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Bitcoin may have finally reached a tipping point

Published Jul 3rd, 2014 5:45PM EDT
Bitcoin Exchange

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After a rocky spring, Bitcoin is on a bit of a winning streak as notable web retailers add support, Russia softens its stance towards the cryptocurrency and a leading venture capitalist sweeps the entire Federal auction.

Speaking in the libertarian event called Porcupine Freedom Festival, Overstock’s CEO promised “special deals to vendors who want to be paid in Bitcoin.” It’s interesting to see major executives courting favor of libertarians through Bitcoin support — this means that Bitcoin backing may turn into a marketing trick used to appeal to consumers that belong to a certain place in the political spectrum.

Electronics retailer Newegg has also declared that it will accept Bitcoin as a currency. Interestingly, payment processor companies like BitPay are now springing up to remove the volatility risk from the equation, so retailers don’t have to worry about violent price movements denting their slim margins.

Last Friday’s government auction of 30,000 Bitcoins had the most glamorous possible winner in the guise of venture capitalist Tim Draper, known for his key role at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the Venture Capital juggernaut that made early bets on Skype, Tesla and Baidu.

Russia basically completed Bitcoin’s recent winning streak by announcing that it won’t crack down on the use of the electronic currency. Earlier, Russia had made ominous pledges to bring the hammer down on Bitcoin users, which autocratic countries like Russia and China have viewed as potential underminers of their traditional currencies. Russia has also linked Bitcoin to drug trafficking and terrorism, so the softening of its stance is quite surprising.

All in all, it’s hard to avoid the notion that we are nearing a tipping point — retailers and nations alike may be starting to fret over how avoiding Bitcoin might damage their competitive standing rather than worrying about what havoc the adoption of Bitcoin might bring.

After launching mobile game company SpringToys tragically early in 2000, Tero Kuittinen spent eight years doing equity research at firms including Alliance Capital and Opstock. He is currently an analyst and VP of North American sales at mobile diagnostics and expense management Alekstra, and has contributed to, Forbes and Business 2.0 Magazine in addition to BGR.


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