The Many Ways You Can Book Your Travels Using Bitcoin

 

You can also earn Bitcoin and have them traded for you on auto pilot. Thomas Prendergast and myself are rolliing out a massive marketing effort to build a huge team. You can join the link

HERE https://office.tradecoinclub.com/register/ICOREY Do not drag your feet and miss out on very important placement on our team

Many bitcoiners like to travel. In 2017 there are ways for people to use their bitcoins to book flights, car rentals, and hotels. Indeed, there are many options available to purchase any travel amenities imaginable without having to convert bitcoin to fiat.

Also read: Here Are Four Bitcoin Exchanges That Require Very Little Identity Verification

Traveling the World With Bitcoin

Did you know there are quite a few options out there to pay for flights and travel accommodations with Bitcoin? In fact, everyone’s favorite cryptocurrency can pay for plane tickets, purchase a rental car, and book lodging in cities across the globe. Over the past few years, a good handful of travel companies have embraced Bitcoin, thus enabling people to visit worldwide destinations on the decentralized currency.

Cheapair

Cheapair.com is well-known in the cryptocurrency community for offering affordable flights for Bitcoin. The California-based company introduced Bitcoin support in 2013. Cheapair believes it was one of the first travel firms to accept the digital currency for payment processing.

“We will do whatever it takes to make travel buying easier and give Cheapair customers more options,” said Jeff Klee, CEO of Cheapair at the time. “We’re intrigued by the growing Bitcoin phenomenon, and we are happy to provide Bitcoin users an easy, secure way to book flights.”

The platform’s interface is pretty straightforward and operates like any other online travel service. Users can book flights to anywhere in the world from most airports and major airline services. Cheapair can also provide hotel accommodations and car rentals for trips as well. All of these services can be purchased with bitcoin immediately by using the company’s shopping cart portal.

BTCTrip

BTCTrip believes it is “the travel agency for the cryptocurrency community.” The New York-based company, founded in 2013 by Yamil Alis and Martin Fernandez, enables users to pay with bitcoin for travel needs. Currently, the service offers flight and hotel accommodations, covering many destinations worldwide. The user interface is fairly simple, allowing users to fill out where they would like to travel, followed by departure and return dates. The travel company also accepts Dogecoin and Litecoin payments.

Expedia

 

Expedia is probably one of the most popular online travel agencies and has been around since 1996. The full-service travel giant announced it would accept bitcoin back in June 2014. The announcement pleased the cryptocurrency community, as it meant a degree of mainstream acceptance. The company partnered with Coinbase to facilitate bitcoin purchases for flight and travel accommodations.

Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of Coinbase, explained that “By accepting bitcoin as a form of payment, Expedia is giving a wider community of users the opportunity to book hotels from their site’s inventory of properties all around the world quickly and easily.”

Expedia users simply choose a flight, hotel or car rental using the company’s online platform, and proceed to pay with bitcoin at checkout. Expedia does have a separate terms and conditions page specifically for bitcoin purchases. The site explains how Coinbase facilitates the payment, tells its customers about miner fees, and how bitcoin transactions are irreversible.

More Flights for Bitcoin

There are other companies that offer airline tickets for bitcoin payments. If you are planning to travel around the European mainland a company called Abitsky offers discounted flights and travel accommodations for travelers paying with bitcoin. Destinia is another company that offers trip amenities for destinations all around the world using cryptocurrency payments. Destinia recently said it would rather “build bridges than walls”, speaking out in opposition to Donald Trump’s immigration statements. The travel agency is offering a 5 percent discount for those traveling from Mexico to the U.S.

Another full-service travel agency that accepts bitcoin payments is Fluege.com, which offers flights, hotels, and car rentals worldwide. Furthermore, the well-known airline service Airbaltic has offered alternative payment choices, such as bitcoin for flights, since 2014. The well-known airline takes passengers to many Baltic state destinations, and the company can be found at many local airports worldwide.

While planning a trip can be frustrating, finding a travel agency that accepts Bitcoin is pretty easy.

