Bitcoin has appeal as an unregulated medium of exchange and value. But, its days as an efficient funding source for illegal activities are coming to an end. ZDNet s Great Debate asks whether Bitcoin is the future of money. Bitcoin s appeal lies in being anonymous, untraceable, and unregulated. These attributes give the virtual currency appeal to a broad spectrum of speculators and investors, entrepreneurs, and the criminal underworld — including drug traffickers, terrorists, and anyone wanting to circumvent currency or tax regulations. Recent events such as the shutdown of Bitcoin marketplace Silk Road , where anyone could purchase drugs, guns, and even hire a contract killer, demonstrate the government’s position on Bitcoin-related crime.
At the same time, financial regulators have taken steps to pull Bitcoin toward compliance with currency laws. Bitcoin’s long-term future is being a regulated financial instrument that serves certain purposes; in other words, once the dust settles,Just a year ago, a bitcoin was worth $13.
And today, the same piece of digital currency is valued at more than $800 on popular online money exchanges. But Chris Dixon believes that’s still a serious bargain. Dixon, a partner with the big-name Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andressen Horowitz, is adamant that bitcoin could become the primary means of making payments on the internet, and if that happens, the price of a bitcoin will skyrocket. “I think it could be easily worth $100,000,” he says. That may seem crazy, but Dixon is not alone. Many among the bitcoin faithful believe that current bitcoin prices are on the low side compared to what they will become. You see, there are only a limited number of bitcoins — the worldwide software system that drives the digital currency will stop minting money sometime in the next century, when there are about 21 million in circulation — and this means that a spike in popularity will likely drive a huge increase in price.
Sure, $10 millionLadies and gentleman, we have a Bitcoin bubble. In January, one bitcoin would fetch around $13. Today, Dec. 4, 2013, it is worth $1,061 with $11.8 million sold on the Bitcoin Exchange. If the currency rose by just a measly 1,000% next year, that would bring it over $10,000. It’s clearly risen 8 times that in the last 11 months. In 2011, Bitcoin aficionados were forecasting it to hit $5 by January 2013. By now, FORBES readers know what a Bitcoin is and how it operates. They’ve also read our articles on the crypto currency bubble. In short, bitcoin is a hot bubbling virtual currency. Think PayPal, where you can send money to your lover without your husband knowing, and buy her crystal meth. The problem is, PayPal has real, traceable money. Bitcoin is private and anonymous making it a haven for illegal activity.
And while a chunk of bitcoin transactions are surely used for illicit trade, most politicians and one college is now treating this better than gold. The University of Cyprus won’tBitcoin is a cyber-currency of growing interest to speculators, the media and — most recently — the U.S. government. Many stories about Bitcoin, which is mined by computers and circulates without a central bank, contain sinister or science-fiction elements that make it hard to tell if the currency is for real or just an overblown gimmick. On Thursday evening, GigaOM hosted a meetup in San Jose where six Bitcoin authorities, including investors and engineers, shared their views on how the currency is evolving and who is using it. Here are three of the larger ideas to emerge from the discussion (if you want to catch up on the basics of Bitcoin, see “Yes, you should care about Bitcoin and here’s why “): Wences Casares, a venture capitalist and CEO of Lemon Wallet, grew up in Argentina, where he experienced first hand what happens when a government mismanages its currency: inflation, capital controls and the destruction of family savings. Today, the same thing is happening all over againHow do you determine the fair market value of a currency that has appreciated faster than the shares of even the hottest technology stocks? This question has befuddled investors and analysts for years when it comes to Bitcoin. While the methods for valuing digital currencies are rather straightforward, the assumptions that underlie competing valuations vary widely. Don t rely on Wall Street analysts to think for you. Instead, consider this framework and come up with your own fair market value estimates for bitcoin. Your first question might be to ask whether Bitcoin has any value whatsoever.
After all, many bitcoin skeptics have knocked the virtual currency for its lack of intrinsic value , including world-class investors like Berkshire Hathaway Inc. s (NYSE:BRK.B) Warren Buffett (who called Bitcoin a mirage ) and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. s (NYSE:JPM) Jamie Dimon, and venerated economists like former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman ( BitcoinBefore I even mentioned Bitcoin -like I just did- take a stroll with me down memory lane and let’s look at past technologies for a moment. Remember when you got your first AOL account when you had to dial-in? What about your first email address, which was more than likely a combination of your name and the year you were born? How was email any different than pen and paper? Both contain messages that hold value and meaning to the reader and are both bidirectional. But an email is instant, and snail mail was just that. Then came AIM and other chat services and email wasn t so instant anymore. Rather than asynchronous channels of communication such as email, chat created synchronous channels for online users. Phones have progressed similarly with texting and apps like SnapChat and WhatsApp. In general, we are comfortable using synchronous channels for personal use and asynchronous for formal or business related use. It was slowly over time that the population as whole started to see thefireballrus writes There is one more way to use your BitCoins rather than buying weed or socks. Recently, a Bitcoin Exchange called ICBIT quietly introduced a futures market, obviously using Bitcoins as its main currency.
Gold futures trade roughly at 137 BTC/tr.oz and Sweet Crude Oil at 7.3 BTC/bbl. This may play a positive role in the Bitcoin economy which needs more ways to actually use coins instead of mining them. While this sounds intriguing, I d like to hear a good case for why BitCoin makes sense in this context. What the bitcoin economy needs is not another financial market but more people accepting it as a payement for real goods and services. I still offer a 5% discount for bitcoin users, but until now, no clients have been interested. However I do not despair as I am getting clients from all around the world and a lot complain about the difficulty to make international payement.
So, if you have bitcoins and need computer vision development, contact me : IV-devsI’m co-founder and Managing Partner at RSR Research. I’m a lifelong retailer and have been involved in retail tech for more than 30 years both as an IT practitioner and as a tech analyst. It’s a great time to be me, as consumers drive retailers to re-create the customer experience and ultimately re-invent retail. I received my MBA in 1991 from Northeastern University, with a major in management of High Technology firms and was nominated to the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society. I’m active in a variety of organizations supporting human growth and development. I’m also an amateur photographer. You can follow me on Twitter @paula_rosenblum. [Updated 12:56PM EST ] Saturday January 25, marked the start of the Miami Bitcoin conference. When I first told my partners I planned to attend, one asked “Why go to a conference when you can read about it on Wikipedia?” There were two answers to that question. One: the Wikipedia reference is pretty much incomprehensible to a non-technical human, and Two:.