Less than a week after Stripe began testing bitcoin support, popular payments processor Square has announced that merchants who use the online Square Market can now accept payment in bitcoin. Similar to Stripe’s system, merchants will not actually be paid in BTC. Instead, the bitcoins will instantly be converted to U.S. dollars and deposited into merchants’ bank accounts. At the moment, Square is only testing bitcoin payments online, but the company might expand to support payments at brick and mortar shops like Starbucks and Whole Foods, which already use Square. With popular payments processors adding bitcoin support, companies will be able to easily accept the cryptocurrency without much hassle, and increasing bitcoin adoption would be a win-win for everyone.
Neo & Bee was a large enterprise that tried to offer bitcoin users a bank-like experience. It opened its first branch in Cyprus earlier this year, and had ambitious goals to be like the Microsoft and Yahoo of Bitcoin. However, things didn’t work out so well. For various reasons, the promising company ran out of liquidity, and after a long silence, Neo & Bee’s CEO Danny Brewster announced that the enterprise has become insolvent. Brewster plans to sell all of his shares and the new owner will be able to appoint a new CEO. The Neo & Bee story isn’t over yet, so be sure to check out CCN for any updates.
The insolvencies don’t end with Neo & Bee. The altcoin exchange Crypto Rush has announced insolvency. Many are calling the exchange the “Mt. Gox of altcoins,” due to its numerous scandals. In just under a month, Crypto Rush lost over 1000 BTC worth of Zeitcoins and Blackcoins, and planned to repay users with “CryptoRushShares.” During this time, an anonymous new owner stepped in to take over the company. It looks like Mt. Gox isn’t the only exchange with a shady history.
Judge Jernigan, a United States bankruptcy judge, has ordered Mt. Gox’s CEO Mark Karpeles to appear in Dallas on 17 April. Karpeles had hoped that a video-linked deposition would be acceptable to get an extension of his bankruptcy protection, but Jernigan has stated, “my God, he is going to get himself over here.” Karpeles has been reluctant to answer questions from the U.S. and has only given vague responses to questions from Tokyo. This has only increased suspicion of Karpeles’ intentions, and many bitcoiners believe that Karpeles has stolen the Mt. Gox bitcoins. All in all, it’s unclear when and how the Mt. Gox saga will end.
One of the primary advantages of Litecoin used to be that it could be mined by the average person. Unlike bitcoin mining, Litecoin mining is mostly done on GPU rigs, not ASICs due to the scrypt algorithm. However, several companies have been racing to get scrypt ASICs out to the public, and it’s inevitable that GPU mining will be replaced by scrypt ASICs. Now, Litecoin could simply hard fork to fend off ASICs, but the developer team has decided against it for various reasons. But overall, they have decided that the disadvantages of forking outweigh the benefits.
In a rather surprising move, eBay has added a virtual currency section to their website. Users can now purchase “Mining Contracts,” “Currency,” and “Miners” on the site. It’s entirely possible that eBay was waiting for the IRS’s guidance on virtual currency before making this change to avoid any legal issues. Unfortunately, neither eBay nor its parent company PayPal is accepting payments in bitcoin, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. After all, in the recent past, PayPal has terminated accounts that sold bitcoin-related products on eBay.
That wraps up this lengthy recap. Come back every Sunday to see our CCN Week in Review, where we feature the top news of the week.
Last modified (UTC): April 7, 2014 00:20