New Bitcoin Merchant Directory Has Over 12K Businesses, Bitcoin Price Hits $1,000, Kid Sells Apple Shares To Buy Bitcoin
“If The United States Doesn’t Allow Our Businesses To Accept Bitcoin And Create More Jobs And Exports, Then Countries Like Germany And China Certainly Will."
CEO, Anthony Gallippi
Over 12,000 Businesses And Charities Accept Bitcoin With BitPay.
BitPay, in keeping with its mission to build a better e-payments world, has launched a new global bitcoin directory which features many of the world’s greatest bitcoin-accepting merchants.
Shoppers looking for everyday goods and services or unique gifts will find a wide variety of places to spend their bitcoins in the bitcoin directory.
As lead sponsor of Bitcoin Black Friday, BitPay will be promoting its merchants and their one day sale on November 29. One of the merchants is PC Game Supply, the largest source for digital distribution of pre-paid products, virtual currencies and PC games.
“We are often asked where to spend bitcoins and this global directory allows bitcoin merchants around the world to get discovered,” says Tony Gallippi, BitPay co-founder and CEO. “With this service we will be linking over 5 million bitcoin users with merchants and we will continue adding more merchants.”
The directory gives bitcoin users access to thousands of businesses and charities that now accept bitcoin. Some of the most popular categories include Web and IT Services, Electronics and Precious Metals. BitPay has also included a Travel and Tourism section for bitcoiners looking to plan their next vacation and a search feature that shows them where to spend bitcoins with local merchants.
PC Game Supply and Takeaway.com, like many other merchants, see bitcoin as a compelling alternative to credit cards for online transactions. Bitcoins give merchants a way to decrease the amount of online fraud and subsequent chargebacks that come with accepting traditional credit cards. As part of Bitcoin Black Friday, PC Game Supply will be offering a 10% discount on all purchases on November 29, 2013.
About Bitcoin Black Friday
The price briefly topped the equivalent of $1,000 on Chinese exchange BTC China back on 19th November, but this is the first time this level has been reached in a US dollar denominated exchange rate. The current price on the CoinDesk BPI is $942.
With the passing of this psychologically important milestone the question now is where to from here? Bulls and bears abound on both sides of the price debate. What we can say is the price of bitcoin has been relatively consistent in terms of its response to certain classes of events.
As with all freely traded instruments, the price of bitcoin is ultimately determined by supply and demand. Demand for bitcoins has been broadening based on measures such as the number of bitcoin wallets downloaded and the growing list of merchants joining the digital currency ecosystem.
On the supply side, the Fred Wilson-backed bitcoin startup Coinbase recently made headlines when it ran out of bitcoins. A squeeze in the supply of BTC available for purchase, particularly during periods of more frenzied trading we’ve seen of late, may also be putting upward pressure on the price. On the flip side, profit taking for holiday spending or other reasons may affect supply.
There was speculation earlier in the spring that part of the reason for the late-May/early-June price decline was due to selling pressure by bitcoin miners who needed to finance their purchases of new ASIC hardware. However, recent reports suggest many of those who purchased ASICs have been unable to mine bitcoins in sufficient quantity to earn a positive return on investment.
A secretive Who’s Who of Silicon Valley-backed mining startup may also be scaring off would-be mining competitors. So the next major upgrade to ASIC technology may not generate the same increase in the supply of bitcoin offered for sale as during the last upgrade cycle.
The Big Price Driver
The price action around regulation has been fast and furious, and regulatory news is likely to remain a dominant force for the foreseeable future.
Several times already in 2013 we’ve seen the price of bitcoin increase dramatically around the time of major regulatory events. For example, the Bitcoin Price Index increased from $47 to $95 in 10 days after the US Treasury’s FinCEN issued its forward guidance back in March. Last week’s highly publicized US Senate hearings delivered an even more dramatic result, with the price jumping from $478 on the morning of Monday 18th November to $744 at midnight (GMT).
While positive comments from US federal regulators at the Treasury and even the chairman of the Federal Reserve have created the appearance of an amenable regulatory environment, much uncertainty still exists at the U.S. state level and outside the US.
China is emerging as a massive bitcoin market. Digital currency regulatory guidance there has, so far, been positive, with the government adopting a seemingly paradoxical position. China is arguably the largest enforcer of financial repression, so the benign Chinese regulatory situation could shift unexpectedly, leading to a significant impact on bitcoin’s price in China. However, as the price of bitcoins traded in China has fluctuated wildly around prices at exchanges located outside of the country, it is unclear what effect, if any, a clampdown by Chinese authorities would have on bitcoin’s value in the rest of the world.
What Big Catalysts Are On The Horizon?
Great enthusiasm in the bitcoin community followed the announcement by Richard Branson that Virgin Galactic was to accept bitcoin as payment for tickets for its suborbital space flights. With space tourism a luxury of the elite, it is unlikely this move will drive mass bitcoin adoption. But Branson’s bold move is indicative of a growing willingness by entrepreneurial branded companies to embrace the formerly taboo bitcoin.
More companies are looking to piggyback on bitcoin’s publicity. In addition, bitcoin is rapidly minting a new class of affluent consumers around the globe, and businesses are keen to market themselves to this community. We can expect more high technology companies, particularly ones with unique and/or expensive products that can be purchased across borders, to adopt bitcoin as a means of payment. For example, given Elon Musk’s prior history as a payments system entrepreneur I wouldn’t be surprised if we soon saw Tesla automobiles priced in bitcoin.
