Crypto Assets Bounce Back Above $70 Billion Amid Day of Gains

After a daunting weekend in which the value of cryptocurrencies cratered to levels not seen in months, 48 of the top 50 tokens are posting press-time gains. 

In total, the value of all publicly traded crypto assets edged over $70bn today, up nearly $10bn from a low of $61bn observed yesterday. At publication, all of the top 10 cryptocurrencies were in the green, with IOTA, ether and stratis posting the biggest gains.

Overall, the price movements are the latest that add context to the still-unanswered question of whether the cryptocurrency asset class is in the midst of a "correction" after setting a new all-time high of $115bn in June. Even with the reversal, the market is still down just 40% from figures observed at that time, according to data from Coinmarketcap.

Yet, after winning mainstream press coverage and magazine covers, it appears that mainstream interest in new cryptographic assets may be waning.

Data from Google Trends shows search terms for "ethereum," "bitcoin" and "ICO" were also down from highs observed in mid-June, indicating a possible fatigue in the market among more casual buyers.

As such, it remains unclear whether today's upwards movements will be enough to jumpstart a significant rally, or how stable prices will remain given potential challenges ahead for bitcoin and ether, historically the industry's two most visible assets.

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Bitcoin Price Passes $1,800 to Hit New Record High

Bitcoin's price rose above $1,800 this morning, setting a new all-time high, according to data from the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).

Average prices reached as high as $1,839.23, BPI data shows, after beginning the session at $1,732.13. Prices are currently at an average of around $1,824 and up nearly 4% for the session so far.

Notably, the move past $1,800 comes just over a day after the BPI rose above $1,700 for the first time ever.

Other cryptocurrencies, too, have seen major gains in recent days. Some market watchers believe that a recent influx of new capital into the market is driving the price growth, and that activity in over-the-counter trades is increasing as well.

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Bitcoin Price Could Double with Scaling Resolution: Hedge Fund

Global Advisors, a U.K.-based investment firm that has developed an investment program to provide market exposure to the price of bitcoin, recently offered an upbeat outlook on bitcoin. The assessment noted that Litecoin’s recent soft fork gives reason to think the scaling solution could be applied to bitcoin, possibly doubling its price. 

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Taking measure of the range of news around bitcoin of late, the Global Advisors’ assessment quoted the late Jesse Livermore in saying “a prudent speculator never argues with the tape.” Livermore, an American who lived from 1877 to 1940, shorted the stock market crashes of both 1907 and 1929 and was worth $100 million at his peak before committing suicide following a series of losses.

While much negative news has been reported on bitcoin, the prices have been strong.

Media Focuses On The Negative

On the negative side, which the media tends to focus on, China has clamped down on bitcoin trading by imposing trading fees and AML/KYC controls. There has also been a ban on withdrawals from cryptocurrency exchanges. There has been a roll-over on the temporary ban and a discount of up to $250 for trapped coins.

Looking further back, the IRS last year subpoenaed Coinbase to release client records for bitcoin trades. 

More recently, the dispute between different factions within the bitcoin community over the future development of the bitcoin protocol continues.

The SEC denied the Winklevoss bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

Bitfinex, which suffered a hack last year, continues to lack fiat withdrawal capability.

Why The Price Keeps Rising

Bitcoin’s price, nonetheless, has been on an upward trend throughout all the various challenges.

Global Advisors’ assessment points to Japan, the new hot spot of bitcoin bitcoin trading. The BitFlyer exchange has been successful with Japanese investors, likely due to its advertising campaign. BitFlyer’s sign ups set a new record on Facebook.

Litecoin also creates reason for hope. Segregated Witness, a protocol designed to shorten bitcoin transactions and improve the capacity of the transaction blocks, has been successfully implemented by Litecoin. Litecoin’s price, as a result, has tripled.

Litecoin’s SegWit success holds promise for bitcoin. The price impact on bitcoin could be “shocking,” and a price doubling wouldn’t be unexpected.