Have you ever used any of these companies to purchase travel arrangements with bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pixabay, BTCTrip, Expedia, and Cheapair.


Whether you’re a beginner or a long-time bitcoin player, there’s always something interesting going on in the bitcoin.com Forums. We are proud free speech advocates, and no matter what your opinion on bitcoin we guarantee it’ll be seen and heard here. We don’t censor.

Chris Corey CMO Markethive Inc

http:// https://office.tradecoinclub.com/register/ICOREY

 

 

By Jamie Redman –

 

February 15, 2017

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

90% of Altcoins Wont Make it But Bitcoin Will Sustain

 

Altcoins are springing up on a daily basis, you might have noticed that they appear pretty regularly in the lists of CoinMarketCap. However, Ethereum Classic's Charles Hoskinson predicts that as much as 90 percent of altcoin will probably die out in the near future.

Speaking to Cointelegraph about the sustainability of cryptocurrencies, Hoskinson, who was with Ethereum before crossing the carpet to ETC, outlined what makes a digital currency thick.

"As for most cryptocurrencies, I agree completely they will likely die out," Hoskinson related. "As 90 percent of businesses usually fail in the first few years, there is no reason to believe that coins are any different."

Treasury Mechanic system

To ensure sustainability of cryptocurrency he is convinced Treasury Mechanic measures should be explored and taken seriously:

"I think all cryptocurrencies should strongly consider a treasury mechanic. It creates long-term sustainability if it's correctly implemented. We are going to look closely at our own treasury for ETC."

Recently some altcoins have come under scrutiny for employing pump and dump tactics to swindle its holders. Case in point is CageCoin, that recently rose by 31,000 percentage point but fell miserably within 24 hours.

It is very imperative that community members undertake the necessary due diligence when they are investing in any coin. This is very crucial at a stage where digital currency is scaling and convincing sceptics, it is not a nine-day wonder but has really come to stay.

Bitcoin is sustainable

On the contrary, Hoskinson holds the view that Bitcoin is not in the category of the unsustainable coins and the strength of every currency is in its communities, not its technology per se.

He elaborates:

"Technology can incentivize more community to come but it cannot replace it. Bitcoin has the strongest community of all cryptocurrencies and also the most resilient. It has survived over a billion dollars of theft, dozens of death declarations and exchange failures alongside many so called leaders trying to hijack to project and the founder leaving. It's absolutely stunning that Bitcoin has survived and thrived. I don't think Bitcoin is going to die. Rather the better question is where does it stop."

Truly, that is the only thing for all currencies including the US Dollar. It is merely strong because people accept it for goods and services. Imagine if they suddenly stopped, the dollar would be in trouble

 

Bitcoin won't die

"I don't think Bitcoin is going to die. Rather the better question is where does it stop?" Hoskinson queries. He articulates it will either become a universal payment system or simply a digital gold standard that stores value.

With the standard of measurement improving swiftly with infrastructures like ATMs, debit cards, hundreds of thousands of merchants, it is hard to dispute Charles Hoskinson on this.

"Many contractors in Eastern Europe do dev work for Bitcoin – it is very popular in Ukraine, for example," Hoskinson remarked. If you would like to earn and have Bitcoin traded for you automatically? 

Thomas Prendergast and I are putting together a team in Trade Coin Club and you can join us Here https://office.tradecoinclub.com/register/ICOREY

 

Chris Corey CMO Markethive Inc

 

BY: Frisco d'Anconia

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

UK Banks Shun Bitcoin !

Banks in the United Kingdom are turning a deaf ear to bitcoin exchanges, despite the government’s pro-blockchain position, according to financial writer Roger Aitken, writing in Forbes. Unless the situation changes, the banks will undermine bitcoin’s progress and drive Cryptocurrency entrepreneurs out of the banking system.

This fact together with the uncertainty  surrounding the pound due to Brexit could be a disaster for those who live in the UK, the banks are feeling under threat. Hopefully the government will step in and tell them not to be so stupid.

Cryptopay, a bitcoin brokerage, recently informed customers that it will no longer support British Pound deposits and withdrawals on account of new bank policies. Such incidents have increased as bitcoin has gained popularity.

