TechTalk

Published on January 4th, 2018 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Bitcoin, to buy or not to buy…that is the question

So what is ‘Bitcoin’? Bitcoin is a digital currency created in 2009. It follows the ideas set out in a white paper by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, whose true identity has yet to be verified. There are no physical bitcoins, only balances kept on a public ledger in the cloud, that along with all Bitcoin transactions is verified by a massive amount of computing power. Bitcoins are not issued or backed by any banks or governments, nor are individual bitcoins valuable as a commodity.

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, has an underlying technology that makes it an unhackable commodity that doesn’t need a central bank or a government to guarantee its value.

Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting uses that could not be covered by any previous payment system.

This allows users to make transactions without an intermediary, saving time and money, potentially upending the costly financial services and exchange markets as we know it.

On December 25 last year, the Israeli Securities Agency announced companies will no longer be able to trade in bitcoin on the Tel Aviv stock exchange, and in Morocco, Bolivia and Ecuador, bitcoin is completely illegal.

Concerns across Asia are growing, where bitcoin is also illegal in Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh and Nepal. China, which once constituted 90% of all bitcoin trading, banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) in September and began to crack down on exchanges.

In addition, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda called the surge in bitcoin prices “abnormal” last week, CNBC reported, specifically citing the dangers of speculative investing; the Reserve Bank of India has expressed concern about tax evasion and other misuses; Indonesia seems poised to ban cryptocurrency transactions next year; Vietnam may ban cryptocurrency payments; Singapore warned speculative investors last week about the risk of losing “all their capital”. Korea is the third-largest market for bitcoin trading after Japan and the United States, making up roughly 20% of all bitcoin trading, and the country’s recent change of heart comes amid other nations in the region placing restrictions on the cryptocurrency.

For me….I will stick to simple good old paper money until further notice.


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