Google adds Bitcoin exchange rates to instant search answers
Bitcoin continues its march into the mainstream with yet another big name thinking the crypto-currency is worth its attention. This time, however, it's not a retailer agreeing to accept Bitcoin, but Google integrating Bitcoin into its instant answers.
If you want to find out how much 20 bucks will currently get you in Bitcoin, just type in "20 USD in BTC" (or speak it using Google Now) to get the answer. Google's currency exchange feature allows you to mix and match any currencies you want. If you've got an Italian vacation coming up and want to know how many Euros a Bitcoin will get you, Google can help.
Bing actually beat Google to the punch on this one and has supported Bitcoin exchange rates for some time. But with Google owning close to 70 percent of the U.S. search market, Google's acceptance puts Bitcoin exchange rates in front of a much larger audience.
Google is yet another large organization to support Bitcoin in some manner. The search giant has yet to accept Bitcoin as a payment method through its online stores such as Google Play, but other retailers are lining up to accept Bitcoin.
In late January, online finance management service Mint.com allowed its users to add their Bitcoin stash to their investment portfolios. Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service said in March that it would tax Bitcoin as property and not currency.
More recently, the State of California removed a ban against alternative payment methods, giving Bitcoin and other virtual currencies a legitimate entry into America's largest regional economy.
But not everyone is sure what to make of Bitcoin. The European Banking Authority is still figuring out how to deal with the virtual currency, and only recently Russia softened up on its Bitcoin crackdown.