Cancellation of GBP deposit and withdrawal facilities limits people to Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) transfers, making Cryptopay’s buying and selling useless to most British customers.

U.K. Banks Shun Bitcoin

A dozen or more U.K. brokerages and bitcoin exchanges have suffered over the past three to four years as banking facilities have become unavailable. Some have closed or resorted to awkward arrangements.

Britcoin, which became rebranded as Intersango, started in 2011. It faced problems with U.K. bank transfers before eventually closing. An August 2012 update noted that bridging the gap between bitcoin and the conventional banking system was costly on account of technical issues, missing transfers, and accounts frozen and closed without warning.

In 2014, Bit121 had a promising start, but banks withdrew their support and the exchange closed.

In Bitcoin We Trust suffered the same fate. It resorted to using postal orders before giving up.

Coinfloor, one of the only U.K. exchanges still operating, uses SWIFT transfers, which incur hefty costs and delays. The minimum transfer is £1,000 (c.$1,250).

Banks Pour On The Pressure

CoinJournal, a bitcoin publication, saw its banking services come to an abrupt end after its U.K. banking provider Barclays terminated its business account. CoinJournal received no official warnings prior to its account closure. Even more alarmingly, Barclays still hasn’t given a reason for the extreme action.

CoinJournal believes the decision taken by Barclays to close its business account was an “automated” call, after seeing a pattern of banking transactions involving prominent bitcoin exchange and service provider Circle.

The decision was likely “a result of us using Circle to transfer fiat from ad revenue into bitcoin to pay our writers and some overheads,” a representative for the publication told CCN.

Similar scenarios have played out in Australia and New Zealand.

BitNZ, a New Zealand bitcoin exchange, has announced it is closing due to the refusal of New Zealand banks to allow bank accounts to trade bitcoins, and has advised customers to withdraw all funds before April 15, 2017.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is scrutinizing attempts by Australia’s biggest banks to swallow fintech companies developing technologies like blockchain solutions in the financial sector.

P2P Services Fill The Void

Peer-to-peer services match individual buyers and sellers in the U.K. in lieu of traditional exchanges. Trust is established by reputation.

Once a buyer has paid, usually with a bank transfer the seller sends the bitcoins.

As for other nations, Russia recently relaxed its regulatory position and taken a “wait and see” approach. It has effectively legalized bitcoin and allowed for exchanges to operate.
Switzerland is a more progressive country. It is easy to buy bitcoins through a network of ATMs on the rail system.

In Japan, it is possible to pay electric bills with bitcoin.

The United States has a more complex regulatory framework. But progress is on the horizon since the New York BitLicense took effect in 2015, with other state’s following a similar approach.

Bitcoin is legal in China, although the central bank recently stopped highly leveraged trading.

U.K. Banks At Odds With Government

The banking sector is clearly at odds with the U.K. government, which is openly pro-blockchain. The situation is peculiar, with the government saying the country is open to bitcoin but the banking sector standing in the way.

Since the financial crisis, the taxpayer has become the majority shareholder in the Royal Bank of Scotland, holding at around 82% of the bank. This would normally translate into a certain amount of leverage by the taxpayer.

The U.K. also has a reputation for being a fintech hub, to which the banking sector seems to have taken exception.

For whatever reason, the banks have closed ranks and chosen not to work with bitcoin.

The fact that bitcoin is decentralised and fiat currency is centralised could be at the root of the conflict.

Also read: Blockchain platform Waves raises more than $2m at the start of the crowdsale campaign

What’s To Be Done?

Money cannot flow easily from the blockchain economy to the traditional financial sector and vice versa without banks’ cooperation. The bitcoin sector is not large enough to offer all the goods and services needed to make bitcoin a sufficiently broad means of payment.

Bitcoin’s volatility also makes it an unsuitable unit of account or store of value. While it’s a great transfer medium, its price against fiat fluctuates too much for most people.

The bitcoin economy won’t expand until bitcoin is better suited as a means of payment. But it won’t be better suited without more growth and stability.

