Friday, November 29, 2013

Bitcoin Worth Its Weight In Gold

Bitcoin is the new virtual currency that has captivated the attention of the entire world. When Bitcoin first hit the world news scene it was in relationship to the demise of Silk Road, the website where consumers could purchase drugs anonymously, by using Bitcoins as the payment system. Now, with more nations recognizing the currency as a reputable means of payment, the currency’s value is skyrocketing.

Bitcoin prices were much cheaper, when a single coin cost $11.00 in November of last year. However, it recently passed the threshold of $1,000 per coin and today hit a high water mark of $1,242. This is an amazing growth rate for the currency, and it has not gone unnoticed by the world.

Meanwhile, gold, which has always been considered a stable form of currency, is dropping in value. It has fallen from more than $1,700 per ounce to a price of just $1,250 per ounce. Gold has registered a drop of around 25 percent so far for the year. This could be a real problem for the U.S. and other countries who’s currency systems are backed by gold bullion.

The Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, said that Bitcoin may be the answer for the future, noting that it “may hold long term promise.” Could it be that we are about to witness a major change in the way that individuals, businesses, and even nations store their wealth. Will our currency be backed by a virtual coin rather than solid gold as it has in the past?

I don’t think that’s what is happening with the popularity of Bitcoin. After all, you still have to use real currency to pay for it, whether its U.S. dollars or Japanese Yen, which both are backed by gold.

Apple News: Black Friday Deals In U.S. & Canada

Apple Inc. is offering Black Friday deals in the U.S. and Canada that mimic the deals offered in Australia. The company will be giving customers gift cards to spend in the Apple Store rather than offering huge discounts on products like the iPad Mini with Retina Display. While this may be a disappointment to some shoppers, it is a smart move by Apple.

In Europe, Apple opted for more traditional discounts rather than giving gift cards. According to Apple Insider, customers wishing to see direct cash savings on new Apple products should try authorized resellers like MacMall, Best Buy, and Amazon.

In regards to Apple’s deals offered via its gift card program, the U.S. package looks to be pretty good. The iPad Air will land you a $75 gift card to the Apple Store, and the standard iPad Mini or iPad 2 will net a $50 card. A MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or iMac earns a $150 gift card. iPod Touch snags $50 and the iPod nano and Apple TV will get you a $25 gift card. Unfortunately the iPhone does not qualify for any rebates or discounts this year.

This swap from the normal discount programs is most likely a push for the company to retain its profit margins. Giving the gift cards will help customers grab more loot from the Apple Store than they normally would, but it doesn’t help reduce the bottom line of what they have to spend.