2014 was the most surprising, exciting, demoralizing, political, contentious, spectacular year in the Bitcoin’s six-year existence. Many impressive, very influential friends were made. Many powerful enemies stepped forward as well, looking to control that which was not meant to be restrained. As we head into Year 7 of Bitcoin, it’s time to look back at the very special year that was 2014.
Whether you wanted Bitcoin to succeed, or you didn’t, you couldn’t take your eyes off because it’s a constant flurry of economic activity and commercial and political influence. Bitcoin, in 2014, began its journey to enter mainstream economics worldwide.
Bitcoin Year in Review 2014
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
Bitcoin US Dollar price starts the year at $758.69 (Coinbase – 1/1/14)
The white-hot market in China is starting to cool as the novelty is wearing off as Bitcoin approached $1100 USD in late November. The world’s newest and largest Bitcoin market is still carrying Bitcoin to heights many times above what it traded for just 90 days prior.
The world’s #1 digital currency wallet sees record numbers, with the unprecedented US Dollar value growth Bitcoin shown in Q4 of 2013. Interest in Bitcoin has never been higher.
Taobao.com (China’s Ebay) Bans Bitcoin Payments
One of many moves in China that works to stem Bitcoin’s strong consumer interest in China. Government-influenced decision by Taobao to get the Chinese people off the Bitcoin bandwagon?
At this point, everyone is looking for a conspiracy theory or a major weakness in Bitcoin, and this overgrown mining operation brought to light a theoretical flaw. Accusations and press releases follow as this battle goes on in the community over where protecting the Blockchain starts and ability to grow a mining business ends.
Bitcoin US Dollar Price Rises to $819.43 (Coindesk – 2/1/14)
Videos go viral of angry Bitcoin owners attacking and destroying expensive iPhones in protest of Apple’s latest policy enforcement. Apple says legal compliance in multiple nations is the main reason for the effective ban.
As our David Parker reported, the beginning of the collapse of Mt. Gox starts here, as users and owners are locked out of their Bitcoin holdings through Mt. Gox, as withdrawal requests increase.
Silk Road 2.0 is Hacked – Over 4000 BTC is Lost
Over 4000 BTC was stolen from Silk Road 2.0 via the Transaction Malleability bug being exploited by malicious users within Silk Road 2.0’s system.
Total value was in excess of $400 Million USD. This loss was due “to a weakness in the system”, according to Karpeles. He resigns from the Board of Directors at The Bitcoin Foundation.
Bitcoin US Dollar Price Falls to $611.39 (Coindesk – 3/2/14)
Fallout from the collapse at Mt. Gox has begun. Losing the largest Bitcoin exchange in the world is going to cost you, and hurt consumer confidence worldwide. To this day, we still don’t know if it was negligence or embezzlement that destroyed Mt. Gox and the BTC therein. All, we know, is that the Blockchain was not used in any way to secure the entrusted currency. This was a Mt. Gox-managed implosion, one way, or another.
Overstock.com Surpasses Internal Expectations in Bitcoin Sales Revenue
Overstock passes $1 Million USD in Bitcoin sales and pledges to keep 10% of all Bitcoin revenue in the digital currency.
In the journalistic blunder of the year, once-reputable weekly magazine Newsweek claims they discover Bitcoin Founder Satoshi Nakamoto, only to wrongly expose a retiree with the same last name, and no other ties to Bitcoin. Bitcoin legend Andreas Antonopoulos and others help Dorian Nakamoto fight this injustice with BTC donations to pay for mounting legal costs incurred.
Exposed: Mt. Gox Continued to Trade Even After Theft was Known
Indicative of a potential last gasp effort of an internal exchange “Ponzi Scheme”. Bringing in more revenue to catch up with the previous losses. Mt. Gox’s depth of issues starts to come to light.
Bitcoin USD Dollar Price Drops to $467.26 (Coindesk – 4/1/14)
The IRS, at the last minute, sets up guidelines for US taxpayers to follow in regards to Bitcoin. Essentially, the Internal Revenue Service will be treating Bitcoin as property for tax purposes. This article by Calvin Tran gets you the details you need to be U.S. compliant.
BitPagos Brings Bitcoin to South America
Outside of the U.S., fiat currencies are much less stable, and currency alternatives like Bitcoin can be much more attractive, for different reasons. BitPagos helps merchants in primarily South American countries turn weak national fiat currencies into global Bitcoin currency.
One of the world’s top schools begins teaching students about the World of Digital Currency in the Fall of 2014.
In a recurring theme throughout 2014, Mastercard shows a healthy fear of digital currency Bitcoin and gets to work setting it up to fail domestically, the old fashioned way. Behind closed doors.
Bitcoin US Dollar Price Drops to $453.05 (Coinbase – 5/1/14)
Robocoin Banking: Bitcoin ATMs Become Bitcoin Bank Branches
Nevada-based Bitcoin ATM company Robocoin launches Robocoin Bank. The new project will take all existing Robocoin ATMs and turn them into banking branches.
