Assets, Bitcoin

Is Bitcoin a Soft Currency?

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency, without a central bank or single administrator, that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.

Bitcoin is unique in that there are a finite number of them: 21 million.

Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services.

As of February 2015, over 100,000 merchants and vendors accepted bitcoin as payment.

The European Banking Authority and other sources have warned that bitcoin users are not protected by refund rights or chargebacks. The use of bitcoin by criminals has attracted the attention of financial regulators, legislative bodies, law enforcement, and the media.

The FBI prepared an intelligence assessment, entitled Bitcoin: An Innovative Alternative Financial Network, which said that “as of 2013 just under 500,000 unique users used a cryptocurrency exchange to buy and/or sell bitcoins”.

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