Waves, a custom blockchain tokens platform, offers a solution – fiat-backed blockchain tokens. It raised $16 million last summer through crowdfunding. Waves can act as a gateway between the blockchain and the fiat world.

Customers pay money into the gateway using a bank transfer or another suitable means, and the gateway issues them the same sum in blockchain tokens

The same exchange occurs in reverse when customers cash out their Waves GBP and have them sent as “real” GBP to their bank account. Waves essentially serves as a toolkit.

Sasha Ivanov, CEO and founder of Waves, noted that Waves can make money more efficient. By putting fiat money on the blockchain, Waves can make it more transparent and faster, and it can reduce the cost of sending it abroad.

Ivanov thinks Waves can introduce competition and encourage banks to become more accountable. If banks in one sector in one country won’t work with Waves, it will work with those in another jurisdiction.

Waves does not immediately solve the problem of U.K. banks’ hostility to bitcoin, but it suggests the roadblocks are not insurmountable. The answer may be to work around them rather than with them.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Will $1,000 become new baseline for Bitcoin

Recently, the price of bitcoin surpassed US$1,000 for the first time since the first few days of January. It stabilized at the $1,020 margin in most global markets and exchanges. Some regions like South Korea, Japan and China demonstrated arbitrage opportunities, with bitcoin being traded at around 7~8% premium.

bitcoin being traded at around $1,100 in South Korean #bitcoin exchanges including Korbit & Coinplug. Nearly 7% premium. pic.twitter.com/NeuWFzhn9f

— Joseph Young (@iamjosephyoung) February 3, 2017

Although many factors can be analyzed to explain the recent price surge of bitcoin, the most evident factor is the decline in the value of US dollars. Previously, when both the mainstream and bitcoin media reported that the Chinese market controlled approximately 93% of the global bitcoin exchange market, analysts and investors closely looked at the development of the Chinese market and regulations. As such, events like the devaluation of the Chinese yuan or introduction of tightened policies such as the imposition of regulation on Wealth Management Products were perceived as major factors behind the increasing value of bitcoin.

However, due to the requests of the Chinese central bank, Chinese bitcoin exchanges came to a consensus to add trading fees. As a result, inflated volumes were eliminated and the Chinese bitcoin exchange market began to demonstrate legitimate trading volumes.

Upon the “clean up” of Chinese bitcoin exchanges as the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) like to describe it as, it was revealed that the USD/BTC pair is more liquid than the USD/CNY pair. In other words, major USD supporting exchanges like Bitfinex, Kraken and Bitstamp represent a larger trading volume to that of the Chinese bitcoin exchange market.

According to bitcoin trading data providers like CoinMarketCap, the BTC/USD pair is currently demonstrating a daily volume of $41 million, while the BTC/CNY pair is demonstrating roughly half of that, at around $21 million.

Therefore, it can be said that economic uncertainty, financial instability or political events in the West or the US in particular will have a larger impact on the price of bitcoin and its trend.

There is also news that Bitcoin’s price jumped by around $30 just yesterday shortly after it became clear that Bitcoin Unlimited had overtaken segwit in hashrate share.

In other news Infinity Economics opened it new wallet to some 80,000 owners, who can now send and recieve XIN to one another. The next stage to be implimented with be the voting system, which will allow owners to formulate the direction of the coin.

David Ogden

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin is back above $1,000

 

Bitcoin is back above $1,000

Bitcoin is is back above $1,000 for the first time since January 5. The cryptocurrency was higher by 1.5% at $1,000.10 a coin as of 11:39 a.m. ET.

It's been a wild year for bitcoin. It began 2017 with a 20% rally during the first five days of the year before crashing 35% on concerns of a crackdown on trading in China.

Thursday's gains have extended bitcoin's winning streak to a sixth straight session as trade appears to be benefitting from uncertainty surrounding Donald Trump's presidency. The cryptocurrency has gained nearly 10% since Trump was inaugurated on January 20.

I believe that is the $1,000 level can be maintained  we will see a rise again later in the year. The recent trend has been upwards but it wil peak and then fall again.

