This week in bitcoin: Barry Silbert bets big on bitcoin, even as price falters

Barry Silbert

This week’s bitcoin review takes a look at SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert’s resignation to focus only on bitcoin, even as the price dips below $600.

All in on bitcoin

Barry Silbert announced yesterday in a company blog post that he is stepping down from his role as CEO of SecondMarket, a New York-based assets marketplace, to focus entirely on bitcoin:

While I have never been more excited about SecondMarket, I have chosen to move on from day-to-day management of the private company/fund business so that I can focus 100% of my energy on our digital currency business. My passion for bitcoin is no secret, and I feel it is the right time to make this transition. Our intention is to formally separate the two business lines at the appropriate point in time. In the meantime, I will remain Chairman and CEO of our parent holding company.


Silbert’s been betting on bitcoin’s success since he first started investing in heavyweight companies like BitPay and Xapo, as well as some of the up-and-comers, like Volabit. But by leaving his management role at SecondMarket behind him, he’s officially all in on bitcoin. Although the New York-based bitcoin evangelist will have an unfortunate headache to deal with first: complying with the proposed New York Department of Financial Services regulations, or BitLicenses.

The market this week

Bitcoin’s hot streak above $600 is finally broken. On Thursday, price fell from an opening price of $617 to as low as $595 before climbing to $600.01 at the end of the day. The almost three percent fall in price put bitcoin below $600 for the first time in July. With no major news (either positive or negative) to nudge the price, it’s left some wondering what’s shifting the markets now.
bitcoin price 0724
For background on why we’re using Coindesk’s Bitcoin Price Index, see the note at the bottom of the post. 

In other news we covered this week:

Here are some of the best reads from around the web this week:

  • How can you mine cryptocurrency? Maybe try building your own botnet in the cloud to mine it for you. Wired has the story of two hackers who did just that.
  • Stripe’s CTO Greg Brockman unveiled his perspective on what bitcoin needs to look like in order to go mainstream.
  • MtGox creditors had a meeting with Mark Karpeles in Japan. It reportedly didn’t go too well, leaving more questions than answers, but Karpeles did give one small apology.
  • In more bad news for Karpeles, and potentially his creditors, the bitcoins.com auction was cancelled after a judge’s restraining order, according to Ars Technica.
  • The Winklevoss twins opened up their WinkDex API to developers this week. According to Fortune, the brothers want their exchange price to be the leading price calculator for bitcoin.

Bitcoin in 2014

The history of bitcoin’s price

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A note on our data: We use CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index to obtain both a historical and current reflection of the Bitcoin market. The BPI is an average of the four Bitcoin exchanges which meet their criteria: Bitstamp, BTC-e, LakeBTC and Bitfinex. To see the criteria for inclusion or for price updates by the minute, visit CoinDesk. Since the market never closes, the “closing price” as noted in the graphics is based on end of day Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or British Summer Time (BST). 

This story was updated at 11:10 a.m. PT to correct Greg Brockman’s position to CTO.

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