Bitcoin has fallen 30% since the start of the week. Photo: Jack Guez/ AFP/ Getty Images
What is bitcoin and is it a bad investment?
Bitcoin is the first, and the most difficult, “cryptocurrency”- a decentralised tradable digital asset. Whether it is a bad investment is the big question. Bitcoin can only be used as a medium of exchange and in practice has been far more important for the dark economy than it has for most legitimate applies. The deficiency of any central authority stimulates bitcoin remarkably resilient to censorship, dishonesty- or regulation. That entails it has attracted a range of benefactors, from libertarian monetarists who enjoy the idea of a currency with no inflation and no central bank, to drug dealer who like the fact that it was difficult to( but not impossible) to retrace a bitcoin transaction back to a physical person.
India’s finance minister said this week that the two countries does not recognise cryptocurrencies as legal tender and would take action against their use in funding” illegitimate activities “.
Facebook has banned bitcoin and other cryptocurrency adverts on its website.
South Korea announced at the end of December that it was scheming a crackdown on trading in the digital currency, preparing a ban on opening anonymous cryptocurrency reports and new legislation to enable regulators to close coin exchanges if they seemed there was a need to do so.
UK prime minister Theresa May said last week she was concerned that felons were taking advantage of digital currencies.” In regions like cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, we should be looking at these very seriously ,” she said.
Steven Mnuchin, US treasury secretary, signalled that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies would be subject to greater regulatory scrutiny in the world’s largest economy.
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