Welcome to our weekly Bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of Bitcoin each week. As you can see by reading the news headlines this week, Bitcoin continues to grow and become more known around the world. These are exciting times that we are all a part of.
Take a few minutes to read some interesting stories below. Have a news tip that you want to share? Mention us on Twitter with the link!
BitPesa, the Nairobi-based startup that’s taken aim at the global remittance business, announced that it’s raised $1.1 million in a second round of funding led by San Francisco-based Pantera Capital. Dan Morehead, Pantera’s CEO and founder, joined the startup’s board of directors. BitPesa launched its remittance business last spring, beginning with only the U.K.-Kenya “corridor,” and expanding out from there. It’s operating in Ghana, and plans to start offering its services in Tanzania and Uganda in the first quarter.
While the tech world is busy speculating about bitcoin’s volatile value, cryptocurrency is making arguably its biggest impact in countries where the current price of 1 bitcoin exceeds the average salary earned in a week. Kenya, Uruguay and Panama are just a few of the countries playing host to a growing group of venture-backed bitcoin companies that are using blockchain technology to tackle regional payments challenges.
The Bitcoin Foundation is partnering with some of the biggest players in the cryptocurrency community; entities such as BitFury, BitGo, ChangeTip and Tally Capital. Through the aid of lifetime member Bruce Fenton, the foundation is engaging the help of theAudience, a multi-channel publisher of social media and digital content, to create a massive media campaign that will educate businesses, consumers and general society members alike on the art and usage of bitcoin.
Bitcoin artwork by Cointelegraph.com
Bitcoin has created new wealth. Lots of it. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies created an estimated 250,000 jobs during 2014. None of these positions existed before 2009.
New York City would become the first major municipality in the country to accept Bitcoins as payment if a Manhattan lawmaker gets his way. City Council Member Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) is introducing a bill on Thursday that would allow residents to pay for any fines and fees they owe the city using Bitcoin – an increasingly popular but wildly fluctuating digital currency.
For several months, online poker site Poker Stars has reportedly been looking at integrating bitcoin as a payment option for online poker games. Coin Fire has received information from company insiders confirming that the process of integrating bitcoin has been underway.
Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP), a global payment solution for the airline industry, announces it had partnered with Bitnet as a payment processor in order to accept Bitcoin payments. UATP, a payment network privately owned by 30 airline companies and operating for the benefit of the global airline industry, announces today it now offers its network of 260+ airline companies, the ability to accept payments in the digital currency.
New Hampshire residents are the most likely to pay for Overstock items in bitcoin, according to new data released by the e-commerce giant. Overstock indicates that the company has seen 131 bitcoin orders per million residents in the Northeastern US state. Utah and Washington, DC, placed second and third in the rankings, with 89 and 85 orders when adjusted for population, respectively.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, ChangeTip is having a contest on why you might be single, and you can win one full bitcoin and a gift certificate to shop at Newegg! The contest is being judged by ChangeTip, Newegg, and BitPay.
The rambunctious documentary maker who produced “Super Size Me” is taking on “the strange new world” of bitcoin in an upcoming episode of his Inside Man series on CNN. The episode’s tagline is, “Can Morgan Spurlock survive for a week on Bitcoin? Go inside the strange new world of digital currency, Thursday at 9p ET/PG.”
Oswald Gruebel, the former CEO of UBS and Credit Suisse., believes heavily in the power and potential of bitcoin, and that along with gold, bitcoin is the only true long-term investment that’s worthy of any mass attention.
Vancouver’s Westfield Mall is debuting a Bitcoin ATM today. This is no money machine unobtrusively tucked away in a corner – it is located at the mall’s main entrance and underneath the food court, according to Donn Lasher, founder of Point of Coin, which is providing the ATM.
An online survey has found that 8% of US retailers say they are planning to accept bitcoin within the next 12 months. The data, collected by Boston Retail Partners, after surveying 500 retailers across the US, showed that none of the businesses were currently accepting bitcoin, whilst 5% have plans to adopt it within three years.
There was no holding back on opinion, speculation or creativity at the first annual Satoshi Roundtable, an invitation-only gathering of 50 Bitcoin entrepreneurs at Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, February 6-8, 2015. According to attendees, the private, limited-attendance nature of the event created a venue for open discussion and commentary.