This month, Techopedia is featuring content on Bitcoin. Sure, this cryptocurrency probably gets enough press, but despite its fame, it’s still a bit of a mystery. It was created as a way to exchange money without using a middleman or central authority. So, while it’s simple and convenient for users, it poses a threat to banks. Plus, so far, it hasn’t proved to be entirely secure. So what might the future hold for Bitcoin? We rounded up some of the past week’s top Bitcoin stories to find out what the Web has to say.
Game Prizes Dealt Out in Bitcoin Currency
There’s nothing new about gaming. There’s also nothing new about social media. What is new is digital currency, and the way one marketing company is using gaming, social media and Bitcoin to reach new audiences. Bitcoin Warlord is a marketing firm in Albuquerque, and they’ve created a scavenger-hunt style app that awards consumers for scanning QR codes in restaurants and local businesses. The game is simple: Each time someone uses the app to scan a QR code, that person is entered to win. The goal is to use digital currency to drive people to local businesses. Neat, huh?
Bitcoin Gets the Vote for Political Donations in the U.S.
Bet you never saw that coming! On May 8th, the Federal Election Commission approved bitcoin donations to political committees. In a unanimous vote, the commission approved both buying and accepting bitcoins for political reasons. The only stipulation is that a political action committee cannot use bitcoins to buy goods or services, and that bitcoins must be converted into U.S. currency before being deposited into the bank. Other than that, Bitcoin donations are on!
China Denounces Its Use
But while the U.S. is becoming more Bitcoin-friendly, other countries are steering clear of digital payment. Some of the largest banks in China, for example, have denounced the online currency. In 2013, China’s bitcoin prices went through the roof – until Chinese banks began pulling and back putting a stop to depositing and withdrawing any virtual funds. While the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China claims this was done to stop money laundering risks, others disagree and think Bitcoin could actually make some transactions safer.
Bitcoin Gamble May Pay Off
For some users, privacy is one of Bitcoin’s hidden advantages. When it comes to some illegal behavior, such as online gambling, this is a good thing. At least that’s what Fox News contributor John Stossel thinks. While breaking the law may not seem like a good thing, some studies have found that the privacy Bitcoin provides is actually helping make online gambling safer than before. There’s less charge-back fraud, and winners can have their money transferred instantly. Although still in its early stages, the uptick in Bitcoin transactions made through the gaming market shows that this digital currency has a place in the gaming and other online markets.
It’s About Way More Than Money
It was clear that Bitcoin was a game changer right from the beginning, but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that its impact is about more than money. That’s because more companies are starting to discover new uses for the technology that is the basis of this currency. Most recently, Bitcoin’s block chain technology is being used to change the way intellectual property is accessed, viewed and used. This is isn’t the first – or last – time we’ll see companies popping up to take advantage of Bitcoin technology in revolutionary ways. While there is definite interest in putting Bitcoin technology to better use, the extent to which the block chain will function for different purposes has yet to be determined. Stay tuned!