Buttercoin melts away.

The Bitcoin exchange market has stabilized a bit over the past year. For proof, you really don’t need to look any further than the exchange companies. The market is seeing consolidation as Bitcoin matures, specifically the rise of Coinbase and Bitpay. This is making it harder for smaller players to enter the market, even ones backed by Google Ventures.

Buttercoin, backed by some high profile investors, such as Google Ventures’ Kevin Rose and Chris Hutchins and Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, announced earlier this week that it will be shutting down on April 10. The reason? No, not because it was hacked. Simply put, it couldn’t raise enough funding. Investors aren’t interested in start-ups and have settled on some of the more mature providers, signaling that this market and cryptocurrency in general is going more mainstream, according to TechCrunch.

This got me thinking—are we about to see a shift in how we view and exchange currency? To answer that, I enlisted the help of Amanda Vasil, Change Agent here at AKHIA, to offer insight on what we should be paying attention to:

Amanda Vasil

“With so many “new” ways to make a payment, it would seem our bank accounts would be draining at rapid speeds… But really, mobile payment has just added more convenience to shoppers who are making purchases on-the-go, coupled with rewards and a cool factor.

Bitcoin. Funding trends and the creation of World of Bitcoin both continue to show cryptocurrency’s rise. Ten Bitcoin companies were represented at CES this past January. (Read my overall recap of the show.) The peer-to-peer focus of electronic transaction without the inclusion of a third-party governing body like a bank or tangible currency is gaining attention from tech giants like Microsoft, Amazon and eBay. But adoption is currently limited by lack of retailers that accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, plus a dearth of consumer education and awareness.

Google Wallet. Google is not one to be outdone, so of course it’s currently racing to compete with Apple Pay in its Google Wallet cardless payment offering. CNBC recently reported that Google Wallet is making friends with mobile carriers to accelerate user adoption. Of course, we can’t ignore that Paypal still dominates in mobile payment, but Apple Pay and Google Wallet are giving it competition.

Square. I’m currently obsessed with Square. It had a presence at the International Builders’ Show in January and is transforming the way small and mid-sized businesses are able to accept payment. In fact, I just used Square last night when I bought soup from a local business in Lakewood, using my finger to electronically sign (which I loved).”

Thanks Amanda!

Peanuts gets real.

Peanuts get real. I’m a huge fan of Peanuts. I always loved Snoopy growing up. Who didn’t want to be Joe Cool? So when I saw this new commercial from the all brand of detergent, it instantly became my new favorite. But it made me wonder why it took us until 2015 to see these characters come to life? If we can bring the likes of Marmaduke, Underdog and Garfield to life, we can certainly bring Peanuts to life.

Here are the top three comic strips I think should be brought to life:

  1. Blondie. Hey, if only to see Kate Upton play the role of Blondie.
  2. Beetle Bailey. I want to see Kevin James play Sergeant Snorkel.
  3. Dilbert. Drew Carey, play the role you were born to play.

While we’re at it, here are three that should never be brought to life:

  1. Cathy. AAARGHHHH! Not funny as a cartoon, not funny in real life.
  2. Ziggy. Still not sure what’s going on in this comic.
  3. Get Fuzzy. Don’t mess with perfection.

Ever wonder...

when Disney princesses became Disney princesses? You know, the crazy, expensive, addicting, status symbols they are today? Er, I mean, the cute, wonderful, adorable, child-loving treasures they are today? Watch this 200 second video that provides a chronological look at the brand history of Disney princesses. (And watch…as you can see your wallet get lighter.)