Bitcoin Price Spikes Amid Positive PayPal News

The price of bitcoin on the CoinDesk USD Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) rose more than 10% last week to reach a press-time high of $443.69, its highest total since 18th September.

Prices on the USD BPI were up 11.12% at the time of publication, rising from an open of $398.89 and a low of $391.46 observed at roughly 10:10 BST.

Though there has been much speculation regarding bitcoin’s most recent price downturn – with debates raging as to whether widespread merchant adoption and increased industrial mining were adversely affecting price, the latest increase has largely been attributed to a single news event.

Increases in price across nearly all major exchanges were observed from roughly 13:15 BST to 14:30 BST, starting just minutes after news from PayPal, which today revealed that online merchants may now accept bitcoin via digital currency payment processors BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin on its PayPal Payments Hub platform.

The price had been floating upwards of $460 throughout the month, before a sharper drop on 18th September brought it to a low of $387.76. Until today, the price had hovered around the $400 mark for most of the week.

Raffael Danielli, who follows bitcoin price movements on his personal blog Matlab Trading, suggested that the correlation between the news and the price upswing was inarguable, as evidenced by data charts from major exchanges. He told CoinDesk “The spike today is a nice example of news hitting the market and how the market reacts.”

Though most recent price fluctuations have only proved loosely correlated with news, the latest spike is notable as it seems to have directly followed the initial publication of PayPal’s partnership by publications such as CoinDesk, Forbes and TechCrunch.

The price of bitcoin on Bitstamp, the world’s largest USD bitcoin exchange according to BitcoinCharts, rose wildly from roughly $395.29 at 13:15 BST to $450.00 just one hour later at 14:15 BST.

As a positive sign that the latest increase in price may mark a reversal of the most recent downtrend, data from BFXdata showed that there was also a change in how investors were betting on the future prospects of bitcoin today.

Following a sharp uptick in active bitcoin swaps beginning on 20th September, BFXdata illustrated that this market behavior declined precipitously beginning at 14:15 BST.

Bitfinex is one of three major bitcoin exchanges, including BTC-e and OKCoin, that offer margin trading. The investment tool allows investors to short or long the market, effectively placing wagers on the future negative or positive performance of bitcoin.

The decline in total outstanding swaps suggests a number of investors may have closed their short positions on bitcoin, though since the data provides only the total sum it is not known how many traders have closed those positions.

Additional reporting contributed by Tanaya Macheel
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Bitcoin Wallet And Platform Coinbase Opens To Europe

In a really big deal for San Francisco-based Coinbase, one of the world’s leading Bitcoin wallets and merchant processing platforms, the startup is opening its doors to European customers in 13 countries.

This will be its long-awaited first foray outside of the U.S. The company is one of the biggest Bitcoin wallets in the world with 1.6 million customers, 36,000 merchants including large partners like Overstock and Wikipedia and has 6,000 developers.

But they’ve held off on expanding internationally because it’s pretty complicated from a regulatory and legal perspective. For one, many different European countries have different emerging guidelines on how to handle crypto-currencies. Plus, you need multiple bank partners, which Coinbase has secured. (They aren’t naming names though because it’s a competitive advantage.)

“A lot of the regulatory environment is still unclear. Some countries have posted guidance on it, while others have been totally silent about it,” said Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong. “We went through a process with each of these countries. We interpreted their guidance, told regulators about our plans and our goals of what we wanted to do. We had a bit of a dialogue, and some countries got comfortable. I will say we certainly have taken a more proactive reaching out to regulators.”

The 13 countries Coinbase is adding include Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Latvia,
Malta, Portugal, and Slovakia.

“I think we’re probably covering roughly 60 percent of the European Union’s GDP at launch,” Armstrong said.

Any consumer in these countries should be able to buy and sell Bitcoin through Coinbase, but only up to a maximum of 500 euro per day during the beta. This will cover transactions between Bitcoin and the euro, along with authorized European bank accounts

“Cross-border payments are the real promise of Bitcoin,” Armstrong said.


Gravitas Buys Bitcoin Docu Using Bitcoin, Will Sell Copies Via Bitcoin

EXCLUSIVE: Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide rights to documentary The Rise And Rise Of Bitcoin by putting its virtual money where its mouth is: The distributor sealed the deal in units of bitcoin and will sell the film online accepting the controversial “cryptocurrency.” The feature-length film examines the global currency that was created in 2009 as the future of digital transaction, as seen through the eyes of a computer programmer who becomes obsessed with all things bitcoin.

In The Rise And Rise Of Bitcoin, director Nicholas Mross tracks his own bitcoin-enthusiast brother from his Pittsburgh basement bitcoin-mining operation as well asother figures in the developing online movement. Despite its stigma as the preferred currency for internet criminals engaged in money laundering and black marketeering, bitcoin usage has transcended the tech community and entered the mainstream economy; Dell, Dish Network, and Expedia accept payments in the format, and today PayPal announced that it will accept it within a few months. So does the official Rise And Rise of Bitcoin website, where viewers can preorder the film for $12.99 in bitcoin, in addition to regular, old-fashioned credit cards. Gravitas Ventures tells Deadline its acquisition and release commitment on the film tallied over 500 BTC — or about $234,323 at current exchange rates. Coinbase, a bitcoin startup portrayed in the film, helped facilitate the acquisition transaction, which Gravitas is heralding as the first of its kind.

Ben Bledsoe, Patrick Lope, and Mross produced the film and debuted it at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Gravitas is plotting a limited NY/LA theatrical release on October 3 followed by a VOD/iTunes debut a week later. The film also will screen in Cleveland at the Cedar Lee Theatre in Cleveland Heights, AKA Bitcoin Boulevard US, home to the country’s first organized bitcoin merchant community. Said Gravitas President Michael Murphy: “When we saw this film at Tribeca, we knew that to do it right we had to be all-in. That meant buying the film with bitcoin, accepting bitcoin, going global with the film, and generally immersing ourselves in this growing community. We have really enjoyed working with Nick, Ben, Pat, and their team on the release of this film. They’re super sharp and engaged. No one can predict what Bitcoin will become over time, but it’s apparent that it will be a very interesting part of our 21st century history. This documentary couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.” Preferred Content’s Zac Bright and Kevin Iwashina negotiated the deal with Murphy on behalf of Gravitas.

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