Dropbox now has 275 million users, most of them consumers who use the service to store their personal files and images. But it’s precisely its popularity at home that could help Dropbox at work, as the company pushes out its latest Dropbox for Business update on Wednesday.
All Work And All Play
Last November, Dropbox announced some long-awaited updates to Dropbox for Business. The most crucial one was a tweak to Dropbox’s familiar, simple interface: In place of the single desktop file folder labeled “Dropbox,” business users would find two folders, one labeled “Personal” and one named after their employer.
Those updates are now live. Dropbox users whose workplace has paid for the service can share pictures, videos, documents and other files, switching between work and personal files without having to juggle two accounts. At the same time, their employers can manage their work files without touching their personal files.
In the past, Dropbox customers had to switch accounts, use kludges like Chrome’s incognito browsing mode, or just mix together personal and business files. While it seems obvious that people might want to share all kinds of files with Dropbox, accommodating this scenario was actually quite a technical problem for the company. It required a full-scale rebuild, according to Ilya Fushman, head of Dropbox for Business.
That rebuild frees up Dropbox to build new features, while keeping most of the simplicity Dropbox is known for. In the place of one folder for all your files, there are now two.
Its rollout comes at a critical time. While Dropbox retails storage services to consumers and businesses, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are slashing prices for wholesale storage. In the short term, this seems like it should be good for Dropbox, dropping the price it must pay Amazon and other service providers for storage and bandwidth. In the long run, though, it seems inevitable that those savings will get passed on to consumers, challenging Dropbox’s pricing.
Box, a Dropbox competitor who recently filed to go public, is emphasizing its collaboration features and industry-specific apps built on its platform. Meanwhile, Google and Microsoft have their own Dropbox competitors, Google Drive and OneDrive, which they are weaving closely into their own suites of online apps.
Dropbox’s account-linking strategy takes full advantage of its biggest asset—its 275 million users, whose ubiquity is a big reason why it’s worked its way into businesses in the first place. People use the tool they’re familiar with in the workplace, and when they need to share with contractors, partners, or other outsiders, the odds are good that they, too, have a Dropbox account.
All those consumer accounts—most of them free—still have value for Dropbox. They are word-of-mouth marketing for the brand and built-in leads for its salesforce. That’s why Dropbox is a prime example of how a consumer-friendly tool can work its way into businesses.
Still, some workplaces ban Dropbox, fear that files will leak out through it. Can Dropbox find its way into these locked-down environments with complex security requirements?
It already has in some cases. Here are some of the features Dropbox has rolled out, in the hope of getting a slice of the IT budgets currently going to giants like IBM and Microsoft:
- Remote wipe: Systems administrators can automatically wipe a business account if they think the account may be compromised—just the business files, leaving personal files untouched.
- Downloadable audit logs: Customers can have more visibility into who is sharing which documents. Those logs can then be put into an analytics system like Splunk for deeper probing.
- Account transfer: Turnover is a fact of business. Account transfer—a feature already seen in Google Drive—moves files from an ex-employee to a current employee.
Even with these new features, Dropbox faces an uphill battle in courting businesses against Box and Microsoft, which have more feet on the street calling on large businesses.
Microsoft is the real power when it comes to documents, thanks to its Office suite, where so many work documents begin. Office is increasingly tied into OneDrive, the company’s file-sharing and -storage service.
It seems unlikely that Dropbox will hire a large army of salespeople to respond. It still has more jobs listed for engineers than for salespeople—and its sales openings include titles like “sales engineer” and “solutions architect.” While others sell, sell, sell their products, the updates to Dropbox for Business represents a bet that the company can engineer its way to customers’ hearts—at home, and at the office.
Really terrible Photoshop, for which he apologizes, by Owen Thomas for ReadWrite
With the announced acquisition of Nokia’s mobile devices unit for $7.2 billion, Microsoft is positively plowing its way to becoming the devices and services company it feels it must become in order to survive.
But as it stands right now, there seems to be very little chance that Microsoft will survive as anything close to its present state. Microsoft is either beginning a journey that will see it split into at least two companies, or risking the alienation of its existing enterprise and smaller-business customers.
The inclusion of Nokia’s handset business into Microsoft makes sense when looked at from a consumer perspective. After all, both Apple and Google are already playing on variations of the same theme: IT companies that provide end-to-end services that are owned up and down the stack. Apple and Google own the software ecosystems and either own the hardware or, in Google’s case, licenses the software stack to hardware vendors so that Android phones are compatible enough to run Android apps.