I have been earning free bitcoins at Bitearn , by completing surveys, the rewards are not great , the equivalent of less than a pound a day, which I transfer to my wallet. This adds interest to tracking the market both in Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies.

Today Infinity Economics Launched thier wallet to members. The next few weeks will see added functions, as it is much more than a wallet.

David Ogden

Earn Free Bitcoins Here

 

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Why a New Small Business Blockchain is Actually a Big Deal

Efforts to apply blockchain in the supply chain took an interesting turn last week.

blockchain for small business

I'm speaking, of course, about a piece of news that at first seemed pretty ordinary: a group of European banks announced they would band together to develop a blockchain-based trade finance solution.

This one, though, is unusual.

Rather than tackle large-scale global transactions that cross oceans, the project focuses on intra-European trade, and, more importantly, between small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Why is this interesting? It's not because SMEs make up the vast majority of the world's businesses (although that certainly does make for a compelling use case). Rather, it's because of what it says about the evolving nature of trade finance.

We have seen many blockchain projects take a run at the subject, and the application seems obvious. Transactions across borders generally involve significant documentation, a process that itself generates numerous errors and gross inefficiencies.

Reducing the burden associated with getting goods from one place to another has to be a good thing, right?

Let's take a look.

Starting smaller

Most of the projects to date have focused on large international corporations, which is understandable, given that over two-thirds of world trade originates with global enterprises.

Where both the pain and potential promise are most acutely felt, however, is not in conglomerates, but in SMEs. In part, it's because of their sheer number, but mainly, it's due to financial trends.

Approximately 80% of global trade is now conducted through open account transactions, not via traditional channels using letters of credit. This means that there is no bank guarantee of payment.

The buyer pays when it's time to pay – usually well after the product has been delivered.

For many large corporations, this shift reflects tighter restrictions many banks are facing on lending and guarantees, as well as a desire to improve working capital and reduce administration and financing costs.

For most SMEs, open account is their only option, since over half of SME trade finance applications are declined.

Win-win situation

In open account transactions, trust becomes a huge factor. This is an issue when initiating a new commercial relationship, especially for SMEs with patchy or non-existent credit histories.

Without going into the details of how the new platform will work, the ability to see, in real-time, the status of the transaction at each step should make trust more transparent. Accelerating the process from order to settlement will increase liquidity.

The incorporation of the management of the respective banking functions (payment, factoring, etc) aims to facilitate the procedure even further, and could increase margins for both the banks and their participating clients.

Seen from the exporting SME's point of view, the project could be a way to overcome obstacles created by the shifting sands of finance and politics. And from the banks’ point of view, not only will it help to retain and support SME customers, it is also an effective way for banks to re-intermediate themselves into the trade finance process.

Starting within the relatively "safe" confines of the European Union gives the project a chance to test the process of cross-border trade before venturing into more complicated territory.

What's next

If things go according to plan, we shouldn’t have to wait long to see how the project fares with target users. It is already a working proof-of-concept, developed last year by Belgian bank KBC.

Opening it up to six other European institutions is an obvious step toward scalability, presenting a way to test cross-border relationships within a manageable group before it's global.

The team will start to seek regulatory approval within the next few months, with a view to going "live" before the year's end.

Looking forward, the compelling advantage of lower transaction costs and stronger commercial relationships could help to partially offset the uncertainty and potential price of rising interest rates and shifting trade barriers.

It's not hard to see how projects like this could help to prepare businesses around the world for the changes ahead, and to adapt to not only current trends, but future ones as well.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show on this page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Prices Spike Above $900 But Turbulence Remains

Bitcoin Prices Spike Above $900

But Turbulence Remains

 

coindesk-bpi-chart-94

 

Bitcoin prices passed $900 today, though this feat was diminished by several rallies that ultimately failed to push its value above this benchmark. Overall, the digital currency rose to as much as $904.76, after falling below $880 earlier in the session, climbing above this level amid modest volatility.

Later in the session, the price mounted another comeback, hitting a high just above $905, according to the CoinDesk USD Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). At press time, however, the price had dipped again to a value of $894.95. This upward movement represented the latest session of relatively mild price volatility, at least compared to the sharp price fluctuations experienced earlier this month.

