This has been a relatively calm week for Bitcoin, but even as there’s no storm, no sudden bubble in price, or massive volatility to report—there’s a great deal of media attention simmering in the pot. Not only has major reportage become a mainstay of looking at BTC coverage, but outfits such as Wall Street Journal, BBC, and others have continually delivered new segments on the cryptocurrency.
Interviews, videos, and even infographics are becoming more accessible and this might mean that laypeople (listening to these broadcasts and reading these articles) will have an easier time understanding what Bitcoin is and how it could affect their lives. In fact, it’s good to see reports informing viewers that Bitcoin “mining” is more like auditing or securing the transactions record (rather than actively farming Bitcoins from some virtual BTC rock in Internet-land.)
Managing director at Lightspeed Venture Partners weighs in on BTC
Jeremy Liew, managing director at Lightspeed Venture Partners, recently did an interview published in Silicon Valley Business Journal where he discussed his interest in Bitcoin. He has high hopes for where the cryptocurrency can go—buy looking at where the ecosystem of the math-based currency has been—and expects that how the economics sector handles it will be the bellwether to what sort of impact it will have.
“I’m interested throughout the ecosystem,” Liew says. “It’s far from certain that bitcoin is going to become a very popular mechanism for payment. It’s far from certain. But I think the probability is going up over time because more and more people will start to accept bitcoins, and more and more people buy bitcoins.”
Many people watching the Bitcoin phenomena with interest may be cautious, but Liew’s sense of intent is shared by many.
He adds, “And if it does become a widely accepted form of payment then the potential disruption is enormous. There will be value disruptions for incumbents and value creation for startups, if that happens.”
CEO of Braintree dismisses Bitcoin as “meant for depressed companies”
SiliconANGLE runs an at-conference live TV show called the Cube where anchors from our staff interview and respond about trending technology. Mark Hopkins reports that off-air, Bill Ready, CEO and Founder of Braintree, dismissed Bitcoin out-of-hand based on common criticisms. His company is a credit card payment processor and sits in an economic niche near to MoneyGram, Western Union (both had executives mention but have no plans for Bitcoin) and even PayPal (its president mentioned “fascination with” Bitcoin recently.)
Hopkins penned about it on Google Plus: “Prior to going on the air, he derided Bitcoin by saying it was a volatile currency meant for depressed countries, and admitted he had no plan for the cryptocurrency.”
The volatility of BTC may be one of the major stumbling blocks that needs to be overcome to convince more payment processors to come on board, but it seems the merchant economy already has a strong showing with BitPay and Coinbase. Of course, if MoneyGram, Western Union, or even PayPal eventually adopt bitcoin as a mode of exchange it will necessarily drag many other processors into the space with them.
BBC.co.uk publishes “Unravelling the mysteries of Bitcoin”
BBC.co.uk’s player doesn’t agree with most blogging software so you’ll have to view it on their site.
In this short video, the BBC UK interviews Jared Kenna, CEO of TradeHill, and Dan Kaminsky as well as others. It mentions that BTC is independent of central banks, has a very short section about how mining (properly presented as “auditing”) works, and while it’s extremely short is a brilliant introduction to Bitcoin for the layperson.
More businesses arrive to accept bitcoins as payment
In what seems to be an innovative way to get BTC, Traade.co has started up an electronics recycling outfit that exchanges bitcoins for old bits of technology. Simply package up old cell phones, tablets, cameras, MP3 players, etc. ship them off and receive bitcoins. Looks like an iPhone 4 currently might rung slightly over .5 BTC.
Siempre Beauty, a shop that specializes in homemade cosmetics has recently started accepting bitcoins for transactions. Just use the coupon code “bitcoin” when checking out for a 15% discount off an entire order. The fact that they take BTC isn’t advertised on the front page (yet) but it’s in the shopping cart checkout system.
A wooden puzzle store, Cubic Dissection has started accepting bitcoins for limited-edition wooden puzzle boxes.