16 December 2013

Blog post: PC Harrington and what PRs can learn from fraudsters

I nearly became a fraud victim yesterday. Nearly, because I didn’t. But it was very close.
I received a call on my landline at around 11.30pm yesterday from PC Harrington at Holborn Police Station. PC Harrington gave me an internal police identification number and said that they had just arrested two men who skimmed my debit card to raid my bank account. The police found £1,200 when they arrested them. PC Harrington urged me to call my bank straight away and told me to not log in to my online banking account in the next 24 hours, as this would enable the fraudsters to take more money from my account.
I hung up, slightly confused. One minute later I received another call from PC Harrington, he gave me a crime reference number and asked whether I had already called my bank. He urged me to hang up and call the bank straight away, so I did and called the helpline of my bank. I spoke to Adam, who was very friendly and, after taking my name, said that there had indeed been some suspicious transactions on my account in the last two hours. He asked many questions and then asked me to type in my card details on my phone. The line became a bit crackly and when Adam mentioned my Mastercard credit card (whereas I’m with Visa), finally – finally! – the penny dropped.

Published 16 December 2013, read the full article here: http://www.mhpc.com/financial/pc-harrington-and-what-prs-can-learn-from-fraudsters/

13 December 2013

Blog post: The Rise of Bitcoin

Back in March 2013, Bitcoin reached an all-time trading high of more than £21. At that time, this was seen as a major development for the alternative currency which was launched in 2009, largely unnoticed outside the crypto-currency world. Since then, the situation has changed dramatically. What was seen as hype in March has now developed into a frenzy.
By the beginning of April, one Bitcoin was already worth £150. And since a US Senate committee hearing in November backed Bitcoin as a legitimate financial service, its value really took off: following a peak of £755 on 5 December, it is currently trading at around £550.
Why has Bitcoin some attractive so quickly? How exactly does Bitcoin work? And how do regulators see the currency? Here are some facts which describe what Bitcoin is - and what it’s not.

Published 13 December 2013 on entrepreneurcountry.com, read the full article here: http://www.entrepreneurcountry.com/united-kingdom/item/the-rise-of-bitcoin

29 November 2013

Blog post: The week in the media: Trading & Technology

This week was good for Bitcoin as its value soared to an all-time high of more than $1,000 on Thursday. Its worth has doubled since a US Senate committee hearing earlier this month backed Bitcoin as a legitimate financial service. Launched in 2009, the alternative currency can be traded anonymously and freely worldwide and is increasingly seen as an efficient way of handling global money transfers. The increased valuation also means that Exante’s Bitcoin fund is the best performing hedge fund so far in 2013 with a return of 4,847%.
On Monday, five major US banks said they would fund a new electronic bond trading venue on Tradeweb, a company owned by Thomson Reuters and a consortium of banks. This is regarded as an attempt to improve liquidity in the $9tn market for US corporate debt while retaining their control over the way securities change hands.
Published 29 November 2013, read the full article here: http://www.mhpc.com/financial/the-week-in-the-media-trading-technology/

8 May 2013

Blog post: Perception is bitcoin’s biggest battle

Along with the general media attention bitcoin has attracted in recent months, there’s been much talk about whether bitcoin is merely a tool for financial speculation … or is a currency as real as any other, capable of being used to buy and sell goods, as well as for investment purposes.The media frenzy accompanying the bitcoin roller-coaster of late has resulted in a surge of demand. Transaction volumes are steadily increasing and more online outlets now accept bitcoin payments. Consequently, players in the bitcoin ecosystem have fared well: With $120 million (US) in trading volumes in March 2013 (as reported by Mt.Gox, the largest bitcoin exchange) and a trade commission of 0.6 percent, this equates to revenues of around $1 million per month.With low operating costs, that means substantial profits. This has led some to speculate that the bitcoin marketplace could create billion-dollar businesses. Even if this might be exaggerated, bitcoin – and bitcoin exchanges in particular – could in fact become attractive investments for venture capital firms at some point.

Published 8 May 2013 on coindesk.com, read the full article here: 

1 March 2013

Blog post: 7 things you thought you knew about Bitcoin (but that are wrong)

Bitcoin has made headlines again yesterday, reaching an all-time trading high of more than £21. This is a significant development for the fairly new alternative currency, which started at Zero in 2009. Bitcoins has slowly and quietly become a global phenomenon which is featured prominently in the media, and has started to attract the special attention of global regulators.
So how exactly does Bitcoin work? Here are seven myths which describe what Bitcoin is, and – more importantly – what it not is.

Published 01 March 2013 on whiteboardmag.com, read the full article here: http://www.whiteboardmag.com/7-things-you-thought-you-knew-about-bitcoin-but-that-are-wrong/

12 February 2013

Blog post: Twitter & American Express introduce “pay with a tweet”: the future of e-commerce?

The announcement that Twitter now offers a fully integrated payments service on its platform via American Express doesn’t come as a real surprise. The logical extension of both companies’ existing collaboration just makes sense, and is in fact good news.
The US card mogul started integrating with major social networks a while ago, including Facebook and Twitter. Amex’ Twitter Sync already allows customers to be eligible for discount deals when they tweet special offer #hashtags. To enable that service, users have to connect their Twitter account to their Amex credit card account.

6 February 2013

Blog post: Amazon Coins proves that virtual currencies (real threat or not) are here to stay

Amazon’s announced today that it will launch Amazon Coins in May 2013. Clients will be able to purchase apps on Kindle Fire with Amazon’s proprietary virtual currency. Amazon Coins, which are planned to be launched in May, will be pegged to the US dollar and can be bought using existing Amazon accounts.It’s a move that breathes new life into virtual currencies. At last, as some may say who believe that an alternative money system will make commercial transactions easier and smoother.