Bitcoin Weekly 2014 July 23: Bitcoin Girl, Winklevoss Bitcoin Index API, NYC Yellow Taxi and Bitcoin, Newegg 10% promotion, and more

bitcoin-weeklyRecent weeks have seen some fairly good adoption news for Bitcoin with new businesses climbing on board—most important computer giant Dell—and the market price has stayed relatively stable, residing within the $610 to $630 band. The last major market upheaval being the sale of the US Marshals Service sized Silk Road bitcoins.

This week, check into the Bitcoin Weekly to learn about Naomi Brockwell, The Bitcoin Girl, who released a music video parody of “Uptown Girl” that plays on many of the Bitcoin community’s memes as part of outreach to the public about cryptocurrency. In preparation for their Bitcoin ETF, the Winklevoss twins have released an Internet-available Bitcoin Index called the “Winkdex.”

Bitcoin accepted has been spotted in NYC Yellow Cabs as drivers start to test the waters. And finally, Newgg is making sure that bitcoin customers don’t miss out on a 10% off promotion by unexpectedly extending it until July 30.

Bitcoin Girl Naomi Brockwell argues for education and advocacy

The Moving Pictures Institute and Naomi Brockwell recently made news with the music videoBitcoin Girl.” The video, which is a play on the song “Uptown Girl,” introduces Bitcoin community memes and philosophy in a humorous manner and guides viewers to the BitcoinGirl.com website, where Brockwell hopes the public can find education on the subject of virtual currency.

Brockwell’s advocacy has not stopped at making an amusing music video, she also recently appeared in an interview at FreedomFest 2014 in Las Vegas where she spoke about her work changing public perception about Bitcoin.

Brockwell believes that most members of the Bitcoin community don’t experience much of the negative exposure that Bitcoin receives because the community is very self-supportive and passionate. With much of the news reflective of how Bitcoin is being used for money laundering, could be used for terrorism, the bust of Silk Road, the fall of Mt. Gox and other grim headlines, she hopes to counteract this through public outreach and education about what makes the technology work and the community thrive.

She’s a Bitcoin girl, she’s living in her Bitcoin world…

Winklevoss “Winkdex” Bitcoin Index gets the API treatment

It’s open season for developers now that the Winklevoss twins have released the first version of their Bitcoin Index: The Winkdex. The front-end of the whole thing is a lovely, crisp display showing a chart with price points, volume data, and all the wiggly lines everyone enjoys; but the back-end is being opened up to developers with an API.

First, the front-end.

Front-end of Winkdex.com

Front-end of Winkdex.com

Twenty-four hour high, low, net change, as well as volume are displayed prominently. Bitcoin market stats are right next door with total BTC, market cap (at $8.1 billion), current hash rate. All the sort of metrics that someone curious about the current Bitcoin market might want on a dashboard and all wrapped up in a tidy display.

Finally, the back-end.

The Winkdex API reference is available on its own page and developers can get access immediately. Currently the API appears to be open (no key needed) and replies to GET requests with JSON. While there’s no authentication needed, the API documentation does ask developers to abide by a one-request-a-minute rate limit and reserves the right to enforce that limit and ban abusive API users.

So far so good. The API includes Gzip compatability and uses ISO-8601 for time units. It can reply with the endpoint price (using “/price”), and a time series of data points (using “/series”). There’s a nice host of HTTP error responses.

Looks like the API itself is extremely primitive and, this being version “v0”, chances are there will be new features added as people seek to use it.

Meanwhile, the Winkdex API has some strong competition in the market with the API from BitcoinAverage, Bitcoin Charts, and the APIs released by Coinbase (which is used by Google.)

Bitcoin accepted spotted in NYC Yellow Taxi

Reddit user CodeSquad spotted a cab in New York with a Bitcoin Accepted Here QR code on the divider window.

In a conversation with the cabbie, ColdSquad says, “He pays 5% processing fee for credit card transactions (or $13 for 12 hour shift), over 90% of his customers pay with credit card. It takes him 2-3 business days to get the money in form of a check for every day’s credit cards earnings.”

The benefit argued with Bitcoin would be a much smaller processing fee and remittance is virtually instant. Although there could still be processing fees from BTC to USD and small time lag depending on the service, those fees would still be far less than 5%.

As to the expectations of legality, the cab driver dismisses it. As with many drivers he leases his cab and pays up front for that. How he takes payment for services is not recorded, even if the cost of the trip is logged. The driver joked with ColdSquad that he could agree to take payment in rice should be choose.

According to ColdSquad, the cabbie has had the sign up in his cab for a week, people ask a lot of questions, but nobody has used BTC to pay a fare yet.

Newegg extends 10% off Bitcoin purchases until July 31st

Staying competitive with so many new electronics e-retailers picking up Bitcoin means coupons for Bitcoin users. As a result, Newegg has extended its promotion for Bitcoin buyers by offering 10% off merchandise until July 31st.

During the promotion buyers can save up to $100 (in the form of 10% off products) while using Bitcoin at checkout with the “BITCOIN” promo code.

About Kyt Dotson

Technology and civilization walk hand in hand and civilization is nothing without the skin of society, brushing up against itself, speaking strange nothings across dimly lit avenues and computer screens. If we're going to understand ourselves in this digital era, it will be through watching the adoption of technology by people to express themselves as people. I am an anthropologist and an author of science fiction and fantasy--and with my technology, I hope to open up new and exciting worlds that will not just enlighten the humanity of my friends and fans but also educate and enhance the expression of their own personhood. Find more of my work on Google+; send tips to @kytsune.