Category Archives: Bitpay

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Bitcoin Black Friday Parody Hits Right Note with Young Investors

A video parodying American YouTuber and singer Rebecca Renee Black’s 2011 single “Friday” has already won 1,200 young admirers.

Black gained extensive media coverage when her hit single went viral on YouTube and other social media sites. “Friday” was derided by many music critics and viewers, who dubbed it “the worst song ever” but this didn’t stop it from achieving 127 million viewers from among the young YouTubing community.

The parody, released by “Crypto Finally” and promoting trading platform Bitpay, clearly went down well at head-office, with the company expressing gratitude for the extra publicity, promising a surprise gift for an effort that had so far attracted 12,000 viewers. The video was made without any collaboration or agreement with Bitpay ahead of its production but that doesn’t seem to have troubled the Bitcoin payment platform in the slightest.

The video is clearly aimed at getting younger YouTubers onside with cryptocurrency, labeling those who haven’t yet taken the crypto plunge as “old-fashioned”. Millennials are still predominant users of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, many undaunted by the market’s extreme fluctuations over the past 18 months.

Christmas is coming, and many youngsters would see Bitcoin as the perfect gift, particularly with predictions that a protracted bull run will follow cryptocurrencies’ current dip in fortunes towards mid-2019. Investors are now suggesting that Bitcoin at USD 3,000 is a perfect time to buy.

It is clear that millennials are completely at the forefront of the crypto space and that without them, it is hard to imagine that Bitcoin would have even got off the ground. “Over 82% of millennials say their investment decisions were influenced by the Great Recession when USD 14 trillion in wealth was lost,” writes Kari Paul of MarketWatch, adding that.

Paul added, “Millennials regard the stock market with skepticism. People between the ages of 18 and 39 are less likely to invest money in the stock market than are other generations, studies show.”

Falling cryptocurrency prices appear to have done little to deter the younger generation from purchasing cryptocurrencies with 55% either having purchased or looking to buy in the near future. Many young investors cite the ability to invest what they can afford to lose without impacting on their lifestyles, not using third-party institutions, and having the ability to work anywhere with easy access to funds, regardless of global location.

 

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Bitpay: Bitcoin the “Under Pound Gorilla” Will Eclipse Many Other Currencies

Global Bitcoin payment service provider Bitpay is making some upbeat predictions for 2019 which certainly paint a different picture to the digital currency’s rocky ride as 2018 comes to a close.

The Atlanta-based company’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Sonny Singh predicts that 2019 promises to be an “exciting” year which will push Bitcoin’s value up to between USD 15,000 and USD 20,000 by next December.

He believes that with the entry of Fidelity and Intercontinental Exchange into the market and ETFs getting the green light, 2019 will take on a whole new look when it comes down to investment opportunities. He commented it would be Bitcoin that would eclipse many other digital currencies whose fortunes were less easy to foresee, suggesting, “I don’t know what’s going to happen to them.”

He said, “There’s a night and day difference between Bitcoin and everything else. Bitcoin is the under pound gorilla, it’s the one that has the mass network effect… [the one] the traditional financial incumbents are building products around.”

In terms the durability of his gorilla, Sing argues that “Bitcoin survives first”, even in a poor market, despite its fluctuating fortunes. Blockstream CEO Bobby Lee, brother of Litecoin founder Charlie, agrees, suggesting that despite flashes of green in the last 24 hrs, Bitcoin could still threaten USD 3,000 but long-term, he feels it will overtake gold.

In this bear market for #Bitcoin, it’s worth reminding everyone that $BTC is still only one-hundredth of the value of #Gold: $80 billion vs $8 trillion.
Gold is worth 100 times more than Bitcoin today!
What will the ratio be in 10-20 years?
Will it flip, with Bitcoin worth more? pic.twitter.com/VIpzIDKfo0

— Bobby Lee (@bobbyclee) November 20, 2018

Currently, there is a consensus among certain cryptocurrency experts that with Bitcoin’s growing convenience as a payment method, illustrated by the march of ATMs worldwide, along with the digital currency becoming an internationally recognized household name, past hype could surrender to real value. A deflation of Bitcoin could “clean out weak hands”, according to the views of many investors. Serious players in the market would then be left to establish Bitcoin’s real value. EToro analyst Mati Greenspan says the ship isn’t sinking, but simply readjusting to its load:

“What we’re seeing now are the after-effects of the unprecedented rise of Bitcoin and other crypto assets in 2017. This year is simply a retracement of that… These cycles can sometimes be accentuated in the crypto market due to the riskier nature of this nascent industry. In the same way, previous cycles have not signaled the end for broader markets, these price movements don’t signal the end for crypto assets.”

