Bitcoin Black Friday & Purse.io

Bitcoin Black Friday is right around the corner, and you’ll have to forgive me for my pessimism regarding this year’s likely numbers.

Even though there are multiples more merchants and consumers using Bitcoin, it’s going to be very difficult to top last year’s tallies. The problem isn’t even that the bitcoin price is down ~50% so far this year (although that certainly doesn’t help), but rather that bitcoin isn’t up 10–100x from this January’s levels. That was the scenario last year around this time, and the Black Friday enthusiasm was likely amplified by investors who thought they could pull a fast one on Uncle Sam by spending appreciated bitcoin rather than selling them. (Of course, we now know that those transactions would trigger capital gains under the IRS’s ruling that bitcoin is property.)

That said, we’ve got a few things going for us. For starters, the type of merchants that are accepting bitcoin has improved significantly…you can buy quite a bit more than mere Gyft cards this year. For another, the mainstream press has started to pay closer attention to Bitcoin Black Friday, so we can always pray that leads to an early Christmas bitcoin miracle. And finally, the diversity of bitcoin gifting apps has improved. BitPay is working with Gyft, Coinbase with eGifter and Purse.io is focused on a quirky but potentially lucrative Amazon loophole.

I’ll focus on Purse.io in particular, though, because that’s where the consumer value this season appears to be the highest. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, the team there has created a clever way for bitcoiners to save 5–25% on their Amazon purchases simply by taking an extra two clicks during their check-out process to exchange illiquid (and thus discounted) Amazon credits with bitcoin. Check them out, and let’s top last year’s numbers, both on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

It’s important for the ecosystem that Bitcoin turns in a solid performance. Otherwise, it could lead to yet another negative news cycle about how digital currencies just aren’t that useful.

Certified Bitcoin Professionals

The Digital Currency Council is seeking feedback from members of the Bitcoin community on its certification exams for lawyers, accountants, and financial professionals. Share comments, edit sample questions, and propose new core competency areas that would help professional advisors master Bitcoin.

https://github.com/DigitalCurrencyCouncil/CertificationExam/blob/master/README.md

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Bolt, San Francisco (VC-backed)
-Stealth startup focused on consumer applications of Bitcoin.
-Open positions: Security Engineer, Ruby Engineer, UI/UX Designer, Executive Assistant.
-Check out Bolt (bolt.com) and email jobs@bolt.com.

Elliptic, London (VC-backed)
-Vault and enterprise digital currency services.
-Open positions: Software engineers and business development gurus.
-Learn more and apply at elliptic.workable.com

Today’s Tid Bits

eBay CEO “Very Open” to Bitcoin, will “Likely” Follow PayPal
http://cointelegraph.com/news/112976/ebay-ceo-very-open-to-bitcoin-will-likely-follow-paypal
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Devin Wenig president and CEO of eBay stated that he is “very open” to bitcoin and that eBay “will probably experiment” with the digital currency in the future. Wenig mentioned that he would be willing to take a similar approach to bitcoin as PayPal, which introduced limited bitcoin integration via a merchant opt-in scheme in September.
Redditor Says Western Union Demanded Takedown of this Bitcoin Ad Mocking the Company
http://www.vox.com/2014/11/24/7279079/redditor-says-western-union-demanded-takedown-of-ad-mocking-them
Yesterday, a redditor posted a graphic to his Facebook page, which pointed out that sending bitcoin across the world is faster and cheaper than going through Western Union. Western Union hit the redditor with a copyright claim and demanded that he take the graphic down. However, the Western Union graphic in this fashion is allowed by the copyright’s fair use doctrine, which allows use of images for purposes of comment and criticism. As of now the takedown request, and the resulting controversy has only added popularity to the graphic.
Samsung Electronics President and CSO Young Sohn Joins BitFury’s Strategic Advisory Board
http://cointelegraph.com/news/112983/samsung-electronics-president-and-cso-young-sohn-joins-bitfurys-strategic-advisory-board
BitFury, bitcoin infrastructure provider and bitcoin transaction processing startup, will add Samsung Electronics President and CSO, Young Sohn to its strategic advisory board. Sohn was been working as the CSO for Samsung since mid 2012, previously he worked at Quantum Corporation, Oak Technologies, Agilent Semiconductor, and Inphi Corporation. BitFury Group is a leading provider of semiconductors, servers and datacenter solutions to the cryptocurrency industry. The company closed a $20million funding round in May.
Roger Ver Pledges $20k in Bitcoin to Antiwar.com Campaign
http://www.coindesk.com/roger-ver-pledges-20k-bitcoin-antiwar-com-campaign/
After donating $10,000 in bitcoin to the activisit site Antiwar.com, Roger is Ver is now promising to match up to $20,000 in donations from the public. Antiwar.com has been accepting bitcoin donations since November 2012, as the site tends to be early adopters with an interest in alternate currencies. Roger Ver is a popular bitcoin angel investor who is often referred to as “Bitcoin Jesus.”
Derivatives Exchange Nadex Awaiting for CFTC Approval to Launch Bitcoin Binary Options
http://cointelegraph.com/news/112987/derivatives-exchange-nadex-awaiting-for-cftc-approval-to-launch-bitcoin-binary-options
The North American Derivatives Exchange (Nadex) has announced it plans to launch a bitcoin binary options offering in early December, pending the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approval. Binary options contracts give investors the ability to trade based on where they think the contract is heading, using either daily or weekly contracts, without the need to hold any bitcoins. Nadex is based in Chicago and targets retail traders.
Bullion Dealer Agora Commodities Will Rebrand Focus on Bitcoin
http://www.coindesk.com/agora-commodities-rebrand-bitcoin/
Agora Commodities, a precious metals dealer, is rebranding itself to the Crypto Bullion Group to emphasize its increasing interest in digital currency. The platform is still underdevelopment, and no date has been declared for its formal launch, but the Crypto Bullion Group hopes to launch before the end of the year. The group also expressed interest in using smart contracts, and other crypto 2.0 capabilities such as colored coins.

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