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4 places where Bitcoin can actually be used, Holytransaction

4 Places Where Bitcoin Can Actually Be Used

4 places where Bitcoin can actually be used, Holytransaction

Bitcoin has transitioned into a stage of its evolution at which it is viewed almost entirely as a commodity. We discuss how to store it, compare it to gold, consider its long-term value, and generally treat it as a financial asset – even, to some extent, like a stock. This is perfectly appropriate given that the cryptocurrency’s volatility, as well as constantly wavering government positions on regulation, have kept it from being adopted as a widely used currency. The argument is over as to whether it is “more” currency or “more” commodity. It is the latter.

What sets bitcoin apart in some respects though is that it never did have to be one or the other. Consider the comparison to gold again. You may hold a stash of gold as a long-term protection of a chunk of your assets, and with the hope that it will appreciate in value. But you can’t exactly buy something online by chipping off a piece of gold (which in most cases you don’t even hold in a physical sense) and handing it over. This is true of most major investable commodities – but it is not true of bitcoin. As you’re likely aware, there are still places that it can be used like ordinary money, even though it is best viewed as a long-term vehicle.

For those interested, the following are among the most noteworthy places you can actually use the cryptocurrency for practical purposes.

1.) Travel Booking Websites

Bitcoin made something of a loud entry into the travel booking business when it was accepted by Expedia and Air. These were among the biggest or at least best known companies to embrace cryptocurrency early on, and even though Expedia has since renounced cryptocurrency, the notion of using bitcoin for travel-related costs caught on. Travel platforms accepting bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies still include various air travel and hotel booking companies, which means people are free to address what are often some of their biggest expenses in a given year via cryptocurrency.

2.) Microsoft Gaming

Fairly early on in bitcoin’s expansion to the mainstream, it was attached to video games, not necessarily through Microsoft so much as Steam. An online service that allows people to download a gigantic range of games, Steam was in some ways a perfect vehicle for purely digital transactions. However, the services topped accepting bitcoin due to volatility. In the meantime, Microsoft kept right on accepting cryptocurrency and is now one of the more significant companies doing so. In particular, Xbox-related purchases through Microsoft platforms can be conducted via bitcoin.

3.) Gaming

gaming is an interesting category, because it is almost like its own separate gaming industry. It’s comprised of and table games, digital slot arcades, roulette, and more, and in some cases a site will also have an included sportsbook. Payment options vary greatly, with some sites requiring credit card information and others using payment processors; in some cases, games are presented for free play as well. However, there is now a small but growing list of online sites that do take cryptocurrency deposits, and which also issue crypto payouts. It’s not a stretch to say that in short time bitcoin could be the norm for this particular form of entertainment.

4.) Shopify

Shopify is a more specific mention here, but feels like one of the more significant areas for bitcoin adoption, simply because it represents a busy, peer-to-peer marketplace. The fact that bitcoin can be used to buy goods via Spotify indicates that in some cases people prefer it when dealing with other people, rather than companies, and opens the door to all kinds of potential crypto marketplaces in the future.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Jack
rocket-batch

Batching Bitcoin and Litecoin transactions

HolyTransaction implemented SegWit on Bitcoin and Litecoin back in November 2017; and now we are glad to announce another upgrade to help the BTC network, as well the LTC network, reduce its transaction fee costs.

We implemented batching of transactions to help reduce fees for the entire network in order to strengthen the ecosystem.

Batches now allow grouping similar transactions and processing them together, as one transaction in one single moment. Thanks to this process, HolyTransaction is able to help conserve precious blockspace on the Bitcoin network.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Satoshi
bitcoin price

Bitcoin Price Analysis and SegWit

While Bitcoin price is experiencing a new growth after the almost 50% drop from its all-time high, a few analysts of the crypto market suggest that bitcoin price at $4000 is in the air.

And this moment seems to come sooner than expected.

“When added to the professed agreement for major players to work together on the Bitcoin scaling issue starting September – if it becomes a reality, the price could see between $4,000 and $5,000 before the year ends,” said an expert to Cointelegraph.

2017 has been a good year for bitcoin price, as it traded at about $950 back in January and it reached its new all-time high a few months ago in June with a value of $3011: this means that bitcoin price grew of more than 3000% in a six-months period.