For now, Singh’s gorilla is still in the mist, waiting for its moment to escape.

 

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Wall Street Crypto Interest Continues as Fundstrat Accepts Bitcoin

Leading independent Wall Street research organization Fundstrat has announced that it is about to start accepting Bitcoin from global clients.

The trend in Wall Street currently seems split between joiners and leavers, those such as banking giant Goldman Sachs who, having listened to its client base, has demonstrated that it has seen the writing on the wall regarding cryptocurrency, and those leaving comfortable positions in banking to jump on the blockchain bandwagon wholeheartedly.

Those such as JP Morgan blockchain executives Amber Baldet who left to found her own decentralized app store and ex-vice president of Goldman Sachs who jumped ship to fire up a crypto asset management firm, both examples of the current lure of crypto and blockchain on Wall Street.

Fundstrat Global Advisers have decided to become joiners in its announcement that the firm will start accepting Bitcoin payments through Bitpay, the largest global blockchain payments provider. Reportedly, the organization is one of the few macro research firms to follow movements in the crypto environments and has decided to take the plunge. Managing Partner Thomas Lee commented on the move:

“Fundstrat found that accepting payments via BitPay is considerably simpler, faster and less expensive than bank wires… Bitcoin payments make it easier for our clients, particularly those outside the US, by offering more options to pay for our research services without having to deal with the hassles of currency translation.”

Its clients include institutional investors, wealth advisers, pension funds, and wealthy individuals requesting investment reports and profiles including cryptocurrency.

And it is not just Bitcoin that Wall Street is currently taking an increased interest in. Last month’s comments by SEC Director of Corporate Finance William Hinman that Ether wasn’t operating as a security has left its impact on New York’s financial hub, with CBoE’s president Chris Concannon declaring:

“We are pleased with the SEC’s decision to provide clarity with respect to current Ether transactions… This announcement clears a key stumbling block for Ether futures, the case for which we’ve been considering since we launched the first Bitcoin futures in December 2017.”

 

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Stephen James BMW in UK Now Accepting Bitcoin

Stephen James BMW, which operates five BMW dealerships in London and Kent in the United Kingdom, is now selling cars for Bitcoin via BitPay. This is another example of how Bitcoin can be used as a medium of exchange, even for large purchases like luxury cars.

Stephen James is now accepting Bitcoin for the purchase of your new BMW! Contact us today to find out more about how you can use Bitcoin to walk away with a brand new vehicle #bitcoin #bitpay pic.twitter.com/qN1Bq5Juc1

— Stephen James BMW (@SJBMWGroup) July 5, 2018

BitPay is a Bitcoin payment processor that has been operating since 2011, making it one of the oldest cryptocurrency companies. As of late 2017, BitPay was on track to process USD 1 billion of Bitcoin payments annually. BitPay insulates merchants from market volatility by instantly converting Bitcoin to fiat at the time of payment. This is important since Bitcoin often sees prices swings of 5% and sometimes in excess of 10% on a daily basis, which could cost a car dealership quite a bit of money if they accept Bitcoin for a USD 100,000 luxury car.

Ever since ‘Bitcoin Pizza Day’ in 2010, marking the first time in recorded history that Bitcoin was used to purchase physical goods, Bitcoin has been accepted by an ever-expanding list of companies as a form of payment. Bitcoin is an excellent way to pay since it can be sent instantly anywhere in the world and is cryptographically secure. Not even the most powerful supercomputer in the world can compromise a Bitcoin transaction. Although Bitcoin is not accepted by every merchant in the world, practically any good or service in the world can be purchased with Bitcoin at this point.

The biggest Bitcoin purchases in history have been for real estate. A 7-bedroom mansion in Miami, Florida sold for USD 6 million of Bitcoin, and this is the largest known Bitcoin purchase in history. The Palazzetto mansion in Rome, which has an estimated value of USD 44 million, is up for auction and Bitcoin is an accepted payment method alongside USD. If the Palazzetto ends up being purchased with Bitcoin then it would become the most expensive Bitcoin purchase in history by far.