The hedge fund stated:

Even though one can find no evidence whatsoever that there were scaling pressures in Litecoin, this upgrade went ahead and if it is even slightly predictive of a path that can be taken in bitcoin, one that will at least show progress if not resolution, the price impact could be significant. A double up wouldn’t be shocking.

Altcoins overall will serve as “test beds” for bitcoin. New features developed for altcoins can be incorporated into bitcoin. ZCash, Ethereum and other altcoins offer desirable features.

Altcoins Gain Market Share

Ethereum’s and Litecoin’s rises have changed the “bitcoin dominance” metric, the assessment noted. Bitcoin dominance is based on the cryptocurrency’s market capitalization as a percent of all coin market capitalization. This dominance has been dropping as the total value of all coins has increased.

Bitcoin comprised 95% of the total crypto market capitalization three years. It now stands at 60%. Global Advisors termed this a “stunning progression.”

But as noted above, growing altcoins bring positive influences for bitcoin.

Arbitrage opportunities: What do they mean?

Global Advisors noted that it receives a lot of requests for an “arbitrage-only” product, which is not the best use of a company’s time that remains upbeat on bitcoin’s price and on scaling its product offerings.

Arbitrages are a consequence of fragmented bitcoin trading venues and limited capital in each trading venue. Hence, a big unidirectional flow can alter a given price deck, yielding an arbitrage opportunity.

Exchanges have three areas leading to wider arbitrage opportunities: credit/reputation risk, difficulties moving coins and problems moving cash. Chinese domestic coins are currently frozen, for example, while Bitfinex and other exchanges have banking issues.

Combined, these factors present arbitrage opportunities, some of which are untradeable, others requiring patience and still others requiring speculation.

Rather than focus on arbitrage opportunities, Global Advisors believes bitcoin’s best days are still ahead.

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Cryptocurrency Market Cap Tops $60 Billion to Hit All-Time High

The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies reached an all-time high today, passing $60bn as the innovative assets continued to draw robust inflows.

This figure reached $63.6bn at one point during the day's trading, according to online data service CoinMarketCap, which represented a weekly, monthly and quarterly increase of roughly 18%, 115% and 220%, respectively.

While analysts cited different variables as fueling these gains, one factor they noted was growing awareness of cryptocurrencies, one that is finding them emerge as a more diverse set of investments than observed previously.

Tim Enneking, chairman of cryptocurrency hedge fund Crypto Asset Management, spoke to this development, stating:

"Cryptocurrencies are finally hitting the general consciousness whereas before they were marginal, with the possible exception of bitcoin."

As the assets draw "increased media coverage," Ryan Rabaglia, head trader for Octagon Strategy, told CoinDesk new investors are coming to the space. The growing interest in the space is also being felt at his over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk, which has been seeing a rise in business activity.

"Our onboarding rates have experienced a massive spike and our trading volumes, at mid-month, have already increased exponentially compared on a month-to-month basis. We do not see this quieting any time soon," he said.

When asked whether his company has experienced an increase in this activity amid the recent rally in cryptocurrency prices, Harry Yeh, managing partner of Binary Financial, told CoinDesk:

"There's definitely a larger demand, not just for bitcoin, but [for] everything across the board."

Where next?

As for where cryptocurrency prices (and therefore total market cap) will go next, analysts offered mixed views. While the total value (and number) of assets in this space has surged in recent months, it is difficult to tell how much further they can climb without developing compelling value propositions.

Yeh offered an optimistic point of view, telling CoinDesk that "we are just getting started".

"People still don't really understand that there is a lot more room for this to move because it's a global phenomenon now. Expect more moves up but also some pullbacks like in the last week," he said.

Jacob Eliosoff, a cryptocurrency fund manager, offered a more cautious stance, telling CoinDesk that the market was "reaching the frenzy point". He expressed doubt as to how much longer these values would hold, noting that while nobody knows for sure when a bubble will pop, there are always warning signs.

