Tag: Bitcoin

Bitcoin Foundation is out of cash

irony31The Bitcoin Foundation is ironically bankrupt and has shed most of its staff.

Olivier Janssens, who was elected to the board last month wrote in his bog that the foundation has almost no money left, and just fired 90 percent of its people. Some will stay on as volunteers.

“The Bitcoin Foundation hates transparency,” he added. “If they would have been transparent then everyone would know there is no money left.”

Janssens attributed the foundation’s financial straits to two years of “ridiculous spending and poorly thought out decisions,” adding that the board has tried to remedy the situation by finding a new executive director. He called for the replacement of the entire board.

Janssens is a bitcoin millionaire and he wrote that he will donate “several 100k” to a special trust fund aimed at supporting core development of the digital currency and supplemented by crowdfunding efforts.

Patrick Murck, its executive director, wrote in a response to Janssens’ post, “The foundation is not bankrupt, but a restructuring is needed. Olivier basically jumped in front of our announcements on that and our annual report on the 2014 finances to be released next week, and he spun it very very negative.”

Admitting that the money has run out, board member Gavin Adresen wrote in another response that that the foundation was not bankrupt.

“The board needs to decide whether the responsible thing to do is to continue the organization with a much smaller organization and vision or to dissolve it.”
The Bitcoin Foundation has a few problems going for it.

Among its founding members are Charlie Shrem, who pleaded guilty to transmitting money linked to the Silk Road online drugs site, and Mark Karpeles, who presided over the collapse of MtGox, once the world’s largest trading place for bitcoin.

In May 2014, a number of Bitcoin Foundation members quit in frustration over the organization’s direction and issues related to a board election.

Brit launches first Bitcoin marketplace

Nick Boardman - Mike Magee picEntrepreneur Nick Boardman said he has introduced a Bitcoin online company which uses Bitcoins as its sole currency.

BTXDeals will differ from other etailers by offering a cost per sale that’s lower than 50 percent of charges from Amazon and eBay.

Boardman said that there are no additional or hidden fees.

Vendors can list an unlimited number of items at no charge, and be paid in either Bitcoins or UK pounds.  Boardman said BTXDeals won’t compete with the vendors but on building a secure and price conscious place where vendors can sell their gear.

Boardman said: “As the first of its kind, BTXDeals embraces the potential of Bitcoin and provides a safe, secure and transparent form of online shopping.  We believe this virtual currency will become the future for all e-commerce transactions.”

Customers already include Grange Hotels, Shy Aviation, Sun Mountain Golf, K Bassam Jewellers, Time Square Birmingham and others.  Boardman said the company is in negotiations with a number of other major suppliers. It expects to expand its product and service range over the coming months.

Boardman is well known in the tech business, previous enterprise included Rock Group plc and other ventures.

Bitcoin comes in handy at London massage parlour

massageA high-class massage parlour in London is now accepting Bitcoins as payment for services rendered.

Ellie Young, marketing manager at Sensuous London, said she can see enormous potential for the use of crypto-currencies in their sector, although admitted there hadn’t been a huge demand for it as yet.

“As far as I can tell we are the first to make this available and we see a great deal of potential in the technology. We hope to create the demand and lead the way,” she said.

The ‘highly trained, professional masseuses’ of Sensuous London, provide what has been described to us as “a unique, five star luxury service, for the tourist, business and London communities”, and clients wishing to pay discreetly for the “high-end, sensual, tantric massage experience” on offer can now do so with Bitcoitus thanks to Payment Service Provider, BitPay.

In the adult services industry, taking payment via credit card is rare. Chiefly because of the risk to the service provider of the customer subsequently claiming the transaction was nothing to do with them, but was fraudulent. Crypto-currencies also mean there are no potentially embarrassing payments appearing on anyone’s bank statement.

“I’ve worked on dating websites in the past,” Ellie Young explained. “There are a lot of problems with credit card thieves testing stolen credit card numbers on dating sites. This results in a large number of charge-backs and refunds. This can lead to fines by the credit card companies and eventually to (the business) being blacklisted altogether.

“Bitcoin has the advantage that all payments are final and far more secure, so this couldn’t happen. There’s no credit card companies involved to refuse an account, blacklist us or refuse to work with an adult company in the first place. No merchant bank account is required.  Transaction fees are much, much lower and there’s no currency conversion fees – handy when many clients are tourists or businessmen.”

Young went on to say that while it will be difficult to predict the demand for Bitcoin payments, although with growing public awareness, and acceptance, of alternative currencies, it looks like to grow.

Which sounds like a happy ending for everyone.

Bitcoin hopes to take on big players

bitcoinBitcoin is slowly gaining more support from mainstream businesses, but it is still largely relegated to transactions involving virtual goods, gambling or some even shadier activities. Bitcoin Store hopes to change all that.

The outfit focuses on consumer electronics and gadgets and according to The Verge,   it has a pretty good variety of products to offer. Since it’s not the first Bitcoin retailer out there, the company hopes to make a name for itself by undercutting the competition, including the likes of Amazon and NewEgg.

Bitcoin Store head of marketing Jon Holmquist said the whole point of the site is to demonstrate that both consumers and businesses can save a bit of cash simply by using Bitcoin. He said that Ingram Micro is the site’s supplier and that all large electronics sites use the same supplier.

However, the Bitcoin Store somehow managed to get into the highest pricing tier for Ingram Micro, which means it is the first time that a Bitcoin company is getting products at the same price as conventional retailers.

“It really showcases how much cheaper it is to pay with Bitcoin,” he said. Holmquist went on to point out that pricing on the site changes automatically as Bitcoin exchange rates fluctuate.

He also pointed out that the site’s owner, Bitcoin guru Roger Ver, decided to keep all Bitcoins amassed from sales, as he believes Bitcoin will continue to rise in value.