Microsoft, which has long been the behemoth horizontal company the provided the operating system layer and some really valuable parts of the application layer to all sectors—consumers to enterprise—will not be expected to pivot 90 degrees to become a more vertically oriented end-to-end vendor.
Much has been said about Microsoft’s ability to make this pivot and become the third part of such a consumer-facing triad, particularly given the rampant non-success of Windows Phone devices in the market to date. But let’s assume, for a moment, that Microsoft can pull it off, and a more focused Nokia-Microsoft synergy actually starts to gain traction in the marketplace.
Here’s my question: where does that leave enterprise customers?
Bring Our Own What?
The message to enterprise customers and channel partners to date has been pretty straightforward: let’s move everything to the cloud. Running apps on Windows server? Move it to the Windows Azure cloud. Building docs and spreadsheets with Office? Migrate yourself right over to Office 365.
From Microsoft’s point of view, getting business customers aligned to the cloud is a better option. There’s money to be made and a cloud-services architecture fits much more neatly with the end-to-end business model they are shooting for than client-server architecture.
There are two big problems with that line of thinking. First, there are a lot of enterprises that are not entirely convinced that cloud is the way to go for them, even private clouds. Second—and even more troublesome—there are a lot of businesses who have spent years and millions of dollars building an IT support infrastructure that is centered around the client-server model. Asking them to stand by while Microsoft tries to pivot and hopefully does not leave them hanging for support or tries to shove unneeded solutions down their throat is a huge risk for Microsoft to take.
Recall, for a moment, how much resistance app developers and device makers are seeing to implement bring-your-own-device policies now. And that’s with mature software and devices that are selling like hotcakes. Microsoft will have to innovate like crazy to push past the business inertia that’s holding BYOD as a safe business process back.
The push to cloud services is especially ironic. For the past couple of years, Microsoft’s marketing team has had loads of fun taking potshots at Google Docs, deriding it in ads as Google’s attempt to “beta test” productivity services. Now, Microsoft is asking companies to forget all those points about security, stability and regulation compliance and trust Office 365 in the cloud anyway.
Microsoft is betting all of its future that enterprise customers will go along with these changes like willing sheep. That characterization is wildly inaccurate: businesses large and small demonstrated through their refusal to abandon Windows XP that just because Microsoft says something is cool and useful, doesn’t always make it so.
Windows 8 is even more of a mental hurdle, because anyone with half a brain can see this is Windows for devices and no one gets real work done on devices.
So, in all of that, where is the attraction for enterprises to stick with Microsoft?
Cleaving Microsoft Apart
I am not alone in this line of thinking. Since the Labor Day announcement of the Nokia buy, there have been a lot of rumors from people in and outside of Microsoft that foresee a day coming soon when Microsoft will have to split itself in two.
One company will carry the Devices group that includes the recently picked-up Nokia, as well as other device services like Xbox. Call this the “digital lifestyles” company.
The other company will be the “enterprise” company, which will hold the Windows Azure, Windows, Office and SharePoint businesses and anything else that faces business users.
Breaking up Microsoft into two entities will leave the enterprise company free to do what should have been going on all along: innovate for the business users, not the device users. Besides enabling such innovation, such a company would also ease the minds of IT managers who are now wondering how they will have to adapt to Microsoft’s continuing allegiance to devices and services.
Because there are a lot of services companies out there, and by pivoting to become another such service vendor, Microsoft has thrown the door wide open for competitors to step in and show nervous enterprise customers the services they have been doing all along, sometimes at a better price and with better results.
If Microsoft does not do something along these lines to assure enterprise customers it has their best interests at heart, then it will have effectively abandoned them to chase a dream many businesses are not yet ready to follow.
We’ve been working on getting more details on a press event that Facebook is having this week. Earlier, we wrote it could launch a news-reading app, but we have since heard more details that point to something else entirely. On June 20, a source says Facebook will unveil that Instagram, its popular photo-sharing app, will begin to let people also take and share short videos. Call it the Vine effect.
We are still looking for more information because we understand that Facebook has not wanted the details of June 20 to leak out — so this could be an intentional blind alley. But if the Instagram video report is true, you could say the event invite itself — sent by snail mail, coffee cup stain charmingly in one corner — is a red herring of its own.
