitcoin address, verify balances and transactions from multiple data sources, have access to live Bitcoin exchange rates in multiple currencies from all Bitcoin exchanges around the world and much more.

Bitcoin Boulevard Sets Sail in the Netherlands March 20th

A new and innovative Bitcoin idea is setting sail on March 20th in the Netherlands. The project is called Bitcoin Boulevard and will take place in the Dutch city of The Hague where visitors will be able to pay for their bar and restaurant checks with Bitcoins. Bitcoin Boulevard is inviting any interested customers, financial professionals and The Hague goers to visit and preferably pay for their bill with Bitcoin. The event will be inaugurated at exactly 17:57 pm which makers the start of spring and the city’s mayor Rene Bomb has agreed to pay for the 1st consumption with the crypto currency.

Bitcoin Boulevard is taking place on the World Canal, also known as Culinary Avenue. According to the project’s spokesperson, “With a smartphone, with the right app or an online wallet anyone can pay. But first buy some Bitcoin of course.” In addition, one of Bitcoin Boulevard’s businesses has stated that they will be hosting a happy hour for customers that pay in the crypto currency. “I like to experiment with new developments and will hold a Happy Hour until half past five for anyone who pays with Bitcoin, “according to the owner.

Bitcoin Boulevard was created by local entrepreneurs, Bitcoin fans and Galerie West. The main goal of the project is to bring a new and more positive light to the Bitcoin industry, especially since it has gotten so much bad press lately. Bitcoin Boulevard is a fantastic idea to give Bitcoin a chance to emerge and also a way to show the strength of innovation of The Hague businesses and entrepreneurs.

Overstock.com Continues Success with Bitcoin Payments

Accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment hasn’t been too shabby for Overstock.com. In fact, since the company started to accept the virtual currency they have sold close to $870,000 worth of items paid with Bitcoin. This figure adds up to 4,000 orders. The company’s CEO Patrick Byrne is a strong supporter of Bitcoin and reportedly has millions of dollars worth of the virtual currency.

“I’m holding it like I hold gold. I want a robust safety net as things play out. I’ve always had misgivings about fiat currencies. Gold was the answer but it doesn’t translate as well in the digital age,” Byrne said in a recent interview. He also added, “I want to be able to pay vendors and employees in Bitcoin too if they choose,” he said. “I’m doing this because I want to further the cause of Bitcoin.”

Overstock.com’s move of accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment has given the currency legitimacy and a wider attention worldwide. And this comes as no shock since Overstock is currently one of the world’s largest online retailers with close to $1.3 billion a year in sales. Expanding to Bitcoin was a natural thought process for Byrne and together with one of the most important processors and digital wallets, ‘Coinbase’, the decision has proven to be and incredibly profitable and positive one.

It seems as every day now more and more businesses are ready to accept Bitcoin. You can buy clothes, food, pay for online dates and even take a future trip to outer space if you have Bitcoins to spare. It remains to be seen just what you’ll be able to do with your coins in the very near future.

Mt. Gox’s Original Creator Works on Secret Bitcoin Project

It might be part of a bigger plan that none of us yet know about or perhaps it is pure coincidence, but Mt. Gox’s creator, Jed McCaleb, has been working on a secret Bitcoin project just a few days after his first Bitcoin enterprise had issues with withdrawals.

McCaleb’s new project is currently a mystery with just the following clue posted on his secretbitcoinproject.com web domain:  “Come see. When I sold Mt. Gox a few years ago, Bitcoin was trading at less than a dollar. Today Bitcoin exists in a new environment. Mt. Gox is struggling to keep up. Now, I am building something that will be better for Bitcoin and better for you. I’m looking for alpha testers. –Jed.”

McCaleb was the creator of Mt. Gox, a company that was originally an online card-trading platform and quickly became the world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange. Mt.Gox, short for “Magic: The Gathering Online Exchange”, was then sold to a group of Tokyo-based French entrepreneurs who, although had success with the exchange, dominating the Bitcoin industry by transaction volume for more than one year, also brought the company to its current state. Mt.Gox has suspended all payouts and has blamed it on “transaction malleability”.

Even while this flaw is widely know by other exchanges, who have handled the situation by writing their own software to take care of the malleable transaction ID, Mt. Gox failed to do so and has nosedived in no time. However, it seems as though McCaleb is ready to get back into the Bitcoin game and it remains to be seen just what he can come up with now.

CoinSummit San Francisco: A Full-on Bitcoin Experience

CoinSummit San Francisco is a two-day, invitation only experience that will take place between March 25 and March 26 and will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The forum intends to attract all types of Bitcoin enthusiasts, lovers, users and especially entrepreneurs who are looking for investors, lenders, informal investors, venture capitalists and whomever might be interested in learning more about the world that surrounds the popular crypto currency and other virtual currencies.

Some of the speakers that have confirmed their presence in CoinSummit San Francisco include Jackson Palmer, co-founder of Dogecoin, who will be making his first public speaking appearance. In addition, other important speakers who will be present are Nicolas Carey (CEO, Blockchain.info), Jeremy Liew (Partner, Lightspeed Ventures), Patrick Murck (General Counsel, Bitcoin Foundation), Nejc Kodrič (CEO, Bitstamp), Chris Larsen (CEO of Ripple Labs) as well as Alan Safahi, co-founder and CEO of ZipZap.

