Bitcoin Wins Best Technology Achievement at TechCrunch Awards

Bitcoin has won the TechCrunch Best Technology Achievement award at the 2013 Crunchies.

The 7th annual award ceremony was held last night in San Francisco and it was put together by TechCrunch, Gigaom and VentureBeat.

The fact that TechCrunch readers voted for bitcoin probably caused a problem or two for the organisers. Satoshi Nakamoto was a no-show, so Peter Vessenes, Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, accepted the prize in his place.

The award was presented by Gigaom’s Tom Krazit and Khosla Venture’s Keith Rabois. Here’s how TechCrunch explained the conundrum:

“Since no one person made bitcoin (or did they?) the award goes to the idea and the hard-working men and women around the world who are maintaining, mining, and improving the BTC protocol. It’s also an exciting time for economists who have suddenly become useful again as they try to explain the vagaries of currency pricing.”

TechCrunch went on to conclude that bitcoin is “almost mainstream” and that it seems like it is here to stay.

Although winning a Crunchie is no small feat, the last few weeks have been marred by bad news for cryptocurrencies. First there was Charlie Shrem, then a few regulatory problems and bans, and then came the Mt. Gox freeze.

However, there were some positive developments that can’t be overlooked. Microsoft’s Bing search engine added a bitcoin converter just the other day.

Several big merchants have gotten on board over the past few weeks and the New York bitcoin hearings ended on a high note, although they were overshadowed by the Shrem affair.

Increased coverage

The sheer amount of coverage has increased, too. Bitcoin is no longer reserved for specialised publications and tech sites, as mainstream media sites show increasing interest in the fledgling currency.

Financial institutions are looking into bitcoin too, and some have already issued relatively positive reports on the currency and the future of digital currencies in general.

Bitcoin still has its ups and downs, but it is easy to argue the biggest positive development on the public relations front does not have anything to do actual news.

The fact that the media focus is no longer on price and speculation means that interest is now shifting to more serious issues like real world applications of digital currencies and regulatory issues.

In other words, attention seems to be shifting toward the areas that are integral to the growth of the bitcoin economy as a whole.

Image Credit: TechCrunch

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