This is the second part of the Bitcoin Yearly retrospective.
Below is a month-by-month highlight of adoption events, hacks, and big news as seen by the Bitcoin community. This post is split into two parts, this is Bitcoin Yearly July through December 2014, go back and read for January through June.
The second half of 2014 saw even greater adoption than the first half with the surprising addition of Microsoft climbing on board with bitcoin and the emergence of Bitcoin tipping culture with massive attention to ChangeTip.
July: $640 – $584
NYDFS Superintendent Lawsky releases a draft of the proposed framework for New York State’s “BitLicense” to Reddit and Bitcoin business leaders. The reaction is mixed. While many business leaders see this as a potential step forward, many note that the regulation is unnecessarily stricter than even pre-existing federal regulations against money laundering and that many of the requirements would stifle all but the biggest business interests.
In adoption news, Newegg.com partners with BitPay and 1-800-Flowers.com partners with Coinbase. And, DELL becomes the largest e-commerce merchant to accept bitcoins quickly claiming an order for a $50,000 server all paid in bitcoins.
Coinsetter Bitcoin exchange finally launches.
Apple relents on Blockchain.info wallet app and allows it back into the Apple app store.
Xapo, Bitcoin wallet service, pulls in $40 million in Series A-1 funding. This continues a growing trend of Bitcoin-related businesses receiving increasing investment.
August: $583 – $474
Twitch, extremely popular livestreaming platform, and the Wikimedia Foundation, operator of Wikipedia, both begin accepting bitcoins for services or donations.
Bitcoin web-wallet Blockchain.info exceeds 2 million users. The web-wallet hit 1 million users in February 2014, doubling its registered users in six months.
Bitcoin exchange BTC-e experiences what is described as a “flash crash.” Monday, August 18, 2014 Bitcoin market value dropped by 12 percent to $435.60 from $492.95; whereas BTC-e’s market price hit a low of $309.
Web-wallet and simple exchange Coinbase gets insured by Aon plc, a British risk management company, to insure bitcoins held by the company. While this is excellent news for a service such as Coinbase, the company has been insured since 2013 by another not-revealed insurance company, the addition of Aon plc adds an extra layer of credibility to the web-wallet.
September: $480 – $381
Bitcoin’s market price continues to drop, the IPO of Alibaba Group Holding Limited is speculated to be behind the falling index. Alibaba’s IPO correlates with a 9 percent drop in Bitcoin market value on September 18, 2014; and several Bitcoin exchange see a notable leap in overall trading volume around the same time.
Bitcoin adoption gets weird as eBay’s Braintree partners with Coinbase. Braintree is eBay’s developer-centric payment service, which opens up a huge audience to accepting bitcoin, but the underlying takeaway is that eBay owns PayPal.
Following the previous news, PayPal announces a partnership with BitPay, Coinbase, and GoCoin. This change adds bitcoin processing and integration for merchants who use PayPal to process Bitcoins through any of the three partnered services.
Butterfly Labs is shut down by the Federal Trade Commission over customer complaints. BFL made the news earlier this year after receiving at least 283 complains to the FTC.
October: $385 – $330
Circle exits open beta and officially launches its web-wallet and exchange service for a global audience. The system, a web-wallet combined with mobile apps makes it easy to deposit, pay with, purchase, and liquidate bitcoins.
Blockchain.info receives $30 million in investment funding.
The Bitcoin BearWhale slain on October 6, 2014. The BearWhale is a reference to a 30,000 BTC sell order posted to BitStamp on October 5, which was taken down with a harpoon worth over $9 million.
Andreas M. Antonopoulos, host of Let’s Talk Bitcoin podcast and advisor to Blockchain.info, delivers an eloquent oration to the Canadian Senate about the technology and community behind Bitcoin.
Public comments on NYDFS “BitLicense” close, but criticism of the current proposal remains strong.
White paper on Bitcoin sidechains is released, proposing a new structure for altering and extending the Bitcoin blockchain. The sidechains concept is taken up by newly established company Blockstream, made up of many of the co-authors of the sidechains white paper and luminaries in the Bitcoin ecosystem.
November: $337 – $379
Bitcoin Black Friday 2014 hits with the weight of over 6,000 participating merchants, up from 600 in 2013. This makes the third year in a row of Bitcoin Black Friday produced by founder Jon Holmquist to bring together merchants and consumers with deals on this shopping holiday.
Coinbase builds multisig capability into Vault—the web-wallet originally released the Vault product in July, an ultra-secure cold-wallet-like experience with two-factor authentication to deposit and also a waiting period to withdraw funds. With multisig capability customers now have complete control over the Vault funds in a way that takes the keys out of Coinbase’s hands. Meaning, even if Coinbase goes extinct, customers may still access/withdraw their funds using a tool available on GitHub.
NCR announces plans to add bitcoin payment support to its cloud-based point-of-sale systems. This is a big win for the Bitcoin ecosystem as it adds the capability to accept bitcoins seamlessly to every merchant on NCR’s POS system.
ChangeTip exceeds over 10,000 tips in one day. ChangeTip, a Bitcoin social-media tipping solution, has been taking the community by storm and brewing up a way to provide microtransactions via sites such as YouTube, Twitter, Google+, and Reddit.
December: $376 – $313
Blockchain.info suffers a security issue that results in the loss of bitcoins for customers who created wallets during a two hour period on Monday, December 8. The issue involves poor programming of wallet encryption that allows sweepers prowling the Bitcoin blockchain to easily take the coins. In a fortunate turn of events, the “hacker” who sweeps up the vulnerable Blockchain.info wallets, named “johoe”, returns the coins he received to Blockchain.info.
Microsoft begins accepting bitcoins for digital purchases and adds bitcoin payments as an option “to buy apps, games, and other digital content from Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Games, Xbox Music, or Xbox Video stores.”
Time Magazine partners with Coinbase to add a bitcoin payment option for subscriptions.
The Year 2014 for Bitcoin
Bitcoin in the year 2014 had its ups and its downs, the price mostly fell, but giant merchants came on board all year from Dell to Microsoft. Looking into 2015 it may not be clear sailing for the digital currency, as there’s a lot of room to grow and change, but it seems like 2014 is a good foundation year for bringing big companies on board.
If you missed it, you can go back and read up on news from January to June 2014.