2014 has been the best and the worst year for bitcoin. Good year because the crypto currency has witnessed the highest adoption rate since its introduction; and bad year because it has witnessed the highest hack attacks on the network. In terms of VC funding and developers interest, a lot of action has happened. We’d like to share the Bitcoin believers that we think are notable for the ecosystem.
In an unparalleled move, Time Inc. started allowing readers to purchase subscriptions with bitcoin. This makes Time Inc, the first major traditional publisher to accept the crypto currency. Lynne Biggar from Time Inc. says, “We are always looking for ways to make it easier for consumers to engage with our brands.”
Another surprising move was made by Microsoft. In December 2014, the company began accepting bitcoin for most online purchases. Bitcoin can be used to load fund to a Microsoft Account by any user. Users can purchase content from the Windows and Xbox games, music, and video stores. At present, subscription services such as Office 365 cannot be purchased with bitcoin. To process the transactions, Microsoft has integrated with BitPay.
American Red Cross & Greenpeace
In order to reach out to new demographic donors, the charity organization has jumped on the bitcoin bandwagon. Greenpeace a bit early and now American Red Cross have started accepting bitcoins as a donation. Their crypto currency payment processor partner BitPay doesn’t charge transaction fee.
Mozilla & Wikimedia
The organization behind the open source Firefox browser, Mozilla, has started accepting bitcoin donations. Mozilla works with Coinbase to process the digital currency.
In the first week of August this year, WikiMedia Foundation that runs Wikipedia received $140,000 in bitcoin donations in the first week since it began accepting digital currency contributions.
Overstock & DELL
In the US, Overstock has become the largest retailer to accept bitcoins. According to NYT, many small, more obscure merchants already accept bitcoin for cross-border transactions. But the move by popular retailers like Overstock into the international space could foretell a more widespread adoption of the virtual currency as a viable payment option. Dell has the biggest bitcoin revenue among the companies that accept bitcoin.
Intuit has launched PayByCoin to integrate Coinbase with QuickBooks Online payment processing service with bitcoin wallet and merchant processing provider Coinbase. Intuit is using PayByCoin as a low-cost, low-risk digital currency service for its merchants for free.
PayPal has announced integrating bitcoin into its product Braintree at TechCrunch Disrupt 2014. Braintree powers payment capabilities of many services like Uber and Airbnb. If the implementations come fast enough, millions of retailers will, by default, accept bitcoin overnight.
Square is developing a new cash register software that can accept bitcoin payments. “We’re building a register so that sellers can accept credit card, cash, cheque, bitcoin and any form of payment that comes across the counter,” Jack Dorsey told the CBC.
Google has integrated bitcoin price calculator into search. You can go to Google and search conversion rate of your desired currency against BTC. Google has partnered with Coinbase to create bitcoin price tracker.
Apple and Amazon don’t accept bitcoin directly yet. But you can use a work round by adopting RewardsPay. It helps consumers use credit card reward points, airline miles, and cash rewards to purchase goods and services. Now you can use RewardsPay on iTunes or on Amazon .
In the map of Bitcoin India has a tiny flag. It isn’t waving high yet. Looking ahead at Indian landscape we expect more retailers to come forward in accepting the digital currency. 2015 will be a testing year for Indian’s bitcoin mainstream adoption, scale and RBI regulation.
Here is a video on everything you need to know about bitcoin.