Coin Jar’s Bitcoin Debit Card: Spending your Bitcoins in Style

Just last week Australia’s most successful Bitcoin exchange and payment processor, CoinJar, announced the launch of their Bitcoin debit card dubbed Swipe. This debit card gives users the chance to spend Bitcoins they have in their CoinJar wallet at any merchant in Australia’s extensive EFTPOS electronic debit network. Users can also convert Bitcoins from their CoinJar balances to Australian dollars. Now, the company has announced the price of their debit cards.

Even though CoinJar promised there would be “no activation fees, no load fees, no conversion rates (subject to CoinJar Fair Rate policy), [and] no inactivity fees”, users will still need to cover some expenses. The initial order of a Swipe card costs AUD$29 ($26). Moreover, cash withdrawals from ATMs on Australia’s ‘Redi-ATM’ network will cost AUD$2 ($1.78) fee. However, this fee will not apply when users use their card to withdraw cash from either of the nationwide Coles or Woolworths supermarket chains.

As of now, CoinJar has released close to a hundred of their Swipe debit cards to users who are in their early access program. The company is putting off the $29 initial fee during this trial period.“CoinJar will be absorbing these costs because we want our users to experience the power of bitcoin and spend it freely,” according to a statement.

Xapo Announces New Bitcoin Wire Transfer Option

Xapo is a place where you can store your Bitcoins in a vault or a wallet. What does this mean for you? It means you can feel secure that your virtual currency is kept safe at all times. In addition, Xapo also offers customers a debit card option that is tied to their balance and functions as a smooth extension of their Xapo wallet, allowing Bitcoin holders to spend the crypto currency at any merchant that accepts debit cards. And this translates to millions and millions of merchants from all parts of the globe.

This process can be done online or offline and merchants won’t even know that Bitcoins were used to pay for the transaction. Xapo’s debit card will undoubtedly   help the global adoption of Bitcoin in ways that we haven’t seen thus far.

And as if this wasn’t enough of a huge leap forward for the Bitcoin industry, Xapo has announced yet another tool that will help not only Bitcoin users but Bitcoin mining enthusiasts and the entire Bitcoin community. Xapo Deposit is the company’s newest service and gives users the chance to acquire the currency on the Xapo platform via wire transfer. Users now have an easier way to get Bitcoins and conveniently store them in their Xapo wallet. All they need to do is log in to their account, click on the Deposit button and fill out a deposit profile to receive a reference code. After this, users will be able to set up a wire transfer to their Xapo account in either U.S dollars or Euros. The cash will then be converted to Bitcoin and deposited to their virtual wallets.

First Airline to Accept Bitcoins: airBaltic

Whether you might be taking a business trip or planning a vacation, you know that it takes some planning if you want things to work out the best possible way. And if you happen to be a Bitcoin mining info buff like me, or you’re a Bitcoin user, you definitely want to have the option of being able to pay for your expenses with the digital currency.

One of the latest travel companies to join the Bitcoin bandwagon is airBaltic, Latvia’s national airline. The company is now accepting the currency as a form of payment for ticket purchases online. Costumers can pick their destination between 60 different places across Europe, the Middle East, Russia and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). Bitcoin payments apply only on the cheapest tickets known as airBaltic Basic Class.

Bitpay is the third-party payment processor that has been integrated with airBaltic for secure and fast transactions. The ticket prices will be listed in Euros, however Bitpay will be in charge of converting these at the current exchange rate. According to the airline’s CEO, Martin Gauss, “AirBaltic has been ranked among the top ten most innovative airlines globally. Introducing the Bitcoin payment option is part of our innovative approach to service with a central focus on our customer.”

More than Positive Results for Expedia.com and Bitcoin Payments

Last month, on June 11th, Washington-based online travel agency Expedia.com made the announcement that they would start accepting Bitcoin for online hotel reservations working hand in hand with payment processor Coinbase. Now, Expedia.com is letting the world know that its incursion into this digital currency’s world has been tremendously successful.

Expedia joins other virtual giants – such as Overstoc.com – that accept Bitcoin through Coinbase. This supports the processor’s prior declarations that as many as 10 billion-dollar companies could begin accepting Bitcoin this year.

