1. PayPal Acquisition Braintree Partnering with Coinbase, Will Accept BTC
“Braintree merchants using Coinbase will receive all the benefits associated with accepting bitcoin payments, including 1% flat transaction fees (waived for the first $1M in bitcoin sales) with no additional costs, all while avoiding exposure to any currency volatility risk thanks to Coinbase’s Instant Exchange feature,’ Coinbase posted on its blog.”
On Tuesday, Diana Ngo reported on a hacker who somehow got access to Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s email account.
“According to the press, the hacker is named ‘Jeffrey’ and said he obtained crucial information on Bitcoin's creator's true identity. While Jeffrey didn't mention how exactly he compromised Nakamoto's old email account, the alleged hacker noted: ‘The fool used a primary gmx under his full name and had aliases set up underneath it. He’s also alive.’"
On Thursday, Alyssa Hertig reported on Coinbase’s open beta that will allow users in 13 EU countries to buy and sell Bitcoin on its exchange.
“As fast as the company has grown, it has been limited mainly to a US audience. […] But now, they will be expanding operations to include 13 more countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain. It has added a global page with a list of countries it supports. It seems to imply a hope that it will be updated more in the future.”
William Suberg reported Thursday that Richard Branson, who is already on record as a Bitcoin fan and whose space travel company accepts the currency, spoke highly of Bitcoin during an interview with Bloomberg TV.
“There will be other currencies like it that may be even better, but in the meantime, there’s a big industry around Bitcoin,’ he said.”
5. Ripple Launches a Visa Debit Card
On Thursday, Carlo Caraluzzo reported on Ripple’s new SmartyCard.
“The Ripple Gateway SnapSwap.EU will be changing the playing ground for all of these cards however with the launch of the new SmartyCard. The new card is for non-US citizens, a Visa prepaid card on the Ripple network.”
- Wired does a write-up on Ethereum ... then Ethereum COO Joseph Lubin has to write up an equally long clarification in the comments. [Full disclosure: I’ve had to add corrections for reporting I’ve done on Ethereum, too.]
- Watch Stripe CEO Patrick Collison discuss Apple Pay on Bloomberg.
- Gigaom has a nice piece detailing how IBM imagines implementing blockchain technology for the Internet of Things.
Bitcoin’s price against the dollar has bounced around in the mid- to high-US$400 range all week. Monday opened with a price of about US$477, which quickly fell to a low of US$466, rebounded to nearly the US$490 mark, then settled back into the high US$460 range at the end of the week.
Spikes in the number of daily transactions (nearly 80,000) and the daily trade volume (US$6.34 million) coincided with that midweek high price.
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