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Author Topic: The top six business of technology stories of 2012  (Read 1464 times)

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The top six business of technology stories of 2012 (Why six? Why not!)

Facebook went public, Bitcoin went mainstream, and Google Fiber launched in KCK.

Cyrus Farivar - Dec 27 2012, 3:45pm ESADT) Everyone in the KC region wants one of these trucks to show up at their house sooner rather than later.Cyrus Farivar Here at the Ministry of Innovation we've been bringing you loads of stories about all of the interesting and (hopefully useful!) changes that are coming out of Silicon Valley and elsewhere. Out of all of those stories, we've selected six that we feel not only had the most impact, but whose effects will continue to be felt into 2013 and beyond.
#5: Bitcoin goes mainstream
If 2011 was the year that Bitcoin first appeared on many people's radars (including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)), then 2012 was the year that the cryptocurrency began to, slowly, but surely, move into the mainstream. Ok, your non-techy friends aren't going to be ditching their greenbacks anytime soon—but there were some signs that the digital cash may be strengthening and headed towards more ease-of-use.

First, the currency's exchange rate is on the rise. In April 2012, a Bitcoin was worth just $4.50. By July it had nearly doubled. Today, one Bitcoin is worth about $13.50. That's a massive increase by any measure. Second, in August, a company announced that it would be creating Bitcoin-based debit cards for all to use. Then, the Bitcoin Foundation threw open its doors hoping to spread the currency's gospel far and wide. WordPress started accepting Bitcoins, too.

Finally, perhaps the most exciting development is that Bitcoin Central, which operates in France, has been authorized by local authorities to operate as a bank under French law. As we reported in December, "The accounts will also be integrated with the French banking system, so users can have their paychecks automatically deposited into their accounts and converted to bitcoins."

Still, Bitcoin isn't perfect and definitely has some hurdles to overcome. In March, the lack of "chargebacks" prompted a lawsuit between two Bitcoin-related companies. In September, a Bitcoin company sustained a theft worth $250,000. And worse still, an August 2012 academic study on Bitcoin found that it had helped fuel $2 million per month in illegal drug sales online. So don't liquidate your Uncle Sam-backed bucks just yet.

« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 07:04:52 PM by »
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