Bitcoin Now Accepted By More Than 100,000 Retailers Across The Globe

The Bitcoin has come far in the past few years, as the first couple of years it was simply an idea of a futuristic currency that some tech-interested people decided to be a part of. By 2011 it started to be used as a currency online at places like Second World, as well as with the first few gambling sites that popped up.

It wasn’t until around the end of 2011 that the talk about the Bitcoin actually becoming a mainstream payment method started popping up. People started to realize that the fast processing, the security and the ability to process extremely small amounts of money for free was a great idea.

By the start of 2012 we saw companies popping up that offered online retailers the possibility to accept Bitcoins without having to code anything themselves and later on we saw companies like Coinify, BitPay, GoCoin and Coinbase offer Bitcoin payments that are turned into fiat-money instantly after the payment.

All of this has led to the stage that we are currently at – Many smaller Bitcoin specialized companies that accepts Bitcoins only and keeps the Bitcoins  and then the others who wants to accept Bitcoins, but wants to turn them into fiat-money instantly. The ladder group primarily uses the Bitcoin as a mean of saving tons of money in payment processing and reach a new audience.

The great thing is that we are currently seeing a massive increase in smaller and larger companies starting to accept Bitcoins and the world currently have more than 100,000 retailers where you can pay with your Bitcoins, making mainstream adaption very real.

Some of these companies includes Overstock, Microsoft, Dell, Expedia, PayPal, Wikipedia, Twitch and Rakuten, to mention some of the biggest ones. BitPay registered a total of 563,568 Bitcoin payment transactions in 2014, almost tripling the amount from 2013, and they are just one of many Bitcoin payment companies.

The amounts saved in payment processing fees for the companies accepting both fiat-money payments and Bitcoins is estimated at being around $15 million in 2014. $8 million of these was saved through BitPay’s services alone, showing that they are currently market leading in the Bitcoin payment processing field.

While things are currently looking good for the Bitcoin, there is still a long way to go for the Bitcoin. More companies needs to accept the Bitcoin as a payment method, but more importantly they need to create campaigns to attract users to use the much cheaper Bitcoin payment method.

Some companies has from the start of their Bitcoin acceptance created promotions where customers saved money when paying with Bitcoins, which boosted their sales and still saved them money. If companies continue to do these promotions, we should see the Bitcoin becoming more commonly used.

Hopefully we will see the Bitcoin becoming accepted by hundred of thousands of more online shops in the near future, with some of the savings in fees for the companies going back to the consumers in terms of cashback or direct discounts. When this happens, the future looks more than positive for the Bitcoin.

Lawnmower App Invests In Bitcoins For You

If you are into Bitcoins, chances are that you have tried to invest in them for both a short-term and long-term gain in value. While there has been some making a ton of money by being an early adapter, many of us have only been able to make a little profit, if any, by investing in Bitcoins for the sole purpose of investing.

Now there’s good news for those of us who wants to invest in the Bitcoin but never feel like we have a good chunk of cash to put aside for it. A new application has been launched, dubbed “Lawnmower”, which helps you invest in the Bitcoin every time you do a purchase with your credit card.

The application was introduced just last week and what it does is genius for those interested in investing small amounts daily, with higher risks but also potentially higher rewards. It basically tracks all of your credit card and bank transaction movements and rounds up the amount.

So if you are out in a cafe and spend $9.77 on a sandwich, it will round up the amount to $10 and use the remaning $.023 to invest in Bitcoins. While this is seemingly a small amount of money, with all the transactions that you might do over the course of a year or even several years, it can provide you with high-value investments in Bitcoins over time.

While there is no guarantees that the investments will give you any sort of profit, due to the volatile nature of the Bitcoin, it is a great tool for those of us who believes in the Bitcoins future and wants to continue to support it.

“We’re promoting these tiny little purchases every day. It’s really for the saving, investing side of Bitcoin’s growing uses” Alex Sunnarborg, Co-Founder of Lawnmower said to Fortune.

The application is meant as a tool for young investors and entrepreneurs, helping them invest without having a minimum amount of money that needs to be invested. It is also meant to appeal to the younger generation mainly, due to them spending a massive amount of time on their smartphones nowadays.

