Dear Member,

The presence of bitcoin and digital currency is continuing to cement its foothold in the financial sector of the world.

Below is a summary we’ve put together of the latest updates this year. We have a newly updated full bitcoin report available here, or you can subscribe to our exclusive bitcoin letter at The Current price is roughly $460 USD per bitcoin.

The Bitcoin price and other cryptocurrency copycats have not recovered their full value yet since the Nov-Dec-Jan rally and subsequent consolidation. The risk for government controls on bitcoin use and accessibility is the major cause for the initial crash and prolonged recovery. A flaw in the implementation of bitcoin by some exchange sites in early February may also have contributed to the price dip, as well as the 1,000% gain in price late last year just being too overheated to begin with.

Bitcoin’s competitors, however, lost more market share as speculators pulled their investments back into the more ‘safe’ bitcoin. Bitcoin was only 76% of the cryptocurrency market at the time, today it is 90% as reported by CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Quarterly Report. Litecoin, bitcoin’s strongest competitor, gained slight ground in the same two months.

Reports have been issued by banks and similar financial giants about bitcoin this year including UBS, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Fitch Ratings, Fortress Investment, and PriceWaterhouse.

Merchant acceptance of bitcoin for goods and services is on a steep rise. Major online retailers and TigerDirect are both accepting bitcoin as of January 2014. About 60,000 companies now accept the currency. Local outlets can be found Major payment processor BitPay has expanded its offices to Europe to help accommodate the now 7,000 merchants in the region with a goal of serving 30,000 merchants by the end of 2014. The Chicago Sun Times, the 1,500th highest ranked U.S. website, became the first U.S. newspaper to begin accepting bitcoin for online subscriptions. Also, Sacramento Kings basketball team launched a bitcoin online store.

User growth is also just as rapid with an estimated 4 million wallets now in use and set to increase to around 10 million by the end of the year. Venture capital has also found its way into the sector with over $200 Million invested recently, including the $25 Million given to bitcoin exchange and wallet service Coinbase in December of last year. Coinbase is now the most trusted online exchange for U.S. residents after the spectacular fall of Mt. Gox, which is currently under liquidation. Venture capital investments in bitcoin are currently at par with the rate of the internet in 1995. In total, 73% of all venture capital money has been invested in North American companies.

The IRS finally stepped in, though at the last minute, to say that bitcoin would be taxed as property (report here). Ironically, the U.S. government wants to regulate bitcoin as a currency by applying money laundering laws liberally with it, and squeeze more revenue out of it by declaring it is property tax-wise.

Bitcoin ATM’s, well funded bitcoin start-ups, and merchant acceptance should be the theme of bitcoin for at least the Western world for the rest of 2014.