An important breakthrough for bitcoin would really occur if a major consumer-facing business implemented bitcoin as a means of payment.
eBay and PayPal bosses have issued murmurings of interest, if not quite support, of bitcoin, but what is really needed is some decisive action and a bit of risk taking. If an eBay or Amazon added bitcoin acceptance to its payment platforms, digital currency would well and truly be in with a fighting chance of becoming a go-to payment option for a much wider group of consumers.
4 Career Fields Bitcoin Could Replace
Is bitcoin disruptive? You bet, enough so that eventually it might displace some jobs.
Just like the industrial revolution changed how things were made and the digital revolution displaced lots of clerical work, distributed money could automate a number of processes that currently require people.
That can be considered a scary thought, but bitcoin represents technological progression, which as history has proven pretty much always wins out versus any sort of old manual process.
So, what are the types of jobs that might be threatened by digital currencies? Let’s take a look.
It’s no wonder banks are incredibly inflexible in their policies regarding bitcoin. The modern banker (not the investment sort) is, by his or her nature, adverse to risk.
Bitcoin represents perhaps the most risky asset since the days of trading in tulips. Yes, this is in reference to “Tulip Mania” back in 1637, when the price of the flower grew to an outrageous valuation.
Another reason bankers might not like bitcoin is that its nature doesn’t require as much human interaction as fiat currency does.
Bitcoin and other virtual currencies allow monetary values to move faster and require less friction. Replace the word “friction” with “bankers” in the last sentence, and you might see that the two words are pretty much interchangeable.
There are probably fewer days ahead of than there are behind a person taking physical (or perhaps even fiat) money and making exact change for people. Part of this has to do with the advent of new technologies such as ATMs.
Another element is that everyone increasingly uses plastic cards to pay for things. Do you know someone who never carries cash? Is that person you?
Commerce has made this possible for us. New devices like smartphones make paying for goods and services a much more simplistic process than ever before, eliminating the need for cashiers. These employees are only needed for complex tasks, and at that point it’s hard to argue that they would be called cashiers anymore.
Armored Car Guards
Did you know that the Treasurer of the United States printed a $100,000 note from 1934-35?
The reason for it was to move large amounts of gold-backed money around the Federal Reserve System. According to the Treasury: “Neither the Department of the Treasury nor the Federal Reserve System has any plans to change the denominations in use today.”
They don’t need to, because electronic forms of money are overtaking the need to move physical money around, which lessens the need for the job of an armored car guard.
Sure, these hardworking people will still be around to transport valuable items such as gold or priceless art, but they will be in less demand as paper money declines and doesn’t need as much costly transportation.
The field of accounting is a respectable vocation. Many people know an accountant, and a number of businesspeople even employ one of their own.
But what is the role of an accountant going to be when decentralized virtual currencies can automate accounting functions such as a general ledger? The block chain appears to be doing this job just fine for bitcoin, and no certified public accounts required.
The explosion of accounting software to automate many financial tasks over the past two decades has, in some respects, lessened the role of accountants already.
It’s relegated the profession to more specialization in areas like taxation. And while the extinction of the accounting profession isn’t likely, let’s hope that it doesn’t adopt money laundering as one of its specialties if business does someday decline.
What Else Does The Future Hold?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that from 2010-2020, there will be a projected 0.7% increase in the US civilian labor force, which means 10.5m additional jobs will be created by 2020. That’s good, given the recent struggles that many Americans have faced finding work.
However, if you believe bitcoin will not at least displace some workers, think again. The same BLS report that forecasts job growth also points out areas of decline. One of these is in postal services, a field that is expected to decline by 48.5% from 2010-2020.
This seems logical on the surface, but think about what has displaced postal service workers: email.
Virtual currencies like bitcoin are replacement for paper money; much in the way electronic messaging has decimated the need for paper-based messaging.
And that’s just one component of postal mail’s decline. Think of the jobs that were based just on postal mail thirty years ago (company mail departments, mail-order catalogs, etc), and how much of that has dissipated.
The concept of bitcoin-type electronic money may ultimately disrupt industries the same way as email already has.
Robocoin Bitcoin ATM Takes More Than CAD$1m in 29 Days
Located in a Waves Coffee House in Vancouver, the ATM has already processed more than 1,500 transactions.
The machine enables people to buy and sell bitcoins and features a palm scanner to identify the user and regulate their daily transaction limit, which in Canada is CAD$3,000.
When purchasing bitcoins, the user can either add them to an existing wallet, or create a new bitcoin wallet. According to the company, over half of the transactions made so far have seen users generate a new wallet, which suggests the ATM is attracting a lot of new bitcoin users.
On the machine’s first day at the coffee shop, it processed $10,000 in 81 transactions. It then broke Robocoin’s first-month goal of $50,000 by reaching a volume of $81,000 after just a week. By day 17, the machine had broken even for its operators.
“For operators, Robocoin offers the best way to invest in bitcoin – a scalable and highly profitable exchange business that’s as easy as purchasing and plugging in a machine,” a statement from the company claims.
It goes on to say that, over the next six months, Robocoin is gearing up to ship hundreds of ATMs across the world with a retail price of $20,000 or $18,500 for those who buy in 2013.
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