Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
India is considering the adoption of the bitcoin. Giulio Prisco of CryptoCoins News reports that Raghuram Rajan, the Chief of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), stated in the show “India Forecast” of the New Delhi Television Limited that the digital currency is “fascinating”. Although India could use the cryptocurrency in 10 to 20 years from now as a result of the evolution of a cashless society, Rajan is also skeptical regarding the security and volatility issues of the new technology.
Derivatives exchange BitMEX will launch a 30-day bitcoin volatility index. According to Dean Walsh of NewsBtc, the new “fear-index” will measure the weighted average price of the BTC/USD exchange rate to gauge the risk of the digital currency against the US Dollar and calculate the bitcoin’s annualized volatility rate over a 30-day period. BitMex’s index aims to become the equivalent the VIX index in the bitcoin space. The VIX measures the hedge against risk in the stock market. The “fear index will be launched on 5th January in the form of a futures contract, and each volatility point will have a value of 0.01 BTC.
The Winklesvoss Bitcoin Trust filed with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to sell 20.1 million shares to NASDAQ. As Ciara Linnane of Market Watch writes, the Winklevoss brothers, after having launched the Winkdex in February 2014, now they are interested in trading on NASDAQ. The exchange-traded fund (ETF) will trade under the symbol COIN.
Microsoft waits for additional guarantees in regards to the bitcoin’s legal status before proceeding with using it to beyond the world of payments. Pete Rizzo of Coin Desk writes that, although the leading technology company has adopted the cryptocurrency innovation to provide its customers with a flexible payment option for its digital goods, it is reluctant to expand its use before exploring the impact of new rules and regulations on the digital currency’s legal status.
BitOasis, the Middle East’s platform for bitcoin transactions, is addressing the need of transforming how consumers perform monetary transactions in the MENA region. According to Plus Aziz of PSFK, Ola Doudin of BitOasis stated that the digital currency can significantly boost the e-commerce industry in the Middle East. Notably, the MENA e-commerce market is one of the fastest growing markets globally, yet nearly 85 percent of its transactions are carried out in cash. According to Doudin, the bitcoin can co-exist with the national currencies, but effective integration is a matter of proper regulation and adaptation to the new technology, including mobile payments, and virtual wallet applications.
Green Man Gaming accepts bitcoins. According to Ian DeMartino of Coin Telegraph, the company allows its users to download PC games using bitcoins, but also to sell the digital rights of the game back to the company if it is purchased on Playfire, Green Man Gaming’s main affiliated distribution platform. Users can also purchase their games through Valve’s Steam and EA Origin platforms. The company accepts bitcoin payments only for purchases US dollars, both by US and international users.
Apopo, the Belgian non-profit organization, has partnered with BitPay to accept bitcoin donations for the funding of humanitarian projects in Asia and Africa. Sanne Wass of Coin Desk reports that Apopo is using giant African rats, also known as “HeroRATs”, for detecting land mines and tuberculosis because of their enhanced sense of smell. The use of bitcoin in these projects aims to encourage the use of new technology in the developing economies.
“Hashie’s operations are temporarily suspended” is the message that over 40,000 users receive when logging on to Hashie.co. According to the Bitcoin Examiner, the cloud-based bitcoin mining platform has suspended operations, causing users to lose their hash tokens, nearly 1,481 BTC. What is weird is that the platform has turned into an Alternative Reality Game (ARG).