There is no fees for using the service per se, however as they have teamed up with Coinbase for the service, you will be subject to the standard exchange fees charged by them when you exchange your funds into Bitcoins through the application.

The team behind Lawnmower believes that they can help convert more mainstream people over to the usage of Bitcoins through the app, making it easier to get into the whole Bitcoin world without having to go through the troubles of explaining your bank what the Bitcoin transactions are for.

The application is already seen as a success as many young people have already signed up for the services and started using it. It is believed that more and more will use the application within a few months, which may lead to a higher demand for Bitcoins and thus increase the value over time.

Australia Decides Not to Regulate Bitcoins and Other Cryptocurrencies

It’s interesting times in the Bitcoin world these days. While more and more countries has decided to go in and officially regulate the Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Australia has gone in the exact other direction and decided officially that they will not be regulating it.

The news broke on April 7th, when the Reserve Bank of Australia (RSA) released a press release where they stated that they are not in favor of regulating Bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency. Basically they do not see it as a threat to the Australian market and believes that it would be a waste of ressources to regulate it.

“Given the very limited use and acceptance of digital currencies in Australia, digital currencies do not currently raise any issues for the bank in terms of the bank’s monetary policy and financial stability mandates,” Tony Richards, Head of Payment Policies at the Reserve Bank of Australia said in an announcement.

Basically this means that they do not see any problems in two parties deciding between each other to settle outstanding payments in Bitcoins or in another cryptocurrency, should they wish to do so.

At the same time however, the RSA announced that they do see a need to find a way to cooperate between countries when international Bitcoin transactions are being made, to ensure that there is no money-laundering being done, that the taxes are being paid as well as protect any consumer paying with Bitcoins.

The RSA will still continue to monitor the Bitcoin and how it evolves in Australia, in order to be able to regulate it on a later point, should it be found necessary to do so. They noted that Bitcoin exchange collapses such as Mt Gox should not be able to happen if the correct regulatory framework is in place and that consumers in such cases needs to be protected more.

So what does this mean for Australians who wishes to use the Bitcoin? Basically it means that they still need to follow the standard taxation laws of Australia in regards to commodities, but that everyone is free to own and use as many Bitcoins as they wish to do without any legal interference from them.

This paths the way for Australians and Australian companies to use the Bitcoins as they wish, either to shop online, gamble or even do smaller money transfers at the low cost that the Bitcoin offers.

While the Australians are not that adaptive of Bitcoins yet, it may just be the boost that it needs to take the next step. With companies now knowing that they can legally accept Bitcoins without troubles and for consumers to know that they can spend them likewise, the adaption in the country should increase significantly over the years.

There’s still a small issue with Australian banks not being found of Bitcoin transactions made in consumer and business accounts, but hopefully that will change now that the RSA has made a public statement that they see no need to regulate it.

Betkurus Bitcoin Gaming Site Receives $670,000 in Investments

The Bitcoin gaming industry has been growing rapidly the past years, with more and more new sites popping up, as well as established sites integrating the cryptocurrency as a payment method. Furthermore it is expected that the Bitcoin gambling industry will grow even more in the next few years, which makes it interesting for investors looking towards the gambling industry.

While the Bitcoin gambling industry started out with some small sites started by people with little to no experience in the field, it is now seeing a takeover from experienced gambling industry people. These people are looking to take the Bitcoin gambling industry to the next level and make it as popular as the fiat-money industry currently is.

One of the sites who are looking to benefit from the popularity of the Bitcoin is the Turkish Bitcoin gambling site betkurus.com, who serves customers from around the world, but started out in Turkey.

The site was launched back in October of 2014 and went in a direction that we see more and more sites do, obtaining a gaming license to offer regulated and safe games. They hold their license in Curacao, who regulates all financials, games and everything else to ensure the safety of the players and the games at all times.

Betkurus is looking to take over a substantial part of the Bitcoin gambling industry and has just received $670,000 in investments to make that happen. The investment came from Hong Kong-based payments provider company CoinMatrix, who are looking to help Betkurus develop their product line to gain market shares.

Besides the massive investment in Betkurus, CoinMatrix also integrated cutting-edge payment systems into their platform. It is now possible for customers to have instant Bitcoin-to-fiat deposits done on their accounts, without having to wait hours for the site to find the correct exchange rate.

