Bitcoin news for the week of 11/21/16

Thanks for stopping by for our weekly recap of major headlines in bitcoin and fintech news. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we paused to say thanks to our users for supporting us all the way to our 10 millionth wallet and beyond. We also saw some exciting innovations on the horizon for hardware wallet Trezor, and SegWit signalling continues. Read about these headlines and more, in our weekly news recap!

Big milestones and giving thanks

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Image courtesy of news.bitcoin.com

Following the exciting Blockchain-Coinify partnership announcement last week, our bitcoin wallet hit a significant milestone when it passed the 10 millionth wallet mark on Monday. The growth we have experienced is phenomenal and as some have noticed, it’s continuing to steadily pick up speed. We’re certain bitcoin will, in some way, continue to empower people for many years to come, and it’s efforts like enabling in-wallet bitcoin buying and developing off-chain solutions like Thunder that will help animate that future.

There’s no doubt our 10 millionth wallet signals increased adoption and marks an important moment in bitcoin’s history. But critics have impatiently voiced their disappointment that bitcoin has failed to fulfill its legacy of revolutionizing the financial industry, and that the focus for innovation has shifted elsewhere. A counter-argument reminds us how attitudes towards things like banking, how we can track information and combat inflationary loss have shifted in big ways because of bitcoin.

Industry innovations

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Illustration showing a prototype of the Trezor 2, courtesy of CoinTelegraph

Bitcoin and blockchain technology inspire a constant influx of innovation in many shapes and forms, especially the innovation of one product in particular that’s near and dear to our hearts: the bitcoin wallet. And hardware wallet, Trezor, announced their plan to release a new version of their device complete with a colorful UI, faster processor, and a feature called TREZOR Core. The new device is predicted to launch in early 2017.

Another fast-approaching noteworthy innovation is the implementation of SegWit, an effort to allow bitcoin to scale and also solve problems like transaction malleability. Miners on the network recently began signalling their support for SegWit, and the proposed change needs to receive support from 95% of miners. You can track the percentage of support for SegWit using a handy chart we added to Blockchain.info/charts earlier this week.

On a different note, iPayYou launched Amazon Direct, a new service that allows users to use bitcoin to fund their Amazon balance. Amazon Direct claims to provide a leg up on speed and simplicity, but competitor Purse has already well-established itself and has a unique edge with its Amazon discounts. Both seem to have distinct perks, and we’re excited to see this portion of the space diversify. At the time of writing, we attempted to try out Amazon Direct ourselves, but unfortunately it was temporarily offline. The option now seems to no longer appear upon logging in, and iPayYou mentions this in a blog post regarding the feature.

Bitcoin Black Friday 2016

If you didn’t head out to brave the frantic shopping craziness on Black Friday, chances are you did your shopping online at places like BitcoinBlackFriday.com or OpenBazaar. Bitcoin Black Friday first took off in 2012 as a way to demonstrate bitcoin’s positive use as a daily currency and give bitcoin-accepting merchants the spotlight. This year saw an effort to highlight established retailers who have built a name for themselves in the bitcoin community, like Bees Brothers or BitBrew.

And with Black Friday behind us, speculation continues to brew about everything from how SegWit will play out to whether we’ll see a four-figure price by the end of 2016. Regardless of the outcome, we’re proud to be part of such a talented, diverse, and growing space.

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

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