FINTECH and CRYPTO

The gold rush days of bitcoin mining are over, and not because of the price

For all the volatility in bitcoin pricing, 2014 may be looked back on as a year when bitcoin began to move past the proof-of-concept stage and toward a mainstream market. Some 6.6 million bitcoin wallets have been set up so far this year, according to Coindesk, a fivefold increase over 2013. And 75,000 merchants now accept the digital currency, including giants like Dell, Expedia and Overstock. But one area of the bitcoin economy is maturing much faster than the others....

Shape the Future: Q&A: Gavin Andresen, chief scientist, Bitcoin Foundation

2014 wasn’t a banner year for Bitcoin speculators—its price was down nearly 60%—but it has left the community of developers who support the digital currency more optimistic than ever. New applications, exchanges, products, and uses for the Bitcoin technology are emerging every week. Unlike large companies such as Apple or Tesla, Bitcoin developers operate as an open community—no organizational structure necessary.

Ransomware WannaCry causes fewer tears than feared

It’s been a week since the WannaCry ransomware attack began infecting computers running Windows software. And things are strangely silent again. It’s almost as if the wake-up call that WannaCry set off was heard by IT managers around the world — and then they hit the snooze button. In a way, that’s not a bad thing. The cybersecurity community worked quickly and effectively to defuse the threat, while the kill switch demanded by digital kidnappers — Bitcoin payment — proved more difficult to manage.

LendingClub's IPO is a hit, but P2P lending still has to prove itself

Peer-to-peer businesses are seeing something of a rebirth. After early Internet startups like eBay and Napster built their business models on peer-to-peer technology, the social media sites that drove the second wave of the web stole their thunder. But in recent years P2P has returned in a way that promises to remake commerce: Bitcoin. Crowdfunding. The sharing economy. Even Bittorrent, one of the first broadly popular if not financially lucrative P2P companies, is looking for a comeback by cre

Ahead of its IPO, PayPal is the king of online payments. So why does it still control less than 1% of its market?

Ahead of its IPO, PayPal is the king of online payments. So why does it still control less than 1% of its market? To show you how much the playing field has changed since then, this Friday PayPal will be spitting out eBay. The legal documents required to make a corporate disunion real tell us that eBay, the parent company, will be spinning off PayPal, its subsidiary. And within that perspective it's absolutely true. Insofar as the markets have something to say about it, though, PayPal is the one ditching its twin.

Retail banks embracing AI and bots to catch up with fintech upstarts

Consumers have been paying their bills online and managing their finances for a couple of decades now, but big banks still remain laggards when it comes to adopting AI solutions that can improve their service to customers, a group of panelists who spoke about fintech at MB 2017 said. “Banks have a giant base of customers, and it’s hard to move them all. Many people still prefer to go a bank branch to do their banking,” said Dion Lisle, VP of fintech at Capgemini.

Paypal and eBay: A tale of two companies forced apart by Carl Icahn

I'm not sure this is what Carl Icahn had in mind when he clamored for spinning off PayPal from eBay. When the two companies formally separated on July 20, the consensus was that PayPal had the brighter future, while eBay would be facing declining growth in its aging e-commerce business. For the next three months, it turned out, neither fared particularly well. Both PayPal and eBay fell 14 percent in that period, much worse than the Nasdaq's 6-percent decline.

China’s rallying stock market could be the cause of this weekend’s bitcoin crash

If you thought 2014 was a bad year to buy bitcoins, 2015 is starting off even worse. Bitcoin was not only the worst performing currency last year, it was the worst area of investment. The bitcoin-US dollar rate fell 59% to around $313 in 2014. And in the first few days of the new year, that decline is only accelerating. Late Friday, bitcoins were still trading around $314.77, but over the weekend, they plunged as low as $257.71, a loss of 18% over a couple of days.