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In Brief

Pay-by-bitcoin will be a new payment option for invoices, thanks to a free service from Intuit announced today. Small businesses who use QuickBooks Online can register for a wallet with Coinbase and link it to their account. Intuit’s new PayByCoin service then allows customers to pay with bitcoin (in addition to all the normal ways) and the business records the transaction as usual. How many people will use the service? It will depend on how many existing customers already have quantities of bitcoin laying around to spend, but it’s still a move that makes it just a little bit easier for businesses to accept the cryptocurrency.

In Brief

bitcoin bowl logoDogecoin has Nascar, but now bitcoin has college football. ESPN Events is expected to announce today that the cryptocurrency will star in the new Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl, thanks to a three-year sponsorship from payment services provider BitPay. Bitcoin holders can use the currency to purchase tickets and concessions at the game. The bowl, formerly known as the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl, will also have new conference affiliations, featuring one team from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and one from the American Athletic Conference. Tickets for the Dec. 26 game in St. Petersburg, Florida will be available through Ticketmaster or can be paid for with bitcoin through the bowl’s site.

In Brief

It’s officially named the reversed hand with middle finger extending, according to the Emojipedia, and it’s coming to your mobile phone. Unicode, the standard for consistent text presentation across platforms, announced an update today that introduces 250 new emojis, inspired by Wingdings and Webdings. It’s not a guaranteed lock they’ll end up on your phone though — it’s up to Unicode’s member platforms, which include iOS and Android, to add the update. Emojipedia is keeping a list of the icons coming in the update, so other than giving your friends the middle finger, you can send a #tbt of a black hard shell floppy disk, a man in a business suit levitating or even the derelict house building. Now where’s our taco emoji?

In Brief

You can add paying your TV provider to the list of things you can do with bitcoin. Satellite-TV service Dish announced today that it will begin accepting bitcoin later this year. With 14 million subscribers, Dish claims it is now the largest company to accept the cryptocurrency — joining a club of companies like Overstock.com and Virgin Galactic. The TV giant is negating some of the risk that comes with accepting bitcoin by using Coinbase’s Instant Exchange feature to immediately transfer bitcoin into USD. Still, the ability to pay a big company’s monthly bill marks another real world application for bitcoin.

In Brief

Coinbase payment page

In the never-ending quest to make using and sending bitcoin easier, Coinbase unveiled today a new feature: payment pages, which let users create a custom web address (like Marc Andreessen’s coinbase.com/pmarca) to receive payments. The pages provide a QR code and bitcoin address that let anyone, not just Coinbase users, send bitcoins. While this will help make it easier for individuals to send money to each other, it could also be good for nonprofits (like Code.org shown above) who can give the URL out easier than handing out QR codes everywhere. To prove that point, rapper Nas, Andreesen and Code.org are donating all money received through their payment pages to charity until June 6th — a move that Coinbase will match up to $50,000 in combined donations.

In Brief

BitPay, the Atlanta-based bitcoin payment processor, claims to have raised more than any other bitcoin startup — $32.7 million — after a new round of venture funding. The company announced today that it raised $30 million in Series A funding led by Index Ventures, which has also invested in companies like Dropbox and Skype, with additional funding from Horizons Ventures, Founders Fund, Felicis Ventures, RRE Ventures, TTV Capital, Sir Richard Branson and AME Cloud Ventures. As the cryptocurrency tries to worm its way into consumer everyday life, BitPay has become one of the largest players in the bitcoin e-commerce space, processing more than $1 million in payments a day from businesses like WordPress, TigerDirect and Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

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