Luxury Smartwatch Manufacturer Kairos Begins Accepting Bitcoin, Offers Discounts

Bitcoin Magazine
Luxury Smartwatch Manufacturer Kairos Begins Accepting Bitcoin, Offers Discounts

Hybrid smartwatch manufacturer, Kairos, has partnered with global Bitcoin payment processor BitPay to accept bitcoin for their smartwatches and wearable devices.

The dual US-South Korean company have come a long since launching their idea earlier last year, and have now raised over $2m in pre-sales from their website alone in order to deliver on the significant consumer demand.

The U.S. and South Korean Company has received thousands of pre-sales for their smartwatches and wearable smart bands worth around $2 million USD. To meet the incredibly high demands of their customers, Kairos CEO and founder Sam Yung has announced that the company is willing to offer a 40 percent discount if the pre-orders are paid in bitcoin.

Having recruited a significant team of technologists and traditional watchmakers, Yung has confirmed pre-orders will begin shipping in the next four months.

“Kairos smartwatches currently sit at the cross section between technology and craftsmanship so being able to offer our products for purchase in bitcoin is a part of the fundamental way we look at disrupting traditional industries.”

“We’re proud to be able to offer our products to the bitcoin community and we want to incentivize those considering purchasing one of our high-end watches to also consider paying in bitcoin, a currency that reflects our vision in terms of innovation and disruption here at Kairos.”

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The Texas Bullion Depository Challenges the Federal Reserve System

In mid-June, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law HB 483, paving the way for Texas to repatriate $1 billion in gold from an underground vault in Manhattan operated by HSBC bank, bringing it home to be stored in a yet-to-be-built Texas Bullion Depository, reports HNGN, which also speculated whether this is the first step in Texas’ plan to secede. The gold is owned by the University of Texas’ endowment fund.

“Today I signed HB 483 to provide a secure facility for the State of Texas, state agencies and Texas citizens to store gold bullion and other precious metals,” Abbott said in an official statement in June. “With the passage of this bill, the Texas Bullion Depository will become the first state-level facility of its kind in the nation, increasing the security and stability of our gold reserves and keeping taxpayer funds from leaving Texas to pay for fees to store gold in facilities outside our state.”

Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, the author and sponsor of the bill, recently appeared on the Trunews talk show to speak with host Rick Wiles about what the legislation could mean for Texas.

“The really interesting part about this depository, which hasn’t been getting a lot of press,” said Capriglione as reported by Texas Observer, is that “with this depository, private individuals and entities will be able to purchase goods, and will be able to use assets in the vault the same way you’d be able to use cash.”

The Texas Bullion Depository – basically a private currency backed by gold just like old-time currencies – is, according to the show host, “the biggest threat in 102 years to the Federal Reserve System.” Capriglione agrees that it could very well make the Federal Reserve System unnecessary.

“The federal government can sue all they want, and I hope they don’t because I think they will lose,” said Capriglione in June, adding that Texas is on good solid legal ground to create the depository and operate it as stated in the bill. “There is a motto in the office of almost every state legislator in Texas, and it’s a flag that we have [from the Texas Revolution], it’s below a cannon and what the motto says is, ‘Come and Take It’,” he said.

Some observers read this story as an example of extreme anti-federal libertarianism and relate it to questionable political positions on other issues. On the other hand, as recent events in Europe show, many people throughout the world don’t trust their governments much and want to explore alternative forms of economy, including, of course, bitcoin.

In reply to a question on the possibility of “a Texas-style bitcoin,” Capriglione said “OK! That would be awesome, too. I personally own bitcoin. You could make transactions with bitcoin, use the gold depository as a medium, and then make payments on the other side.”

It isn’t clear what that means exactly. The concept of bitcoin backed by gold doesn’t seem to make too much sense, however, several alternative digital currencies that are backed in gold do exist. Instead, it seems likely that Capriglione refers to the possibility of using bitcoin to purchase gold held in the Texas Bullion Depository, and to sell the gold back for bitcoin.

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Snapcard Announces Partnership with ifeelgoods to Offer Bitcoin as a Reward for Major Retailers

Snapcard, the San Francisco-based bitcoin wallet provider, announced today that it had formed a partnership with ifeelgoods, a digital gifting platform. The partnership is meant to give the companies using ifeelgoods the ability to create, launch and monitor campaigns that offer end users the chance to earn bitcoin as a reward.

