Bitcoin has received some heat in the media lately.
In February, Mt. Gox, once the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, filed for bankruptcy after losing $490 million worth of investments and is also facing a lawsuit after a cyber attack brought down their exchange. Further, the CEO of BitInstant was arrested in New York in January for money laundering. BitInstant is also facing a class-action lawsuit from its investors who allege the service was misrepresented to them.
Descriptions for Bitcoin are abysmal. A scam. Destructive. Illegal.
The currency will face an uphill battle to prove its worth – figuratively and literally – to the public and national governments.
“Bitcoin matters because it has governments and major banks scared stiff. It presents a currency that cuts them out of the picture,” writes CNN Money’s Jose Pagliery.
China and Russia have already declared Bitcoin illegal. But, the U.S. government and its private financial institutions are not so sure it should be. Beyond the concern that there is little protection for consumers who trade in Bitcoin, there is reason to be optimistic. Bitcoin allows for the opportunity for private and public sectors alike to capitalize on the ability to easily transfer money across the world without fees or inflation.
“We have finally figured out how to send value over the Internet – faster, cheaper and more securely. We are not going to ‘unlearn’ that,” Jinyoung Englund, spokeswoman for the Bitcoin Foundation, the currency’s top advocate, told Pagliery.