Most notable, however, about the day's trading, may have been the lack of any serious decline over the day's trading. Bitcoin prices enjoyed their latest climb in spite of new Chinese regulatory developments that found the nation’s exchanges responding publicly to pressures from the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank.

Bullish sentiment

Still, market sentiment has been bullish, according to figures provided by a handful of exchanges, even with the confirmation that major Chinese exchanges Huobi and OKCoin had stopped offering margin trading. The market was 91% long on 19th January, Whaleclub figures reveal. In addition, more than 53% of Bitfinex orders that were executed in the 24 hours through 22:15 UTC were buy orders, according to BFX Data.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin

Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin

Many netizens have heard of bitcoin, the digital currency. This means it exists electronically. To be more precise, bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency – the implication of security and encryption is important. Cryptocurrency, or digital currency, is an invention of the Internet. Basically, someone out there thought, "hey, what if…Read more. In this post, we attempt to identify 10 questions about Bitcoins that can give you a clearer understanding of what it is, what it does and how you can use it to buy products or services online.

What are bitcoins?

Bitcoin (capitalized) refers to the software or network (ie: the Bitcoin Network), while bitcoin (not capitalized) refers to the digital currency itself (ie: two bitcoins). he price fluctuates, depending on what people were willing to pay for it. It traded for as low as pennies (during the infancy stage) to as high as USD1200 during its peak in 2013.

Who developed the idea of bitcoins?

The idea of Bitcoin was conceptualized by Satoshi Nakamoto, an anonymous figure. In May 2008, he shared a white paper [PDF] about Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. Without disclosing who he was, Satoshi outlined how the currency would work: bitcoins would be ‘mined’ by computer software, transferred directly amongst users and recorded in an untamperable ledger without the need of a third party.

Part of Bitcoin’s appeal is Satoshi Nakamoto’s anonymity, who many view as a selfless act towards a new era of financial revolution. Online detectives have identified a few candidates, including a real-life Japanese person sharing the same name. Some even theorized that Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym for a collective.

In May 2016, the Bitcoin community was shocked when Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright identified himself as Satoshi Nakamoto. Some people believe his claim, some didn’t, but on the whole the Bitcoin community is unaffected – the Bitcoin ecosystem is decentralized, and cannot be controlled by any person(s), including the creator.

What is so special about bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency and runs on a system which allows you to send and receive bitcoins without a third party. To put simply, fiat currencies rely on third parties, such as banks or payment processors like Visa, to verify the transaction. This is how you and I can ensure payment sent was indeed received. However, bitcoin transactions are recorded in a public ledger called the bitcoin blockchain. This information are permanent and publicly viewable on Blockchain.info and cannot be edited or deleted.

This means that the transaction records act as proof of transaction. Bitcoin is also programmed to be non-duplicable, which means double spending is highly unlikely.

What is decentralized currency?

Bitcoin is also a decentralized currency, as in no one government, individual or group holds authority over it. This makes bitcoin spendable anywhere in the world as long as the receiver accepts bitcoins as payment.

Decentralised currencies are a unique concept. Similar to the internet, it is free from geographical boundaries – this is why bitcoin is also dubbed ‘the currency of the internet’.

Due to lack of control and regulations, many countries are understandably wary of bitcoin – and other cryptocurrencies in general – but some progressive countries such as Japan have started to recognize it as currency.

Is bitcoin anonymous?

Bitcoin’s anonymity is a myth. Or rather, it is now much harder to make anonymous transactions with Bitcoin. Because as the ecosystem matures, many bitcoin service providers have started implementing KYC/AML regulations. KYC/AML stands for know your customers/anti-money laundering . This requires users to submit proof of identity and proof of residence.

It is also fairly easy to trace bitcoins. Bitcoins are usually bought from bitcoin exchanges, received as payment, or donated. With transaction details publicly viewable online, it is possible to trace where the bitcoin came from.

 How do you use bitcoins?