Earlier reports about Instagram getting video provide some indication, though, that this is not coming out of the blue. Most recently, about three weeks ago Matthew Keys broke a story noting that such a service was getting tested internally. At the time, there wasn’t any information on when it would be coming out, nor whether there would be filters, nor whether this would be in a separate app or part of an Instagram update. The videos would be between five and 10 seconds in length, he noted.
Getting video on Instagram is a move that would make sense. Specifically, it looks like a direct response to the rising popularity of video-sharing services, namely Twitter’s Vine. It, and others like Viddy, Cinemagram and Socialcam, sometimes get described as “Instragram for video” apps.
The Vine app — which lets users take six seconds of video footage on an iOS or Android handset and then share those clips to Vine’s own network, Twitter or Facebook — has shot up in popularity since going live in January. After Twitter debuted an Android version of Vine in the beginning of June, usage reached a tipping point: shares of Vines surpassed those of Instagram photos on Twitter — usage that has only diverged even more since then:
Of course, you could argue that part of the reason is because Twitter no longer shows inline views of Instagram photos — that may have affected how many Instagram photos have been shared to Twitter.
When those Instagram/Twitter cards disappeared, we noted that part of the reason for the move — taken by Facebook/Instagram, not Twitter — appeared to be to drive more direct traffic to Instagram itself, a popular social network in its own right, with over 100 million monthly active users, rising sharply since Facebook bought the company last year for $715 million.
Putting in a video service could serve to further that strategy even more, before new-but-already-popular services like Vine get more of a foothold. It will mean one less app and social network for users to build up, and, for those who like to take and share videos, another reason to visit Instagram. You can see how something like video could be a very sticky complement to its photo service.
There could be another reason for adding video to the service: it’s a very attractive medium for advertisers and marketers.
Of course, Instagram is not running any ads yet — in fact, Facebook and Instagram got a lot of heatover changes in their terms of service in December over how it could implement advertising services in the future — so much heat that they rolled back the ToS and apologized. And in Facebook’slast quarterly earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a point of noting that while big brands were interested in advertising on Instagram, for now there were no plans to implement this. (That’s not to say that Instagram is not already a substantial marketing platform for brands.)
And with 100 million+ users, you could argue that there may not be enough scale there yet to really monetize ads properly. Adding in video is laying the groundwork — and providing one more engine to grow that Instagrammer base.
Facebook declined to comment for this story.
After months of speculation, the fate of Waze, the social-mapping-location-data startup, is finally decided: Google is buying the company, giving the search giant a social boost to its already-strong mapping and mobile businesses. Although speculation has had it at $1 billion to $1.3 billion, but so far there is no price on the deal. In any event, it’s a doubly strategic move. Google’s purchase comes in the wake of what appeared to be failed negotiations between the Israel-based startup two big rivals of the search giant: Facebook, which waseyeing up the company but apparently faltered at the due dilligence phase; and Apple (neither company ever publicly confirmed interest in acquiring Waze).
The news comes after a particularly heated few days in which reports of Google’s interest in Wazereached new heights, after first surfacing two weeks ago. In the wildfire that is internet publishing, many even went so far as to report it as a done deal, making things even more confusing.
Waze had raised some $67 million in funding from Blue Run Ventures, Magma, Vertex, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, and Horizon Ventures. And it looks like the majority of the payout in the sale will go to these VCs. Globes, the Israeli business newspaper that first reported the latest interest from Google, estimated that payouts to co-founders — Ehud Shabtai, Amir and Gili Shinar, Uri Levine, Arie Gillon — and its CEO Noam Bardin, will be under $200 million in total.
There are at least a couple of places where you can see Google making use of Waze data.
Social. Under CEO Larry Page, Google has been especially bullish on where it positions itself on social, which it has been hinging on Google+ as a kind of web across all of its other properties to show you, the user, what those you know are doing, and also to let your connections see what you are looking at online. Taking a page from Facebook’s book, the thinking goes that this helps with discovery and engagement.
Waze, as a crowdsourced location platform, would give Google an additional, very mobile-based angle on this concept, letting users not just share places (i.e. sites) visited on the web, but actual places visited physically. As Bardim noted at the AllThingsD conference in April, “What search is for the web, maps are for mobile.” By this, he means that most of the searches you do on mobile have to do with location, and Waze is one of the few companies out there that is bringing that kind of search together with actual map data and a social layer. (The NYT ran an interesting piece yesterday with one mapping company describing how maps on mobile specifically become a “canvas” for all other apps.)