This provides players with the possibility to turn their Bitcoins into fiat-money instantly at market rate and gamble anonymously on the site, through the currency of their choice which includes USD, Euro and many more.

There’s no need for any banking accounts, to verify their identity or similar hassles before starting to play. It also provides the stability in value that the fiat currency provides along with the security of the Bitcoin as every transaction is recorded on the blockchain.

The Bitcoin gambling industry is currently being valued at around $320 million annually, but the numbers are increasing every year, with the fiat-money gambling industry also integrating Bitcoins as a payment method in a rapid paste.

While this does provide a great way to gamble without having to care about the volatility of the Bitcoin, it is not going to replace Bitcoin-only gambling. Many people prefer to just deposit their Bitcoins, play and then cash out, without having to think about the fiat-value of their coins.

There are many good sites that you can bet with Bitcoins on, which you can find in our review section.

 

 

BetOnline Has Integrated Bitcoin As a Payment Method

Since the Bitcoin was launched and starting reaching the first tech crowds, it has been used for gambling. It started out with just a few dice sites, a poker site as well as a few other sort of casino sites, but it gradually grew to a multi-million industry when the Bitcoin increased in value over the course of three years.

What attracted the tech crowd to gamble with the Bitcoin was that it was anonymous, easy, secure and most of all fast. There was no need in having to keep the funds in the site as withdrawals could be paid within a matter of 30-45 minutes, allowing players to always keep their funds somewhere safe.

It took a few years, but gradually the established gambling industry began to see the benefits of the Bitcoin in the gambling market. The anonymity, the fast and cheap transactions, the security of the network  and the big market capitalization has made a big impression on many sites, especially those serving customers from the US.

BetOnline.ag has been one of the biggest bookmakers in the US for the past decade, having had to change their business model several times along the years due to new laws, restrictions and so on. A site operating in the US market will always have to pay a premium fee for any company who can help process payments, whether it is a deposit or a withdrawal, given that they can even find anyone to help them.

They offer not only betting on American sports, as well as rest-of-world events, they also offer their customers the chance to play a wide variety of casino games as well as battle other players from around the world in a game of poker.

Now they finally embraced the Bitcoin and all that is good about it and started to offer it to their customers. Not only has it been a success, it has been a massive success, as BetOnline can report that Bitcoin is now their second most used payment method after the traditional credit card and it’s moving closer and closer.

When you make a deposit with Bitcoins to BetOnline, the Bitcoins will be converted into $ at the exchange rate that they provide on the screen. The exchange rate is an average rate taken from several different exchange sites, to provide a fair exchange for the users. The minimum deposit amount in Bitcoins is equivalent to $20, while users can withdraw a maximum of $2,000 per day in Bitcoins.

While deposits are almost instantly credited to your account, withdrawals may take a little longer due to the fact that they need to have time to process it from their end. Usually it will take around 48 hours, which is industry standard for sites who doesn’t only deal in Bitcoins.

BetOnline is far from the first US-facing site to integrate Bitcoins as a payment method, but they are amongst the biggest to do so. It marks an interesting time in the gambling industry, as the Americans has found a cheap, reliable and anonymous way to gamble online without being worried about the banks reporting them, while the sites don’t have to look over their backs to see if the DOJ is watching.

Due to the popularity the Bitcoin is currently experiencing in the US for the gambling industry, it is natural to believe that many will begin using their coins to pay for other things, both online and offline. This could lead to an increase in revenues for the Bitcoin accepting stores and thus attract more companies to accept it. Gambling may be leading the way for more mainstream Bitcoin acceptance and perhaps it can help the value increase over time.

Neteller Announces Bitcoin Deposits in Online Wallet

One of the world’s largest online wallet systems and prepaid Mastercard providers, Neteller, announced today that they have integrated Bitcoin as a deposit method to fund accounts. The feature has been spoken about for days, but was not officially confirmed by Neteller until today, where the feature was also integrated.

Neteller was founded back in 1999 in Canada, but have since then moved a large part of their operations to the Isle of Man. They were the biggest online wallet system after PayPal for many years, having a huge amount of American customers who used Neteller to deposit and withdraw from gambling sites.