Two major Chinese banks work with “The People’s Bank of China” guidelines to shut down any accounts related to Bitcoin or Litecoin. China continues to attack any point of entry for private fiat currency investment into the Bitcoin market as a means of state control. They also performed censorship at the largest Bitcoin summit of the year. Even websites were censored to prevent the spread of Bitcoin information.
United States’ FEC: You can send Bitcoin PAC Money to Politicians
U.S. Politicians aren’t under the exclusive financial/political PAC money ownership of the elite who only use US Dollars. Now, you can buy into a politician in Bitcoin as well, says the U.S. Federal Elections Commission.
Circle is the first worldwide Bitcoin Bank with insured deposits that cost 0% in fees thanks to the technological advancements represented by Bitcoin. They also claim to maintain 100% reserves (as opposed to 10% fraction reserves normal fiat currency banks hold, and also provide $10 in Bitcoin to all members.
Becomes the largest merchant ever to accept Bitcoin directly. This was the first of many major Bitcoin acquisitions throughout 2014, produced by Coinbase.
Bitcoin US Dollar Price Climbs to $666.45 (Coinbase – 6/2/14)
This was the last Bitcoin price spike upwards in 2014. The currency declined throughout the rest of the year.
Apple Reverses Anti-Bitcoin Policy and Allows Mobile Wallets in the App Store
Bitcoin owners stop smashing their iPhones as Apple decides to be friends with Bitcoin apps once more.
BitPay inks the deal for at least 3-years, and the winning team can take their share of the winner’s purse in Bitcoin. The game is to be played December 26th.
An unexpected surprise, given the Mt. Gox incident happened on their watch. Japan supports Bitcoin, and in the future, looks to become “The most Bitcoin-friendly country in the world.”
Bitcoin’s US Dollar Price Drops to $648.38 (Coinbase – 7/1/14)
Newegg joins Overstock and TigerDirect in offering low-margin, high-dollar merchandise like computer equipment for payment in Bitcoin, a perfect fit for Bitcoin’s low transaction fees for merchants. Centered in California, Newegg does over $2 Billion in revenue annually and is signed by BitPay. They offer a 10% discount to Bitcoin shoppers.
1-800-Flowers also accepts Bitcoin shortly thereafter, via Coinbase.
Bitcoin’s Downward Price Spiral and The Merchant Effect
As more and more major merchants and the number of merchants, continue to enter the Bitcoin fold, the price drop continues due to their constant conversions to fiat currencies.
Mathias Sundin: The World’s First Bitcoin Only Political Candidate
The Deputy Mayor of Norrkoping, former Member of Parliament, and entrepreneur from Sweden is running for the Swedish parliament seat. He is the first political candidate ever to only accept bitcoins for his political campaign. He would go on to win the election.
The infamous BitLicense is introduced to howls from the Bitcoin community. Draconian in nature, they are built perfectly to drive any Bitcoin business out of the state. Whether this is its intended purpose may never be know. Does gain international interest, given the locale. It does not gain traction in the state, and Lawsky leaves office in the fall with a tarnished legacy.
With annual revenue in the $60 Billion range, Dell dwarfs all the other Bitcoin merchants to date. Michael Dell announces the deal on his Twitter account.
Ecuador, notorious for its shaky economic systems over the past generation, looks to dive head-first into the electronic monetary realm with their new EMS. Bitcoin is, therefore, banned.
One of the Internet’s most popular websites partners with Coinbase to accept BTC donations to fund their operations. The vast majority of their revenue is from user donations.
BitPay issues a new plan to merchants that offer unlimited transactions, instant conversion from BTC to USD, daily bank deposits, and retail POS solutions. Also, eCommerce integrations, email support, no transaction fees, and access to all of BitPay’s user plugins, APIs, and apps are covered.
Bitcoin US Dollar Price Drops to $593.11 (Coinbase – 8/1/14)
Payza Helps Bring Bitcoin to Developing Nations
Payza, a Paypal competitor, started in 2012, creates its newest feature where users can withdraw funds from Payza directly to their Bitcoin wallets. Payza gives its members a simple way to buy bitcoins, as long as the account is verified. They have over 10 Million accounts in many third-world countries, facilitating true global remittance transfers.
So, what does Mark Karpeles, infamous CEO of Mt. Gox Bitcoin Exchange which lost the hundreds of thousands of Bitcoins for its clients, have to say for himself?
Hal Finney passed away from ALS on August 28th at the age of 58.
Bitcoin’s US Dollar Price Drops to $475.92 (Coinbase – 9/2/14)
Canadian Companies Start Paying Employees in Bitcoin
The best way to ensure Bitcoins value long-term is to get companies to use Bitcoin for other than just accepting payments, only to dump BTC, in order to get fiat currency the same day. Now, Canadian companies are starting to pay employees directly in Bitcoin.
PayPal’s Braintree app agrees to roll out Bitcoin integration into their One Touch iOS and Android application. The app allows payments to be made swiftly and easily with the user’s cell phone, just the same as Bitcoin. Paypal’s agreement is through Coinbase in California.
CelebGate Myth: Hacker Leaked Nude Celebrity Photos in Exchange for Bitcoin
One of the most popular stories on CCN this year. I wonder why…..