Competition. Waze could be a two-pronged fork for Google: On one hand, it gives the search giant nice, healthy wedge into the mass of consumers who are already using the app on iOS devices. But it also, if reports are to be believed, also gives Google a way of roadblocking how companies like Facebook could use Waze’s assets. As the startup likes to point out, it’s not a mapping company, but a big data player. Facebook, making its own big push on mobile, would have been a natural home for a socially-focused company like Waze, which also happens to be one of the few home-grown mapping databases around. This will mean that Facebook will need to have to continue to use third-party data for its own location-based searches and information, or less look to acquire elsewhere.
It’s interesting, in any case, that Google and Waze have now kissed and made up. It was only in April that Bardin jabbed at Google when talking about who the big players in mapping were and how Waze stacks up against them: Waze used to benchmark itself with Google, he noted at the AllThingsD conference, but after the search giant cut off access to its API, Waze started to benchmark to Navteq.
When the Facebook acquisition reports surfaced, we’d heard that one of the sticking points was that Waze wanted to keep its R&D in Israel, while Facebook was leaning to a Menlo Park relocation. Since then, others have told us that this was just smoke a mirrors and that there were other reasons the deal fell through (Mountain View’s most famous resident being one possible factor). Google, unlike Facebook, has a decent presence in the country, including a new hub for startups started inDecember 2012, Campus Tel Aviv.
Google today made it clear that it would keep Waze’s operations going in Israel — for now, at least. “The Waze product development team will remain in Israel and operate separately for now,” Brian McClendon, Google’s VP of Geo, noted in the blog post announcing the deal. “We’re excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhancing Waze with Google’s search capabilities.”
In any case, it makes sense that Waze might want to keep its Israel-based operations intact. Just about all of the company’s 110-or-so employees are there, with only around 10 in a very modest office in Palo Alto, just down the street from another big-data startup, Palantir. That small proportion, however, is mighty: regular workers there include CEO Noam Bardin and Di-Ann Eisnor, Waze’s VP of platform and partnerships.
The U.S. is currently Waze’s largest single market — in April, Bardin noted that 12 million of its (at the time) 44 million users are based there — and this is where the company is putting its growth efforts for now, too. In February of this year, Waze expanded its U.S. operations, and its monetization ambitions, by opening an office on Madison Avenue, the heart of the advertising world in New York City, and we’ve seen that members of the team have been visiting New York recently. There is still a lot of development to be done on the advertising front — and given Google’s pole position in online and mobile advertising, that would give Waze another obvious fit with its new owner.
Ironically, the news comes as Google continues to fight other kinds of fires on the mapping front. In the U.S. it is trying to get a ruling overturned that it violated federal wiretap laws with its StreetView services.
In Europe, Google recently offered up a settlement in a search antitrust suit, originally brought by travel and mapping companies, that claimed Google, the biggest search engine in Europe by a longshot, was giving its own mapping and travel results more preference in search results over those of its competitors, making business untenable for smaller players. In that ongoing case, the EU competition regulator Joachin Almunia said at the end of May that Google still needed to make more concessions.
Among mobile browsers, Safari continues to lead the pack by a wide margin according to this month’s data from NetMarketShare, but the real movement is happening within the Android segment, with Chrome growing fast as the stock Android browser lags behind. Android overall dipped slightly in May in terms of mobile OS share, hitting an eight month low according to NetMarketShare’s tracking.
Android’s stock browser lost over 2 percentage points of share between April and May, and Chrome mobile gained just under a full percentage point. Google has been pushing the mobile version of Chrome, shipping it on devices with Android pre-installed since last fall. That has resulted in a steady upwards movement of share, growing from 0.34 percent last July to 3.22 percent this past May. Stock Android browser share is actually flat over that eleven month period, however, indicating that Chrome’s share is all coming in new device sales, and not as a result of people switching from one to the other on their own devices.
According to OS share, Android is down slightly from last month, and inf fact hits a low point compared to many previous measuring periods. Apple’s iOS is up slightly from last month, but mostly flat, and Symbian, Java ME and BlackBerry actually all experienced small bumps, meaning Android’s nearly 2 percentage point fall didn’t result in a big win for pretty much any platform. Still, it’s interesting to see those numbers dip during a month when Android saw the launch of two big new flagship phones in the Galaxy S4 and HTC One.
Overall, though, the most interesting story here is Chrome’s mobile growth. Google is making a big push for cross-platform compatibility and portability, and a lot of what it’s showing off on the Chrome side of things is designed to bring mobile and desktop together. To achieve that goal, it becomes instrumental that mobile Chrome achieve greater uptake, which is an uphill battle considering that it only arrived last year. Still, it seems to be gaining momentum, which is good for Google’s long-term goals.
