Bitcoin News Roundup: 11-28-14
Covering the week’s biggest Bitcoin stories from around the web
Bitcoin owners were able to use their cryptocurrency during the biggest shopping day of the year. As Chris Morris of NBC News writes, Bitcoin Black Friday is now a major online shopping event. Two years ago, 50 merchants participated in the shopping event. That number grew to 600 in 2013 and was expected to reach 1,200 during this year’s shopping day, with merchants including Newegg, Amagi Metals, NameCheap, and Gyft. While Overstock did not create bitcoin-specific deals, customers can still take advantage of the retailer’s plethora of shopping deals through their online marketplace.
The Spar Arnhem Centraal, a supermarket in the Netherlands, is now accepting bitcoin payments. Giluio Prisco of CryptoCoins News reports that the grocer, which opened in March 2014, is the first to accept cryptocurrency payments of any kind. The store is part of a larger Dutch multinational retail chain that operates in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Prisco believes that if more supermarkets begin to accept cryptocurrency payments, people will soon truly be able to “literally ‘live’ almost entirely in Bitcoin.”
More retailers are accepting Bitcoin than ever before. But, are people actually using the cryptocurrency to purchase items? The answer is “No,” according to Shalene Gupta of Fortune. Instead, Bitcoin is currently less of an alternative to cash and credit cards and “more of a curiosity.” While there were 70,000-80,000 bitcoin transactions per day during the month of October, Gupta points out that there are 26 billion card transactions that occur each year. BitPay has found that “merchants who sell high-ticket items like TVs or non-refundable items like travel” tend to accept cryptocurrency payments
Save the Children, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing “children in the United States and around the world a healthy start,” is now accepting Bitcoin donations. According to the organization’s press release, the donations will be facilitated through BitPay. Save the Children will be able to receive 100% of all of its cryptocurrency donations due to the fact that BitPay does not charge payment processing fees for non-profit organizations. Previously, Save the Children had participated in a Bitcoin fundraising campaign for Typhoon Haiyan Relief.
Ferguson, Missouri has been in the news headlines recently for the death of Michael Brown, which has caused protests around the United States. Despite the turbulence, the Ferguson Municipal Public Library will remain open and, as William Suberg of CoinTelegraph writes, is now accepting donations in the form of Bitcoin. The library chose to facilitate Bitcoin donations following a tweet that from @tomkysar, who stated he wish for all of his donation to go to the library without processing fees being deducted by MasterCard. BitPay later went on to release the news on Reddit.
A pro-bitcoin, anti-Western Union advertisement was recently taken down due to copyright law. Timothy B. Lee of Vox reports that the company, which Bitcoin advocates see as being threatened by the cryptocurrency, demanded that Facebook take down the advertisement due to copyright laws. Lee believes that the usage of the advertisement fits the fair use doctrine of copyright law, as it points out Bitcoin’s technical advantages over Western Union “for purposes of comment and criticism.
The chief economist of Citi believes that bitcoin is the closest commodity to gold. Joon Ian Wong of CoinDesk reports that Willem Butler, in response to a referendum that would force the Swiss National Bank to hold a sizable portion of its assets in gold, determined that “Gold as an asset is equivalent to shiny bitcoin.” His comparison was based upon the fact that gold has a limited supply, lacks a “significant utility,” and must also be mined.
Hollywood film sequel Horrible Bosses 2, starring the likes of Jason Bateman, Jamie Fox, Chris Pine, and Christoph Waltz, includes a Bitcoin reference. However, the cryptocurrency was cast in a negative light, according to Josiah Wilmoth of CryptoCoins News. The film reinforces the cryptocurrency’s negative stereotypes of being used for crime and its supposed anonymity. Recently, Bitcoin was also mentioned on HBO’s The Newsroom, during which an Atlantis World Media stockholder announced that he planned to sell his shares of the company to invest in the cryptocurrency. The character, Randy Lansing, was portrayed as a dull, uninspired young man with little to no ambition.
The operator of the Kraken bitcoin exchange will assist with the disappeared bitcoins investigation while providing support during the investor repayment process. Takashi Mochizuki of The Wall Street Journal believes that Payward Inc. should be met with approval from Mt. Gox creditors given the fact that Nobauki Kobayashi, who had overseen the failed exchanges liquidation, lacked the knowledge necessary to achieve their desired outcome.