Compared to the all-time high we quoted above, the current price decrease is maybe due to the uncertainty around the upcoming SegWit activation that will take place on August 1st, 2017.

For those who are unfamiliar with this, SegWit is a new upgrade to the Bitcoin blockchain that will increase the block size to support more transactions and allow a faster confirmation for transactions.

At the moment, the blockchain supports up to 2000 transactions per block in 10 minutes and SegWit will double this capacity to 4000 transactions.

Also, Segwit2x will increase the size of each block from 1MB to 2MB.

SegWit will be implemented on August 1s, while it is not sure yet if Segwit2x will be implemented too.

That said, the real reason of uncertainty is caused by the hard fork needed to implement SegWit.

This might create two different chains in a similar way to what happened to Ethereum in 2016 with the DAO and Ethereum Classic.

Not a problem for the Bitcoin price

According to many experts in the industry, while this event might create panic sell and uncertainty within the community, will not be a real problem in the next future.

Kumar Gaurav of Cashaa explained to Cointelegraph:

“When looking at 2017 so far, it still has been a good year for Bitcoin, starting just below 1000$ and now standing just below $2,000. Whether and to which extent this overall trend will continue will be seen more clearly after some crucial dates such as 1st August. If 80% of the Bitcoin community adopts the updates all should be fine. It seems most likely this will be reached, as the current signaling of intended support is at 87.8 percent, an increase from 83.28 percent in May. Comparable to when in May, following the New York agreement on SegWit2x, Bitcoin reached an all-time high of $2,160, it can reach new all-time highs after a successful activation as Bitcoin will be more attractive again and bring users of other cryptocurrencies back to Bitcoin.”

Bitcoin-based ICOs

Another reason that might be influenced the price is the growing number of Bitcoin-based ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings.

ICOs managers might have cashed out during those days and this drove the prices because a huge amount of bitcoin appeared on the market.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
buy bitcoin sign

Buy Bitcoin Sign appeared at Congress

When Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen testified at the Congress today, one attendee showed a buy bitcoin sign.

Yellen appeared before the House Financial Services Committee to talk about the state of the US economy and field questions from committee members. As chief of the US central bank, Yellen also spoke about a recent semi-annual report delivered to Congress by the Fed.

As chief of the US central bank, Yellen also talked about a recent semi-annual report delivered to Congress by the Fed.

While Yellen was expressing her willingness to raise interest rates amidst a healthier economic climate (following years of near-zero rates instituted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis), there was one attendee who captured media coverage because he held up a buy bitcoin sign behind Yellen.

A screenshot of the event was tweeted by CNBC Steve Kopack, and later shared by other people who have been watching Yellen’s testimony.

buy bitcoin sign

The identity of the man who held up the buy bitcoin sign is not clear yet.

Yet in a follow-up tweet, Wall Street Journal national economics correspondent Nick Timiraos reported that the individual, along with another, had left the room “after a staffer made some instruction to them.” Video published by Bloomberg shows the two individuals being spoken to by a staffer.

Yellen, who told in 2014 that the Fed “doesn’t have the authority to supervise or regulate bitcoin in any way” – remarked that she believes that the blockchain is an “important technology”.

Thanks to her work, the Fed decided to publish some of its internal researchers into the distributed ledger tech, releasing its first report on the topic back in December.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
debt notes

Kazakhstan’s Central Bank to use Blockchain for Debt Notes

The National Bank of Kazakhstan announced it is looking to test blockchain technology in order to sell short-term debt notes.

In an official statement published today, the Kazakhstan central bank revealed its plan to launch a new mobile app that to sell the short-term debt notes to investors– denominated in amounts worth 100 tenges (the national fiat currency) – without relying on third-party brokers.

At the moment, this app is being tested within the bank, and its launch is expected by the end of 2017.

In the long term, the Kazakhstan bank commented that the app could be used to make initial public offerings (IPOs) easier.

Also, the financial institution explains it wants to work with the country’s banking industry on possible future versions and uses.

“In this area, the project will continue to search for additional solutions, including the involvement of commercial banks,” the statement explained.