Bank of England Understands and Tacitly Endorses Bitcoin Economics, in Theory
Bank of England did their research, and it seems they were most impressed with the Blockchain technology. How much credence are they putting into a design that can decentralize their centralized system?
The usual suspects get together and create the illusion of a P2P digital currency. Does it offer any of Bitcoin’s inherent advantages? Or is it is just a new train running over the same old set of tracks? Evander Smart investigates.
They’ve been dancing around the idea all year long, and now they are drafting the papers to make it a reality.
OpenBazaar Beta 1.0 Opens
Decentralized eBay for Bitcoin owners. Step into the future as this interview done by Alyssa Hertig goes in-depth into OpenBazaar’s Ground-breaking online shopping concept
Coinbase signs The United Way to a deal with Bitcoin for charitable donations. They take in over $4 Billion annually in donations.
Digital Currency Council (DCC) is Launched in New York
Training lawyers, accounts, and financial professionals worldwide in digital currency, David Berger and his staff train the professionals of today in “The Future of Money” with testing procedures and accreditation.
Greenpeace Combats Credit Card Fees by Accepting Bitcoin Donations
Legendary environmental activist group Greenpeace USA has now partnered with BitPay to begin accepting Bitcoin donations.
PayPal has partnered with three major Bitcoin payment processors – BitPay, Coinbase, and GoCoin, to allow PayPal’s digital goods merchants to accept Bitcoin payments. They also support Litecoin and Dogecoin.
Bitcoin’s US Dollar Price Drops to $374.94
New Facebook Messenger P2P FB Payments Could Eventually Feature Bitcoin
With a former PayPal exec in command of the FB Payments project, Facebook likely has plans for Bitcoin and other digital currencies in the future, once their P2P payment network takes off.
An endorsement from Bill Gates, when you have a digital/online technology, is about as good as it gets, and Bill Gates seems to be a fan of where Bitcoin is headed in the digital currency space.
400 European Banks Accept Bitcoin Purchase Agreement
It looked like Bitcoin was crossing a very special barrier when Bitcoin lightweight 247Exchange signed an agreement with the hundreds of banks throughout Europe to allow Bitcoin purchases by their customers. But 247Exchange was the weak link in the chain and was punching way above its weight class. This agreement fell apart within weeks, and 247Exchange was never heard from again.
Bitcoin’s US Dollar Price was $324.72 (Coinbase – 11/1/14)
UK Treasury Seeking Regulation Advice From Bitcoin Community
The Guardian reports the following form a Treasury Spokesman: “We’re considering the potential benefits of digital currencies to customers and the technology that underpins them, and whether we should take action to support innovation in this area. We’re also looking at the potential risks, and assessing whether an action is required to address any concerns.”
ApplePay believes NFC (Near-Field Communication) is so convenient, and such a reason to use their warmed-over payments service. BitPay counters with one-touch payments for Bitcoin users.
Exactly one year after it went live on November 6, 2013, Silk Road 2.0 is taken offline in a joint operation between the FBI and Europol.
Raoul Pal Thinks the Bitcoin Price Will Be $100,000 or even $1,000,000
Former Global Macro Investor Group manager Raoul Pal has been predicting Bitcoin’s price based on a comparison with gold for over a year now. Asserting that Bitcoin could be worth $100,000 or $1,000,000 each in the future.
In an impressive mix of bravado and ignorance, Western Union’s Chief Information Officer attacks Bitcoin in defense of his company being the but of online jokes from the Bitcoin community, without information to back him up. Isn’t that ironic?
Australian GST Bitcoin Tax Angers Andreas Antonopoulos
Bitcoin guru Andreas Antonopoulos takes aim at new proposed tax regulations that look to hinder Bitcoin adoption in Australia.
America’s 2nd largest charity joins the Bitcoin fold.
Bitcoin’s US Dollar Price Falls to $379.37
Yeah, there are plenty of people, worldwide, who care what Bitcoin is. This is proof as it ranks with the Ebola virus and ISIS
Goodbye, Silk Road 2.0. Hello, Silk Road 3.0 and Beyond
There is already a Silk Road 3.0, and it seems likely that other Silk Roads will follow.
The more people hear about Bitcoin, the more the like the idea, and that goes double for merchants. Companies the size and strength of Microsoft didn’t get to the top of the computer industry by making bad financial decisions. Using Bitcoin to accept payments is proof of that.
With over $85 Billion in annual revenue, and twice that in assets under management, BitPay lands their blue whale to close 2014 with a bang. Bitcoin now has a new standard-bearer in merchant size and strength.
This concludes our look back at 2014. What a year it was! People may not want that much excitement out of a digital currency, but changing the way the world does money and online transfers is not for the meek or timid. With the world and nation-states having so much economic turmoil and upheaval, anything can happen over the next few years. One thing cannot happen. Bitcoin cannot be uninvented. Its value may fluctuate, but Bitcoin has shown that it’s not going anywhere. It does what mere paper money cannot, and it’s learning new skills on a daily basis, again something paper money does not.
Hope to see you next year for another exciting recap, the 2015 edition.
Images from Shutterstock and CCN Archives.