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Weekly Bitcoin Update – 14 September 2014

A recap of the week’s biggest Bitcoin stories from the perspectives of the best sources for e-currency news around the web

Douwe Miedema of Reuters reports that TeraExchange has launched the first-ever bitcoin swap to be approved by United States financial regulators. Users of the swap can lock their bitcoins into a particular dollar value, thus avoiding the repercussions of the cryptocurrency’s wild price swings. TeraExchange, a company which launched in 2010, first began its attempt to receive approval for the swap from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the month of March. The CFTC granted approval once the company had created an index to measure that value of bitcoin, thus avoiding the potential easy manipulation of the currency’s price.

An independent bitcoin wallet has been launched for the iOS operating system. As William Suberg of CoinTelegraph writes, Breadwallet offers users the opportunity to “connect directly to the Bitcoin network” without the use of a middleman. By limiting the complications of the exchange, the creators of Breadwallet hope to make the sending and receiving of bitcoin as easy as possible for beiginner users. The software also contains protection against malware and physical theft.

Russia appears to be on its way to banning the usage of bitcoin. As RT.com writes, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev recently announced that a law will be passed that bans the exchange of the cryptocurrency into Russian currency. The impetus behind this law is bitcoin’s association with criminals and terrorists. Russia’s Central Bank shared similar sentiments regarding the usage of cryptocurrencies back in January. Russia would join Bolivia and Ecuador, who have already banned the usage of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Paypal has announced that it will soon allow customers to use bitcoin through its payment services. According to Caelainn Hogan of The Washington Post, Paypal will service bitcoin payments with merchants who are willing to accept payments in the cryptocurrency. The online payment service will be supporting the cryptocurrency through its Braintree payments service, which is used to make payments on the Uber tax service and AirBnB lodging service.

Coinbase has officially extended its operations into Europe. Sydney Emeber of The New York Times writes that the company plans to enter into thirteen European countries, including France and Italy. European users will be able to exchange their euros for bitcoins through Coinbase. Before this expansion, Coinbase users could only make exchanges for the cryptocurrency through United States bank accounts.

A South African-based furniture company will now be accepting payments in bitcoin. According to Venzen Khaosan of CryptoCoins News, the Möbler Design Studio’s decision to receive payments in the cryptocurrency fits the company’s international strategy. The company functions as a custom furniture and interiors company that accepts design specifications from customers from all over the world and custom builds the request items. By accepting bitcoin payments, the company can better service its international customer base in a secure manner.

Bitcoin growth in Japan continues with the launch of Coincheck, a multi-service bitcoin platform. As Jon Southurst of CoinDesk writes, the service will soon launch a feature directed at the e-commerce industry titled “Coincheck for EC”. The service will be used to instantly convert a user’s bitcoin into Japanese yen. Southurst cited the potential for micropayments in Japan’s $13 trillion content industry as a potential growth opportunity for bitcoin in the country.

Automated Teller Machines

San Francisco’s first bitcoin teller machine has opened for use. According to Ryan Taylor of Bitcoin Magazine, the BTM was opened at Workshop Cafe, a company which was recently featured in Apple’s smart watch advertisements. The machine, made by BitAccess, offers users the opportunity to buy and sell bitcoin for an equal value in US dollars. Visitors using the machine can verify their information with a code that is sent to their mobile phones when they first use the teller, which adds an extra layer of security to the exchange.

The growth of bitcoin ATMs is set to expand outside of San Francisco. According to Victoria Wagner Ross of the San Diego Technology Examiner, several businesses are currently vying to gain control of the bitcoin ATM market, the largest of which being Lamasse Bitcoin Ventures. The company, headed by Zach and Josh Harvey, controls 39% of the bitcoin ATM market. Meanwhile, BitAccess, the company that opened the first bitcoin ATM in San Francisco, controls only 12% of the market. Nevertheless, the number of machines operational worldwide continues to grow.

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