1 Bitcoin = $783
The University of Nicosia in Cyprus announced today that it will allow students to pay for tuition fees with Bitcoin, becoming the first accredited university in the world to do so. Starting this spring, Bitcoin will be accepted throughout the entire University of Nicosia system, which includes online programs and affiliated schools
UNic expects that initial Bitcoin adoption will come from students in Africa enrolled in online degree programs.
“In certain countries, international payments are extremely cumbersome and given that certain students pay on a monthly installment plan, the transmission fees end up reaching 5-to-10 percent of their payments and being highly inconvenient,” the spokesperson said. “Furthermore, there are examples of non-traditional digital currencies in Africa, such as m-Pesa in Kenya that have reached wide adoption.” – Taylor Soper
Manchester, UK-based Alpha Technology has announced it will start developing the first purpose-built ASIC mining hardware for litecoin, signing a partnership deal with Indian designer and manufacturer Dexcel Designs
Mohammed Akram, CEO of Alpha Technology a former miner himself, noticed litecoin was a few points more profitable than bitcoin using the older GPUs. “What most miners care about is ROI and profit. Since we expect to be the earliest to market and distribute, miners will probably feel more confident purchasing our miner simply because their isn’t a huge arms race yet in litecoin ASIC, so they can be confident that until their miners arrive their won’t be a influx of hash rate from specialized hardware, so ROI is more easily predictable.”
Akram believes litecoin will become a more popular alternative to bitcoin as bitcoin becomes more valuable, referring to the (controversial) view that litecoin can be the silver to bitcoin’s gold. – Jon Southurst
If you look at mining with a sober analytical perspective, mining should not be profitable. Not over the long term, because it’s an almost perfect market.
ASIC mining will be profitable, but only at very large scales. If you can put down a data center near hydro, or near solar or some other source of electricity that’s extremely cheap and you can cram it with ASICs that you can get actually delivered to that data center, you’re going to make a profit. But inherently that’s only going to be limited to those who can bring to bear the scale that’s required.
This is a challenge for everyone entering the Bitcoin market. At this point in the growth, very few things are innovative and value giving enough to be better than simply putting your money into Bitcoin and holding. – Andreas Antonopoulos
Shares of Western Union, the largest money transmitter in the United States, plummeted 12% last month after it reported in its third-quarter earnings call that it expects higher compliance-related expenses in 2014, because it is “subject to increasingly strict legal and regulatory requirements” – Jerry Brito
Signs that Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s Communist government is relaxing its grip on the Southeast Asian economy have helped spur the fastest pace of stock purchases by foreigners since 2008.
Vietnam’s government may announce increased foreign ownership limits in the next two months, according to Kevin Snowball, whose PXP Vietnam Fund Ltd. has climbed 52 percent in dollar terms this year. “Improved access is a very important step,” he said. It “will likely be a catalyst for a break out to multi-year highs toward the end of this year and into 2014.” – Bloomberg
Why has China been so quick to embrace the virtual currency? It has been down this road before. In 2009, the government moved to staunch the rapidly rising phenomenon known as QQ, the virtual currency from social juggernaut Tencent (TCEHY).
In just a couple of years, QQ had grown to such an extent that some estimates put it at 13% of the Chinese cash economy. It was threatening to supplant the yuan in a viral tsunami that showed no signs of abating. At its height, people similarly gathered in public places to trade QQ, and shopkeepers began accepting it for payment.
Because Tencent controlled QQ through central online reserves, the Communist Party’s response was swift, hobbling QQ at its knees and bringing it well back into line overnight. How did they do it? Since QQ was centrally managed, all the Chinese government had to do was tell Tencent to limit QQ’s use or face a total shutdown of their business. So Tencent reeled it in.
Within months of the chop on QQ, the Bitcoin algorithm was released anonymously online. – Stan Stalnaker
The Silicon Valley based Founder Institute, currently the world’s largest startup accelerator has expanded into the Thailand market
“Thailand is displaying all the hallmarks of emerging as a regional trailblazer in the creation of startup ventures. A significant influx of foreign venture capital has been streaming into the region over the last few months, which major funding incubator programs are leveraging.” said Charle Charoenphan, Co- Director of the Founder Institute, Thailand. – The Nation