Cryptocurrencies: The State of Play

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Cryptocurrencies: The New Coin of the Realm?
The State of Play

In 2009, the mysterious and pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto launched Bitcoin, the world’s first online cryptocurrency. Backed by no government or hard assets, the currency’s value has skyrocketed and plunged repeatedly. And yet, a diverse group of entrepreneurs, businesses and would-be money launders has followed Bitcoin’s trajectory avidly. The receptivity indicates a real demand for an Internet-centric medium of exchange, without banks and without fees. Yet the rise of “criminal eBays” like the Silk Road, which allow for the anonymous purchase of illegal items with the cryptocurrency, have also brought the digital cash to the attention of government authorities. Beyond monitoring illicit activity, should regulators have a role in this new financial system? Could Bitcoin-or another cryptocurrency-become a universal alternative currency? Will we ever be able to use a cryptocurrency at our local bodega?

Benjamin M. Lawsky
Superintendent of Financial Services, New York State Department of Financial Services
@BenLawsky

http://newamerica.net/events/2014/new_coin_of_the_realm

11 COMMENTS

  1. I hate the fact that Lawsky grows on me the more I view him.

    A flickering spark of hope in very muddy waters. My hope is that he has decent, honest people around him and the 'terrorist, money-laundering' statements are in there just to tick some boxes to keep the higher ups from bitching.

    Annoys me every time they say 'bit-license' though, if it's going to be done, it should be 'Crypto-License' and virtual-currency should be left completely alone, it's crypto-currencies that they're talking about.
    Virtual currencies are closed-circuit currencies typically.

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