Spurred By Zynga Acceptance Plan, Bitcoin Tops $1K Mark (Jan. 6, 2014)
Zynga Inc., the maker of popular social media games like FarmVille, has announced it will begin accepting Bitcoin as payment for in-game virtual goods. Zynga unveiled the plan in a post on Reddit, in which the company said it was partnering with Bitcoin payments processor BitPayto test Bitcoin payments in several Zynga games, including FarmVille2 and six others. Zynga said the decision to test Bitcoin payments was spurred by “Bitcoin’s rise in popularity around the world,” and encouraged users to give feedback on the test.
The Zynga announcement was seen by many investors as a major vote of confidence for Bitcoin as a viable currency. Spurred by the news, the value of a single bitcoin rose above $1,090 on Monday morning on Mt. Gox, a popular Bitcoin exchange. The virtual currency first broke the $1,000 milestone on Nov. 27, but has since fluctuated as lawmakers in countries around the globe grapple with Bitcoin. Last week, multiple Bitcoin exchanges based in India shut down operations after the country’s central bank released an advisory notice warning of the risks of virtual currencies. And in December, officials in China banned financial institutions from using Bitcoin as currency. The U.S. Senate meanwhile, held hearings last month to address the risks and positive potential of digital currency. While regulators have been skittish about Bitcoin, the currency continues to gain popularity even among some key companies. PayPal President David Marcus said in December that the digital currency eventually could become a convenient way for consumers to store value and protect against inflation, if the regulatory framework becomes clearer. Online retailer Overstock.com unveiled plans last month to begin accepting Bitcoin payments this year.