All around the globe today, people are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the first WordPress release, affectionately know as #wp10. Watching the feed of photos, tweets, and posts from Auckland to Zambia is incredible; from first-time bloggers to successful WordPress-based business owners, people are coming out in droves to raise a glass and share the “holiday” with their local communities. With hundreds of parties going on today, it’s more visible than ever just how popular WordPress has become.
Thank you to everyone who has ever contributed to this project: your labors of love made this day possible.
But today isn’t just about reflecting on how we got this far (though I thought Matt’s reflection on the first ten years was lovely). We are constantly moving forward. As each release cycle begins and ends (3.6 will be here soon, promise!), we always see an ebb and flow in the contributor pool. Part of ensuring the longevity of WordPress means mentoring new contributors, continually bringing new talent and fresh points of view to our family table.
I am beyond pleased to announce that this summer we will be mentoring 8 interns, most of them new contributors, through Google Summer of Code and the Gnome Outreach Program for Women. Current contributors, who already volunteer their time working on WordPress, will provide the guidance and oversight for a variety of exciting projects this summer. Here are the people/projects involved in the summer internships:
- Ryan McCue, from Australia, working on a JSON-based REST API. Mentors will be Bryan Petty and Eric Mann, with a reviewer assist from Andrew Norcross.
- Kat Hagan, from the United States, working on a Post by Email plugin to replace the core function. Mentors will be Justin Shreve and George Stephanis, with an assist from Peter Westwood.
- Siobhan Bamber, from Wales, working on a support (forums, training, documentation) internship. Mentors will be Mika Epstein and Hanni Ross.
- Frederick Ding, from the United States, working on improving portability. Mentors will be Andrew Nacin and Mike Schroder.
- Sayak Sakar, from India, working on porting WordPress for WebOS to Firefox OS. Mentor will be Eric Johnson.
- Alex Horeth, from Germany, working on adding WordPress native revisions to the theme and plugin code editors. Mentors will be Dominik Schilling and Aaron Campbell, with a reviewer assist from Daniel Bachhuber.
- Mert Yazicioglu, from Turkey, working on ways to improve our community profiles at profiles.wordpress.org. Mentors will be Scott Reilly and Boone Gorges.
- Daniele Maio, from Italy, working on a native WordPress app for Blackberry 10. Mentor will be Danilo Ercoli.
Did you notice that our summer cohort is as international as the #wp10 parties going on today? I can only think that this is a good sign.
It’s always a difficult process to decide which projects to mentor through these programs. There are always more applicants with interesting ideas with whom we’d like to work than there are opportunities. Luckily, WordPress is a free/libre open source software project, and anyone can begin contributing at any time. Is this the year for you? We’d love for you to join us as we work toward #wp20.
Responsive design is rapidly becoming the new standard in our industry, along with its evolving carousel of best practices, platforms and tools. The movement has caused a shift in thinking, especially as we adapt our workflows for a more efficient project process.
From content structure to scalable images, we’ll cover seven techniques to consider in your next responsive design.
If you are a designer or developer, what are some of your strategies for responsive web design? Please share your recommendations with readers in the comments below.
1. Mobile First
Starting with a mobile first approach and designing with progressive enhancement covers all bases, helps you focus and prioritize the constraints of mobile design, while you build new innovative experiences and capabilities.
It means the default presentation and base content is mobile, optimized for the simplest devices first. Devices with small screens and media query support is then served an advanced layout. Finally, the content and layout are then enhanced for the “desktop.” It’s an approach even Google has adopted, as the number of people perusing the web on mobile devices continues to grow at an incredible rate.
Designing for the mobile experience should now be our starting point, not the end. It forces us to focus on the essential content, to build optimized, fast-loading mobile experiences that are progressively enhanced, with the user at the forefront.
As ZURB, the team behind the popular responsive CSS framework, Foundation, noted, “A mobile first approach doesn’t just concentrate on developing for mobile phones; it is also used to develop better usability of sites, develop better use of web real estate and better reduce the amount of unnecessary elements from web pages.”
While the mobile first responsive design technique is still in its infancy, and presents a variety of technical challenges, embracing it means you are building on an adaptive, focused, lean, uncluttered future-friendly foundation.