CoinSummit San Francisco follows the popular Bitcoin London event that was held back in July 2013. This new event shows the world that the community continues to grow and that it is certainly going places. According to the summit’s schedule, the first day will be all about investment opportunities, regulatory and legal challenges, the future of Bitcoin mining and other important topics. In addition, attendees can also take advantage of one-hour intervals that can be used for networking opportunities. The second day will focus on the longevity of the digital currency as well as the inclusion of two one-hour networking intervals.

Bitcoin Mining and Physical Bitcoins

If you’re looking to mine for Bitcoins then ButterFlyLabs.com is the site you want to visit. But, what about being able to hold your Bitcoins in your hands? Well, this might just be a possibility somewhere in the near future. As a matter of fact, users are able to store their coins in a physical wallet or paper wallet. This wallet allows for the storage of Bitcoins in the real world as a physical document that can be secured like cash and many consider that there are plenty of benefits that can come from using these.

The way a Bitcoin paper wallet works is by having the coin addresses and private keys printed directly on a piece of paper and then sending Bitcoins from a “live” wallet to the printed wallet’s public address for protection. These wallets are one of the safest ways to store Bitcoins especially if good security practices are met. However, there is still much that can be improved in this area. Physical bitcoin wallets are currently in the market and even while this crypto-currency works just fine online it could surely benefit from more widespread adoption.

In addition to paper wallets, users can also store their Bitcoins in cards that are similar to the normal credit and debit cards we all know but that are connected to Bitcoin wallets. There are no coins available on the Bitcoin card as it is used as a intermediary between the card manufacturer’s servers and the merchant. Bitcoin Hardware Wallets are also another source to store coins. These wallets make it easier for users to hold Bitcoins without the fear of having them stolen by malicious software on their own personal computers.

Bitcoin Mining in the United States: A Successful Business

The last few days of 2013 weren’t precisely kind to Bitcoin. China didn’t seem to want to help the crypto-currency industry grow and soon enough the country’s central bank blocked financial institutions and payment companies from handling Bitcoin transactions. Of course, this block is a true reflection about the worry the digital currency poses to China’s capital controls and financial security after a surge in trading last year made the country the world’s biggest trader of Bitcoin, according to Asia’s most popular exchange, BTC China.

However, things seem to be working the other way around in the United States. Businesses in this country want to help the prominent digital currency and the price has gone from a low of $480 in late December to $925 in the United States today. Bitcoin mining hasn’t been a walk in the park the last few weeks as miners have feared a meltdown could take place at anytime. However, the vast majority of supporters have tirelessly argued that Bitcoin is impossible to fully ban, since it exists as a decentralized network of transactions.

Soon after the San Francisco based company Zynga, the leader in online social games, announced they would be accepting Bitcoins as a form of in-game payment, the crypto-currency’s value began to climb. Other company’s that have also taken to Bitcoin include Virgin Galatic, OKCupid, WordPress, Reddit and many others. This is most likely going to become a trend for U.S. based company’s were businesses may begin to use Bitcoin to categorically attract a key consumer base.

AriseBitcoin: The Bitcoin Awareness Campaign

AriseBitcoin is a new company that is ready to promote the awareness of Bitcoin to the general public by using different marketing projects in hopes of spreading the word about the crypto-currency to the entire world. This organization aims to educate new and existing users in order to encourage a faster appreciation and use of Bitcoin. Arisebitcoin has decided to to kick off its very first Bitcoin awareness campaign in the city of San Francisco.

Created under the name “Hello San Francisco, Hello Bitcoin” this project is self-funded and was designed to introduce users in the bay area to the world of Bitcoin. This campaign will also help existing users gain more information that perhaps they weren’t aware of. Arisebitcoin’s Bitcoin campaign officially began 27th December and will last for one month. The team will be putting up 40 posters over the next few days and will likely put up 40 orange billboards measuring 10 x 22 feet across. The advertisements will be placed in different places ranging from South San Jose to San Pablo.

According to AriseBitoin: “We live by the motto go big or go home and look forward to proving this to not only the current bitcoin community, but to the world. We thoroughly believe in change and the freedom bitcoin allows. The members of arisebitcoin.com are united by this cause. To accomplish this large but obtainable task, we have determined a set of guidelines and projects in hopes of creating a snowball marketing effect on the world.“

Indonesia Opens New Bitcoin Exchange Service

Despite Indonesia being the world’s fourth-largest country by population the Bitcoin market is not big by any standards. However, Bitcoin seems to know no limits and has no reservations. News has emerged that a bitcoin exchange service has opened in the Southeast Asian nation. Bitcoin.co.id is not the first Bitcoin exchange platform as artaBit and tuker.in have already been in business for some times now but not fully functional. In other words, these existing exchanges allow for users to buy and sell the currency, however the prices are fixed by the sites.

According to local resident Ericson Pasaribu, as of right now these platforms have functioned more like money changers instead of exchanges. They exchanged the local Indonesian rupiah currency (Rp) for Bitcoins but at a rate fixed to those of platforms such as Mt. Gox and Bitstamp, with an added premium. Bitcoin.co.id suggested buying Bitcoins at  Rp 7,139,000 ($584.90) each or to sell them for Rp 8,166,700 ($669).

In addition to these web-based services, LocalBitcoins, known as the most hassle-free platform, is one of Indonesian bitcoin enthusiasts favorite exchanges. Pasaribu also said that these localized services are needed in order to raise Bitcoin’s popularity and hence increase the number of coins in Indonesian circulation. Some of the other more international and more prominent are difficult to access from within the country and sometimes new accounts took too long to verify. As of now, Bitcoin.co.id’s has a slower processing time but this is surely likely to change in the very near future.