For many of us, bitcoin is a story about an underground currency for drug dealers, tax evaders and money launderers. The idea of holding virtual currency in a virtual wallet does not offer mass appeal to the over 40 crowd. The Mt Gox (the world’s biggest bitcoin exchange) recent bankruptcy served as a reminder that cyber currency is not for the faint of heart.
Regardless, there is something more to this story. First, we are seeing the rise of bitcoins in certain countries where the public trust in the national currency is eroding (such as in Argentina and Ukraine). Second, China has banned its financial companies from bitcoins in transactions. Third, Russia has banned cybercurrency such as bitcoins because of its "suspicious use", such as money laundering (good grief, Russia, worried about money laundering….).
Meanwhile, back in America, Canada is looking to regulate the bitcoin industry and the U.S. regulators and Wall Street are interested in learning more . Even Japan has announced it intends on regulating and taxing bitcoins.
Finally, Newsweek has supposedly "outed" the mysterious creator of bitcoin in its explosive article in March of 2014. The story makes allegations, that, if true, will only further fuel the story that this cybercurrency is a geopolitical movement of significant proportions. The story describes Satoshi Nakamoto, the possible creator of bitcoin, as "wearing a rumpled T-shirt, [h]air…unkempt, and has the thousand-mile stare of someone who has gone weeks without sleep." Leah McGrath Goodman, the journalist behind the story quotes Nakamoto: "I am no longer involved in that (creation of bitcoin) and I cannot discuss it." Goodman describes Nakamoto as "someone with a penchant for collecting model trains and a career shrouded in secrecy, having done classified work for major corporations and the U.S. military."
Clearly the cyber currency is being adopted by countries sharing geopolitical interests. Don’t be quick to dismiss cyber currency as a dark force. Your best bet is to learn more about bitcoin and how it is incorporated by many legitimate businesses in modern democracies.