Many are still wondering - is Bitcoin still the future of money? The Chicago Sun-Times certainly thinks so and despite recent reports of theft and a ruling from the IRS stating that bitcoin is not a currency. They are becoming the first major American newspaper who will be accepting bitcoin as payment from their subscribers.
The move has been reported in business media and readers from the Chicago area can now pay for subscriptions at bitcoin.suntimes.com with the paper enlisting Coinbase to process the payments. The Sun-Times had a one-day trial in February with visitors on the paper’s website being presented a choice where they could either make a donation to the Taproot Foundation with bitcoins, or they could promote Taproot through social media to gain access. Sun-Times editor-in-chief Jim Kirk later said that: “Our goal is to keep the Sun-Times current and in sync with evolving technology. Our acceptance of bitcoin payments is one of the many ways we are trying to stay focused on our digital development.”
The CTO of the parent company of Sun-Times, Josh Metnick, told media that they’re also looking at ways of expanding bitcoin payments to other properties.
Bitcoin has divided opinions between old school economists and technology experts. Paul Krugman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times economics columnist, questioned the volatility of bitcoin and even wondered if it had any real value. It most likely does, as hackers stole $460 million from the world’s most prominent exchange - Mt. Gox, who recently filed for bankruptcy. Other bitcoin exchanges have been attacked by hackers, like Flexcoin, and Autumn Radtke, the CEO of the First Meta exchange, committed suicide last month in Singapore.
The IRS made a ruling last week that bitcoin is a property, which means that profits from it, as well as losses, will be taxed at the capital gains rate instead of the higher income rate. This announcement immediately triggered a 20% drop in the value of bitcoin.