The Central Bank explained that it has been looking at the distributed ledger for potential applications since 2016.

A few months ago, regional news source called Tengri News reported that officials were studying possible blockchain use cases, especially those focused on payments.

Read more about blockchain-related projects developed by banks.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
blockchain passports

Blockchain passports to be used in Dubai

A new project related to blockchain passports is being developed by the Dubai government and the English startup called ObjectTech with the main objective of improving security for the Emirate’s airport.

A few days ago, ObjectTech announced that it is working together with the Dubai Immigration and Visas Department to create blockchain passports to potentially eliminate manual checks at Dubai International airport.

This system exploits biometric verification and blockchain technology in order and it will use a “pre-approved and entirely digitized passport” in order to easily and safely authorize travelers’ entrance into the Emirates.

Also, thanks to blockchain passports, people will be identified through a 3D scan via a short tunnel while they walk from the aircraft to claim their baggage.

Thanks to the use of a distributed ledger technology (it’s still unclear what blockchain will be used), ObjectTech explained that passports will contain a feature called self-sovereign identity for privacy protection, which it allows travelers to control which parties can view their info.

Co-founder and CEO of ObjectTech, Paul Ferris, wrote a blog post where he explains that the company aims at making the border process quicker and safer, and also giving passengers full control of their digital data. A pilot program is anticipated to be ready by 2020, although a detailed project timeline remains unclear.

A pilot program will be ready by 2020. 

Dubai is not new to this kind of projects. A few months ago, in fact, Dubai government revealed its idea to solve immigration issues with the blockchain.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin demand

Bitcoin demand in Asia is more active than in the US

Back on May 31st, one the major Bitcoin exchanges in China called OKCoin returned to help improving the Bitcoin demand withing the Chinese exchanges after a period of suspension of transactions.

As a result, more bitcoin investors are recovering their interest in bitcoin and they are driving the demand for the digital currency.

So, thanks to the activation of withdrawals, bitcoin is now trading at a premium rate in China.

Also, the Chinese press that talks about bitcoin as digital gold is pushing the recent growth of the bitcoin demand for local traders.

On Friday, bitcoin price was about $2,340 in China. A value that was $50 higher than the US rate.

Of course, there are several other major factors that are driving bitcoin price. For example the legalization of the digital currency in Japan, and the use of ICOs in raising funds.

Experts believe that the increasing demand in Asia is pushing the recent growth in the bitcoin price.

South Korea

In South Korea, Bitcoin price increases up to $3,100 when the price on the US exchanges was about $2,400, so $300 higher than the US.

A few startups are also using bitcoin for sending remittances since it works better and faster than traditional money.

For example, one of these startups is called Bluepan, located in South Korea. This company provides an easy way to send money from overseas workers to their families.

In 2 years, Bluepan has processed payments worth $65 mln and for the past year, they recorded a five-time increase in transactions.

Why in Asia?

That said, it is clear that Bitcoin demand in Asia is increasing and its driving prices, while North America shares only a small amount of all users in any sector.

For example, there are fewer customers in North America who use money transfers than in Asia.

This is maybe due to the fact that the worldwide financial system is based on the US dollar, so remittance transactions are easier between dollars and non-dollar currencies compared with transactions that involve two non-dollar currencies.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin airlines

Bitcoin Airlines: Japanese Peach to accept the digital currency

Peach Aviation is going to become the first Japan’s airline to accept bitcoin for buying any flight.

This move comes after the Japanese decision to regulate bitcoin as currency, becoming a legal method of payment back in April 1st, 2017.

During a recent interview with CEO Shinichi Inoue, he said:

“Now you can travel without your wallet. I think this is innovation; we’ll put all our energy into it.”

Peach is a budget domestic flights company that operates in Korea, China and Thailand.

The firm announced that they will accept bitcoin payments by the end of 2017; also, the firm is looking to install Bitcoin ATMs at airports.

“This is a real first step in partnerships for Japan and we are aiming for more company and service tie-ups,” said Inoue in an interview conducted by Bloomberg.

“We want to encourage visitors from overseas and the revitalization of Japan’s regions.”

Several major retailers and merchants are starting to accept bitcoin in Japan thanks to the recent law on digital currencies, as you can read here.

