Bitcoin: Bullish? The volatile crypto-currency is again drawing large investors, despite doubts that it will always remain a peripheral player Bitcoin: Bullish? • Australian entrepreneur Domenic Carosa is investing $30 million in the Future Capital Bitcoin Fund • Carosa will not invest directly but, taking a cautionary route, will target companies facilitating trade and exchange in Bitcoin. Bitcoin: Bullish? • Billionaire Virgin owner and space-tourism promoter Richard Branson, and Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang recently invested $30 million into BitPay which processes Bitcoin payments. • Customers are obviously purchasing and paying in Bitcoin, hence the investment. • About 20,000 merchants accept Bitcoin, stored by customers in virtual wallets like Coinbase, states the Wall Street Journal. Bictoins: FYI • Bitcoins are ‘stored’ in virtual wallets, provided by companies such as Coinbase. • There is also a Bitcoin wallet app for Android phones. • The value of a Bitcoin is whatever the two or more parties trading in it, decide it will be. • While paying with a credit card comes with a transaction fee of 3% or more, paying with Bitcoins gets you a 1% or less fee. Some of Bitcoin’s 2013 Hiccups • More like high-blood pressure driven strokecausing events really, than a hiccup. • As WSJ notes, ‘In 2013, the FBI shut down the [Bitcoin] platform Silk Road, which may have earned $80 million in commissions from allegedly facilitating more than $1 billion in drug trafficking. The biggest Bitcoin exchange—Mt. Gox in Japan—collapsed in February.’ Bitcoin & RBI: A tale of unrequited love • Bitcoin has yet to win over the nation’s fiscal regulator. • While RBI has decided not to pass any regulations on Bitcoin, it has issued an advisory cautioning against the use of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin included. Bitcoin in India: 2014 Bi-annual Update • As of now Bitcoin may be bullish across leading global economies but India is still very much on the fence. • Nevertheless, India now has a Bitcoin exchange called BTCXIndia – also featuring a live trading platform and wallet service – which launched officially on 5th May in Hyderabad. • BTCXIndia is aiming at providing secure and transparent service, in view of the RBIs apprehensions on behalf of investors. • The company has a UK-based investor company at the moment that is also its advisor. • Excahnges such as Unicoin that had suspended operations as a precaution last year following RBIs stringent cautions, have since resumed operations.