After almost a year of beta Testing, the payment processor Stripe has officially announced its integration of bitcoins. All customers can now choose to accept bitcoins.
Dell has expanded its bitcoin payment coverage (via Coinbase) to the United Kingdom and Canada, becoming the largest international merchant that accepts bitcoin.
Ledger, a French start developing bitcoin wallet hardware, has closed a seed round for €1.3 million from a group of French investors led by XAnge Capital. They plan to use the funding to develop security solutions for private keys.
“Bitcoin for Miles”, part of the Delaware-based Bitcoins Inc., is now offering to buy bonus miles for bitcoins. You can get up to 0.017 bitcoins for each mile. This is a rare case: usually bitcoin companies do not buy bonus and gift points and sell them instead.
A major bitcoin storage platform is offering its customers the option to convert their bitcoin accounts into six fiat currencies and four precious metals. Swiss franc and three metals have been added recently.
The bitcoin investment fund Pantera Capital is collecting syndicate bids to win the upcoming auction of the Federal Marshals Service. The minimum bid is $50,000. Pantera will receive 1% of each winning bid.
Satoshilabs, the creators of Trezor, an offline bitcoin wallet, are planning to introduce Colored Coins and smart contracts to their service. The company claims that developers who use these blockchain applications should feel free to add support for Trezor to their products.
Parkt, a Seattle-based parking reward startup, has added a new feature that allows users to receive bonus points in bitcoins. Customers can redeem points to get a discount for their parking space or withdraw them in digital currency.
US Marshals have announced a new auction of the Silk Road heritage to take place in March. 50,000 BTC will be sold in 20 blocks of 2,000 BTC and 3,000 BTC.
The CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium (C4) has developed a set of rules to assign bitcoin companies different levels of security.
The bitcoin wallet AirBitz has announced an update to their Android mobile app that enables wireless payments using a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connection.
The developers of the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol have announced the Bitcoin Piñata, a hacker competition with a bounty of 10 bitcoin, in order to test the safety of their system.
The election of two new members of the Bitcoin Foundation’s Board of Directors turned problematic after only 20% of eligible members registered for the vote. Representatives of the Foundation state that this is enough for a quorum and note that they have warned eligible members about the upcoming elections at least three times.
Bitcoin Foundation members are currently voting to elect two new Directors. This time, there are 13 candidates on the ballot, each of whom hopes to take up one of the two positions.
The Bitcoin Foundation is a key structure of the bitcoin community that supports and develops the bitcoin core and works as a coordination hub for many smaller bitcoin groups around the world. The governing body of the Bitcoin Foundation is its Board of Directors that includes Individual and Industry members. Last year, two Individual board members – Jon Matonis and Gavin Andersen – left the board after they finished their terms. Now the Foundation is looking for their replacements.
This autumn, the Foundation passed a new rule that requires eligible members to register before the voting process. The aim of the rule was to stimulate voting activity: last winter, the Foundation struggled to reach the 50% quorum that was necessary for the election to be valid.
This year, the Foundation introduced pre-registration and lowered the quorum requirement to 20% of registered voters. Eligible members were notified by e-mail and could register through a dedicated webpage. Despite this fact, 80% of eligible members failed to register. As a result, only 20% of eligible electors (364 out of 2782) are participating in the process.
The Bitcoin Foundation published a blog post blaming their members for this failure. The organization says that it notified eligible members by e-mail at least three times and published information about the alterations to the elections system on its blog:
“Democracy is messy. The hard truth is that many people choose not to vote”
Brian Goss, who is overseeing the election process, has received only 6 official complaints so far. The elections are going forward. The Bitcoin Foundation reports that this time
“Within 24 hours of opening the polls on Friday, February 13, 2015, over 183 Bitcoin Foundation members voted, reaching quorum. Quorum is the minimum number a group needs in order to make the proceedings, whether it is a meeting or a vote, valid. At the time of this writing, 246 out of 364 eligible ballots have been cast"
The Bitcoin Foundation elections will finish on November 19th, 2015. The results will be announced on the Bitcoin Foundation blog.
The Virtual Currencies Round Table, scheduled for February 17th-18th in London, will bring together representatives of Commonwealth governments and various international experts.
Duke University professor and Man Group adviser discusses his course on bitcoin startups at Duke University
Professor Campbell Harvey at Duke University’s Fuqua Business School is teaching a course on how to build up a bitcoin startup. Apart from teaching, he is an investment adviser for Man Group, the world’s second largest hedge fund that has $73.2 billion under management.
The UK-based bitcoin exchange platform Netagio has announced plans to restructure its current business. The company will stop providing exchange and trading services and will launch a cash storage ‘facility’ in March 2015.