Tech Talk: Bitcoin Breaks into the Offline World
Bitcoin has bounced back after weeks of falling prices, as big players benefit from a market-wide boost.

Following a fortnight of tumbling prices that saw its price fall by $60 (£35), bitcoin has bounced back over the last 24 hours with a $25 surge.

This shift takes its value back up towards $600 and seems to have had a positive effect across most other major cryptocurrency markets.

Litecoin and peercoin both saw their prices increase by around 5% since yesterday, while darkcoin saw a significant price rise of 15%. This takes the price of a single darkcoin up above $5 once again.

Stellar project launches

stellar digital currency

MtGox founder Jed McCaleb has launched a new project called 'Stellar', designed to encourage the wider adoption of digital currencies through the free distribution of a new altcoin through Facebook.

Previously referred to as the "secret bitcoin project", the Stellar Development Foundation offers its own in-house cryptocurrency known as 'stellar', as well as a decentralised gateway for digital currency-to-fiat currency transfers.

One-hundred billion pre-mined coins will initially be in circulation, with 95% being offered freely to individuals and charities.

Those who wish to receive their free stellars can do so by placing a request through the foundation's Facebook page.

Overstock pays bonuses in bitcoin


Online retailer Overstock has announced plans to pay its employees bonuses in bitcoin, having posted over $2m worth of sales from the cryptocurrency.

Earlier this year, Overstock famously became the first major retailer to accept bitcoin payments from its customers.

Company spokesperson Judd Bagley told Mashable: "We experienced an initial surge (in bitcoin payments), there was a lot of excitement."

Bagley said that bitcoin sales had settled into something a bit more predictable and now accounts for around 0.25% of the average day's sales.

No charge for charities on Coinbase

Payment processor Coinbase is to waive all fees for non-profit organisations using its merchant tools.

"We're proud to announce zero processing fees for all registered non-profits accepting bitcoin," the firm said in a blogpost. "This means that any non-profit accepting bitcoin through Coinbase will be able to instantly cash out their bitcoin donations for US dollars free of charge.

"Charitable giving is emerging as a major consumer use case for bitcoin. Bitcoin enables donors to give 100% of their funds to causes they care about."