Do you remember of bitcoins, the crypto currency born in 2008 which had come to be worth $ 1,147 at the beginning of December 2013, only to see half their value by the end of the same year, go back briefly over a thousand dollars for bitcoins in the beginning of 2014 and then gradually cede ground to slip up on the current 230-240 dollars for bitcoins (you can find all the information on coindesk)? Well, despite the high volatility that makes them a means of payment at least risky, the circulation continues to grow slowly and reached 14 billion units, namely a pair of billions more than 15 months ago when we already talked on Mondivirtuali.
But in the meantime, as widely expected, the trouble started: in the investigation of Silk Road, marketplace once active on the Tor‘s darknet, then dismantled by US federal authorities, whose founder, Ross Ulbricht, was sentenced last month by a jury that found him guilty, among other, di drug trafficking, smuggling via Internet, violation of anti–narcotics in cahoots with others, money laundering and hacking (Ulbricht risks life imprisonment and has already asked the repetition of the process before proceeding further, separate, fixed the exact terms of his sentence), two of the officers who participated in the investigation finished in turn blamed for extorting bitcoins to suspects and shot on their accounts of those seized on Silk Road.
More serious the problem that was born after the failure, last year, the world’s leading trader bitcoin, Japanese firm Mt Gox, overwhelmed by a “hole” of about 47 million euros after initially denounced the “disappearance” of almost 350 million euros in bitcoins, then partially recovered. Last January Bitstamp, bitcoins trader located in Slovenia, announced that it had suffered a theft amounting to $ 5 million in bitcoins because of a hacker. Meanwhile they continued to have problems some companies that developed software or hardware for the “mining“ activitiesy with which the bitcoins are created. One of them, the Swiss Bitmine Ag, apparently eg not making any shipment or refunded orders received (and never processed) now for a year.
Last but not least, Bitcoin Foundation, founded in 2012 and supported by companies like Knc, Insidebitcoin, Okcoin, Bitpay, Anonibet or Circle with the hope of restoring order in the management of crypto currency, according to what disclosed on its forums by one of its board member, Olivier Janssens, should be “effectively bankrupt” because of “2 years of ridiculous spending and poorly thought out decisions” that led the Foundation to run out of cash as early as November last year, lay off 90% of its staff and also block “core development” activities, in a total lack of transparency.
Despite all these problems, the volatility and lack of transparency, the bitcoins continue to be of interest, with over 400 million dollars invested last year by venture capital funds in startups that aim to develop services for the supply chain of bitcoins, while it would now 8 million active users around the world who use the virtual currency for their purchases on the web and over 100 thousand merchants that accept payments in bitcoins. In the end the suspicion is that are mainly banks and venture capital funds to hope that the virtual currency takeoffs really, stably, so as to support the deployment of micro payment upon which those banks and funds are investing substantial sums for years.
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