The company is using Snapcard’s MassPay API, which allows companies to instantly and programmatically send payments to either a phone number or email address. Because of this, companies that use ifeelgoods will be able to offer bitcoin as an incentive tool for marketing campaigns, employee recognition and loyalty programs.

Since its launch, ifeelgoods has delivered more than 30 million rewards and has worked with companies such as Walmart, GAP and L’Oreal.

This partnership also opens up the countries where ifeelgoods rewards are available in. Before, the platform worked only in a little more than 30 countries. By utilizing bitcoin, ifeelgoods rewards can now be earned in every country in the world. For users to withdraw the bitcoin to local currency, they will need to spend less than 0.25 percent.

Snapcard has been pushing to get other companies to use its API since it launched MassPay on June 25. It launched with Tango Card, which is the largest rewards-as-a-service platform in the world.


Image via ifeelgoods

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North Carolina Senate Committee Supports Bill to Regulate Bitcoin, Coin Center Responds with Feedback

The North Carolina Senate Commerce Committee has agreed to support a House Bill drafted by North Carolina’s banking commissioner regarding money transmission.

The bill, titled “AN ACT TO ENACT THE NORTH CAROLINA MONEY TRANSMITTERS ACT AS 3 REQUESTED BY THE OFFICE OF THE NORTH CAROLINA COMMISSIONER OF 4 BANKS,” states that money transmission includes maintaining control of virtual currency on behalf of others, and that the “online-only money” [bitcoin] is converted to cash using digital currency exchanges and the holder keeps it stored online.

The bill passed the House back in May and is in the process of being approved by another panel of senators.

Some senators have agreed to support the bill and to give officials of North Carolina tools to regulate and set restrictions for bitcoin and other digital currencies. The support derives from their concern toward digital currencies, and how they are not backed by a government or a centralized entity.

Some senators just wanted to “ensure transactions are performed” and to license bitcoin and digital currency exchanges.

Although a 2001 law gives the state the authority to regulate digital currencies, the commissioner’s office wanted a more modernized set of rules.

The new update on North Carolina’s regulations and the bill that is soon to be approved by another panel of senators has already been updated on Coin Center’s public State Digital Currency Regulation Tracker, which points out several issues including:

Money Transmission is defined to include: maintaining control of virtual currency on behalf of others.
Has only an exemption for agents of licensees.
No ramp-up period for startups

Peter Van Valkenburgh, Director of Research at Coin Center, told Bitcoin Magazine, “We’re happy to see that the law doesn’t create a disparate regime as between bitcoin and traditional money transmission, that it has no state-specific AML/KYC requirements unlike New York’s BitLicense. We’re also happy that virtual currency is a permissible investment for the minimum capital requirement. What we’d like to see improved is the language that determines which activities need to be licensed. Right now it says maintaining control of virtual currency. That’s the right approach but we’d love a definition of control that clearly exempts multi-sig and software wallet providers. Control should be defined as ‘the ability to unilaterally execute or prevent a virtual currency transaction.’ We’d also like to see formal exemptions for software, mining, and uses of blockchains for purposes other than money transmission.”

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New Jersey’s First Bitcoin ATM Installed in Jersey City

This week, bitcoin ATM manufacturer Kointron installed the State of New Jersey’s first bitcoin ATM at the Smoke Shop Jersey City, 2822 Kennedy Blvd.

The ATM is located at a popular smoke shop in the second-most populous city in New Jersey. The Kointron team and its founder Michael Singh have decided to launch the company’s first bitcoin ATM at this specific part of the city because other companies have had success in similar locations. The Smoke Shop is located in the Journal Square area of Jersey City, the busiest area of city where the majority of employees, tourists and students visit day-to-day.

“We need this for mass adoption, we need this to be as safe, efficient, and quick as possible,” Singh explained.

However, unlike most bitcoin ATMs installed worldwide, Kointron’s ATM takes a significantly large service fee, ranging from 8 percent to 15 percent. Of that, Kointron itself is set to take around 4 percent.

Singh predicts that most of the regular exchanges and transactions processed by the ATM will range from hundreds to even thousands of dollars, and thus expects to take around as little as $4 to $40 per exchange.

“Bitcoin users regularly exchange hundreds or thousands of dollars of cash per transaction at other similar machines,” Singh announced.

The Kointron team told that the company plans to open an ATM in Hoboken, New Jersey next, and expand throughout New York and across the nation.


Photo BTC Keychain / Flickr

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