New Bitcoin ATMs in the USA and the UK, youth entrepreneurial program looking to empower under-served populations with Bitcoin, MGT Capital Investments to merge with Tera Group and launch the first publicly traded American Bitcoin derivatives exchange, and more top news to wrap up the week.
MGT Capital Investments to Merge with Tera Group
MGT Capital Investments announced on February 26, it has enter into a Letter of Intent with Tera Group, Inc., the owner of TeraExchange, LLC, a Swap Execution Facility regulated by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Both companies are looking to come to a definitive agreement by March 16, 2016, that would lead the first regulated Bitcoin derivatives platform to go public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) MKT.
H. Robert Holmes, Chairman of MGT's board of directors, said in a press release:
"The proposed merger with Tera gives immediate and future value to our stockholders, while creating a robust platform for the growth of the industry's first publicly listed bitcoin derivatives exchange.
The Bitcoin industry attracted over US$400 million of investment capital from some of the world's most prominent investors over the past 12 months; we see our move today as further progress in the broader adoption of the industry."
Youth Business USA Looking to Empower Under-Served Entrepreneurs with Bitcoin
Youth Business USA, a non-profit organization aiming to "help aspire young people between 18 and 29 years old make their business idea a reality," is looking to implement Bitcoin into its model.
The organization has recently begun discussions with its young entrepreneurs to educate them about the benefits of Bitcoin for micro-businesses.
Founder, president and CEO Bo Ghirardelli, told CoinTelegraph:
"I believe in Bitcoin's ability to empower low-income young Americans, as currently our nonprofit's core demographic is especially taken advantage of by the current banking system."
First Global Credit Launches Trading Competition
Exchange platform First Global Credit, announced it will be holding a market trading competition starting from March 16.
Users will use First Global Credit's paper trading service, and will have one month to trade their way through global financial markets with a fund of 100 virtual bitcoins. The winner of the competition will win a 10 BTC prize fund.
Marcie Terman of First Global Credit explained:
"The purpose of our paper trading platform and our trading competition is to allow people to see if active trading suits their temperament and their lifestyle without them risking a single satoshi of their own money."
Interview: American Green President: 'We Need a Healthy, Stable, Bustling Bitcoin Economy'
CoinTelegraph interviewed Stephen Shearin, President of American Green, a public traded company and the largest companies on the marijuana index, to have his insight on the disruptive impact of both the cannabis and cryptocurrency industries.
"Cannabis has been a boon for several industries and marketplaces. If you go to the large B2B Cannabis shows, you’ll be amazed by the technology there, from the technology developed outside cannabis that’s now being applied to the space, as well as what’s been developed inside the industry.
I got involved in the Internet in 1993 with the dream of a microcredit-based bank allowing people to pay for content as opposed to ads. I still think there is room for that. And with more and more professors teaching about bitcoin and distributed or decentralized banking, I believe bitcoin is not going away. But there would have to be a reason for major uptake for me to really call it disruptive. My fingers are crossed."
Read the full interview.
Wordpress' Matt Mullenweg: 'We’re big fans of Bitcoin and hope to support it again in the future'
Matt Mullenwed, co-founding developer of Wordpress.com, published a blog post on February 24, explaining why his company decided to pull Bitcoin from its list of payments options.
"It is simply a matter of development resources, which are especially scarce for us right now as we’re trying to keep up with growth," Mullenwed wrote.
"We’re big fans of Bitcoin and hope to support it again in the future [...] The volume has been dropping since launch, in 2014 it was only used about twice a week, which is vanishingly small compared to other methods of payment we offer. We supported Bitcoin for philosophical reasons, not commercial ones."
Russian Lawmaker Believes Bitcoin is a CIA Plot
Andrei Svintsov, a lawmaker from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia known for wild and imaginary conspiracy theories, recently told Russian broadcast news agency REGNUM that digital currencies were part of a US plot "to undermine the country's efforts internationally.”
"All these cryptocurrencies [were] created by US intelligence agencies just to finance terrorism and revolutions."
Australian DigitalBTC Reports AUS$2.3m Net Loss
DigitalBTC, the first Bitcoin company to be listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), reported a net loss after tax of AUS$2.3m for its half-year period up to December 31, 2014 due to the price decline.
Executive chairman Zhenya Tsvetnenko, explained:
"The statutory loss recorded for the half has been impacted by necessary accounting adjustments flowing from digital currency price declines. [...] Our half year has seen significant growth in our liquidity desk and digitalX Direct operations, as well as investments made in our early mover position in digital currencies."
New Bitcoin ATMs in the US and the UK
In light of CoinTelegraph's partnership with Coin ATM Radar, we are taking a look at the newest Bitcoin ATMs that went live this past week.
According to Coin ATM Radar's data, there are currently 355 active Bitcoin ATMs around the world.
The latest additions to the list include three Bitcoin ATMs in the USA, and one Bitcoin ATM in Bristol, UK.
On February 16, the city of Bristol in the UK, welcomed its second Bitcoin ATM, a one-way Lamassu device, operated by SatoshiPoint. The machine is located at local grocery story the Best Supermarket, 82 Stokes Croft, and is available 24/7.
On February 20, the United Stated welcomed two new Genesis Coin Bitcoin ATMs in Chicago, both operated by Red Leaf Chicago.
The first Genesis Coin device is a one-way "Satoshi1" Bitcoin ATM machine, located at Atlas Brewing Company, 2747 N Lincoln Ave.
The second Genesis Coin device is a "Genesis1" two-way Bitcoin ATM machine, located at bowling and billiard hall Seven Ten Lanes, 1055 E 55th St.
On February 22, another Bitcoin ATM went live, this time in Milwaukee at Cents Gifts, 901 E Center St. The machine is available Monday to Saturday from 11am to 9pm, and Sunday from 12pm to 6pm, and requires a government issued ID.
Bitcoin's price against the US dollar seems to have entered a rather strong bullish wave, taking the price up to US$254 on Saturday, February 28, as of Blockchain.info's data.
It seems as if the BTC/USD price has broke out of the bearish trend that was controlling the market over the past weeks, in favor of a new bullish trend.
The number of Bitcoin transactions per day remains stable, while conserving its typical weekly trend.
As usual, weekdays remain the favorite moment for bitcoiners to trade, while weekends are the generally slow periods.
Notably, the number of transactions reached its peek on Tuesday, February 24, with a weekly climax at more than 104,000 transactions, according to Blockchain.info's data. Sunday, March 1, was the lowest day when it comes to Bitcoin transactions with a little more than 87,000 transactions.