Eliosoff stated that in this case, a "crackdown" on initial coin offerings (ICOs), the process by which developers create new cryptocurrencies to fund projects, would likely spur a downturn.

He also asserted that should bitcoin prices see a downturn, the cryptocurrency space could see diminished confidence.

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Bitcoin hits $1,600 for the first time and one investor says it could rally to $4,000 in a few months

  • The bitcoin price could rise to about $4,000 within 8 to 14 months, investors say.
  • The recent price rise has been driven by positive developments around the underlying technology with a rival cryptocurrency called litecoin. Read more

Bitcoin Price Tops $1,700 to Set New All-Time High

The price of bitcoin continued its recent tear today, rising $60 on the day to cross the $1,700 mark for the first time in its history.

At $1,700, bitcoin prices are up 70% already on the year and around $200 on the week, having climbed from $997 in January to set a string of new highs. Minutes before press time, bitcoin's new all-time high on the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index was $1,710.96.

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Hip-Hop Icon Nas: We’re Entering the Age of Bitcoin

Hip-hop heavyweight Nas made a dramatic career move when he traded the thrills of rap superstardom for life in Silicon Valley’s tech startup scene.

As founder of the venture capital firm Queensbridge Venture Partners, Nas, full name Nasir Jones, has invested in projects that include popular ride sharing startup Lyft, mobile laundry service Washio and e-commerce platform Fancy, forging connections with tenured VCs in the process.

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Newegg Accepts Bitcoin as Form of Payment Via BitPay

Customers can pay via a local wallet, smartphone wallet, or web hosted wallet for any item on site

Atlanta, Georgia-based BitPay is already one of the biggest forces pushing legitimization of Bitcoin as a secure digital payment system. Nicknamed the "PayPal of Bitcoin" it provides easy to integrate APIs and apps to allow businesses to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment and for employees to ask to be paid in Bitcoin. In May it wasbacked by Virgin Group cofounder and chairman Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Bransonand Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) co-founder Jerry Yang, among others, in a $30M USD venture capital funding round.

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Skyhook Ships 150 Open-Source Bitcoin ATMs in First Month

Open-source bitcoin ATM manufacturer Skyhook has announced that it has shipped 150 units since its May launch, and that 70 units have been sent to customers since the beginning of June alone.

Skyhook is unique within the bitcoin ATM ecosystem for its low-cost, portable alternative to more well-known brands like Lamassuand Robocoin. First launched in mid-May, Skyhook is based out of Portland, Oregon.

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Former US Mint Chief: Bitcoin a Serious Challenge to Government Money

Edmund C. Moy, the former director of the US Mint — the government body responsible for producing the country’s physical coins, made waves in the bitcoin community this week when he took to Twitter to voice his enthusiasm for digital currencies.

Moy’s comments were issued in response to the most recent $2.6bn Credit Suisse settlement, in which the Switzerland-based banking giant pleaded guilty to helping clients evade taxes.

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Winklevoss twins: Bitcoin will be bigger than Facebook

It was on a very hot day in July 2012 that the Winklevoss twins discovered bitcoin, while partying in Ibiza. At 32 years old, the enviably athletic pair have both Harvard and Oxford on their CVs, and seem predestined for success. They famously won a $65m settlement from Facebook after claiming Mark Zuckerberg had stolen their idea for a Harvard social network, and rowed in the 2008 Olympics.

Yet their chance encounter with bitcoin in the Mediterranean was rather more serendipitous. “We were on vacation, and happened to bump into a guy who is mutual friend and he started to tell us about bitcoin," Tyler Winklevoss explains. “We were fascinated from day one," he says, hinting that having just abandoned five years of chasing Facebook through the courts, the time was right to start something new. "At the time we were just re-immersing ourselves inside the tech world, getting into the trenches again.”

