Bitcoin Roundup Coindesk Feb 2014
Australian Writers Awarded 12 BTC in Bitcoin Essay Competition
Pop-up Pub in London’s Tech City Accepts Bitcoin
Bitcoin Wins Best Technology Achievement at TechCrunch Awards
Bitcoin has won the TechCrunch Best Technology Achievement award at the 2013 Crunchies.
The 7th annual award ceremony was held last night in San Francisco and it was put together by TechCrunch, Gigaom and VentureBeat.
The fact that TechCrunch readers voted for bitcoin probably caused a problem or two for the organisers. Satoshi Nakamoto was a no-show, so Peter Vessenes, Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, accepted the prize in his place.
TechCrunch went on to conclude that bitcoin is “almost mainstream” and that it seems like it is here to stay.
Although winning a Crunchie is no small feat, the last few weeks have been marred by bad news for cryptocurrencies. First there was Charlie Shrem, then a few regulatory problems and bans, and then came the Mt. Gox freeze.
However, there were some positive developments that can’t be overlooked. Microsoft’s Bing search engine added a bitcoin converter just the other day.
Three Bitcoin Startups Pitch for Funding at Boost VC Demo Day
Over 100 investors gathered in Menlo Park, California, on Tuesday night (11th February) for the Winter Demo Day organized by incubator Boost VC.
At the event, 17 hopeful startups were pitching
“Everyday, websites are getting hacked,” said Jacob Hansen, one of the co-founders of the startup CrowdCurity, before going on to explain how his team can help that problem go away.
Hansen proposed a concept of “99designs meets IT security” – a reference to the design crowdsourcing site that allows customers to buy logos and graphic art. The IT consulting sector is an expensive business proposition for websites, he went on, and this is especially true for those on a tight budget.
Second to pitch at the Demo Day was Tomas Alvarez, a co-founder of startup Coincove. Alvarez said that his company wants to become “the Coinbase of Mexico” and eventually all of Latin America. He told the investors: “Bitcoin adoption is skyrocketing in Mexico and Latin America.”
Being a bitcoin exchange is a change of direction for Coincove. When CoinDesk covered the company a few months back, the plan was to help people send money around the world on the cheap by first exchanging it for bitcoin.
Now it seems the founders have shifted from being a remittance provider to becoming a Latin American cryptocurrency exchange. This may not be such a bad idea, since that company had been focusing on Argentina, which, since it recently devalued its peso, has seen an increase in instability. Perhaps bitcoin will take a boost in the aftermath.
Coincove has a relationship with a bank in Mexico and has registered as a money transmitter in the country. The company will be accepting bank wires, as well as cash deposits, in over 10,000 locations within Mexico.
The third and final bitcoin startup to pitch was retail platform SnapCard, which started its presentation with co-founder Michael Dunworth saying that currently: ”Spending your bitcoin sucks!”
Fiverr Teams Up With Coinbase to Pay for Services in Bitcoin
Update: According to Fiverr’s own blog, payments to sellers will unfortunately not be made in bitcoin, with Coinbase converting them to dollars before handing out. The company says “On the seller side, it’s business as usual. Revenue is earned and withdrawn in US dollars. The option to withdraw revenue in Bitcoin is currently not available on Fiverr.”
This will probably disappoint a lot of sellers, who would be happy to accept payment in bitcoin. A recent survey revealed that over 50% of IT professionals would choose to be paid in bitcoin if it were offered. Fiverr itself takes a 20% cut of all sales made through the site, so most sellers would probably prefer not to hand over more in transaction fees.
Popular freelancing hub
Started in 2009 and available in over 200 countries, Fiverr has been called “one of the most useful sites on the internet” by users and is one of the most popular freelance work hubs. About half the jobs offered are still at the $5 price point, and 15% of its sellers say Fiverr is their primary income source.
“Our partnership with Fiverr brings the community another step closer to broad consumer adoption of bitcoin,” added Adam White, Director of Business Development at Coinbase. “This further validates that cryptocurrencies are a trusted, widely accepted form of payment.”
We can only hope the bitcoin payment offer will be extended to sellers in future as well. Even after the crashes and shocks of recent months, $5 worth of bitcoin in February 2013 would be worth around $143 to you today (or $250 last December) – a deal much better than five bucks.