Read the full article: Mashable
Find some buried treasure, fly in a glass-bottomed jet or mock the Caped Crusader… these are among the many ways you can be fooled thus far on this April Fools’ Day, 2013.
The media and technology sectors have been busy already this morning, coming up with some new and clever ways to pull the wool over our eyes on the one day of the year when all the stops are pulled out to deliver the laughs. Of course, some gags are funnier than others, but we’ll let you decide in this morning roundup of the funny and the lame.
Google: Class Clown Or Else
If you’re judging on sheer number of pranks, then hands down the Mountain View search engine company takes the prize in 2013.
Apparently, when Marissa Mayer took her stop-screwing-around-and-get-some-work-done attitude with her when she went to Yahoo, her former co-workers took that as a sign to cut loose and let their funny flags fly, launching no less than nine goofs.
Gee, if only they could put this much effort into Google Reader.
- YouTube Closing. Millions of videos later, YouTube reveals that the whole thing was actually one big contest for finding the world’s best video. Now that the contest is over, Best Video nominees will be previewed in a 12-hour cycle for the next two years.
- ‘Dem Naughty Gmail Blues. In a feat of massive re-engineering, the team at Gmail has provided users with an all-blue interface. Watch thestirring marketing video and hey, just remember, Gmail itself wasonce thought to be an April Fool’s joke. If it ever goes the way of Google Reader, it still could be.
- Avast Ye, Scurvy Dogs! The Google Maps team has discovered the lost treasure maps of Captain William Kidd, and is asking users to help decode the symbology from the find. No word if this will actually reward patient humorologists with booty.
- Make Your House Look Fabulous! If you’re tired of the way your home looks on Google Street View, the Google Australia team is happy to help. Their new Simple Complete House Makeover Internet Conversion Kit (SCHMICK) will let you redecorate your home on Street View at no charge.
- Smelling Is Believing. Those Street View cars were apparently hoovering more than just stray wi-fi data… they were also recording the smells of the world for Google’s new Google Nose service (in Beta, natch). The new service appears all day on the Google nav bars, in case you want to sniff it out. (Yeah, I went there.)
- Analyze This. Google Analytics, long the authoritative source for finding out who’s coming to your site, has upped its game with accuracy, enabling real-time tracking from visitors from the International Space Station.
- Emotions Are Logical. Google + gets a real plus in the new +Emotion service that lets you tag photos with unambiguous emoticons. You know, in case the actual expressions on people’s faces weren’t clear enough.
- Google Fiber Everywhere. Yeah, I’ll come clean: I want this one to be oh, so, true. Because moving to Kansas is not optimal.
- The Source Of The Funny. Ah, now we get to the source of Google’s overabundance of the funny this year: the Google Levity Algorithm, a new feature for Google Apps that enhances documents and interactive communications based on 50 years of comedy material from Second City.
Read the full article: readwrite
Hang around in the tech industry long enough and you or someone you know will be heard saying, “that’s so crazy it just might work.” Two years ago, if you’d have told me that an open-source, P2P currency would soon be a thriving, billion-dollar market, I would’ve told you that you were on a lonely bus headed to CrazyTown, U.S.A. But today, Bitcoin officially became a crazy idea that’s actually working.
Today, all the Bitcoin in circulation — some 10.9 million of them — have collectively crossed the billion-dollar mark. As it is wont to do, the value of Bitcoin (and its exchange rate) has fluctuated wildly today. At one point, it hit a dollar value around $78, then pushed into the mid-nineties. As of this minute, it’s hovering around $90.
Okay, it’s still a tiny fraction of Google’s market cap, but this is something — especially for a largely unregulated, decentralized virtual currency. (Say that three times fast.) The world’s most popular controversial crypto-currency, mind you.
Bitcoin supporters will scoff and tell you that this is no news, and that Bitcoin has been alive and thriving for years. In fact, it first appeared back in 2009, and has been slowly gaining steam since. But Bitcoin has largely remained outside the realm of mainstream media attention, because no one has been quite sure what to make of it. Is it a passing fad, a hilarious geek-driven phenomenon, or the real deal?
In fact, it has really been relegated to the realm of the uber geeky, or seen as the currency of anarchists or crazy digital libertarians. The black market marketplace known as Silk Road, which allows pretty much anyone to anonymously sell “alternative products” (i.e. large quantities of one’s drug of choice), uses Bitcoin for its currency. Something which hasn’t exactly helped Bitcoin’s “cross over” appeal.
Read the full article: TechCrunch