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Federal Reserve: Bitcoin Potential ‘Boon’ for Global Commerce

The Federal Advisory Council (FAC), a group that consults with the Federal Reserve on all matters under the US central bank’s jurisdiction, and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors recently discussed bitcoin and its potential benefits at a quarterly meeting.

The FAC and the Board of Governors debated whether bitcoin posed a threat to the traditional banking system, economic activity or financial stability, ultimately issuing a surprisingly positive two-and-a-half-page assessment of the technology.

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BitPay Raises $30m in Record-Breaking Bitcoin Funding Round

Atlanta-based bitcoin merchant processor BitPay has officially raised $30m in Series A funding in the largest-ever financing round for a bitcoin company.

The round was led by Index Ventures, and included Yahoo founder Jerry Lang’s AME Cloud Ventures, Felicis Ventures, PayPal founder Peter Thiel’sFounders Fund, Horizons Ventures, RRE Ventures, Virgin Galactic’s Sir Richard Branson and TTV Capital.

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New Yorker pays $18,000 rent using the cryptocurrency

Nick Spanos, founder and realtor of property firm “Bapple,” recently accepted rent for a NoLita, Manhattan, apartment in Bitcoin, making it the first U.S. real estate transaction done with the cryptocurrency, according to several news reports. Spanos revealed that on March 24, a tenant deposited $18,000 in rent to an unidentified landlord in hard cold Bitcoin. The lease of the residence started April 1.

The deal was conducted by Bapple broker Jeff Goolsby, who told Crain’s New York that the tenant saved a lot of money opting for a Bitcoin transaction by saving on the certified checks and wire transferring costs.

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Facebook Tests Bitcoin Payments on Advertising Platform

World’s biggest social network Facebook has started testing Bitcoin payments for their advertisement platform. This image below was sent to us this morning by a employee of Facebook Netherlands in Amsterdam, who is currently participating in the test.

World’s biggest social network Facebook has started testing Bitcoin payments for their advertisement platform. This image below was sent to us this morning by a employee of Facebook Netherlands in Amsterdam, who is currently participating in the test.

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Square Now Accepts Bitcoin for Its Online Marketplace

Bitcoin enthusiasts now have a new place to shop.

Square announced on Monday that it has begun accepting the cryptocurrency as a form of payment on its online marketplace.

Shoppers can opt to "Pay with Bitcoin," which generates a bitcoin address attached to the order. Merchants, according to Square, are effectively insulated from the process and don't have to assume any risk from the ever-changing price of bitcoins.

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Bitcoin is Key to Empowering Small Businesses

Small businesses are the bedrock of the American economy. Today, more than half of all workers in the US are employed by businesses with less than 500 employees, and they create some 66% of new jobs as well.

Despite their importance to the economy, however, small businesses have faced serious hurdles in successfully competing on the Internet. Bitcoin has the potential to finally unleash them and fuel their growth, but first we have to ensure that the currency is trustworthy through smart regulation.

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TigerDirect Tops $1 Million in Total Bitcoin Sales

Florida-based online high-tech retailer TigerDirect passed $1m in total bitcoin sales on 13th March, less than two months after it began accepting the digital currency.

TigerDirect began taking bitcoin on 23rd January, partnering with Georgia-based merchant processor BitPay, and has been active atincentivizing its budding bitcoin customer base.

Steven Leeds, director of marketing at Tiger Direct, told CoinDesk that his company has been very pleased with its decision so far.

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Bitcoin: why businesses are buying in, despite critics and start-up woes

Businesses are finding a Bitcoin 'community' that values the trendy new form of payment, while avoiding the risks of an unregulated currency by converting bitcoins, sometimes quickly, to cash.

Despite its well-publicized troubles, including volatile and plunging currency values, the trendy new form of payment known as Bitcoin has a growing allure for many businesses, both online and in the real world.

The cool factor as well as the cash factor – the absence of transaction fees – are the main reasons for a move into what the casual observer might consider a risky form of money. Two recent Bitcoin exchange failures and the death of a Bitcoin CEO have thrown a pall over Bitcoin in the minds of many.