 

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Malta Passes New Laws to Claim World’s First Nation with Crypto Certainty

Malta has officially passed three bills into law to legalize cryptocurrency businesses in the country, claiming to make it the world’s first nation to provide legal certainty to the cryptocurrency field, according to Bitcoinist.

The bills passed their fourth and final reading on 4 July and as Bitcoin News reported recently, the bills are aimed at further regulation of cryptocurrencies. The three bills fall into three categories as follows:

-ICOs will now need to publish a white paper with fully transparent financial history details of the issuer for each new project needing funding through the Virtual Financial Assets Act.

-An industry-specific body will be sent up in order to support the deployment of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act which will promote the development of visions, skills, and other qualities relating to technology innovation.

– The Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act will facilitate blockchain-based enterprises being recognized as such under the law, and as such will be the basis for the previous two bills to operate.

New exchanges now know exactly what government requirements are before setting up a cryptocurrency business or exchange in Malta. Silvio Schembri, Malta’s Junior Minister for Financial Services, commented that companies can now operate in a fully regulated environment, which should attract more investment to the country’s already burgeoning cryptocurrency space.

Poland’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Bitpay announced this year that it was suspending its activities there. Due to lack of cooperation from Polish banks, the exchange announced that its BitBay operations were moving to Malta. Another coup for the country was the announcement that Binance had successfully opened a bank account there and would be operating from September 2018.

Malta has become increasingly appealing to Bitcoin companies conducting business there due to the island’s positive spin on blockchain technology and its open-minded approach to regulation, linked to a strong economy. It also boasts the largest cryptocurrency trading volume in the world, according to Morgan Stanley. With this new legal-certainty status for cryptocurrencies, the country’s claim as another European “crypto haven” to rival Switzerland may be well founded.

 

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Coinbase Looks to Acquire Banking Licenses

Coinbase is currently looking into the processes involved in acquiring banking licenses. The Wall Street Journal reports that an undisclosed source revealed that the exchange engaged in conversations with members of the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in earlier this year:

“Coinbase Inc and another cryptocurrency firm talked to US regulators about the possibility of obtaining banking licenses, a move that would allow the startups to broaden the types of products they offer.”

Additional Coinbase services

Coinbase has been expanding its services this year to become more than just an exchange. Its commerce API or its “PayPal-like service”, was released in February. Merchants could quickly implement cryptocurrencies as a payment method supporting BitcoinBitcoin CashEthereum, and Litecoin. The platform adds a “PayPal-like” button to e-commerce sites allowing streamlined payments straight to the vendor’s wallet.

Coinbase isn’t the only company to offer these types of services, with BitPay also letting customers pay in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. With the volatility within the cryptocurrency market this year it may take more to encourage merchants to adopt this additional payment method.

Coinbase announced this month that it would be releasing its Coinbase Custody platform. The new product could entice institutional investors, it went on to explain: “The cryptocurrency market is maturing rapidly as more sophisticated institutional participants enter the space. In fact, in the past few months over 100 hedge funds were created that exclusively invest in and trade cryptocurrency. Some of the world’s largest financial institutions have also recently announced their plans to begin trading cryptocurrency.”

Coinbase Custody is a storage service for a minimum of USD 10 million in crypto. Financial institutions will be expected to pay USD 100,000 as a set-up fee and an additional monthly premium dependant on holdings. Coinbase claimed: “We have leveraged our experience safely storing more than $20 billion of cryptocurrency to create Coinbase Custody, the most secure crypto storage solution available.”

Industry issues

Coinbase believes its recent progress will accelerate the world’s adoption of cryptocurrency by bringing new capital and greater awareness to the industry.

The volatility of Bitcoin still stands to be an issue and has led to merchants withdrawing the payment option. This was one of the main reasons for Steam halting Bitcoin payments at the end of 2017. The rise of crypto-related crime is enough to deter investors in the interim.

As much as 30,000 people who have fallen victim to Ethereum-related theft, suffering an average loss of USD 7,500 each, according to Chainalysis. Exchanges have been targeted in large-scale hacks with Coincheck losing USD 550 million worth of NEM cryptocurrency (XEM) in January and Coinsecure losing USD 3.5 million in Bitcoin (BTC). With legislation and regulation becoming a hot topic among unions and governments, 2018 is set to be an interesting year for cryptocurrencies.

