An Irish Central Banker tells BitFin attendees that he sees a bitcoin-fiat future. Circle’s Jeremy Allaire thinks the Bitcoin core devs need to step up their game, and thinks a former central banker will help them step up theirs in Europe. Expedia says that their bitcoin experiment is exceeding expectations while Overstock’s CEO continues to exceed expectations as an advocate. And consumer’s bitcoin nightmare just got a little less bad. No Daily Bit tomorrow because I am a real American…
Just a few quick notes today before the long holiday weekend.
-Circle just announced another big (pre-product) hire to head up their European operations: Garrett Cassidy, a former Bank of Ireland director and Goldman Sachs executive. Cassidy will join the team as Managing Director of Europe and lead European operations and manage strategic initiatives across from the company’s Dublin headquarters.
This announcement appears to have been timed in advance of a keynote address at Bitfin by one of Cassidy’s former colleagues, Irish central banker Gareth Murphy, who became the first government-backed bank representative to speak at a digital currency conference, discussed the potential bitcoin could bring to global finance, but warned of the disruptive potential of digital currency on global economies, specifically with respect to “statistical measurements of economic activity” on the part of central banks. He also discussed how major financial institutions would feel the effects of digital currencies, and even offered his view on regulation. His entire speech can be found here.
-The three $250 elevator pitch winners in round 1 of the BitComp were Amir Lazarovich, Oz Nathan and Guy Zyskind of Ethos, a block chain tech application that would help decentralize online identities, like a bitcoin “Facebook Connect”; Rafael Pass, Robert Parks and Lior Seeman of sWallet, which promises to be a more secure and practical bitcoin wallet; and Tiffany Wong and Pavleen Thurkal of BitTax, which aims to make sense of the convoluted bitcoin tax filing process. Over 80 undergrads, and 20 grad students took part in the first round. An additional $14,000 remains up for grabs in Rounds 2 & 3 of the competition.
-I just spent the morning with my accountant and tax attorney puzzling over my complex and extended 2013 filing for a non-profit org I started, a for-profit company I started, and a convoluted personal investing and trading history for my last tax year…and that was before we even talked about bitcoin. Nothing says patriotism quite like paying taxes to Uncle Sam. (Especially on the eve of a holiday celebrating a revolution fought ostensibly over inappropriate taxation.) So what better way to spend the long weekend than by taking some time to review the new bitcoin tax product from Libra Tax. This is also an opportunity for me to venture into the wide open world of bitcoin product review, and give my standard critiques.
While there is not yet a Walt Mossberg of bitcoin tech, there is a recovering Two-Bit Idiot. Stay tuned…
Now for Today’s Tid Bits:
Jeremy Allaire: Bitcoin Developers Need to ‘Step Up’
During his speech at the BitFin 2014 Jeremy Allaire, Circle CEO, called on bitcoin’s core developers to “step up.” He believes the current state of development can be very unwelcoming and that developers need to be more open. Allaire also mentioned the development of bitcoin protocol, and how it needs to become more sustainable. Allarie’s company Circle plans to start “accepting a significant numbers of invitees by August,” as the Boston based firm cautiously prepares to open its doors.
Overstock Offers Rewards for Bitcoin-Friendly Vendors
Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock, announced yesterday that Overstock plans to incentivize its vendors to accept bitcoin through discounts and favorable selling terms. He also mentioned that he wants to give the opportunity for his employees to be paid in bitcoin. Overstock has not yet finalized any of the vendor discount plans.
Expedia Exec Says Bitcoin Spending Has Exceeded Estimates
Although no official figures have been released, Expedia’s executive vice president of global product, Michael Gulmann reported that the company has exceeded estimates. Currently, customers can only pay for hotels in bitcoin via Expedia, but Gulmann suggested that they plan to expand the service to air travel, car rentals, and more. Expedia began accepting bitcoin for payments on June 11th.
Silk Road Auction Winner Tim Draper: World Should Embrace
Following his victory, Tim Draper held a press conference along side his son Adam Draper, and Vaurum CEO Avish Bhama. Draper discussed bitcoin’s potential in emerging markets, his enthusiasm towards investing in bitcoin companies, and his “high focus on [financial innovation].” Draper declined to release the official numbers of how much he paid for the bitcoins.
Swarm, Crowdfunding Platform Using Bitcoin
A combination of Kickstarter and Bitcoin, Swarm, a Berlin based company plans to help startup companies raise funding by distributing their own currency. Joel Dietz, founder of Swarm, in an attempt to prove that his technology works is raising funding for Swarm through Swarm using swarmcoins. It all sounds a bit confusing, but Swarm has already raised around 1,500 bitcoins ($940,00) for its project. The company hopes to raise 4,500 bitocin ($2.6m) by July 20th.
Happy Fourth! (To my London readers, sorry about that.)
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