Bitcoin News May 12, 2014

IC Market Rebate, Bob Jain – Bob discusses his optimistic outlook on the concept of a debit card option for bitcoin transactions, focusing on Xapo’s recent announcement as “an example of the evolution that is being seen as far as the distribution of digital money is concerned.” He notes that he has no doubt that the card will gain significant momentum, especially given its’ sizable funding.

Forbes, Perianne Boring – Perianne writes a weekly report of Bitcoin news, and notes that Xapo along with BitPay, CoinX and SecondMarket, are sending company representatives to testify at a hearing held by the US Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBC) Emerging Payments Task Force. She notes that the hearing will be examining changes in payment systems in digital currency on a series of panels.

Lets Talk Payments, Chiraag Patel – Chiraag includes Xapo on a list of 20 Illustrative companies that are disrupting Bitcoin’s collective aim to disrupt over $459 billion of the total market cap.

Daily Mail, Staff – The Daily Mail reports on the launch of GuestLeader, the first bitcoin-compatible hotel booking engine. The service is teaming up with Bitpay to allow travelers to select bitcoins as their preferred method of payment when booking their hotel stay online.

Forbes, Examiner, and others – Outlets report on the warning issued on May 8th by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on bitcoin investments. Forbes notes that “the advisory did not provide any facts about bitcoin being more risky of an investment than investing in the stock market, real estate, or start-ups, for example.”

Bitcoin News May 8 and 9, 2014

May 8, 2014

Bloomberg, PC World, The Verge, and others – Multiple outlets continue reporting on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s official alert to investors about the risks of Bitcoin. The alert states Bitcoin does not have an established track record of credibility and trust, but the report’s advice would apply to “almost any investment.”

Politico, The Wire, and others – Multiple outlets report The U.S. Federal Election Commission on Thursday unanimously said that political committees could legally accept small bitcoin donations — acknowledging for the first time that digital currencies are a form of “money or anything of value.”

Reuters, The Telegraph, and others – Multiple outlets report China’s biggest bank, ICBC, along with Guangfa Bank and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co Ltd have announced that they have banned activities related to Bitcoin trading. This follows reports that the PBOC ordered executives at China’s biggest lenders to tighten up how they monitor trades in the virtual currency.

Wall Street Journal, Deborah Gage – Deborah reports Avalara Inc., a cloud-based service that automatically calculates sales tax for businesses, is supporting bitcoin. Avalara, which started in 2004, has raised more than $100 million from investors including Battery Ventures and Sageview Capital.

May 9, 2014

Bitcoin Magazine, John Bush – John writes Bitcoin is becoming more versatile which opens up for new opportunities, noting “Xapo’s expansion into linking storage to usage through their new Xapo Wallet” as a significant recent development that will expand usability and accessibility.

TechCrunch, Kim-Mai Cutler – Kim-Mai reports BitPay has raised another $30 million, led by Index Ventures, with Richard Branson and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang participating, noting “the company’s financing tops…the $20 million round that Benchmark led for Xapo.”

CTV News, Josh Elliott – Josh reports Bitcoin’s transaction volume has dramatically declined in the past months and as a response, members of the Bitcoin community are organizing efforts to sponsor athletic teams and events in an attempt to attract new investors and users.

New York Times, The Register, and others – Multiple outlets report the Winklevoss twins disclosed in a regulatory filing that they had chosen to list their Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Payments Source, Bailey Reutzel – Bailey reports longtime friends and business partners Alex Charfen and Price Givens have formally launched, which they plan to market as a social, consumer-friendly and transparent digital currency wallet. The company’s site has several pages dedicated to technical data about the wallet’s financials, including its number of users, account openings, transactions per week, and how many bitcoins the service is holding in both hot (online) and cold (offline) storage.

TIME, USA Today, and others – Multiple outlets continue reporting on the Federal Election Commission’s approval of using Bitcoin for political donations. Jared Polis, a Colorado Congressman and Bitcoin backer, has announced his campaign will begin accepting the digital money and has already received “well over $1000 worth of Bitcoin in less than 24 hours.”

Bitcoin News May 7, 2014

Examiner, Victoria Ross – Victoria reports the US Conference of State Bank Supervisors Emerging Payments (CSBS) Task Force will be in Chicago for a public hearing on May 16 regarding emerging payments and digital currency issues.

Motherboard, Salon, and others – Multiple outlets continue covering the launch of Minacoin, a cryptocurrency backed by actual gold, but doubts remain as to its viability due to required compliance of stringent government regulations and the centralized nature of a gold-backed currency.

Silicon Angle, Wall Street Journal, and others – Multiple outlets report China’s biggest exchange, BTC China, has been prevented from taking cash deposits from the People’s Bank of China. Additionally, the PBOC summoned senior executives of the country’s major banks, urging them to cut off all bitcoin-related business and hardening its already-tough stance on the virtual currency.

Silicon Valley Business Journal, Wall Street Journal, and others – Multiple outlets report Vaurum, a startup that offers code that banks and other financial institutions can use to offer Bitcoins, raised a $4 million seed round of funding from venture investor Tim Draper, former AOL CEO Steve Case, Battery Ventures and others.

TechCrunch, Wall Street Journal, and others – Multiple outlets report CoinBase has acquired Kippt, a two-person start-up company whose product gives users a way to store and sort online media. The two companies have been collaborating for some time and both were a product of Y Combinator two years ago.

Wall Street Journal, Saumya Vaishampayan – Saumya reports the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued an investor alert about the potential risks associated with bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The alert referenced the potential for heightened risk of fraud with bitcoin investments, the possibility that bitcoin users could be targeted for fraudulent or high-risk investment schemes, and the limited recovery options in case of bitcoin theft or fraud.