Bitcoin News for the week of 6/13/16

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. News surrounding the price has been the dominant headline for the past two weeks, as it’s continued on an upward trajectory quite steadily. Industry opinions on what’s driving the increase vary, and we have a few pundits weigh in below. Also, we see that the blockchain is disrupting different spaces, from banking to business. Get all this news and more, in our weekly recap.

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Support Team Tips: Bitcoin Transactions and Chargebacks

This article is part of our ongoing series of Support Team Tips, where we tackle some of the most prominent questions our support team receives. In this post, we cover one of the most common questions we receive about bitcoin transactions, can you cancel or reverse my bitcoin transaction?

The short answer to this question is no, we can’t cancel or reverse a bitcoin transaction.

Why not?

To elaborate further on why, we’ll provide some important information to explain how bitcoin works, and how it compares to other payment methods.

When bitcoin was created, it was introduced as a public, distributed peer-to-peer electronic cash system.  And in order for bitcoin (the currency) to succeed without a third party like a bank to mediate, verify, and manage transactions, the concept of a blockchain ledger was developed alongside the currency as a way to verify and track transactions and prevent fraud. Settlement with a high degree of certainty is a requirement for a payment system to function. Otherwise people could make transactions, receive goods, request funds back, then make more transactions. Bitcoin is portable, fungible, divisible, and irreversible. Payment methods like credit cards also include some of these properties, but their transactions are not irreversible. A credit card transaction can be reversed in the form of a chargeback, which can happen days or weeks after a transaction has initially processed. Unfortunately, this comes with friction and costs because the network has to be maintained by an intermediary.

From a merchant’s perspective, bitcoin presents an increasingly convenient alternative to credit cards that ensures they can avoid the inconvenience of chargebacks, and cut transaction costs. For the consumer, bitcoin also presents similar benefits, but it’s extremely important to double check the recipient’s address and amount are correct before sending your funds.

Bitcoin shares some but not all qualities of credit cards, and the same goes for cash, particularly where reversibility is concerned. You can pay for something with bitcoin or cash and neither transaction can be reversed unless the recipient returns the funds back to you.

Let’s take a look at two scenarios to explain this further. One with bitcoin, and the second with cash.

Scenario 1: You accidentally sent bitcoin to the wrong address. Without knowing the identity of who controls the address you sent your funds to, you have no way to contact the accidental recipient and ask them to send the funds back.

Scenario 2: You accidentally dropped a $20 bill while walking on the sidewalk and failed to take notice. Shortly after, someone you don’t know picks up your cash and keeps it. Unless you were present to see the person pick up your cash, you have no reasonable way to track them down and retrieve it.

In both scenarios, it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever see either forms of currency again. While bitcoin does paint a clear path of where your funds went (by looking on the blockchain), bitcoin addresses don’t have conventional forms of ID associated with them like a first or last name, or government ID.

To sum all of this up

Bitcoin is designed in a way that changes how we’re used to transacting, particularly with credit cards. Transaction reversibility, or chargebacks, is a process that is not inherent or automated for bitcoin transactions. When individuals transact, there is no third party interference in the management or deliverance of the funds; the transaction is managed solely between the sender and the recipient. In situations where you’ve accidentally sent funds to an incorrect unknown address, or you’ve purchased something from a merchant and want a refund, both cases require you to already have a means to contact the recipient to request they send your funds back. In the case of buying from a merchant, it’s likely they can issue you a refund, but in the former scenario it’s unlikely you will be able to recover your funds.

In addition to the irreversibility of bitcoin transactions, our wallet is designed so that we have zero control over your funds, transactions, or chosen configurations. You are in full control of the funds in your Blockchain wallet, and that’s another reason why we are unable to interfere with your transaction.

For detailed wallet tutorials, please visit our Support Center. Have a tip you’d like us to cover next? Let us know in the comments below! 

Receive Payments API Update: Address Gap Limits

api-update

Recently we’ve encountered interesting edge cases where Receive Payments API V2 users had long runs of unused addresses, which makes funds paid to later addresses not display within the wallet. We’re taking a proactive approach to prevent this from happening, and in this post we’ll explain these changes and their impact on our API users. Users may also have received an email version of this update.

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Bitcoin News for the week of 6/06/16

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. The price of bitcoin continues to be of interest in mainstream media, with many speculating on the rise. This week we also learned the difference between bitcoin exchange volume and exchange liquidity in a new report from Kaiko, and we saw new investments in the space with one being potentially the biggest to date. Read all this news and more below!

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Bitcoin News for the week of 5/30/16

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. This week we saw another run-up in the price of bitcoin, causing more headlines and speculation on why bitcoin is in such demand recently. In addition, investors are flocking to bitcoin, including millennials. And we ask, where is the greatest potential for bitcoin? Keep reading to get all this news and more!

Be Your Own Bank

Blockchain releases new commercial to boost bitcoin adoption

In a move that could greatly help to take bitcoin to the masses, Blockchain, one of the popular bitcoin wallets, has released a new commercial advertisement inviting people to start a bitcoin wallet. The short video starts off saying, “The digital world is a part of our DNA now.”

