News Roundup: ‘Sorry Western Union’, Drug Dealers About Bitcoin Price Crash and Others

The article overviews the Western Union position on bitcoin regulation, other

Photo: cam17/Flickr

Photo: cam17/Flickr

‘Sorry, Western Union’

Western Union is evidently has not so positive attitude towards bitcoin. The company has recently stated the digital currency is not trustworthy and should be more regulated.

In November, the payment services provider filed a lawsuit against Facebook claiming it had infringed copyrights after the humorous ad, comparing bitcoin with Western Union, appeared on the social network Reddit.

According to the World Bank, the remittance payments into developing countries will achieve $450 billion in 2015. This is three times higher than the overall amount of financial aid sent to these countries. At the same time, due to the high fees charged, $36 billion of the remittance payments will never be received.

“In the late 90s, as personal computers and the Internet were increasingly finding their way into American homes, there were those who either didn’t recognize the disruptive power or potential they would have, or they felt threatened by their emergence,” writes TechCrunch’s Ken Miller.

He continued: “We saw this again in the early 2000s, as companies like PayPal emerged and forever changed our willingness to pay people over the Internet – including paying complete strangers. As PayPal quickly became ubiquitous and was changing the payments industry and commerce, most of the big banks and credit card associations stood pat and instead chose to fire off public lasers at PayPal, citing security, protections and regulatory hurdles as reasons PayPal would falter and was a risky proposition.”

“Today we’re seeing this story again. Same movie, same suit-and-tie wardrobe, same dialogue, and what appears to be a fast track to the same ending. Western Union, which discontinued the use of telegrams in 2006, has fired several shots in recent weeks aimed squarely at bitcoin specifically and digital currency generally.”

Today, Western Union receives more than $5 billion in fees the company takes for sending money. The fees range from 5 to 28% depending on the country.

Bitcoin is an emerging technology presenting high potential to turn into the most important developments over the last years. However, there are a lot of things to be improved in the bitcoin environment, but the progression is observed.

Drug Dealers About Bitcoin Price Crash

The downward trend in the bitcoin market had been observed during the whole year of 2014, but its price never fell under $350, its lowest level in 2013. However, after the first few days of 2015, the price of the cryptocurrency dropped below $200.

The slump has negatively influenced the bitcoin industry, with a number of companies were forced to shut down because of low profits. In the meantime, some illegal businesses were affected as well. Bitcoin is known to be used for illegal activities, including trading drugs.

The bitcoin price decline has been actively discussed on various forums by drug sellers and purchasers. “Out a couple of thousand over this. Bad f—ing time to start up. I really hope it bounces back and stays there. I can’t believe how fast they’re dropping. $330 to 280 to 220 in just a few weeks. Bye bye profit,” wrote one dealer.

“I am losing losing 10-20% on all orders in escrow now!” wrote another. “Make that 30%!!! There goes all profit! FML.”

Some of the sellers argued it was better to acquire more digital currency and wait for an upturn in prices. “The people this is bad for is buyers who are getting less and less for the coins they bought,” they said. Another vendor wrote they’ve “bought a chunk to last me 6 months. Surely it won’t go lower.”

In the meantime, the other dealers had an opposite opinion. One seller wrote: “Some of the really big sellers might be able to do that, but many of us have overhead costs that need to be paid to keep the business running! I believe in Bitcoin’s future and try to hold, but when you have been holding since around $800 and you need to cash out under 200, it hurts!”

In an interview to Business Insider, one of the dealers wrote “It’s pretty damn sad. We have worked so hard over the past 3 months, and for profits to get halved? It’s hard to swallow, simple as that, but what can you do. It’s a gamble, whether you hold or sell.”

He noted a slight decrease in sales over the last days, but added it is still unknown what caused the decline. Speaking on the future, the vendor said “it might drop a little or might go up a little… we will just have to ride it out :)”

There is no reason to worry about the bitcoin volatility, states the Guardian. It matters rather in the short term as the price of any currency, especially the one that just appeared, can be volatile. It doesn’t matter in the long run.

Bitcoin proponents do not expect for bitcoin to record price fluctuations in the future. With the growing number of investors and the expansion of cryptocurrency as a mean of exchange, the speculators will become less interested in bitcoin. As a result, the price of digital currency will become more stable.

However, it is unknown how bitcoin will develop given its reputation. “The ongoing price volatility is a real barrier to wider adoption, at least on the consumer side,” says Marc Hochstein, editor-in-chief of American Banker. “That was true at $10 and it was true at $1,000.”

“So yes, rattled confidence in the value of bitcoin matters, some, but this is not some do-or-die moment or comeuppance for the currency. On the contrary, it’s a blip, and a distraction from the meatier discussions about what decentralized currency is, and how the technology that powers it might influence our lives in the future,” David Wolman from the Guarsian says.

“Maybe as more speculators get burned trying to gamble on the exchange rate, and as the public grows bored with headlines about bitcoin’s fluctuating price, people will want to dig deeper.”

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