Answers to Questions about Bitcoin, Even Some You Didn't Even Know You Wanted Ask

Friday, January 24, 2014 - 01:00 AM

Bitcoin. It's the latest tech "disruption" because if it's successful it could upend banks, Wall Street and good-old, cold-hard cash. But if it's not all about the Benjamins, then what's it all about?

Here are 12 questions you may have about bitcoin.

Or if that's too many, then how about 7 answers?

Or maybe you just want to listen to someone explain it on the Brian Lehrer show (and then read his story.)

And then go buy some at a NYC Whole Foods (along with your kale and quinoa):

Cause there's gold in them thar’ digital currencies!

But then again, they might need some regulation.  

Cause bitcoin might need its own central banker.

And New York state's insurance commissioner wants to license them and is holding hearings on how to regulate virtual currencies on January 28 and 29, 2014 in NYC. He’s ready: He’s already sent subpoenas to companies investing in bitcoin.

So, who’s buying bitcoins? Here's a map of who is.

Hey, it’s getting legit.

Just don't lose them because they're hard to find (especially if you tossed your old computer).

The future, however, might be uncertain even as it booms.

But former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan does see bubbles this time, and thinks bitcoins is one. Perhaps not, though, says outgoing chairman Ben Bernanke.

China's a little worried and is barring banks from making bitcoin transactions.

It's such a murky, murky world.

But really, is it much ado about nothing?

Then again, $25 million for a bitcoin-related startup...Is that good news or the sound of bubble?

It's so easy to make them: Look! I’m doing it right now!

What's the role going to be for bitcoins on Wall Street?

Small businsses are getting into bitcoin.

So is Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen.

There's even a Bitcoin center right near Wall Street.  What it's going to be like?

But is it fools' gold?


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Comments [1]

I'm surprised that none of you mentioned the usefulness of Bitcoin in evading taxes and in money laundering. It is what fueled the Silk Road website's success.

Bitcoin is so clearly a bubble, its shocking that this isn't the main topic of media coverage. It's also a darling of Libertarian thinking techies. In the end, all it becomes is a more secure digital medium for exchange. Joe Nocera's best argument for its existence was that it avoids the risk of credit card fraud. If we need a better credit card, then maybe lessons can be learned from Bitcoin, but imagine if you decided to gamble with all of your receivables in a business, never knowing whether you would actually make or lose money on each transaction because the currency is so unstable. That's why the rest of world depends on dollars and euros as a stable currency.

Jan. 24 2014 08:54 AM

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