Bitcoin can be used for spending, similar to money. Some people also keep them for investment purposes, while others prefer to use them as a method to make international money transfer.  Bitcoin exists electronically and is kept in ‘bitcoin wallets’. There are many types of bitcoin wallets: desktop wallet, mobile wallet, online/web-based wallet, hardware wallet and even paper wallet.

To read more about bitcoin storage, check out this article by CoinDesk. You can have as many wallets and bitcoin addresses (where you receive money from others) as you like.

How many people are using bitcoin?

Estimates vary – it is hard to find out the exact number of people who use Bitcoin. One way to measure number of bitcoin users is by measuring the number of bitcoin wallets. According to CoinDesk’s State of Bitcoin and Blockchain 2016 report, bitcoin wallets doubled to 12.77 million in one year, from the end of 2014 to the end of 2015. Even though many bitcoin users have more than one wallet (it is common to hold a few wallets), this is an indication that the number of bitcoin users worldwide is increasing.

Another way to estimate bitcoin usage is by the number of bitcoin transactions, which has steadily increased. Although this could mean that the same people are simply making more bitcoin transactions, it is fair to assume that there are new bitcoin users in the mix, too.

How do I acquire bitcoins?

There are three main ways to get bitcoins: mine them, buy them, or work for them.

Bitcoin Mining
Bitcoin mining used to be really profitable. However at the current time it is no longer cost effective for the average individual. One will need to buy specialised Bitcoin mining equipment, get/rent dedicated spaces for them, and pay their associated costs (rental, electricity and cooling costs).
Buy Bitcoins
You can buy bitcoins from many online exchanges. There are a lot more options now than ever before – there are global bitcoin exchanges and also country-specific bitcoin exchanges. You can also buy them from other people via Localbitcoins.
Work for Bitcoins
Some people get paid in bitcoins, instead of cash currencies. Websites such as XBTFreelancer… and Coinality list jobs with bitcoin payments.There are other less effective ways to acquire bitcoins. You can get (very) small amounts of bitcoins from bitcoin faucets, which pay you to look at advertisements. You can get them as donations. There are also bitcoin ‘investments’ but if you wish to not lose money, Badbavoid companies that are listed in itcoin Badlist.

How do I send/receive/spend bitcoins?

Bitcoin wallets come with bitcoin addresses, which represent a destination, similar to an email address. Bitcoin addresses are alphanumeric, between 27-34 characters in length. Many bitcoin service providers have user-friendly user interface which allows users to generate bitcoin addresses, send and receive bitcoins.

To send bitcoins, users simply have to ensure positive balance in their bitcoin wallets, insert the receiver’s bitcoin address, and hit send. There is a small miner’s fee to process the transaction – miner’s fees are given as a reward and incentive to Bitcoin miners for maintaining equipment. Bitcoin transactions usually take less than an hour to arrive, but it can take longer or shorter depending on the fee amount and the bitcoin service provider.

You can spend bitcoins anywhere that accept bitcoins as payment. You can also use a Visa/Mastercard-linked bitcoin debit card issued by companies like Wirex or Coinbase.

What are bitcoin’s disadvantages?

Depending on who you ask, you’ll get different answers. Coders and programmers might argue that bitcoin is already an outdated network, compared to some of the newer cryptocurrency networks available. Here we will concentrate on bitcoin’s disadvantages to the casual user:

Advanced digital knowledge is necessary

Bitcoin can be stolen in many ways. It is the bitcoin owner’s responsibility to keep them safe, and this meant implementing additional layers of security such as 2-factor authentication. Keeping them in web wallets can be dangerous. If you have a significant amount of bitcoins, you are advised to keep them in hardware wallets such as Trezor or Ledger.

Bitcoin service providers can be hard to trust

The biggest names have failed the Bitcoin community. Who can forget the Mt. Gox incident in 2014. It was the biggest bitcoin exchanger at the time and practically disappeared overnight along with almost 745,000 bitcoins. More recently in 2016, thieves stole almost 120,000 bitcoins during the Bitfinex hack – and experts still don’t know how they did it.

