Economy, Globe, World

Bitcoin: a currency of the future?

In a rapidly changing world, where computer technologies already dominate many sectors, it would not be strange to predict that global finance will die shortly in the face of electronic currencies.

 

Bitcoin4Robert F. Campos

 

Some experts perceive this possibility as beneficial for digital criminals or even for the big mafias worldwide, while according to others, Bitcoin is a form of financial independence from central banks and the hegemony of powerful governments.

A recent news release brings to the fore the acceptance of payments in Bitcoin on behalf of Overstock.com, a company which is valued at $1 billion. This company decided to enter the new market of buyers that uses the currency online.

Bitcoin2In addition, however, to Bitcoin , dozens of other digital currencies exist as a way of perhaps catching up with modernity and the future – or simply of securing a piece of heaven in a rapidly changing and dangerous financial world.

The Jamaican team, which will be participating in the 2014 Winter Olympics, on the 7th of February in Sochi, Russia, is an example. This is because, they managed to raise 25,000 dollars in just a few hours through the virtual currency ‘Dogecoin’.

This happened due to athletes’ budget being insufficient for them to attend the competition, so their supporters hosted a fundraising to pay for their trip to Russia. This digital currency has a picture of a Shiba Inu dog on the front, according to the supporters.

For some analysts, it is about a future struggling between the success and failure of this type of transactions.

Bitcoin FotoTargaryen-Tomada wikimediaWe are talking about highly complex transactions which are only understood by expert mathematicians, who even created a system of algorithms to protect themselves from any criminal activity.

Bitcoin was released in 2009 to order avoid intermediaries such as banks.

The British expert Jeremy Bonney highlights this trend and confirms its safety through technology.

He noted that it is difficult to know how many digital coins have been brought into the market, but in addition to Bitcoin and Dogecoin there is Litecoin, which operates under the same system as Bitcoin. Litecoin is, however, different in having a shorter time to confirm transactions of less than three minutes.

Litecoin has been valued at from 0.05 to 48 dollars and has been circulating since 2011 – It is currently at $23.48. Since last year, Quark has appeared in the list of digital currencies, with strong security, according to versions published in the US newspaper the Wall Street Journal.

Bitcoin3For Patrick Byrne, the director of Overstock, big retail sellers will lose market share if they continue turning their back on coins such as Bitcoin.

The users of Bitcoins buy digital money which they load into a virtual wallet in order to buy products online without having to enter their credit card information, as Byrne explains.

Overstock began to accept the virtual currency on the 9th of January 2013, and Byrne said that the company almost immediately raised 100 million dollars from orders paid in Bitcoins.

Nonetheless, Amazon (the e-commerce company) refuses to use it, according to its spokeswoman Julie Law, who persistently mentioned that it has no intention of using Bitcoins in the future.

WBitcoin - Foto Olímpicos Jamaicahat does digital currency consist of?

Digital currency has been in existence for years as some kind of odd  feature of the Internet with followers such as fans of technology or those considered as digital currency nerds, as well as online speculators. This currency is created, distributed and authenticated independently of any bank or government – that is why many individuals consider it a product of free programmes, and of the search for technological independence.

This is a well coded currency, the linchpin of whose system, a network called ’Miners’, is characterised by its immunity to fraud.

Bitcoin (www.bitcoin.org) is a decentralised electronic currency or crypto-currency which was created in 2009 by an individual or a group, using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto.

Bitcoin6It is about a protocol which was designed by this creator on the model of the Internet peer-to-peer network. The key is that this currency does not support any government or bank, nor does it depend on a central mint.

The stry of digital currency points therefore to a relatively new and developing project which has its sceptics, as well as its enthusiasts. It may well, however, be the sign of a free future in terms of finance.

Bitcoin-Qt/Bitcoin is the only programme that implements the protocol while it protects the network as a standard for its clients. Thus, this programme can only function for advanced users.

Regardless of the technicalities, several companies and small businesses have adapted digital currency as payment for services of all kinds such as telephony, Internet services, gift cards and legal or tourist advice with full anonymity guaranteed.

In 2011, even the well-known system Wikileaks requested assistance in Bitcoins after Visa, MasterCard, and Paypal blocked donations to them.

Bitcoin1It was only in October of last year in Vancouver, Canada that a believer in digital technologies Mitchel Remeter, and two of his colleagues launched an ATM that changes Canadian dollars into Bitcoin.

The ATM was manufactured by the American company Robocoin, which is the first of its kind worldwide and represents the hope for the fans of this type of currency. The exchange agency was then named Bitcoiniacs, and it set the conversion rate at 200 Canadian dollars for each Bitcoin.

On the 27th of November 2013, a Bitcoin rose to over 1,000 dollars in exchange for the first time, an accumulated increase of 4,000 per cent since the beginning of this year.

In the US, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an agency of the US Treasury Department established that currency exchange offices, which accept this currency, should comply with regulations against money laundering and hence support the FinCen.

The Bitcoin Foundation esBitcoin5tablished a chronogram (where can one find it? Who knows) which points to an interesting chronology, where 2013 is the year of the development of the currency in a context of growing insecurity in the financial network.

For this year, a group called Bitcoin Magazine is appearing, while bankers and politicians are attempting to counter-attack in countries such as Germany or the US.

It even predicts the explosion of a housing bubble, as well as a new world economic crisis for 2018, at which point the bankers will attempt to get another bailout, while society will ignore them and turn massively to bitcoin. (PL)

 

(Translated by Loukia Katsiami)

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