Coinbases profitability values the company at around USD 8 billion. The growth and reinvestment into new ventures such as the banking industry shows Coinbase’s faith in the future of cryptocurrencies.

However, not everyone believes that the company is heading in the right direction. Reddit user Bitcoin Yoda explains how Coinbase Commerce is moving in a different direction to Satoshi’s vision: “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Any intermediary between your BTC payment and the merchant is violating the definition of Bitcoin and your privacy.”

Is Coinbase’s pursuit of becoming a bank turning its back on the ideologies behind crypto?

 

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Seminole County Tax Collector Starts Accepting Crypto Payments

The Seminole County, Florida tax collector office headed by Joel Greenberg announced today that they would begin accepting cryptocurrency payments for their services. Specifically, they will be accepting Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash through BitPay. This is a major milestone for BitPay since it is their first partnership with a government agency.

Launched in 2009, Bitcoin (BTC) is the most popular and widely-used cryptocurrency in the world with a market cap of USD 150 billion and daily trading volume of several billion dollars. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was created in August 2017 by forking Bitcoin; it has all the characteristics of Bitcoin besides a protocol change which allows more transactions and lowers fees via increasing block size to 8 MB. Since it has lower transaction fees than Bitcoin, it is cheaper to use BCH as an everyday currency, hence why it’s called Bitcoin Cash. BCH has a market cap of USD 25 billion and daily trading volume in excess of USD 1 billion per day, making it the most popular cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple.

The tax collection office of Seminole County will be using BitPay, which provides technology that allows merchants to easily accept cryptocurrency and convert it to USD or other fiat currencies. BitPay protects merchants from price volatility by instantly converting cryptocurrency to fiat at the time a sale occurs. This is why the tax collector chief, Joel Greenberg, is able to say he does not perceive any risk to the county from price volatility by accepting cryptocurrencies.

Accepting cryptocurrency payments actually reduces payment risk, since cryptocurrency is irreversible, unlike credit/debit card payments which can be reversed in identity theft cases, resulting in hefty chargeback fees for the merchant. Payments with Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are cryptographically secure, and transparent since all transactions are viewable in the block explorer.

The Seminole County tax collector office will be accepting cryptocurrency payments for a wide variety of services including tag, title, registration, driver’s licenses, birth certificates, hunting and fishing licenses, as well as ad valorem and non-ad valorem taxes.

The fact that cryptocurrency is being viewed and utilized as a safe alternative to cash and cards by a tax authority is a good sign that the government is becoming more open to cryptocurrency usage, and is another mile marker on cryptocurrency’s road to becoming a global currency.

 

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Employees of Cryptocurrency Companies Take Bitcoin Salary Share

With the popularity of cryptocurrency on the rise, company employees working at startups such as Coinbase and Bitpay are happy to receive much of their salaries in Bitcoin.

Amongst cryptocurrency companies, payroll systems vary as to how they decide to pay their staff but frequently employees are offered to opt into systems where they can select their pay preferences and decide on a traditional paycheck to Bitcoin ratio.

Bitpay and Coinbase

Atlanta-based Bitpay handles a payroll for 52 employees, but it’s generally only the smaller percentage of younger workers who choose to be paid totally in Bitcoin. These younger employees with limited family commitments are often happy to invest their earnings across a number of other cryptocurrencies. For these employees, the financial banking crash of 2008 remains a stark warning of what can happen when banks get it wrong. They prefer to handle their own financial destiny.

Forty percent of Coinbase employees receive a percentage of their pay in Bitcoin and many have traditional investment strategies in addition to an allocation to cryptocurrencies. An interesting incentive programme gives new employees cryptocurrency to experiment with. These funds can either be invested or even sent to family members or friends.

Bitpay’s Jeremie Beaudry, the company’s financial services legal counsel, suggests that being invested in cryptocurrency can make one a “better researcher and educator”. If this is the case, then the Coinbase bonus scheme for new staff has some merit. However, Coinbase, like many other companies do have a strict trading policy. Also, many cryptocurrency online news sources have disclosure rules regarding personal crypto investments held by their employees which may limit their writers’ scope and coverage of news.

The future

External companies which handle payment of employee salaries under contract is by no means a new concept but online companies such as California-based Bitwage, operating since 2014, offers a premium account which enables users to receive salary payments in up to 25 different currencies including Bitcoin. Workers also can receive part of their pay in Bitcoin, even if this option is not offered by their employer.

 

 

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