All of that changed in 2006 when the US Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) which made online gambling in the US illegal. This led to Neteller having to ban all of their American customers and a huge decline in revenues. Neteller has been working hard to go back to their prior strength, which was partially succeeded after they became a payment method for the regulated market in New Jersey.

Optimal Payments, the company behind Neteller, has proposed an acquisition of their main rival Skrill for €1.1 billion. Skrill has a huge market share in Europe, where gamblers, traders and people who wants to transfer funds instantly use the service every single day, having around 35 million members according to their own numbers.

Should Neteller’s acquisition of Skrill be successful, they will become the second largest online wallet service provider in the world after PayPal and have more than 50 million customers worldwide. This will only be positive for the Bitcoin, as more people will be aware of the possibility to deposit to their online wallets complete free of fees through the Bitcoin.

This may lead to a demand increase for the Bitcoin and thus boost the value significantly over a longer period of time. With regular deposit methods costing up to 3.95% in fees, many will probably want to save those fees by using the Bitcoin to deposit with, as it can save large amounts for the average user every single year.

Bitcoin integrated as a payment method at Neteller
Bitcoin integrated as a payment method at Neteller

For those of you who aren’t completely familiar with what you can use Neteller for, it is basically an online wallet where you can hold funds that you can transfer instantly to other users of Neteller, use it to deposit and withdraw from gaming and trading sites as well as shop online with it. Furthermore they are one of the biggest processors of prepaid Mastercard’s in the world, working as a sort of online bank but without all the hassle.

The possibility to deposit with Bitcoins will make it so much easier to use Bitcoins every day, as you can easily deposit the Bitcoins at the daily exchange rate and use your Mastercard to go shopping, pay for bills or whatever else you would like to do. This also provides an opportunity to quickly exchange your coins for cash if you are looking to do so, without the hassle of having to go to an exchange site and wait for someone to buy it at the daily rate.

“Neteller already provides merchants and customers a broad and diverse set of online payment options and the addition of Bitcoin gives them another valuable payment method to help convert more transactions” said Joel Leonoff, president and CEO, Optimal Payments. “We recognise the important role that crypto-currencies play in the future of payments and we look forward to working with BitPay as the acceptance rate grows.”

“Bitcoin’s popularity is growing rapidly and has established itself as the most secure, most widely accepted digital currency” said Sonny Singh, chief operating officer, BitPay Inc. “This relationship with Optimal Payments will help us to drive merchant acceptance on a global scale.”

The only negative things so far in regards to the Bitcoin deposit method is that it will not be available for Americans just yet and the fact that you cannot withdraw to Bitcoins. Neteller will wait until there’s a regulatory framework in place for the different states before offering the possibility to deposit for them, but has not mentioned anything about the possibility of withdrawing in Bitcoins.

It may also lead to more competitors realizing the potential of the Bitcoin as a deposit method, which again would lead to more people knowing about the payment method. Overall this is a huge step in the right direction for the Bitcoin and it gives lots of hopes for the future.

Darknet Drug Marketplace Evolution Runs off With $12 Million – Bitcoin Price Plunges

The Bitcoin has had a rough year in terms of value. After reaching levels of $1,200 per Bitcoin in the end of 2013, the Bitcoin has since then plummeted in value due to multiple different factors, the primary ones being caused by the underground drug markest who has been involved in several scams as well as having been closed down by federal services.

Cases like the now closed down SilkRoad, where the FBI closed down the Darknet drug marketplace and confiscated all funds on the platform, took a rough hit on the Bitcoin. Around 144,000 Bitcoins were confiscated by the FBI and auctioned off to people willing to buy the coins around the world, which initially made the Bitcoin value decrease, but later on began stabilizing.

Now there’s a new case with an underground Darknet drug marketplace closing down, but this time it was not done by any federal government, but instead by the owners. Evolution was the leading drug marketplace on the Darknet, having many thousand customers and dealers selling their stuff there every day and was the best marketplace so far according to Mike Power, Author of “Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That’s Changing How the World Gets High”:

“Evolution was the best-designed, best-coded and best-administrated of all the darknet markets. It had the look and feel of a legitimate website – pages loaded quickly and uptime was very solid. The guys behind it were old-school hackers and carders from the Tor Carding Forum, and had good technical expertise.”