The video was well-received by the cryptocurrency community, and many believe other companies should jump on this type of media to display the wonderful attributes Bitcoin gives to the world.

Bitcoin on the rise

Bitcoin price chart via Markets.Blockchain.info
Bitcoin price chart via Markets.Blockchain.info

Bitcoin Price Passes $570 for First Time Since August 2014

This is the first time the average price of bitcoin has risen to these heights since August 2014. On 11th August of that year, USD markets saw a high of $589.87. You can track the bitcoin price fluctuations on our Bitcoin Markets page, where you can see the price across five different exchanges.

This is the second week in a row that we are seeing bitcoin price surges, as last week we saw the price around $471 USD, and now it’s $100 higher. Some are contributing the new demand to Chinese yuan concerns. A weakening in the yuan has driven bitcoin trading volumes on the Shanghai-headquartered digital exchange BTTC to as much as five times their daily average since Friday, BTTC CEO Bobby Lee told Reuters. Reporters from Bloomberg speculated that it’s possible the rise could also be from a weakening economy in Venezuela.

Bitcoin as an investment

Chart via SeekingAlpha.com
Chart via SeekingAlpha.com

S&P 500 Top? An Idea For Pricey Markets

SeekingAlpha.com suggests that you should diversify your portfolio in bitcoin. How much BTC should you buy? They said that “10% of your cash portfolio or 2-3% of your overall portfolio is probably about right. I would start with that and then allow it to grow over time with the increased acceptance of electronic currency.”

According to Forbes, seven million people worldwide have invested in bitcoin. While they may represent only 1% of current equity investors, they’ve helped propel its price from nothing to $535+, pushed its daily trading volume to $1 billion a day and brought its market capitalization to $8.4 billion. It’s not super-hard to believe either, as a new generation of investors and digital money users are cropping up. In a new report, it says that millennials prefer digital money like bitcoin over cash, check, and banks.

Where is the greatest potential?

Illustration courtesy of CoinTelegraph.com
Illustration courtesy of CoinTelegraph.com

Argentina Tops List of Countries with Greatest Bitcoin Adoption Potential

Argentina has the greatest potential for Bitcoin adoption in the world. According to the Bitcoin Market Potential Index (BMPI), Argentina tops the list of ten countries with the highest relative potential for Bitcoin adoption followed by Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Malawi and the United States. China ranks only 27th in this survey conducted by the London School of Economics.

Soon though, Australians will see a lot more of bitcoin on local newsstands. Launching this past week, a new initiative will help people buy bitcoin with cash at around 1,200 newsagents nationally, Fairfax Media reported. Or maybe we will see an uptick in Dubai, as bitcoin startup BitOasis just received their first round of seed funding, providing potential in the Middle East to new possibilities. The truth of the matter is that potential for bitcoin adoption can be found anywhere. Take for example how sneaker designers are busting knock-offs with bitcoin tech.

Enjoyed this article? Leave a comment below and let us know. For more news like this, be sure to check out our archives!

How to use Watch-only Addresses

Watch-only addresses are a Blockchain Wallet feature you can find in the Imported Addresses section of your wallet. In recent updates, we’ve made some improvements to how you can use watch-only addresses, and how the balances of these addresses are reflected in your wallet. In this post we’ll cover details on these updates and how that affects your wallet experience.

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Bitcoin News for the week of 5/23/16

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. The bitcoin price surged toward the end of this week, and pundits have opined on the increase. Our Co-Founder, Nicolas Cary, presented Blockchain at Startup Fest in Amsterdam alongside Tim Cook of Apple, Eric Schmidt of Google, and Travis Kalanick of Uber. We also take a look at bitcoin in Japan, as recent activity there has produced some interesting new regulatory developments. Additionally, we had the chance to connect with the community at a few events, like the FinTech hackathon we attended in Ukraine. Read about all this news and more in our weekly Blockchain recap.

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Meet Our Team: Liana, JP, & Elly

We’re on a mission to build an open, accessible and fair financial future, one piece of software at a time. We’re making progress every day by bringing you new features and updates to our web wallet, as well as on iOS and Android. Last week we were excited to bring you an announcement about our work on Thunder, which opens the door to new solutions for bitcoin’s scalability, as we continue to support over 7 million users and beyond.

Behind the software are some amazing people and we’re proud to introduce three new additions to our team.

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Recap of FinTech Week Hackathon @ Kyiv, Ukraine

PHOTO_20160521_095104

This year at FinTech Week Ukraine 2016, we attended our very first hackathon in Kyiv with the help of our awesome brand ambassadors.  The event’s inspiration was simple – the creative implementation of FinTech solutions to improve our day-to-day lives. Approximately 70 enthusiastic hackers attended. Our ambassadors were fully stocked with Blockchain swag, and our hacker t-shirts were a huge hit.  It’s inspiring to know we have hackers and Blockchain users alike wearing our t-shirts all over the world, and this now includes more in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine.

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Bitcoin News for the week of 5/16/16

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. This was a huge week for Blockchain with the launch of the Thunder Network, which was carried by several mainstream media outlets including TechCrunch and Forbes. We also cover news about different blockchains, bitcoin art, games, and user adoption. Get all this and more, in our weekly Blockchain recap.

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