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Overstock’s Bitcoin bet brings in $20-30K every day, CEO says recently announced that it has done more than $1 million in Bitcoin sales since the company started offering customers the ability to use the digital currency to purchase items. But how does that affect the company’s day to day operations?

According to Patrick Byrne, Overstock’s CEO, the company is seeing tens of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin sales every day.

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The big-name retailer that is now accepting bitcoin

Tired of the same old online shopping experience?

Bitcoin users now have a new option, thanks to a partnership between Lord & Taylor and shopping app Pounce.

The Hudson's Bay Co.-owned department store teamed up in January with Pounce, an app that allows shoppers to snap a picture on their smartphones of an item from the retailer's catalog, and complete the transaction via a mobile checkout.

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Activist Takes Old-School Approach to Bitcoin Promotion

There are plenty of videos and infographics online explaining what bitcoin is and how it works, but now, a bitcoin activist in the US is planning an old school approach to promoting it. Activist bitcoin-focused marketing agency Bitcoin Bigfoot plans to distribute 100,000 promotional packs to activists around the country. But why?

Paper wallets aside, bitcoin is an aggressively digital phenomenon. Coins are mined, not printed, and they are spent only by sending transactions across the decentralised electronic network.

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Winklevoss twins use bitcoins to buy Virgin Galactic space flight tickets

The Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, who once accused the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea, say they have used bitcoins to buy tickets for a trip on one of Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic space flights.

The brothers, Olympic rowers who earned MBA degrees from Oxford University, have become bitcoin evangelists and investors and are planning to launch a fund to make it easy to trade the digital currency on the stock market.

In a blogpost, Tyler Winklevoss compared Branson's space endeavour and bitcoin entrepreneurs to major historical figures who changed the way the world was perceived, such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Nicolaus Copernicus.

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Overstock Tops $1m in Bitcoin Sales, Projects Up to $20m By Year’s End

It has been less than two months since e-commerce giant Overstock.combegan accepting bitcoin payments on their website, and the online retailer has already surpassed $1m in total sales.

Overstock’s CEO Patrick Byrne confirmed the company’s plans to embrace bitcoin back in December, and bitcoin payment processing officially went live on on 9th January.

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6 Totally False Myths About Bitcoin Everyone Thinks Are True

It's a little hip right now to pile on and say that Bitcoin is over in light of the Mt. Gox scandal, but it's not over at all.

Let's take a couple steps back to reestablish some of the fundamentals on how and why Bitcoin works, and cast aside clunky myths that aren't grounded in reality.

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Bitcoin is trendy in Spain with 100+ ATM installations

Today, February 22, was the inauguration of the first Spanish bitcoin ATM in Diagonal Mar, a shopping center situated in one of the main avenues of Barcelona. With its installation comes 100 more ATMs over the next three months in the rest of Spain – a clear sign that interest in bitcoin, in this country, is settled.

This ATM, designed and operated by the Spanish companies Paymaq and Bbank respectively, starts the bitcoin fever that in the next three months will cover all the Spanish provinces with this service.

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Playboy Plus, a Playboy Brand Website, is Now Accepting Bitcoin

Playboy, the iconic media company that publishes Playboy magazine, is now accepting bitcoin payments for its adult entertainment content through at least one of its web properties.

Though not yet formally announced to the public, the payment option is currently live on the Playboy Plus website, and is available to those purchasing one-month, six-month and lifetime memberships through Georgia-based merchant processor BitPay.

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Overstock does nearly $1 million in Bitcoin sales in first month

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne is no stranger to being an early adopter of technology. He was among the first to purchase to one of Tesla’s Model S electric cards five years ago and apparently, some things never change. As you may recall, Byrne’s company recently became the first major online retailer to accept Bitcoins.

