Published on February 13, 2014
Bitcoin has become one of the hottest new topics to hit the financial world in the last year or so. Bitcoin, which is merely one of a growing handful of virtual or electronic currencies, remains a very young and highly unknown instrument It is also a highly risky investment. Just overnight as this article was prepared for posting, the third largest international Bitcoin exchange in the world which accounts for 14% of all trades worldwide halted trading.
This sent Bitcoin prices down approximately 20% in hours. The rewards of Bitcoin, should it gain widespread acceptance, are easy to imagine. The risks of Bitcoin are substantial and perhaps much harder to explain. Virtual currencies are so new that regulators and courts have yet to firmly recognize their existence as items of property, although I believe they will ultimately be recognized as unquestioned assets much like derivative instruments whose physical form takes not the form of a contract but an algorithm to which the closest analogy might be computer code.
Nevertheless, regulators are taking notice and announcing plans to study the Bitcoin / virtual currency market; New York State's financial markets regulator announced just last week its intent to study the feasibility of a "BitLicense" and otherwise propose virtual currency regulations this year. (Curiously, the state's Superintendent of Financial Services has issued or made public no comments, so news of the Department's intent comes only through the financial press following Bitcoin
These analyses and such questions may be beyond the interest of most investors and traders to whom Bitcoin boils down to a central question: Can I make money with this stuff? Read More: What is Bitcoin? What is the value argument for Bitcoin? Follow Ziad Abdelnour @ Thank you
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