According to Expedia’s executive vice president of global product Michael Gulmann the total Bitcoin sales the company has seen so far has truly exceeded estimates. In an interview, Gulmann said: “We did some estimates based on the size of Overstock and the size of Expedia, and came up with our own estimates of what we could expect, and we’re meeting and exceeding those.”

The Expedia application is easy to use and works perfectly for many types of customers. Clients go through the checkout process and after choosing Bitcoin as their payment method; they will be taken to Coinbase’s site. Coinbase will then transfer these Bitcoin payments to Expedia in U.S. dollars, based on the conversion rate that was set at the time of the purchase.

Los Angeles to Get its First Bitcoin ATM’s

If you happen to be a Bitcoin user, or into Bitcoin mining, a Bitcoin buff or simply a Bitcoin curious fan, and you also happen to live in the Los Angeles area or will be visiting this city soon, then you’ll be happy to learn that there are two brand-new Bitcoin ATMs coming to town next week.

These machines have been manufactured by Las Vegas, Nevada-based Robocoin and will be managed by Santa Monica Bitcoin payment processor ExpressCoin. The machines will be located in in two Locali Conscious Convenience stores in Hollywood and Venice.

According to Locali owner Melissa Rosen she’s not expecting a huge invasion of customers due to the new Bitcoin machines and also added that her stores are not currently accepting Bitcoin payments due to possible conflicts with the point-of-sale system in-use. Nevertheless, Rosen would like to add a Bitcoin payment option in her stores in the near future.

Robocoin chief executive Jordan Kelly has said in a recent interview that his company has received around 100 inquires from potential Los Angeles operators. The company is planning on expanding across Southern California. Kelly also said Robocoin is working on the creation of more traditional bank-like features added to the machines to make using the popular crypto currency easier and more hassle-free for users in general.

Quickcoin Allows You to Send Bitcoin Fast and Securely

Bitcoin wallet app QuickCoin is not about mining, complicated algorithms or difficult terms; it’s about allowing you to send coins in a fast and secure manner. The San Francisco-based startup wants to place the digital currency in a more accessible interface with the web-based ‘social wallet’. Think about Facebook for Bitcoin. A world where you’re connected to an account and you can send or receive coins right then and there.

As a matter of fact, QuickCoin has decided to integrate their product utilizing the popular Facebook login. Currently the service is only browser-based but according to the company’s CEO Nathan Lands, they would like to make an app in the future. With the Facebook integration you’re able to simply sign in, select a friend and send a message with the amount of Bitcoin.

Marshall Hayner, co-founder of QuickCoin, has also added that one of the main goals of the company is to eliminate all the difficulties that many people associate with Bitcoin. Hayner said, “If average people are going to adopt bitcoin, they have to be able to use it without even really knowing they are using bitcoin, or feeling like they are subjected to a complicated process.” He also added, “I would often hear ‘I can’t get into bitcoin, that’s way too expensive’, [but] the reality is that bitcoin is divisible into very tiny amounts.”

Mycelium Launches Bitcoin Trader Feature: Buy and Sell Bitcoin from Others Close By

Mycelium is a successful Bitcoin wallet that allows you to send and receive Bitcoins via your mobile phone. Now, the company has launched a new feature called Local Trader. This features looks to make the acquisition and sale of the crypto currency even more hassle-free than before for existing users.

Local Trader lets Bitcoin buyers and sellers who are close to each other to transact. Trades made are done person-to-person using Bitcoin. Customers who use the feature are able to make “geographically pinned sell orders” where they can sell at a chosen exchange rate. Buyers can search for sellers geographically and/or scout for the best deals available close to them.

Mycelium made a recent announcement on Reddit that said, “All trades use in-app end-to-end encrypted chat between the buyer and seller. Not even the Local Trader servers can read the contents.” When the price is fully negotiated, the buyer and seller can meet at the place of their convenience, and the transaction will then go through.

Local Trader will use a “confidence graph” and will then “[display] the probability that the transaction that sends coins to the buyer’s wallet will get included in the next block.” Mycelium servers then track the transaction as it spreads through thousands of nodes, in addition to checking it for possible double-spends, transaction malleability, long chains of unconfirmed inputs, the correct transaction fees and other possible scenarios that may arise. This ensures that traders will be able to exchange cash and feel secure that the transaction was legitimate, without having to wait for a confirmation.

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.