So, how’s that working out for them thus far? Pretty good, actually. According to Byrne, the site processed $870,000 in sales from almost 4,000 orders paid with Bitcoin. Strangely enough, the most popular item among virtual currency aficionados is bed sheets followed by computer hardware and mobile phone accessories.

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Unless you’ve had your head under a pillow for the last couple of years you’ve likely run across the term Bitcoin—a lot. In case you are unsure Bitcoin is all about, let me provide you with a definition from Investopedia which calls it, “A digital or virtual currency that uses peer-to-peer technology to facilitate instant payments. Bitcoin is a type of alternative currency known as a cryptocurrency, which uses cryptography for security, making it difficult to counterfeit.”

Whether you are just learning about Bitcoin for the first time or are Satoshi Nakamoto himself, you’ll find plenty of interesting resources to explore here. From explanations to mining tools to wallets to exchanges—it’s all here. Let me know what I missed and what your favorites are!

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Order Up! Food Businesses Find An Appetite For Bitcoin

Hungry for a Philly cheesesteak or a hot Reuben sandwich? That'll be about 0.001 bitcoin, please.

From restaurants to breweries, to even your local farmers market and lemonade stand, the popular cryptocurrency has inched its ways into the food industry, as more vendors consider it a valid form of payment.

Unlike cash or credit, Bitcoin is an invisible currency that exists only online and can be transferred from person to person sans a centralized government or bank.

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Google Is Looking At How It Can Use Bitcoin For Its Payments Products

Google is exploring how to integrate Bitcoin into its products. The great Andy Greenberg at Forbes has the complete story.

A marketing manager named Jarar Malik from Pakistan decided to email the CEOs of top tech companies in the U.S. to see if they would start accepting Bitcoin.

He got no response from Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos, Sergey Brin, or Larry Page. He decided to email their lieutenants.

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Next 25 years of Bitcoin revolution will be ‘wild ride’ - CEO of world's biggest exchange

Exchange glitches, arrests, government crackdowns, and volatility haven’t been able to stop people wanting to get their hands on the bitcoin, and the CEO of BTC China Bobby Lee told RT the bitcoin revolution will be bigger than the Internet.

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Overstock to Launch New Rewards Scheme for Bitcoin Buyers

Online outlet store is to launch a special rewards program that will give bitcoin buyers a 1% cashback in the form of Club O dollars, the company’s in-house rewards points.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said the scheme is expected to debut in approximately four weeks, although he did not commit to a definitive timeline.

The program will not provide an instant discount on orders, but will instead give 1% of the total purchase value back to buyers to be applied to future purchases. Byrne did not provide further details of how the program would work, or whether it will be able to be used in conjunction with other company rewards schemes.

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Revel Systems Adds Bitcoin Option to its iPad Point-of-Sale Solution

San Francisco-based iPad point-of-sale (POS) solution provider Revel Systems announced on 11th February that its merchant customers can now accept bitcoins as payment.

Merchants can elect to receive bitcoin via any of Revel‘s more than 7,000 terminals, which are in use at a variety of merchants from Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen to Goodwill thrift stores.

Founded in 2010, Revel Systems offers a range of POS solutions for quick-service restaurants, self-service kiosks, grocery stores and retail outlets, among other merchants. POS packages start at $3,000 plus a monthly fee for an iPad, cash drawer and scanner.

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Use Your Smartphone To Buy Groceries. In Bitcoins.

Even as the currency’s price slid to its lowest levels in two years yesterday, Bitcoins, the digital equivalent of money which has soaked up several headlines in recent times, took another step towards mainstream use today.

Revel Systems, a San Francisco-based maker of iPad-based POS systems, today announced integration of Bitcoins into its systems. Five Markets, a grocery store located on 24th Street in San Francisco, became the first establishment in the country to accept Bitcoins using the company’s POS systems. This means that Evelyn Fong, co-owner of the store, can charge customers in Bitcoins using Revel’s cash registers and an app made by Coinbase, an online Bitcoin wallet.

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