The owners of Evolution decided to run off with the funds that they held for both customers and dealers, funds that would usually be available for daily cash outs in an automated system. Initially they turned off the automatic withdrawal system but later on it came out that they had decided to scam everyone and run off with the money. It is estimated that a total of $12,000,000 in Bitcoins were stolen from the users, Bitcoins that will now be available for others to purchase.

While all of this sounds like bad news to the Bitcoin, it might be positive for the overall perception of the Bitcoin. The Bitcoin is becoming an increasingly popular method of sending funds to other people without having to pay massive fees as well as a popular payment method for companies for exactly the same reasons.

With more and more of the illegal underground marketplaces shutting down, the criminals may be forced to look elsewhere for a way to sell their drugs, illegal services or even just launder money. This will lead to a better public perception of the Bitcoin, as well as for governments, and increase the amount of users and value in the long run.

So while the Bitcoin took a plunge in terms of value after the scam, going from around $295 in value to $260 at the time of this article, it will bounce back. The Bitcoin and all the backers are determined to make this a success, investing heavily in making it as safe and secure as possible and comply with international verifications and regulations.

Within a distant future the underground markets will no longer be able to have any effect on the value of the Bitcoin and it will instead be controlled by the civilized markets, who are working hard to bring the Bitcoin to new emerging markets, to third-world countries and to the mainstream public. The future looks bright for the Bitcoin, despite the many hick-ups on its way.

Bitcoin Bookmaker BetVIP Launches Independent Poker Room

BetVIP became a Bitcoin house-hold name back in June of 2014, when they became the first licensed Bitcoin bookmaker, licensed in Curaçao under its laws and gambling regulations. Now the company has decided to branch out from their sportsbook and casino game offerings and offer their own independent poker room.

The poker room has been launched a few days ago and is Bitcoin only, just like with all other products offered by BetVIP. To ensure as many players as possible will have access to the room, BetVIP released both a Mac and Windows version of the software, which has been provided by Enterra Gaming.

Traffic has yet to pick up, which is natural from a newly opened room, but BetVIP will be offering players the chance to win some free Bitcoins through weekly freerolls. For those who are looking to deposit and play, BetVIP has integrated ‘instant’ deposits which means that once it has received three confirmations of the deposit it will credit it your account. This process will commonly take around 10 minutes or less and your Bitcoin will be exchanged at a ratio of 1BTC to 1,000mBTC.

BetVIP will also provide their fast cash out times known from their sportsbook and casino to the poker platform, allowing players to cash out within hours. Players will have the ability to be almost completely anonymous, having only to fill in an email to be able to create an account.

“The rapid growth of our business over the past year stems from the fact that users want a trusted, licensed bitcoin betting and gaming environment. The launch of BetVIP Poker enables players to enjoy an even wider selection of market-leading cryptocurrency wagering products on both Mac and Windows platforms,” Chief Executive Officer and Founder of BetVIP, Daniel Schwartzkoppf said.

“We have seen many users convert to BetVIP from fiat money currency platforms for the numerous benefits bitcoin offer. With low fees and strong identity protection, as well as rapid, simple and safe payments, bitcoin is the future of the igaming industry.” Schwartzkoppf added.

BetVIP’s launch of their own independent is coming at a great time, as the Bitcoin poker industry has seen its by far biggest poker room (SealsWithClubs) shut down, due to raids made by the Nevada Gaming Commission. While their board member and professional poker player Bryan Micon went ahead and launched a new site for the players (SwcPoker), it has not been able to collect anywhere near the traffic the old site had and many players are currently looking for other places to play these days.

At the same time the Bitcoin has regained some strengths in its value, having reached a value close to what it had three months ago. Currently the Bitcoin is valued at around $270-$290, having been down to around $200 which was the lowest since the beginning of 2013.

The Bitcoin is currently seeing massive growth in its amount of active users, with industry experts believing that it will reach five million active users by 2019. If the amount of active Bitcoin users continues to rise, so will the value and so will the Bitcoin gambling industry naturally, as more and more gambling sites and players continue to discover the benefits of using the cryptocurrency as a payment method.