Lack of acceptance

Cold hard cash is still the widest and most used form of payment – it’s acceptance is second to none. By contrast, bitcoin is only accepted at a handful of shops. However, bitcoin debit cards help to address this issue – linked to payment processors, they help make bitcoin spending a bit easier.

Lack of protection

In general, bitcoin is not considered legal in most countries around the world. Therefore, theft or scam victims have almost no option for recourse. However, the legal landscape is ever-changing and one of the best spots to update yourself on where bitcoin is acceptable or not is Bitlegal.io.

Anti-bitcoin politicians

While many countries around the world mainly cautioned the public against the risky nature of Bitcoin, some politicians or political parties have extreme views about bitcoin. Russian and French lawmakers are considering banning it altogether.

Wrap Up

Bitcoin is cool, but the underlying technology behind it – the blockchain – is even cooler. Turns out, having a method to record data in a way that cannot be tampered or deleted is a good thing. It is also a cost-effective method to store information. Many companies including major banks have expressed interest in the blockchain technology.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Dutch and Korean Mainstream Media Extensively Cover Bitcoin Rally

Dutch and Korean Mainstream Media Extensively Cover Bitcoin Rally

Bitcoin is sustaining a strong price rally, maintaining its stability at the US$1,020 margin. Within seven days, the price of bitcoin rose by 9%, pushing the demand for the digital currency in exchanges worldwide. As a result, bitcoin began to gain extensive coverage by mainstream media in South Korea, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Extensive Coverage in Belgium and the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, de Volkskrant, leading daily morning newspaper with a circulation of nearly 250,000 nationwide and De Telegraaf, the largest Dutch daily newspaper with a circulation of 430,000, provided extensive coverage on bitcoin and its recent price rally to their mainstream audience ever since bitcoin reached the $1,000 milestone.

Analysts at De Telegraff offered insightful and accurate assessment of bitcoin’s rising value, stating that current global economic instability and uncertainty led to the increase of demand for bitcoin. Researchers at the firm also mentioned China’s role in bitcoin’s recent price rally, explaining that investors, traders and households purchased bitcoin to move the Chinese yuan out of the country.

De Telegraff stated:

Bitcoin has in recent months was sought after by investors due to the uncertainty in the international economy. According to analysts, the popularity of bitcoin is enhanced by strong demand from China, where virtual currency investors are seeking for an interesting alternative to the yuan.

While tightening regulations and capital controls initiated and imposed by the Chinese government indeed played a vital role in pushing the price of bitcoin, experts like Vinny Lingham told users and investors that it is important to consider the impact of the Federal Reserve’s increase in interest rates on bitcoin.

The global economy is dependent on the US dollars directly and indirectly. Currencies like the Chinese yuan and South Korean won depend on the performance of US dollars and thus, when the US dollars rise in value, they decline in price.

Inevitably, when the Fed raised rates in December, the demand for bitcoin surged in countries like China and South Korea due to the rising number of investors and traders seeking for alternative assets to avoid currency devaluation.

De Tijd, a major newspaper in Belgium with 41,000 in circulation, also provided coverage on bitcoin on its online media outlet, emphasizing bitcoin’s strong performance throughout the year. Analysts at De Tijd noted that bitcoin was worth less than $500 in the beginning of 2016 and it reached a 3-year high price on the first day of trading in 2017.

South Korea: Fed Rate Hikes, Bitcoin Demand Rises

The South Korean economy is slowly recovering from controversies surrounding President Park’s involvement in bribery and other serious offenses.

When the Fed announced its plans to raise interest rates last month, mainstream media outlets in South Korea expressed their concerns with the decreasing value of the South Korean won. Such coverage led to increasing demand for bitcoin within the country and ultimately, extensive coverage from mainstream media.

Mainstream media coverage in leading countries like the Netherlands and South Korea are exposing millions of people to bitcoin on a daily basis. If bitcoin continues rise in price, it will aid mainstream adoption of the digital currency in the long run.

Image from Shutterstock.

 

Chris Corey Chief Marketing Officer 

Markethive 

Joseph Young on 03/01/2017​

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

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