Hey fellow Bitcoiners! It’s been another hectic week in the Bitcoin-sphere, and as usual, we breakdown all the big headlines and news bites for you in our weekly Blockchain recap. If you prefer, we also send our weekly Blockchain newsletter which will be sent directly to your inbox every Saturday, and will have information on Blockchain and Zeroblock. Don’t forget to sign up!
On to the news![The First Street in America Where You Can Pay for Everything in Bitcoin](http://fusion.net/Modern_Life/video/street-america-pay-bitcoin-683060)
Yup, that’s right. There is a street in Cleveland Heights, Ohio where all the merchants on that street accept bitcoins as payment. The Cedar Lee shopping district is now known as Bitcoin Boulevard, the first street in the U.S. where you can shop for gifts, go out to dinner, get a haircut and even buy ice cream.
Virgin Group Chairman Richard Branson and Yahoo Inc. co-founder Jerry Yang are part of an investor group that plowed $30 million into Bitpay, valuing the bitcoin-payments processor at about $160 million in the biggest venture-capital investment in the digital-currency industry.
Plenty of gold dealers accept Bitcoin, but early this month, QuadrigaCX became the first Bitcoin exchange to add gold to its roster. Alongside CAD, USD and XBT, clients in Canada can now buy and sell XAU (gold). Users can now both deposit and withdraw funds into their accounts via gold bullion, shipped or in person.
A Los Angeles plumbing and water heater repair and installation company, Ritz Plumbing & Heating, said this morning that it has started accepting Bitcoin for purchases of its service, effective immediately. The company–which says it specializes in emergency plumbing services, drain and sewer repair, and water heater repair & installation–said it will accept Bitcoin from any of its customers, and will not require any special membership or login credentials to pay using Bitcoin.
Forbes staffer Kashmir Hill revisits Bitcoin one year later, to live exclusively on the decentralized currency for one week.[The Declaration of Bitcoin’s Independence](http://bitcoinmagazine.com/13072/declaration-bitcoins-independence/)
Julia Tourianski, also known as Brave the World, who made the fantastic video “Basic Bitcoin Bitches” also penned a great take on Bitcoin. Check it out, it’s worth the read!
Japan takes a neutral approach to Bitcoin. Rather than placing specific laws or regulations attached to how the country should be allowed to use bitcoin, it will just monitor it instead. On Tuesday, the Japanese government claimed that regulating bitcoin wasn’t under their jurisdiction.
Using bitcoin as a currency to pay for travel has taken a few steps forward. CheapAir announced that its users may now use bitcoin to pay for Amtrak tickets besides airline tickets and hotel rooms.
In a clear attempt to test the blockchain, someone put the signature of a virus directly into the blockchain. Now some virus scanners think it’s a virus and delete or quarantine the blockchain files.
Bitcoin merchant payment processor BitPay has announced a new partnership with electronics manufacturer Toshiba that will integrate bitcoin payments into Toshiba’s touch-screen point-of-sale platform, VisualTouch.
By being a Blockchain.info wallet user, you can choose to set Blockchain’s custom URI handler to open all bitcoin: links in the Blockchain.info wallet. It makes navigating the web and opening Bitcoin links much easier. No more copying and pasting Bitcoin addresses!
Don’t forget – Bitcoin 2014 is happening this week! We are very excited to be in attendance and we also hosted the first annual Blockchain Awards! Our CEO, Nicolas Cary, was co-MC alongside the Bitcoin Foundation’s Chairman, Peter Vessenes. Nic is excited to report, “the first annual Blockchain Awards have been an incredible success. There has been so much hard work and innovation it’s been so exciting to see the efforts honored. The energy at Bitcoin2014 is palpable and it’s exciting to see how the community takes this momentum into the back half of the year.” Click here to find out the winners of the first annual Blockchain Awards!