And this is maybe one of the prominent reason why bitcoin price is growing so much during the latest period.

Also, Japanese traders are driving bitcoin prices as they transacted huge amounts on the exchanges: recent studies revealed that Yen is the major fiat currency being exchanged for bitcoin.

Bitcoin airlines worldwide

There are a few other bitcoin airlines in the world and also several ways to book a flight with digital currencies.

For example, CheapAir and BtcTrip are the first platforms that accept this disruptive method of payment.

Also, Latvia-based airline and Virgin Galactic began accepting bitcoin since 2013/2014,  while if you want to book a private jet, you can do it through JetVizor.

More bitcoin airlines to suggest? Write us a message in the comments! We would be happy to add new companies.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
blockchain id

Luxemburg to launch a Blockchain ID platform

blockchain idLuxTrust, together with a Massachusetts-based startup and the support of the Luxembourg government, is building a new Blockchain ID platform.

Announced today, the project sees also the participation of the US startup Cambridge Blockchain.

 

Luxembourg owns two-thirds of the LuxTrust company, and the rest is handled by a consortium of banks and financial institutions that utilize the service itself.

LuxTrust is now working on how to integrate the blockchain, paving the way to its 500,000-strong subscriber base to use the distributed ledger in some capacity.

According to Matthew Commons, CEO of the Cambridge Blockchain, this partnership was born thanks to an initial conversation about blockchain ID.

“By combining LuxTrust’s current certified services such as authentication, signature and document management with our innovative blockchain-based enterprise software, our collaboration will deliver the future of digital identity for Europe and beyond,” he explained to Coindesk.

The Blockchain ID platform will be rolled out during the next few months, in what Commons called something like a “soft launch”.

He explained that one of the most important reasons for the creation of the Blockchain ID platform is the data-centric regulation (including the European General Data Protection Regulation) that are due to come in mid-2018.

“Working with Cambridge Blockchain allows us to augment the scope of identities, including any attributes, and will enable users to share personal data fully respecting the increasingly stringent European regulatory framework,” commented LuxTrust’s CEO, Pascal Rogiest.

Back in February 2017, the Cambridge Blockchain company raised  $2m in a funding round, receiving support by VC firms Partech Ventures and Digital Currency Group. Commons also explained that his startup wants to complete a new Series A round by the end of 2017.

That said, we’re very happy to read about the Luxembourg government involvement in a blockchain-related project since HolyTransaction is based here.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
oracle blockchain

Oracle Blockchain to improve delivery pipelines

A new Oracle blockchain – related project suggests that the database giant wants to use the distributed ledger in order to improve its internal workflows.

On April 27th, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published an application titled “Managing Highly Scaling Continuous Delivery Pipelines”.

First filed in September, 2016, this application explains the use of  a “pipeline blockchain” to be used as distributed information points for product delivery processes.

The only inventor quoted on the application is Duncan Mills, a software architect for Oracle.

As detailed in the application, this project is focused on exploiting the distributed ledger ability to provide transparency in order to keep data related to each employee who is contributing to a specific work process.

This would include how they work and what their next tasks; everything happens in real time.

“By its nature, the pipeline blockchain approach provides a self-correcting mechanism for recording and reconciling the state of a pipeline after a system failure. For example, if the record store becomes unavailable, pipelines can continue to process in a fail-safe mode using peer-to-peer reconciliation of the pipeline blockchain, thus maintaining the state of the transactions for the duration of the outage.”

Oracle Blockchain security

Oracle blockchain pipeline’s concept has security system too.

For example, one project may deal with sensitive or private info.

According to the application you can read above, the use of this Oracle blockchain pipeline could allow a user to see what task he/she needs to complete “without having to return control to a central dispatcher”, potentially making their devices vulnerable to external influences.

“This is particularly important where the worker is not in a position to check back with a central dispatcher because of security constraints,” the application states.

The use of the blockchain to facilitate the secure exchange of information is anidea that Oracle has already explained in the past, including in an article wrote last year by Subramanian Iyer, or one of the firm’s senior directors.

“Clearly, blockchain has the ability to increase secure data exchange in other industries as well. It also has the ability to make that data transfer simpler and easier between entities,” he commented.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio