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BitBlotter: Bitcoin Gets Listed on Yahoo Finance and Google Finance; Pantera Bitcoin Fund Has Raised $96 Million

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Bitcoin saw a sharp price jump correlated to the ECB's negative rate decision.

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Whether you're a Bitcoin fanatic or just beginning to familiarize yourself with the emerging space, BitBlotter gives you a weekly snapshot of all things digital currency.

Bitcoin price behavior has shifted in the past five days. After a two-week run-up that started on May 20, Bitcoin stumbled and then buckled over the past five days, finding its footing around $620 on the Bitstamp, the world's largest Bitcoin exchange.

Source: Bitcoincharts.com

Of note was Bitcoin's price behavior on June 5, just after the European Central Bank announced a negative interest rate policy. In the following chart, notice the spike in both volume and price at 7:45 a.m., when the ECB made its announcement.  

Source: BitcoinWisdom.com

The price jump was roughly equivalent to $15, which despite being much more severe than the 0.1% drop on the EUR/USD exchange (characteristic of Bitcoin's volatility), was a well-timed reaction nonetheless. As Joe Weisenthal pointed out on Business Insider, this could have been Bitcoin's first-ever reaction to a central bank announcement. Well, it may or may not have been the first, but it at least was the first to get considerable media attention.

Here's what's been going on in the space over the past week.

Bitcoin is paving its way into the mainstream. Both Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) began listing Bitcoin prices on their respective financial information portals, Yahoo Finance and Google Finance. On Google, Bitcoin data, including charts and headlines, can be found by searching for "CURRENCY:BTC." On Yahoo Finance, the Bitcoin page is BTCUSD=X. (Bloomberg added price-tracking to its services in April.)

Online travel-agency Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) began accepting Bitcoins as payments for hotel bookings, with plans to expand Bitcoin payments to other types of bookings in the future. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) approved two cryptocurrency tipping apps, which are used to reward posts on Facebook with altcoins like Dogecoin. Finally, eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) CEO John Donahoe said that digital currency is going to play an important role in the future and that PayPal is integrating digital currencies into its payment system.

The Internal Revenue Service ruled taxpayers don't have to report Bitcoins on FBARs. The ruling only applies to this year, and is subject to change. The Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) asks taxpayers to report foreign financial accounts with values greater than $10,000 or more to FinCEN. Bitcoin's legal landscape is changing quickly, however. For instance, this week the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Erik T. Voorhees with conducting initial public offerings in two Bitcoin-related websites without properly registering them with the SEC. Voorhees agreed to settle by paying the entire $15,000 raised and a $35,000 penalty.

Pantera Bitcoin Fund, an investment fund focused on virtual currency, on the other hand, has decided to play by the rules and filed a Form D with the SEC this week, revealing it has raised $96 million from 45 investors so far, which include Fortress Investment Group, Benchmark Capital, and Ribbit Capital. 

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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