While companies like Circle ventured to make bitcoin a serious contender in mainstream finance, there were many events that highlighted the not-so-serious side of the currency. Here are six of the best.
Whoever said that bitcoin couldn't buy you things? Alongside Xbox credits, university tuition andcraft beer, 2014 was the year that the digital currency first bought you a parcel full of crap.
Founded in October, Shitexpress is a service that mails a tupperware container of horse manure with a personalised message on your behalf (see Motherboard journalist Jason Koebler's I hate your guts).
In its first 30 days, the company made over $10,000.
On the Shitexpress blog, CEO 'Peter' said he had received orders from over 30 different countries and plans to expand his "killer app".
It's raining coin
While the sex industry took slow, tentative steps into the realm of bitcoin in 2014, one strip club in Tampa, Florida, put the digital currency centre stage.
2001 Odyssey's 'Make it Rain' machine – a $1 bill dispenser that 'rains' money onto the club's performers – added bitcoin payments via payment processor BitPay in April.
Members watching the space-themed club's livestream can send $50- or $100-worth of the digital currency raining over its dancers, the DJ or even the club's manager.
To celebrate their flurry of generosity, punters even get a 'shout out' from the DJ and a 'thunder rumble' sound effect to boot.
This year, two bitcoin fans decided to take their love for the cryptocurrency (and each other) to the next level.
Joyce and David Mondrus exchanged vows at the world's first 'blockchain wedding' at Disneyland, Florida on 5th August.
The event, officiated by none other than author and libertarian Jeffrey Tucker, was part of the Coins in the Kingdom conference, a perfect setting for the so-called "magic Internet money".
The couple stood beside a bitcoin ATM and guests could verify their 0.1 BTC transaction via a QR code, while tucking into their computer-shaped cake.
“For better or worse, ’til death do us part, because the blockchain is forever,” the transaction's metadata reads.
In a year marred by hacks, scams and losses, the issue of wallet security was more relevant than ever.
During a ‘biohacking’ event in the Netherlands, one man, Martijn Wismeijer (also known as Mr Bitcoin), took matters into his own hands, rather literally.
With the help of a body-modification specialist, two NFC-enabled chips capable of storing bitcoin private key data were injected into the flesh between Wismeijer's thumb and index finger.
Speaking to CoinDesk, the entrepreneur said he has so far experimented with storing litecoin, darkcoin, dogecoin and bitcoin on the tiny devices, which can hold up to 888 bytes of data each (around 26 different mini private keys).
“As long as you can export your private key, you can write that into your hands," he said.
Wow, such Nascar
2014 also witnessed the rise of the alts. While projects like Ripple, Stellar and litecoin gained ground, an unlikely meme-based currency also caught on: dogecoin.
What started as a joke soon snowballed into an active community known for its charitable giving and non-sensical grammar.
Campaigns included the Doge4Water drive, which raised $50,000 to build Kenyan water wells, and the $30,000 campaign to send Jamaica's bobsleigh team to the Winter Olympics, Cool Runnings-style.
But, most notable was the dogecoin community's Nascar sponsorship, which saw driver Josh Wise race with a Shiba Inu logo on his bonnet at the Talledega Superspeedway.
The search to uncover the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto reached fever pitch this year.
Although researchers and casual users had tried and failed to track down the bitcoin's mysterious creator (or creators) using various methods before, Newsweek claimed it had succeeded.
The main giveaway? The phonebook. Yes, according to Newsweek, Satoshi Nakamoto – a notoriously secretive cryptographer – was not using a carefully constructed alias, but his real name.
Alas, not everyone was convinced by Newsweek's scoop, timed to relaunch its print edition, but it triggered a frenzy among journalists to reach Dorian.
Soon, news crews swarmed his LA home and, after his decision to take a 'free lunch' from an AP reporter in exchange for an interview, a farcical car chase took place with journalists in tow.
The ex-engineer – who received an outpouring of support from the bitcoin community – is nowsuing the publication for damages, claiming the allegations "hurt my family".By: Grace Caffyn (@GCaffyn).
Coinbase has recently been demonstrating why consumer regulation is such a problem.
Even though 2015 is right around the corner, some might say that bitcoin was still in its 'Wild West' days throughout the course of this year.
“I have some [KnCMiner] Neptunes – about two terahashes in bitcoin mining,” he said “David” Thompson. “It’s done well”.
A vocal minority of operators are taking a stand against major bitcoin ATM manufacturer Robocoin over its decision to ...